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Author Topic: PicturEngine Black Friday - Cyber Monday 90 day trial offer!  (Read 7565 times)

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« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2012, 15:56 »
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Does signing up for the free trial before the launch qualify us for the lowest, locked-in price after the trial is over, even if you have already launched by then? Or will taking a year after launch and when the trial is over, mean we will be subject to a post launch price?

Thanks


Poncke

« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2012, 15:57 »
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Isnt paying 500 dollar for a service to get 100% of the sales price, the same as submitting to an agency and get a % commission?

No it isn't the same:

At Picture Engine you pay $500 for a 100% commission but this might stilll result in 0 sales due to being new in the industry.

But uploading a good portfolio to SS could easily pay you$2000-$5000 a month even after with a %35 commission...

No doubt it's a risk and I agree they are starting off with prices too high for having no track record. They're pricing too many people out from the get go and if prices are raised once the sites out of beta they'll price out even more.  It's a great idea and a model that could really help image creators create a stable sales environment for themselves.  I'm willing to take a risk but at this price if I haven't made enough to cover a renewal by the end of the 1yr there won't be one from me.  The big unknown for me is that I don't know where they are getting their customers from or how they intend to get them.

I agree with that. I wish I was in such financial health that I could take the risk, but I simply cant. And if the prices go even further up after the beta, then the chances of me signing up will even be slimmer.

I guess PE is only for the big shots, or people who can afford to take a financial risk. PE is not for everyone, so they will never conquer the stock world.

« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2012, 15:58 »
+1
I think I'd be willing to deal with a flat fee concept if there were any indication that you could bring customers to the site. I know that my images will sell ('cause they have) but I also know that with a  over a year on StockFresh - a great site with no effective marketing - I made one $50 payout (so they sold $100 worth of images).

So have I missed the explanation of what sort of marketing you're planning to do? How you're getting the buyers to the site? What you'll be telling them about why they should use your service? I read through the information at support.picturengine.com and there's nothing on that. There is some mention of why the industry-wide search isn't live - that it's too expensive to do until you can "monetize" the platform. And also that buyers love the cross agency search.

When I look at the sources of money, it appears to be free to buyers and no commission on sales, so it's just the fees from contributors? And those fees will be paying for searches of agency photos? Is the cross-agency search being appealing to buyers (even though you say you won't be doing price comparison which is probably the big thing a buyer would like to see) the promotion strategy?

I can see why you don't want to talk too much about your plans, but perhaps you can see why from a contributor point of view, asking us to just trust you and fork over the cash is perhaps  a stretch for some of us.

« Reply #28 on: November 24, 2012, 16:42 »
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I guess PE is only for the big shots, or people who can afford to take a financial risk. PE is not for everyone, so they will never conquer the stock world.

Is $10-$40 a month that large? That seems like a fairly modest advertising budget to me. Obviously, you want to get value out of the money you spend, but what they offer doesn't seem exceedingly steep.

Poncke

« Reply #29 on: November 24, 2012, 16:52 »
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I guess PE is only for the big shots, or people who can afford to take a financial risk. PE is not for everyone, so they will never conquer the stock world.

Is $10-$40 a month that large? That seems like a fairly modest advertising budget to me. Obviously, you want to get value out of the money you spend, but what they offer doesn't seem exceedingly steep.
I guess financial risk is too strong wording. But I am not going to pay a 40 euro subscription for something totally unproven. 500 a year is more expensive than my gym subscription and television licence combined. Its not like I have too much cash.

« Reply #30 on: November 24, 2012, 18:31 »
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...
Is $10-$40 a month that large? That seems like a fairly modest advertising budget to me. Obviously, you want to get value out of the money you spend, but what they offer doesn't seem exceedingly steep.

It depends on what I'm getting for that much. Given that they have not said, for the host your files here package for $40, that the money is to be spent on advertising, I have no idea what I'd be spending the money on. And $40 a month is too large an amount not to care what is being delivered.

Even for the package called advertising only, the money gets your self-hosted site included in search results shown to buyers. I don't recall reading anything about PicturEngine purchasing advertising.

