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Messages - davidgoh

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51
iStockPhoto.com / Re: No downloads in two working days!!!
« on: March 13, 2013, 13:33 »
Getting a higher royalty percentage than I would at Shutterstock, Dreamstime, 123RF, or Fotolia should count for something shouldn't it?
So long as you can keep selling, i.e. the site can keep selling, which iS seems not to be doing as before. I had 0 dls yesterday and 3 today.
I was once with a small RM agency which at the time offered 60%. I made one sale. Even 100% of very little is very little.

+1

My earnings have been a steady $30+ per weekdays on iS (average 6-7 purchases), and I have a portfolio of 115 files (I do vectors.) Makes me wish I was here when iS was at its glory days still, sounds like I would have been earning so much more. :/

Wow! $6 per image per month  - sounds like you are one of the few who really could be earning so much more by adding more images.

Aye! I lucked out with a single file that managed to get a flame - it's responsible for half of my earnings overall. :P I hope it stays that way... *fingers crossed*

52
What EmberMike says makes a lot of sense. :) Unless it's been added the trademark or registered mark, it's safe to assume that it's a sign for now.

Any partner sites?
Partner site terms don't always match the 'mother' site terms.
Logos are certainly usually prohibited.
Also I'm not certain that this restaurant IS using it as a logo. Maybe it's just a sign.
The sites always seem to find wriggle room to avoid any confrontation with buyers. At micro prices, it isn't worth pursuing.
When does something become a "legal logo"?

When it's trademarked or registered to the organization in question.

53
Like many others have said, I think your best bet would be to check the terms on every agency you're selling it on. I've read somewhere before that most agencies don't allow artworks to be made into logos, because logos are subjected to being trademarked or registered, and to do that you require full rights to the work. (Correct me if I'm wrong!) Since registering a mark offers protection on the artwork, it could spell trouble for a) the contributor who created it in the first place and b) other licensees that are using the same artwork.

Playing devils advocate here but what else did you expect by creating something that looks like a logo and selling it on micro?  ;)

Honestly, graphics like these can just be used for a great deal more mundane purposes, such as a "spicy" tag on item menus. I don't think the creator is at all at fault here. It's up to the buyer to ensure that they're using the work they've licensed correctly and legally.

54
Might be a CMYK/RGB thing, web browsers and image viewers display CMYK JPGs with really strange, saturated colours. What are you using to create these JPGs?

55
iStockPhoto.com / Re: No downloads in two working days!!!
« on: March 12, 2013, 22:29 »
My earnings have been a steady $30+ per weekdays on iS (average 6-7 purchases), and I have a portfolio of 115 files (I do vectors.) Makes me wish I was here when iS was at its glory days still, sounds like I would have been earning so much more. :/

56
iStockPhoto.com / Re: Istock exclusive price rise again
« on: March 07, 2013, 10:26 »
I'm very new to stock, in that I've only been a contributor for a couple of months and I've never even bought a single image/vector before that. (Any stock that I worked with in the past as a designer were always already provided) I'm also a hobbyist. My first reaction to the state of the industry when I first entered, though, was that everything was too darn cheap. As much as iStock's been the center of controversy, I do think that their pricing is fair. (except for the fact that they give 15% - 20% to non-ex)

I remember being flabbergasted at Vectorstock's pricing at first, at how certain vectors that would easily be priced at 12 to 15 credits at iStock are easily bought at 1 credit there. I was initially very apprehensive about uploading there as I thought it could hurt sales on iStock, but I found this to be largely irrelevant since many stick with whatever agencies their employers chose. Since then, I've put stuff up on Vectorstock and it's been giving me decent returns, covering for its low pricing with relatively high volume. (If I had the same number of average sales on Vectorstock imposed onto iStock and its pricing, I could pretty much drop one of my two jobs.)

I don't like that it's cheap. But the way I see it, that's the way the industry is moving towards, and it's very quickly becoming the norm. I think it's all about dealing and adapting.

