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Messages - davidgoh

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76 / Re: iStock's sudden dip in traffic on 2011 Q1
« on: February 05, 2013, 20:59 »
Lots of changes - negatives for buyers and contributors - during that time. Can't recall about site outages or functionality losses as that's all so hard to track. Sept 2010 was when they announced the RC scheme and Jan 2011 was when it started. Vetta prices went up, Agency Collection on iStock was introduced and a bunch of Getty content started flooding over to iStock

I see. :) Thanks for the info!

77 / Re: iStock's sudden dip in traffic on 2011 Q1
« on: February 05, 2013, 01:23 »
Do you realize we are in Feb. 2013......

Aye, I do... no harm in being curious of the past though, is there? :P

78 / iStock's sudden dip in traffic on 2011 Q1
« on: February 05, 2013, 00:52 »
I've attached a screenshot of iStock's latest Alexa traffic graph. Every time I check iStock's ranks on Alexa, this little detail fascinates me - What exactly happened during the Q1 of 2011 that would have caused such a harsh drop in traffic? Do anyone of you old timers know? :P

79 / Re: Still possible to become IS exclusive?
« on: January 30, 2013, 21:09 »
Although it was my plan when I started microstock in 2009 I have no intention to become IS exclusive. But I clicked the "Become Exclusive" to see what they had to say nowadays and noticed my downloads had been set to 0 and I don't qualify.

I wonder if it's just another site bug or perhaps because they don't want new exclusives anymore.

It's a bug. I was going exclusive for audio and the answer was, keep trying. Just about every day I went and looked. One day it was working, and I was in.

It comes and goes, and has been that way for months.

Maybe it's one of those weird tests to gauge your level of commitment. :P "If you're willing to accept our buggy application, you'd be willing to accept so much more!"

Great interface -- even if it's not a new idea. Very beautiful implementation. :)

81 / Repeated SS Rejection for ID
« on: January 29, 2013, 22:40 »
It feels a little little strange how I notice most people on MSG singing praises of Shutterstock, when my experience with them has been nothing less than infuriating so far. Nonetheless, I suppose it's not their intention either... might have been sort of a site bug, I think.

I've had my ID rejected four times. The first time was valid, in that I stupidly submitted an Identity Card instead of a Passport. The next three times, however, returned this rejection message:

=>Unfortunately, the account information provided appears incomplete or incorrect. Please respond to this mail with your name, phone number and complete address. Once we have updated your account, you may upload your passport again.

On all counts where I've received this e-mail, I would promptly respond to that e-mail, only to not have any response on whether or not it's safe to upload yet. And this goes on 3 more times. I've sent emails requesting for support via other channels to no response as well

Anyone encountered the same problems as I did? I'm really not sure what to do at this point, save for giving them a call when it's working hours at New York.

I think this is an amazing initiative and if it is successful, it will probably help form the careers of many contributors in the years to come. :) I'm not a developer so the best I can do is to give suggestions -- which I will the moment I can think of any!

But anyways, thanks for doing this. Truly looking forward to see how this turns out!

83 / Re: Getty Clip Art "mirroring" has begun
« on: January 26, 2013, 05:54 »
Mmmm The files will go through the normal inspection process and will be subject to all the usual contributor rules such as the weekly upload limits. This way the files won't spam Best Match. from Bortonia's post in the forum.

I thought the weekly exclusive upload limit was maybe 15??? Not sure since I haven't u/l for a long time. But there's 40 files in the new portfolio already.

They recently raised limits for illustratons for Non-exclusive members to 40 a week. :)

84 / Re: Balance Dropping Without Warning
« on: January 26, 2013, 05:54 »
Don't worry. It's probably a server-cache thing. If you didn't receive any refund email it means no file was refunded. The same happened to me many times.

Ah! That is good to hear. :D I mean, it's a little frightening that it happens, but at least now when my balance drops, it's not -always- because it's a refund. Whew.

85 / Re: Balance Dropping Without Warning
« on: January 26, 2013, 05:37 »
Huh. This is really strange - my balance just shot back up to $98.20 again.


86 / Balance Dropping Without Warning
« on: January 26, 2013, 05:34 »
Just had my account balance drop from $98.20 to $95.29 right in front of my eyes as I'm surfing iStockPhoto. With my portfolio being only a few months old, I've yet to receive any of the infamous refunds until now, though I've read much about them. Definitely doesn't feel great, but I understand it's a common thing.

What's a little strange though is how I've yet to received the traditional notification of refund -- I would have expected it to be immediate or at least prior to the balance being deducted. Does anyone know how long do they usually take to issue these notices?

Darn, so close to payout too... :P

Some large companies buy from wherever their account is set up and nowhere else. A corporate accounting dept purchases bulk credit packages and gives their ad/marketing/art depts the password so they can get images as needed. That's where most of the subs come from. As long as it's not their own money their buyers go in and get whatever they need whenever they need it whether or not they end up using the images they download or not. I worked at such a place and most of the buyers had no clue that any other source of images existed other than the one they had a corporate account at and didn't care to spend time searching elsewhere for cheaper images since their agency of choice had sooooo many images.

We think that every buyer is aware of other options when looking for images but many are not (which is a good reason to get the word out on the getty/google debacle to as many buyers as you can think of). When I filled them in on other possibilities they took a little time to check out other places but were disappointed because they found many of the same images on the other sites so why switch? The company I worked for had a SS account but when their accounting dept. became aware of Thinkstock they also set up an account there. The business side of the corporation thought that Thinkstock was the best place for the types of images that were most often used at the best price. All they saw was money spent, not image quality or variety or fairness to the sources of those images. They didn't care who took the photo or what their cut of the price was and didn't even understand how that worked. The company used images in throw-away flyers, usually broadsheets, that went out all over the US for hardware, grocery, farm and fleet type stores. They purchased lots and lots of simple images often buying the same images over and over (the same isolated orange for a grocery ad each month that oranges were on sale, etc.).

