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Messages - CommuniCat

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iStockPhoto.com / Re: Is istock exclusive contributor worth it?
« on: August 30, 2020, 05:24 »
Unfortuantely, iStock also has a long and sad history of unilaterally changing contacts, moving goals posts and screwing contributors over.

If you feel that exclusive is the way to go for your images, I'd honestly look at Stocksy and consider if your work, or the work you want to produce, fits their niche.

In my head there is a short list of agencies worth considering going forwards. Adobe, Alamy, Pond5 and maybe Dreamstime.

I know that it's not exactly scientific, but if you look at the general MS Poll Results at top right on this site, you will see that AS has overtaken SS for earnings and IS is now just a few short points behind iStock exclusive. In other words, if you stay independent and upload only to AS and a handful of other sites that pay better commissions you won't cannibalise your sales at idiot agencies like Shutterstock.

Selling Stock Direct / Re: Google images licensable tag
« on: August 28, 2020, 10:06 »
I think that we will all be "agreeing" to a change in the standard terms and conditions shortly.

Selling Stock Direct / Re: Google images licensable tag
« on: August 27, 2020, 10:25 »
I've personally been following this development with great interest. I think that Photoshelter sent out an email last week about this. Some are quite cynical about it saying that Google has proposed, started and then dropped many promising developments before.

I think that it could be a game changer for selling direct. But agencies are sure to strip our meta data for anything that runs through them.

Still, I think that this is a major step forwards if they do bring it to market. Interestingly, I've never noticed the "video" and "product" tags that are now in Google image search before.

Pond5 / Re: Enterprise custom license for pennies?
« on: August 23, 2020, 12:19 »
As I understand it, you can opt out of partner sales. Also, I think P5 reserves the right to price match if the same clip is available elsewhere. In the cases mentioned above, is the clip available elsewhere (like SS)? And is the partner program turned off in your profile?

Business all boils down to one thing - trust. If you cannot trust those who you are doing business with then they don't have a business. It does not matter how big that business is or how clever they think that they are, if any of their key stakeholders don't trust them then the party comes to an abrupt end. Contributors no longer trust Shutterstock, so the game is up. It may take months or it may take a few years - but one way or another, Shutterstock is done. Their reputation is totally shot.

So sorry for you. I've pulled all my work from them and went exclusive for video at Pond5 as a way to try and stave off canibalising cheap video sales at SS rather than full priced sales at other agencies.

Does it not bother you that all those sales at SS now needed to make just $90 may be wasted and that you may actually earn far more in the long run by just dropping them completely and working with a few select agencies?

We had a single sale yesterday on P5 where we earned $48. I can't help thinking that if we stuck it out at SS we would still be annoyed at them instead of just moving on and making plans elsewhere.

Your experience of going from $800 to less than $100 would indicate to me that it makes no sense to sell at SS at all. At worst you are probably looking at parity by ditching them completely. All this before your New Year's gift in January.

General Stock Discussion / Stock Coalition Collection on Pond5
« on: August 12, 2020, 09:13 »
One of the outcomes of our meetings with Pond5 has been their agreement to create a special Stock Coalition Collection that will be featured on the main page of Pond5.

If you are a contributor to Pond5 and wish to have your work featured in the Stock Coalition Collection, you obviously need to have joined the Stock Coalition first.

Join us here: https://stockcoalition.org/join-us/

Find out more about the Pond5 collection on our public forums here:

*** Update *** The standard membership application form now also includes and option to participate in the Pond5 collection.

Shutterstock.com / Re: Timing of the royalty cut
« on: August 06, 2020, 06:30 »
Thanks for this.

Documents were filed today in the US to create a non-profit organization, the Stock Coalition.

This will be the basis upon which every contract with every agency will be signed, and will support Coalition initiatives. This is a major milestone for the Stock Coalition as all of our work will be official, backed by our own organization.

To find out more, join the Stock Coalition here: https://stockcoalition.org/join-us/

Once the application form has been submitted, you will be able to gain access to the main members forum where more details about the organisation have been posted. 

Notice that whoever this idiot is never really comes back to have a conversation. They pose a question and then never respond back.  My definition of a troll.

Notice also how those questions are really positioned as statements. It's not really someone wanting to get an answer.

WRT editorial, I'd be happy to be wrong, but I don't think so. That's an interesting question. Obviously if they did it would be a workaround for editorial footage on AS. I'm not sure if I have any editorial video that I could check with.

Anyone else exclusive to P5 that has editorial video? Does it show up at AS?

I understand what you get from an AS sale on P5 to be largely comparable to what you would get from AS by yourself. Seems to make sense with what I can piece together so far. That said, it's going to take a bit of time for videos distributed through P5 to find their way back up the database at AS. Sales from AS are likely to be slow while that happens.

Has anyone had any success through Vimeo Stock? As I understand it, P5 supplies to them too. How would we know if there were sales from them anyway?

Are you guys talking gross or net?


We priced our HD files at $69 and 4K at $169 - so 70% of that.
We are in a bit of a location niche though and have maintained better pricing so far. Smiling caucasian woman eating an apple, perhaps not so much.

What is the final goal of the protest?
How realistic are all these energy and time consuming actions?

Choosing to not upload to SS and rather support agencies that offer better rates takes less energy and time than wasting effort on an agency that will just cannibalise your sales elsewhere.