57
Hey MSG illustrators, just wanted to share something I came across today:



As a vector artist, I was blown away by this gorgeous piece of work. It's the album art for John Mayer's "Born & Raised" album. The amazing artist goes by the name of David A. Smith, and there's a short film detailing his process - one that is an absolute delight to watch:



Through a little searching, I also found out that he does stock vectors! http://www.istockphoto.com/ANGELGILD/ Superb work. :D

58
General Stock Discussion / Re: Earnings in February 2013
« on: March 02, 2013, 00:28 »
I've only been truly active for two months, but my February iStock earnings were twice that of January's. (Portfolio size increased by 1/3 too.)

59
iStockPhoto.com / Re: I'm going for the golden choker.
« on: February 27, 2013, 22:39 »
I'd suggest not going exclusive, but instead, upload to all top tier and mid tier sites.

VectorStock is -when uploading the normal way-, well, pure horror, but using StockSubmitter, you don't have to burden yourself with 380x400 resolution previews and stuff like that. It gets resized, zipped and submitted automatically by pressing literally one button. This goes for other sites requiring zipped files as well.

Get StockSubmitter, set it up, get familiar with it and optimize your keywording and uploading workflow. This will save you lots of time in the long run, especially for sites that have slow uploading via http.
I'm currently uploading to about 17 different sites, relatively easy.

Thanks for the suggestion. I've not yet given StockSubmitter a proper try, shall do so in a bit. Could be a game changer! :)

If you're going to look to other's stats, I think it's important to not really compare yourself to photographers, but only to vector artists. The sites seem to have a very different market share for that market.

As far as exclusivity in general, I suggest not keeping 100% of your income from 1 site on a long-term basis. Looks like you're doing that with other jobs. And I think you're right to primarily use your own stats as the basis for your decision. Good luck!

Agreed.
Try excl out for a few months. But realize that being exclusive is like digging a hole. The longer you stay, the harder it is to get out.
I have no doubt you will make more $$$ than you are currently, considering your figures, unless best match kills your top file which should be a huge concern. Good luck!

Thanks for your input. Am I right to infer from your post that you regret going exclusive? :P I've seen your work around many time and always thought that you were pretty successful!

60
iStockPhoto.com / Re: I'm going for the golden choker.
« on: February 26, 2013, 23:27 »
Those numbers at the right are not indicative for illustrators at all! Not even close. My humble opinion is that you are approaching this entirely wrong. You need to try some of the other smaller agencies and you need to add ITPC to your jpg thumbnails. Once you do this you will realize that IS is the worse place to be if you are trying to make the most efficient use of your uploading time. You should be able to upload 20 or so images to at least 10 or more sites while watching prime time television in one night.

FYI- for me SS is number 2 in earnings, DT is number 6, FT is number 11, and IS is number 9 and I can't even get around to VectorStock because of the pricing and PITA upload.

Granted my port size varies based on upload ease, rpd, and overall earnings but I've been tracking this long enough to know that using the table on the right is as an indicator of how to proceed is a massive mistake for illustrators.

Just my two cents.


Hey there! Thanks for the comment and your supplied data! I'm not using the poll results as the basis for my wanting to go exclusive - rather, it's mostly the reasons I've supplied in the original post. As much as Vectorstock is a pain, it's actually pretty good for sales. :D I'm making an average 7-10$ per day there with just 25 files. It appears to be swarming with buyers due to the low prices. If you've got a portfolio that are in the thousands, you should give it a shot.

Thank you for that point on using ITPC. I've yet to give it a shot since only 1 out of the 4 sites I currently submit to supports it (SS). It'll be useful if I do go the route to submitting to multiple sites.

Files on Shutterstock can be just removed from sale without removing them from the site. So if you want to try exclusivity, you don't have to quit Shutterstock actually.