« Reply #31 on: November 24, 2012, 18:49 »
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...
Is $10-$40 a month that large? That seems like a fairly modest advertising budget to me. Obviously, you want to get value out of the money you spend, but what they offer doesn't seem exceedingly steep.

It depends on what I'm getting for that much. Given that they have not said, for the host your files here package for $40, that the money is to be spent on advertising, I have no idea what I'd be spending the money on. And $40 a month is too large an amount not to care what is being delivered.

Even for the package called advertising only, the money gets your self-hosted site included in search results shown to buyers. I don't recall reading anything about PicturEngine purchasing advertising.

This has been my biggest concern.  Of all the posts made by PE peeps, nothing has been laid out on advertising.  Not asking for a complete detailed plan, but the basics of it.  I agree wholeheartedly with Joanne that $40 a month is a lot of invested capital when you look at the return from some sites that take a lot of time for which to upload, etc.  Stockfresh, for me, gets $8 a month.  If PE gets me $8 a month, I lose $32 a month, or $384 a year. I believe that PE has good intentions, don't get me wrong.  It's about business and making the right decisions that touch on revenue and copyright protection. I haven't even looked at that part yet.

« Reply #32 on: November 24, 2012, 19:11 »
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The pressure is on PicturEngine here....if anybody takes the free trial and doesn't make at least $40 a month to cover the fee, everybody participating in the trial will leave en masse. That will make it hard for PicturEngine.

« Reply #33 on: November 24, 2012, 19:17 »
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The pressure is on PicturEngine here....if anybody takes the free trial and doesn't make at least $40 a month to cover the fee, everybody participating in the trial will leave en masse. That will make it hard for PicturEngine.

Right.

« Reply #34 on: November 25, 2012, 06:43 »
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I'm not sure its worth comparing PicturEngine to other sites, as it uses a different model.  It has a USP for buyers.  None of the other sites will have such a huge collection and hopefully, if they nail the search, it will be attractive to them.

The 90 day trial takes away the gamble for me.  It might not be long enough to accurately gauge the prospects of PicturEngine and I think looking to cover the $40 a month in sales is going to be a big ask.  I'll probably be looking for at least $20 in sales for the last 30 days of the trial.  That would be a big achievement and I think it might then be worth taking the gamble on a years subscription.

I'd rather the choice of a 50% commission or the annual subscription.  Then we could all get behind this without losing money and switch to the annual fee when it was worthwhile.

« Reply #35 on: November 25, 2012, 13:28 »
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I'd rather the choice of a 50% commission or the annual subscription.  Then we could all get behind this without losing money and switch to the annual fee when it was worthwhile.

As I understand it, Justin needs a chunk of cash at launch for ADVERTISING.

So taking 50% commission won't work. The money would dribble in too slowly.

« Reply #36 on: November 25, 2012, 17:53 »
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I'd rather the choice of a 50% commission or the annual subscription.  Then we could all get behind this without losing money and switch to the annual fee when it was worthwhile.

As I understand it, Justin needs a chunk of cash at launch for ADVERTISING.

So taking 50% commission won't work. The money would dribble in too slowly.

Wouldn't he need an on-going chunk of cash to KEEP advertising? Launch is one thing but sustainability is another.

« Reply #37 on: November 25, 2012, 18:31 »
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I would think so, but I've decided to suck it and see.

Alamy's commission reduction finally made my mind up for me, which I suppose shows that Justin has some marketing ability - he timed the free trial offer just right.

I'm uploading ;)

« Reply #38 on: November 25, 2012, 18:34 »
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I would think so, but I've decided to suck it and see.

Alamy's commission reduction finally made my mind up for me, which I suppose shows that Justin has some marketing ability - he timed the free trial offer just right.

I'm uploading ;)

Keep us posted on your adventure!!