Since going exclusive for video (what we mainly do now) at P5 we have been getting steady $40 - $50 sales. We upload to one place and get comparable commissions from AS which which they have a distribution agreement anyway. That saves time and energy.

Our overall earnings have been up on the same period last year.

While I personally always wanted SS to come around on their crazy ideas, I've realised that they are really no great loss. Maybe a bit of pain in the beginning - but ultimately the future without SS looks far brighter than hanging around while they destroy the value of our work. They can keep their 10c thanks - or whatever scraps they are throwing to the dogs for video licenses now.

The goal is quite simple - to get more for your work. Perhaps in there should also be to protect the value of what you have worked so hard to produce.

1) If you can, keep your portfolio down at SS and build better value elsewhere.
2) If you are not in a position to shut down SS earnings, stop uploading to them. Pretty soon other agencies will replace them if you cut the flow of fresh new work to SS.

Shutterstock.com / Re: Get 10 free images now....
« on: July 09, 2020, 10:24 »
Thanks - is it just me or is it not completely wrong to say things like this: "The 10 free images are yours to keep regardless of whether you continue or cancel your annual plan."

It's not yours to keep. It's not your copyright. It's yours to use. Or you get to keep the license for its use.

Shutterstock.com / Re: Get 10 free images now....
« on: July 09, 2020, 08:24 »
"The 10 free images are yours to keep regardless of whether you continue or cancel your annual plan."

Please advise the location of this text. It's highly irregular and one could argue that this implies a transfer of copyright.

Shutterstock.com / Re: I'm gonna miss the reCaptcha
« on: June 30, 2020, 14:02 »
Best post I've read on the matter. Thanks for that.

Everyone is in the same boat. Nobody can do without the money, but Shutterstock is pulling the whole industry down. It's imperative, especially for video, that we get our files onto Pond5 and off SS.

Pond5 is a major player in video licensing. If you go exclusive, they get your files back onto Adobe and onto Vimeo stock. You get 60% of revenue. If you do the maths, you realise that you don't lose much from an Adobe perspective. It's earnings comparable.

That said, if you simply cannot pull all of your files from SS, just stop uploading. Stop feeding the animal that is eating you. In about a year your revenue will have swapped over to other agencies and you will wonder what the fuss was all about.

This is exactly what happened with iStock. It was a huge blow - but in the end, if you just stop feeding them it all pans out just fine.

Also, join the Stock Coalition here: https://stockcoalition.org/
We are currently in negotiations with large agencies and are now up to over 5000 members on our Facebook page.
Unfortunately, Shutterstock has shown no interest in working with its contributor base.

Agreed. I support them 100%. Good for them for taking a stand. And I wish them all success in the future too. We are all in this together.

If you believe in conspiracy theories - take a look at this thread.
Somehow I missed the response between the two last posts when I was screen grabbing.

Then "poof" the whole thread went missing. Gone from the group FB page.
Apparently, if you are the thread creator on FB, if you delete it all disappears.
Our "Facebook employee" took their own thread down when I called them out.

What do you guys make of this?

Whoever screenshot that post from Jon before he deleted it deserves a year's free beer.

Ja, that's what they tried to sell us, right? The word "boycott" did not appear in that article. They went pretty quiet after that. Did you note that the second article by chance did? I managed to forward that on my profile no problem. It's still up on my FB account - no auto algorithm stuff there.

Try it for yourself.

My guess is that they worked overtime to squash the story that way. Nah, guys, it was just these fools not knowing how our automatic algorithm works . . .

Note that the whole thread disappeared on our FB page? That was after I asked them some really hard questions.

Spooky stuff.

It's huge news. Other big players are joining in. Buyers will be annoyed as hell.
Jon says he does not want our content on Twitter. That goes for the big players too.

My conspiracy theory is that Facebook is about to buy Shutterstock and wants the prices pushed down so that they can give our stock assets away to their advertisers.

That's why FB was so quick to gag the Inside Imaging article. Also would explain why SS seems to have lost the plot wrt to dealing with their contributors. It's FB pulling their strings now.

So to understand this, those who still have their portfolios up at Shutterstock are getting poor sales anyway? So despite a fair chunk of video competition turning their portfolios off, those that stay on are not getting sales anyway?

Yes, this is yet another reason why we need far more organisation from our side as contributors. We need to have the power to opt into or out of subs sales at all agencies. We need to get control of our work back again. Within reason, of course. The agencies are still important partners.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Respect your elders?
« on: June 23, 2020, 04:40 »
Shutterstock is losing. The community is winning. A few misguided die-hard supporters or PR agency plants talking things up will not help them.

They should have addressed their community on their own forums.
They should have addressed their community when they started their own Facebook group.
They should have addressed their community when an organisation was formed.
They sure as hell should have got the negotiating table out when the first press release went out.

Now they have lost the only thing that really matters in business, and perhaps in life - trust. Oh, and don't be a dick.

It's a sinking ship. Those manning the bilge pumps are wasting their time.
For those that work at SS, get your CVs out like Stan said you should (only this time on your terms). I'm pretty sure Adobe, Pond5 and others will need your services soon.

Clients - Move to agencies that treat their contributors better if you need stable and long-term relationships.

Send the word.

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