I would try for a few month and see what happen, and if thing go bad, you quit exclusivity and  reactivate your Shutterstock files...

I don't know about the others sites though...


Thank you for this. It certainly doesn't hurt to give it a shot. As a previous poster mentioned, better I experiment now as a newbie rather than when I'm an established independent.

On the other hand, when I look at iStock's forums I find people reporting January to be their BME -- even though these instances are significantly fewer than those who're saying they're having the worst months. It's all very puzzling.

Interpreting other people's figures is more difficult than it looks. You need to know what media they're using, how many files they have on each site, how long they've been on each site (somight have images lightboxed) etc.
To give an extreme but true example: there's a habituee of the Alamy forum who ha regularly said how much more he earns at Alamy than iStock, which would be quite surprising to me on the face of it, but he has fewer than 20 files in iS, but thousands on Alamy. No kidding.
Exactly the same when interpreting the figures on the right, and the monthly reports here. No point in looking at someone's figures who has 2000 files at one agency for four years, and 500 on a other for six months. The raw figures tell you almost nothing.

Also, at what level are those who are reporting BMEs? If I had 5 sales last month and 10 this month, and have tripled my port from 10 to 30, that's not saying very much. Conversely, at least a couple of people who are reporting ever worsening months have hardly uploaded in two years.

FWIW, my BME was Nov 2008, then Oct 2008, then Nov 2009. But that has little relevance to other people.


I didn't go too much in-depth into researching those reporting their sales, but what I do notice is that they were mostly exclusives (this is on the iStock forums). A few of them would provide additional data such as when they last uploaded, but it's also very puzzling - some would cite a growth of +500 in their portfolio over the year but report a decrease in royalties. Here's one of the threads i've been alooking at - http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=351109&page=1 . Given how varied the data is, I try to take things with a pinch of salt and look at my own trends instead. :)

Have you been paid for writing this?


I was thinking exactly the same. There is so much propaganda in this it can`t be true....


It's comments like this that keep people from posting here. Absolutely unprofessional way to treat someone. I personnally would not give up exclusivity at iStock because from what I read here there is no way i would make nearly as much money as an independent unless I sold on my own and marketed myself. Just because it is not for you does not mean it is not for anyone else.. You have to be real good and have unique files. Istock is owned by a private equity firm. It has been for a long time. Don't expect them to coddle you, just ride the train for as long as the money comes in. No stock agency is going to coddle your butt and the contributors  that drank the Kool-aide and acted like it was a co-op were the first one to whine when they couldn't make the cut to Vetta and get the kind of money they photographers deserve, so are hanging out here patting themselves on the back and getting 2 bucks a dl. They standby here around and slam people that do the math and see that for them personally it makes more business sense to be exclusive. Rant over. And no I am not a newbie by any stretch. Having the best February ever and haven't even uploaded this year.


Maybe you are right. I do not know. But yet my post made only reflects my opinion. The post by the OP was far too surreal for me to be made by just someones personal opinion. However, you sound very frustrated in your post and I think the point of view of: "nobody is friendly and just ride the business until its dead" sounds very sad, so I apologize if my opinion is adding up to this ;-)

Well if you have an opinion then give it. Don't make some unfounded slander against the OP. Like offer experiences or knowledge. And if you are going to use quotation marks learn what they are for. Stick to copying and pasting when you quote instead of making up your own words. Sorry I sound a little cynical but it is no secret that private equity firms could care less about suppliers. So you don't expect much. It's business and you take some risks with whatever company you are with. The OP has looked at his sales and made some conclusions that thousands of others have made. I don't see anything surreal about that. Experiences may vary. Exclusivity at iStock is still a good choice for many and is certainly not a choker. Selling for 2 bucks when I am getting 20 makes no sense for me.