« Reply #39 on: November 25, 2012, 22:39 »
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"The Advertising Only plan is a cost effective way to advertise your images on your Photoshelter account within our industry wide search engine platform. There is really nothing for you to do on our platform all of the maintenance and uploading images is still on your Photoshelter account / platform. We are simply the adverting vehicle to draw traffic to your Photoshelter site. "

that's the claim - but there's actually NO BETATEST -- a betatest actually runs!  this wont produce any results until it's live and then we have to PAY! -- nothing works until they go live, so it's a waste of time to act on this 'free' offer - we dont even know if their search engine will pick up our images

how can they claim it's cost effective without doing ANY actual testing?   

« Reply #40 on: November 26, 2012, 02:49 »
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Haven't people worked this out yet. Microstockers are tight arses.
Your not going to get many involved charging $480/year.

With my portfolio I'd rather put $480 on black at the casino.

This may prove to be useful for some high earners but the risk reward ratio isn't looking too good at the moment for alot of contributors.

Say you earn $10,000 per year at microstock this would be not a small expense.

What percentage of microstockers earn >10,000 ? 

Not a really big market in my opion.

The free offer does go along way to try and win over some contributors. But I don't earn enough to be worth my involvement.


« Reply #41 on: November 26, 2012, 03:57 »
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Quote
Say you earn $10,000 per year at microstock this would be not a small expense.

How true...I think a lot of people over estimate how much the majority of microstockers make including start up businesses like this one.

« Reply #42 on: November 26, 2012, 05:40 »
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"The Advertising Only plan is a cost effective way to advertise your images on your Photoshelter account within our industry wide search engine platform. There is really nothing for you to do on our platform all of the maintenance and uploading images is still on your Photoshelter account / platform. We are simply the adverting vehicle to draw traffic to your Photoshelter site. "

that's the claim - but there's actually NO BETATEST -- a betatest actually runs!  this wont produce any results until it's live and then we have to PAY! -- nothing works until they go live, so it's a waste of time to act on this 'free' offer - we dont even know if their search engine will pick up our images

how can they claim it's cost effective without doing ANY actual testing?
I think they're going to have to be out of beta and generating some sales at least 30 days before the end of the 90 day trial, preferably much sooner, or it will be a waste of time.  If they're competent, they will know that.

« Reply #43 on: November 26, 2012, 05:49 »
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Haven't people worked this out yet. Microstockers are tight arses.
Your not going to get many involved charging $480/year.

With my portfolio I'd rather put $480 on black at the casino.

This may prove to be useful for some high earners but the risk reward ratio isn't looking too good at the moment for alot of contributors.

Say you earn $10,000 per year at microstock this would be not a small expense.

What percentage of microstockers earn >10,000 ? 

Not a really big market in my opion.

The free offer does go along way to try and win over some contributors. But I don't earn enough to be worth my involvement.
I think it's a mistake not to get a bigger percentage of contributors involved.  As they've stated that the annual subscription prices will go up after launch, there will be even less willing to take the risk.  The way I see it is that if they got lots of contributors to sign up, we could all pay less.  By pricing the vast majority out, those that use this will have to pay more.  There's other benefits if PicturEngine had more contributors involved, many of us like to refer buyers to out favourite sites.  They're going to lose out on lots of free marketing if only a small percentage of contributors use them.

« Reply #44 on: November 26, 2012, 09:40 »
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We all know the current path of our industry is unsustainable.  Commission paying agencies are going out of business or being bought up nearly every week now. 

If we look at the big players in microstock, they all pay commissions well below 50%, maybe around 30% (that's the rough number you can extract from Shutterstock's published numbers).
All the smaller players that do pay higher commissions do seem to have trouble to attract enough buyers.
If you look at the massive marketing budget that Shutterstock is spending, it might be an (unpleasant) reality that any agency will struggle to compete in this marketplace while at the same time paying 50% commission.

Now to PicturEngine. You will have a similar cost structure as other agencies to be successful. At least I can't see how you will attract enough buyers without significant marketing money at your hands.
So the same will apply to you: at least 50% of sales volume will be required to (successfully) run the shop and attract buyers.
With the approach of a flat fee for everyone that means, that (if it works out and you attract enough buyers) the "big guys" will have an attractive model, while all the "common folk" will pay a lot more than 50%...