Having worked in a few advertising agencies, I noticed this too and thus wasn't really worried about these group of buyers. I was more concerned over more the typical solo web designer - those who handle all aspects of their business and thus would be inclined to cut costs wherever they can. I'm sure they exist, I'm just not sure how many of them out there as compared to organizations/big buyers who only focus on a single agency. From the way it sounds though, I guess I shouldn't be too worried :P

I'm bewildered though by the example you gave though. If one already has an SS account, why go for Thinkstock? I'd think that it's a given that SS has a way larger collection, and last I checked, they're cheaper too. Curious...

Anyways, thanks for the input everyone! It's good to hear that it's of general opinion that sales on one agency doesn't really affect the rest much. :) As a vector artist I've been contemplating submitting to Vectorstock for a while now - a decision I was apprehensive about as while their sales are great, their price is really way too low. Guess I've made my decision :D

Does selling across different sites with different royalties cause an overall decrease in royalties?

I'm sure this is a question that many non-ex contributors have already battled with, but I'm currently struggling with it myself and I'd like to know what you guys think. If you have a photo that's on sale for $20 at one agency and $3 on another, would your sales at the former site suffer? When I put myself in the shoes of a web-savvy customer, I believe that the first thing I'd do upon finding a photo I want to buy is to run the preview image through Google Images in hopes of finding the same file on a cheaper site.

That's what I'd do, at any rate. I understand that there are different sorts of customers (many that probably buy exclusively from one site due to various reasons), but I'd like to know what you guys think!

Why not help him out starting his own accounts on the stock sites. Be sure to use referral links from you and you'll get a small amount from all of his sales too...

Hey OLJensa, thanks for the suggestion! Given the legal issues and potential messiness, that seems to be the best option to go with so far. Thanks for the suggestion! :)


Say you have a group of photographers:
Your mother, your niece, your son, your wife and Joe from the bar.

You found a legal entity, a company, you could call it the Golden Globe photography, register the company and describe its activities and hire your group of photographers.

Then with contracts, that can be very specific, you describe the relation between the photographers and Golden globe.
Wordings could be: Glolden Globe decides to reassign ownership and copyright of the photos.
Now under the umbrella of the"Golden Globe company" you set up a number of other legal entities: Blue Planet, Red Planet and Green Planet, whose relation to Golden Globe is described in contracts. Like: We hereby agree that ownership of the photos xxx and xxx is assigned from Golden Globe to Red Planet.

See now. Red Planet is able to make contracts with other companies, such as agencies, be it exclusive or not.
One important point is, that a photo should NOT appear at two places at the same time.

Despite, thats exactly what the Istock Google deal does.

Wow, thanks for the detailed explanation. When you say that a photo should NOT appear at two places at the same time, you're referring that it should only be under one of the "Planets" at any given time right? Or are you referring to stock agencies?

You will need to have a legal entity - a company - hold the copyright to your images if you want to upload into one account. As far as I know none of the microstock sites will let you have an account with two different copyright holders - and when you upload you agree that you have full copyright to that image. Only one of you at a time can do that as individuals.

There are several teams - Husband and wife in some cases - doing this, but there's always one copyright on all the images.

If this is just a buddy, I think the issues - pitfalls - would be those that hit any partnership. One wants out, one works harder than the other, one sells better than the other.

I wouldn't touch an informal arrangement of this sort with a 10 foot pole and I think you'd have to be serious about stock as a business to go to the expense of making a company.

Hello jsnover! I'm really happy you took the time to reply. Thanks for bringing up the issue on copyright - that is indeed a huge issue that will have serious repercussions. I'm definitely not planning to do stock full time, so I guess getting a company to hold the copyright is out of the question. I guess the beauty of most stock sites is that you can see specifically what items are selling and what are not, which means it shouldn't be too difficult to split the costs accordingly based on whose work sells. But I do agree that an informal agreement on this level is well, usually a recipe for disaster.

Do legal entities/companies have a different sort of account on stock agencies? One that is subject to a different ASA, since it's a company and not an individual. I've looked up on this but haven't found much, though I recall seeing a certain account that had 10,000+ illustrations uploaded over a few years, and I thought that it was probably an organization or a group of people rather than a single person...

Hello people! I've been lurking about in MSG for a short while now, figured it's high time I got an account and started talking. MSG is now my go-to location for what's latest in the industry -- without it, I'd have never known stuff like iStock's recent Google deal and so on.

If it's not already apparent, I'm pretty new to this industry, only a few months old. It's been a ridiculously fun and addictive endeavour, and I'm planning on roping a good friend in so that we may contribute under the same account. Me wanting to do this was also because months ago - when I first got into stock - the first site I came across was iStockPhoto, and achieving Exclusive status immediately became my first goal. So collaborating just sort of made sense; generate more product under the same name, achieve higher royalties faster, get more exposure.

With recent events however, I've decided that going exclusive with iStock maybe isn't the best idea. I'm now attempting to submit to multiple sites to see how it's like, but that now also leaves me wondering if sharing an account with another contributor is a good idea anymore.

For example, I'm not sure if there's any legal issues. And if it is, what happens if we collectively choose to upload to a few agreed agencies, but individually we upload to other agencies of our own? Is there any violation of the usual ASAs? And also, is there any other hidden "pitfalls" in sharing a contributor account that Im not seeing? I've not really seen this done anywhere, so I truly have no clue. I'd like to know what you guys think, and if any of you have done or considered this before.

Thanks for reading! Looking forward to hearing what you all have to say. :)

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