I've been trying to mostly ignore those specific comments you've brought up, but I thank you for stepping in anyways. It is good to hear that there are contributors still enjoying exclusivity - because that means that it's not all that bad, and there's still a chance to make it! Cheers. :)

61
iStockPhoto.com / Re: I'm going for the golden choker.
« on: February 26, 2013, 12:16 »
I've noticed that iStock is promising more exposure, but I can't figure out how that's going to happen.

The only extra exposure you are guaranteed is if your content is mirrored up to Getty.  Nothing more.

I see. Thank you for this. :)

OP - like you, when I started (2006), I was with a few sites, but iStock quickly established itself for me as the better seller by far, and I went Exclusive soon after I was eligible (it took 500 DLs then).

As far as I could tell, it worked fine for me, at least until last September - since then, it's been looking increasingly touch and go, but still holding on for now, mainly thanks to my having just scraped to the next % level last year, plus good sales on GI, so far anyway.  Next year may not be so good.

But it's a tough call these days.  As mentioned though, I think it's probably easier to dump the crown early on if it doesn't work out than it is to dump being independent once you're established at other sites, so if you're going for it, best do it now rather than later.

You make a very good point with your last sentence. If I plan on experimenting, better I do it now than later when I've committed to submitting to multiple agencies. It's definitely something to think about. Thank you!

I turned exclusive last July and, initially, it was a great decision.  From Aug through mid-Dec I was making 5 times what I made on SS during my best months there.  However, since mid-Dec my sales have been in a freefall.  Current best match favors older files (which I don't have) and new files sink so fast that if you get a download or two you're doing well.  Views are way down as well.  In all honesty it feels like buyers have left in droves.
If I could have looked into my crystal ball last July and seen what was going to be happening after just a few months of being exclusive I wouldn't have gone that route.  With the current state of affairs at iStock having no other options is not a good feeling.  Personally, I am looking for other options while I slowly deactivate files. 
Your mileage may differ, of course.  If you do decide to give it a try my only recommendation would be to deactivate your account at SS rather than close it.  That way you can keep your files on-line there (they won't be visible to the buyers) and, with re-activation, you'll be ready to go quickly should you decide to return.

Accounts like these scare me. It's also very consistent with how iStock's Alexa's ratings are looking lately. On the other hand, when I look at iStock's forums I find people reporting January to be their BME -- even though these instances are significantly fewer than those who're saying they're having the worst months. It's all very puzzling. Anwyays, thanks for the advice on deactivation vs. deletion! I'll certainly keep that in mind.

62
iStockPhoto.com / Re: I'm going for the golden choker.
« on: February 26, 2013, 09:31 »
Uploading to multiple sites has taken up quite a bit of time, time that as a casual stocker I can't really afford. If I can't commit to being a non-exclusive to the best of my capacity, it seems to make more sense that I should go exclusive instead, so that what little time I can pour into stock is maximized to creating content.

I don't fully understand the 'time uploading issue'. I do photos, rather than illustrations, and the time spent shooting and processing is far greater than the time spent uploading. I would assume that illustrations take rather longer to produce but no longer to upload.

For example, when processing, it takes me about 15 mins per image to select/process/keyword. Therefore, over say 6 hours, I could produce about 24 new images. It would take me less than one further hour to upload all those images to SS, IS and FT (which account for 85% of my microstock income). Probably 3/4 of that time would be spent uploading to IS which is vastly more time-consuming than all the other agencies combined. If the time spent uploading was an issue then it would be more profitable to produce slightly fewer images but upload them to more agencies.

Keywording for iStock, and then keywording for other agencies does make it more time-consuming (which is what I currently do - perhaps it'll be much better if I start out by keywording for other sites first). Websites like Vectorstock also pose another layer of delay, as they require the artwork to be at a 0.95 aspect ratio and the preview image to be 380x400. I've yet to upload for FT, so I can't say much about any complications that would occur there, but I do foresee some issues with their max 2mb size.