Doesn't sound like something for the smaller players in this game...

« Reply #45 on: November 26, 2012, 10:53 »
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The big micro players can cut commissions as much as they like, the overwhelming majority will stay with them anyway simply because they ensure sales.
After the IPOs, etc. They really couldnt care about anything, they got their monies and within a year they will probably run for their life.
Reports has it that even SS, have never been this down?  wonder how come?

Curious as to see when somebody really comes up with some new fertile ideas in this business.

« Reply #46 on: November 26, 2012, 10:58 »
+1
So have I missed the explanation of what sort of marketing you're planning to do? How you're getting the buyers to the site? What you'll be telling them about why they should use your service?

jsnover,
I have given an explanation to mantis on the main PicturEngine thread here it is:
http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/check-out-picturengine/msg281479/#msg281479 
Note: I have also addressed many other questions on that thread.

Part of that answer:
Mantis,

what is your "basic" marketing plan and budget for year one, two and three?
Without going into excessive detail, I will say this... I am not new to the stock photo industry.  I have been here since the days of printed catalogs, FedExing film to clients, when research was done in house, when we (agencies) provided customers REAL service.  Most of you know I own two traditional stock photo agencies, Picturesque and Corner House Stock Photo.  Both have grown and evolved with our ever-changing industry.  Four years ago, after the housing market crash, I knew it was time for a change, and thats when I started building the PicturEngine model.  We utilized polling and surveys from our more than 40k active image buying clients to truly understand the essential elements of what clients and photographers need to succeed.  Over 16k active image buyers returned surveys, and most surveys were completed directly after an image sale to ensure the feedback provided represents actual buying clients opinions and needs.  Our client research shaped the concept behind PicturEngine into what you see today.  The stock photo industry will continue to evolve and change, and PicturEngine is designed to evolve and change rapidly with the industry, as it is a platform to be built upon, not an agency. 

Were living in a fast paced, connected, get everything instantly and get everything cheap society.   We built this platform to benefit both image buyer and photographer, providing a direct pathway, saving the money in the middle. 

As for marketing/advertising the search engine, well use any and every means possible to get the word out about the PicturEngine industry-wide search engine.   Advertising mediums are changing just as fast as our industry, and there is a direct link between the two.  I personally embrace change and am excited to try new things.  Our goal is to get as many photographers, platform users, and smaller agencies on the PicturEngine platform as possible before we launch, to make our launch a huge success!  I hope all of you decide to join in your own way.

......

I hope this helps explain some more about PicturEngine.  Looking forward to getting more of you registered before the end of our Cyber Monday sale!

Stay ahead of the curve!
JB



lisafx

« Reply #47 on: November 26, 2012, 18:28 »
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Am I missing something?  Does it support Ktools yet?  You can offer it at a bargain, or even free, but until it supports Ktools, it leaves people like me and a number of others here unable to use the service. 

« Reply #48 on: November 26, 2012, 18:42 »
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Am I missing something?  Does it support Ktools yet?  You can offer it at a bargain, or even free, but until it supports Ktools, it leaves people like me and a number of others here unable to use the service.

don't know if they support Ktools but I have followed their protocol to join PE and I am uploading my portfolio to a cloud at rackspace, you do need to pay for storage (10 cent $ per GB) and there are also downloading fees for 18 cents per GB

« Reply #49 on: November 27, 2012, 00:28 »
+2
@JustinB

This isn't information; it's a pitch to trust you - you've been around the block a few times; you've surveyed users; things are changing, you embrace change, you'll use every means possible...

None of this is in any way a concrete plan - no one's asking for excessive detail. Just something more than blather about why you should be paid $40 a month. I'm hearing general platitudes about the industry and your knowledge of it.

Without buyers, it doesn't matter what you build or how lovely it is. There's a trail of all sorts of lovely development that's gone completely to waste because the businesses couldn't get buyers to use it.

Keep us posted when the site goes live and the skeptics among us can take another look


 

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