If one wishes to exploit their non-exclusive status to the maximum, then shouldn't they submit to around 10 sites or more? I'm okay with maintaining 2-3 portfolios at different agencies, but it doesn't seem like that would be very optimal versus going exclusive. Then again, I guess it all depends on the data. Someone who has 80% of his revenues coming outside of iStock would be crazy to go exclusive!

It's your business, your decision, you are going in with your eyes open. So good luck. I've got nothing against contributor's acting according to their assessment of their own best interests. Isn't that what we all do?

To be honest, it does seem a teensy bit ironic to see Sean being discouraging about exclusivity after all the years when he obviously felt it worked best for him.

I didn't read it as being discouraging, I saw it just as pointing out a potential problem down the line for the OP's port being so heavily reliant on just one image.

Exclusivity works for me and my port, but not for everyone. It's purely a personal decision. I found that my photos uploaded since late September sank like stones whether or not they had early downloads, and I deactivated a lot of them a couple of weeks back. They sank below 200 on photos only searches after 48 hours on their main search terms, and were unlikely to recover.

These are things that we have no control over, and can sink files forever. No doubt that happens on all sites, but spreading the risk might obviate that sort of problem.

Also take it that the Getty/Google thing, the Connect thing, the microsoft thing, are only the beginning of 'deals' whereby the contributors are getting less than their promised percentage, as they're doing the deals in a different, non-trasparent way. And they proved with the microsoft deal and the Google deal that they act in a quick bucks way, not for future growth in mind. Who knows what they have already agreed to that we don't know about yet? And you can bet it won't be good for us, at least in the long run.

OTOH, you can get out of excusivity after 30 days, so it's not the end of the world if it doesn't work out.

And on the third hand, there are very few, if any, of the other micros that I'd be totally happy about getting into bed with. Devil and deep blue sea. Rock and hard place.

@OP: you also need to be aware that most people are finding that iStock downloads are falling rapidly, partly because of increased competition, but probably mostly because buyers are leaving. Prices have shot up, but when there are no buyers, even $500 a dl will equal $0.

Thouight, again, you can get out of exclusivity in 30 days.


Thanks for the input! :) It is tempting to give exclusivity a try - however short-lived it may be - since I can always get out of it. One benefit I think I'll enjoy is as a beginner, it probably isn't as damaging to make the switch from a non-exclusive to an exclusive as it would be for someone who's established. If you don't mind, I'd like to know more about your experience? When did you made the choice to be exclusive? What spurred you to make the decision? Did you notice a major change in income or priority under their search engine? I've noticed that iStock is promising more exposure, but I can't figure out how that's going to happen.

63
iStockPhoto.com / Re: I'm going for the golden choker.
« on: February 26, 2013, 06:51 »
It's your business, your decision, you are going in with your eyes open. So good luck. I've got nothing against contributor's acting according to their assessment of their own best interests. Isn't that what we all do?

To be honest, it does seem a teensy bit ironic to see Sean being discouraging about exclusivity after all the years when he obviously felt it worked best for him.

It is. :) I'm just laying it all out in the eyes of the more experienced ones to see if I'm overlooking anything. And as Gostwyck has pointed out, I have indeed failed to consider some important points.

Can't speak for Sean, but what I gathered from his post was just him pointing out that my success has so far been heavily influenced by a single file, out of a portfolio of 100 other illustrations.

64
iStockPhoto.com / Re: I'm going for the golden choker.
« on: February 26, 2013, 06:27 »
You've scored with a single file - the basic "labels" illustration.  If that should fall due to sort changes, you'll be out of luck.

Exactly. With 6 months experience and a few hundred sales in total you don't have anything like enough data on which to base such an important decision. As Sean says you got lucky with a single file on one agency. There is a huge amount of luck in microstock, at least when it comes to individual file sales. If a file gets a few early sales then it will jump to the top of the sort-order and can go on to make great money. If it doesn't it can sink like a stone.

My current best-selling image at SS for example has sold about 1000x in 18 months and made $700. On IS, over the same period, that image has sold 2x and made $2. I could give you hundreds of other examples of similar differences of individual file sales at different agencies.

If you are looking to the future, and by that I mean the next 5 years not 5 months, then you are better keeping your options open and collecting more data, ideally from more agencies. You can go exclusive very easily and quickly but it is far more work (and usually very expensive in the short to medium term) to extract yourself from it.

Hi Gostwyck and sjlocke, thank you for the excellent points. You've certainly given me a lot to think about! I did indeed luck out with one file, which is currently accounting for more than half of the revenues I've ever made at iStock. If I do go ahead and put all my eggs in one basket... well, that could be disastrous even for the short term. The fact that they are still tinkering with the best match casts a shadow of uncertainty on whether or not that file would stay in the limelight.

Gostwyck, I appreciate insightful comments - I agree that for someone who's doing stock for only a few months, it would be wise to keep my options open. Then again, I feel as though I lack the capacity to truly exploit these options. Uploading to multiple sites has taken up quite a bit of time, time that as a casual stocker I can't really afford. If I can't commit to being a non-exclusive to the best of my capacity, it seems to make more sense that I should go exclusive instead, so that what little time I can pour into stock is maximized to creating content. That's how I see things, at any rate. But the fact still does stand that it wouldn't hurt me the least to wait until I've got sufficient data before making the change.

I'll definitely need to think things through. Regardless, thank you so much for your input! :)

65
iStockPhoto.com / Re: I'm going for the golden choker.
« on: February 26, 2013, 03:52 »
Glad to see you're going exclusive. We have a somewhat similar style, and I appreciate having less competition. :)

Really, I hope you do well there. I don't see how it's possible, but that's just my opinion and based on my experience.

Hey there, thanks for the well wishes! Evidence does point towards being non-exclusive as being a more lucrative option, but it's an option that I can't afford at this point of time. That's pretty much the bottomline for me.

I currently submit to four sites, and my royalties on iStock is twice the amount collected on the three other sites.

What are the sites you are submitting to?

Vectorstock, iStock, 123rf, Shutterstock.

I have been independent and an iStock exclusive. My opinion is that as long as you really understand what you're getting into - this is not a partnership and the agent/distributor will need to be watched like a hawk so you don't find your work sold out - and you don't mind having virtually no control over what license deals your work is subject to, then go for it.

If you've read the posts here - up to and including the 30 day termination of a long term exclusive (Sean Locke) who has always been one of iStocks greatest ambassadors - then you know the shark tank into which you're going to swim.

I wouldn't do it, but then everyone's situation is different. Just please don't convince yourself that things will be better in the future - Getty has a long track record of truly abysmal treatment of its contributors. People keep coming for the money.

Hey jsnover, I'm glad you took the time to reply! Yes, I have been following what's been happening for a while now. My biggest question is how exclusivity changes things, though. Can they not do the same things to a non-exclusive contributor?

I would always encourage others to go exclusive. With IStock taking up less and less of the market share it makes a lot of sense for me to encourage the competition you to be exclusive there  ;)

That's good advice. :P But yes, I've been tracking iStock's ranking on Alexa and it's tumbling down the hill. Still, the numbers I see from my own sales tell a different story. I don't know why -- perhaps it's a matter of target audience.

Quote
As much as I'd like to stay non-exclusive, I find it a major pain to upload my work on multiple sites

I submit to app. 10 sites plus iStock. Total time needed to submit to these 10 equals more or less time needed to submit to iStock alone and that is using DeepMeta. If I were you I'd try streamlining my workflow and avoid that choker.

But then my iStock income is less than 10% of total. No temptation for me at all...

Thank you for the feedback. Do you mind if I send you a PM to discuss more? I'd like to find out more on how to do this. If what you're saying is true, then going exclusive really doesn't make sense anymore.

Thanks for the comments guys!

66
iStockPhoto.com / I'm going for the golden choker.
« on: February 26, 2013, 00:39 »
I foresee this post being shot down in flames, and then more. But I'm gonna go for it anyways, if only to see the response I get.

I just struck 250 downloads on iStock, and I'll probably be signing myself up for that golden crown soon (or, as it has been referred to many times in the past, the golden choker.) Yes, this is amidst all the current chaos and controversy surrounding iStock, and despite them. Here are my reasons why:

  • I currently submit to four sites, and my royalties on iStock is twice the amount collected on the three other sites. Theoretically, my income from iStock would go up by at least 60% when I go exclusive (current royalty rate 16%, exclusive rate 25%) which would nicely cover up the deficit.
  • As much as I'd like to stay non-exclusive, I find it a major pain to upload my work on multiple sites - and I'm only doing four currently! I have two jobs on the side, so I'd like to keep the time spent uploading down to the minimum. Granted iStock's uploading isn't the best, but I've grown accustomed to it so it's not so bad.
  • My experience with iStock's support so far has actually been pretty positive. None of my enquiries have yet been buried in their ticket system, my scout tickets were responded to promptly and comprehensively (and always in direct reply to the points I bring up in my ticket), and I've had no issues in terms of late payment whatsoever. On the other hand, while I'm in love with Shutterstock's FTP uploads, tools and that awesome world map that shows my latest downloads, my experience with their support has been downright appalling in terms of responsiveness and clarity. While I'm sure my experience is vastly different from what many of here have gone through, all that's happen makes it a deal breaker for me.

Well then, that's pretty much it. Apart from the aforementioned reasons, I find myself asking these questions too, given recent events.

Aren't I afraid that they'll take my work and pull another cash grab, as seen in the Getty/Google deal?

I honestly can't imagine how it feels like until it actually happens, but yes, I think I'd feel pretty betrayed if I find my vectors available for the entire internet to grab for free. The fact that I do stock as just a side gig will cushion that blow, but it'll still be pretty messed up nonetheless. But for me, the most important thing is whether or not exclusivity changes this. By uploading to iStock as an ex or non-ex, aren't I already subject to this happening? What do any of you think?

iStock treats contributors with disrespect. It's not something I've felt yet, but it'll happen soon - there's tonnes of evidence to support that eventuality. What happens then?

It depends on the infraction, I guess. I'm not a participant in their forums, which is why I've yet to suffer the brunt of their notorious moderators that often get special mention here in MSG. My biggest concern would be another drop of royalties -- if this happens, then I'd definitely consider dropping the crown. But apart from all these, their contributor support has been pretty polite with me so far as a non-ex. I don't think that'll change for the worse if I go exclusive, cause that doesn't make sense. Does it?

Why am I giving support to a company that seems to be ground-zero to so much controversy and misery?

I've been lurking in these forums for months and I've seen the horror stories. It does make me uncomfortable that I'm about to make a move that supports and endorses a company that evidence here has shown to be a lot less than perfect. And then I realize that it changes nothing - exclusive or not, I'm still someone who has been in support of keeping iStock afloat since I uploaded my first file. Going exclusive doesn't change that, right? And like many of you here who still upload there, I think the bottomline that iStock offers us is just too good to pass up, despite whatever unhappiness they're responsible for.

So there you have it, my thought processes and justifications laid out for all to see. Who knows, maybe in a couple months time I'd be coming in here with a new thread on how I'm no longer exclusive and it's a breathe of fresh air. Till then, I can't see a compelling reason why I shouldn't give this a shot. Thoughts?

67
Putting aside all technicalities, isn't it ethically wrong to offer the same image as both RF and RM at the same time? Isn't the whole point of purchasing an RM image to ensure that for the period of time the image is used, it has a certain level of exclusivity that is not enjoyed with RF images? To offer the same image as one that is RF seems to undermine that very aspect that RM buyers are going for.


Not always, and in fact probably for a relatively small proportion of RM licences, certainly on Alamy: "...any RF images that have previously sold would not be available for an exclusive RM sale. These are however rare ..."
http://www.microstockgroup.com/alamy-com/transfer-from-istock-rf-to-alamy-rm/msg298698/#msg298698.

Rights Managed means that you are purchasing certain rights to use the image. These rights might be very narrow ("editorial web use, 1/8 screen size, 24 hours", or "newspaper, south-west Scotland, one week") or very broad ("book, poster, web, app, worldwide, ten years"), but neither of these would imply exclusivity.

RM buyers can also, if they choose, pay a lot more for various degrees of exclusivity if they need it - this could be geographic, media, usage, time or any combination of these.

RM can actually be cheaper than RF - so a buyer with a limited use and no need for exclusivity might prefer to buy an RM licence rather than an all-encompasing RF license.


Thanks for this, ShadySue! What little I've read about RM seems to always include exclusivity in the picture -- I did not realize that exclusivity isn't always a given!

In that case, RM really does offer more flexible options for buyers when RF is a far more expensive option. It all makes sense now! :)

I guess it's only an ethical issue when a RM image promises exclusivity and is available as an RF image, or when an RF image is at a lower cost than its RM counterpart. But then again, the second scenario is arguably fine, since it's likely to happen across different marketplaces. Either way, thanks for taking the time to explain this to me.  :)

68
I'm exclusively a vector artist dealing only with RF illustrations, so please correct me if I've made any severely incorrect assumptions in my following statements.

Putting aside all technicalities, isn't it ethically wrong to offer the same image as both RF and RM at the same time? Isn't the whole point of purchasing an RM image to ensure that for the period of time the image is used, it has a certain level of exclusivity that is not enjoyed with RF images? To offer the same image as one that is RF seems to undermine that very aspect that RM buyers are going for.

Once again, please correct me if I'm wrong, I'd really like to know more about how all this works!

69
Most forms of design elements (fonts included) are much more useful as vectors, and more so as actual font files. Alternatively, if you're looking to sell type with a certain effect, such as letters on fire or something like that, you can try selling PSDs instead, where people can type in the text they want and see the blending modes apply said effects.

70
Yikes! Now I feel bad saving my illustrations JPGs at 11.

71
iStockPhoto.com / Re: January PP's on the way.
« on: February 16, 2013, 13:44 »
Always found PP a little strange. Some of my files that never get any downloads on iStock can hit 20-30 on PP. Very different buyers on Thinkstock, I suppose...

72
iStockPhoto.com / Exclusivity - how big was your jump in income?
« on: February 16, 2013, 13:31 »
Hey guys,

Seeing the new "exclusive" rating on the right has really gotten me curious about something, so here I am with the following question:

For all you exclusive people - from the moment you got your crowns, how big of a bump did you observe in your income? Apart from the obvious increase in royalties, did you notice substantially more hits on your works? It'll also be helpful to know when you got your crowns -- I suspect older exclusives observed a much larger increase. Thanks in advance!


73
Shutterstock.com / Re: Shutterstock Upload Limit
« on: February 06, 2013, 00:33 »
You can upload any number of images/vector, but in content editor it will show you only first 40 images once you submit those 40 you will find next 40 images which you can again submit.

Hey there, thanks for this! Wish there was some sort of indication, but at least I now I know that the vectors aren't just all disappearing. :) Cheers

74
Shutterstock.com / Shutterstock Upload Limit
« on: February 06, 2013, 00:21 »
Is there an upload limit for Shutterstock? I exclusively do vector illustrations, and when I try to mass upload 70+ works via FTP, only 40 ever show up. Sometimes there's naming errors, but even as I fix them and reupload, the list of works under the Content Editor caps at a maximum of 40 (all the previous works uploaded disappears.)

75
Discuss...   :D

How does the RC system reward portfolio size? Isn't it quality that determines number of downloads at the end of the day?

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