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Author Topic: [SS BOYCOTT] Fill out this form to determine our collective goals and leverage  (Read 3452 times)

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« on: May 28, 2020, 07:08 »
+4
The form is here: https://forms.gle/YqpTCREUodA4iTz98

It's completely anonymous and even I can't see any of your details. (the form is hosted on Google Forms)

Like the subject of this thread and the description of the form say - this is to determine what our collective demands are and to see how much bargaining power we have.

Please share it so that people who don't frequent this forum can fill it out as soon as possible. We need to act quickly.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: May 28, 2020, 07:20 by spike »


« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2020, 07:39 »
+5
One of my principle concerns isn't addressed by the form (unless I misread or overlooked it).

Percentages MUST be based on an actual percentage of what the buyer paid for the image (subscription fee/ actual images downloaded) not on the total possible number of downloads.

If we do end up on a percentage based system I foresee this having perhaps the biggest impact on our income.

« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2020, 07:47 »
0
One of my principle concerns isn't addressed by the form (unless I misread or overlooked it).

Percentages MUST be based on an actual percentage of what the buyer paid for the image (subscription fee/ actual images downloaded) not on the total possible number of downloads.

If we do end up on a percentage based system I foresee this having perhaps the biggest impact on our income.

I didn't include it for clarity's sake. If more people choose the option to apply levels to subscription-based content, then it can be discussed.

The problem with this approach is that I think it might be a logistical nightmare. First of all, that means - no real time $ reporting for subs. Secondly, not everyone's subscription plan will begin on the 1st of the month, so this means a sale would be reported 30/31 days after the sale has been made in order to account for that. Someone who licensed one of your images on April 24, but started the plan on April 21 means that you would see the $ on May 21st at the earliest. Right?

In any case, if you can help me phrase the question clearly and explain what would that mean in a sentence or two, I can add it to the form in a minute.

« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2020, 08:04 »
+1
How about:
"
In any pay rate system percentages must be based on an actual percentage of what the buyer paid for the image (subscription fee/ actual images downloaded) not on the total possible number of downloads.
Yes
No
"

The logistics is up to them to handle. As I previously suggested, it should be easy enough to pay us the minimum on download (i.e. the level they would like to get away with always paying) and the remainder as a bonus in the following months when they know how many dls have been utilised. Sites offering unlimited DLs manage this (much smaller sites with less resources than SS). Isn't it what Canva just implemented too?

I know this is a slightly more complicated issue but the devil's in the detail here. I fear this is actually a big part of how they are using the new scheme to divert a LOT of money from us to them.


« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2020, 08:14 »
0
How about:
"
In any pay rate system percentages must be based on an actual percentage of what the buyer paid for the image (subscription fee/ actual images downloaded) not on the total possible number of downloads.
Yes
No
"

The logistics is up to them to handle. As I previously suggested, it should be easy enough to pay us the minimum on download (i.e. the level they would like to get away with always paying) and the remainder as a bonus in the following months when they know how many dls have been utilised. Sites offering unlimited DLs manage this (much smaller sites with less resources than SS). Isn't it what Canva just implemented too?

I know this is a slightly more complicated issue but the devil's in the detail here. I fear this is actually a big part of how they are using the new scheme to divert a LOT of money from us to them.

Form updated.

Some numbers - so far we have 21 respondents and 170000 assets!

Please share the poll to other places - shutterstock forums and microstock.ru forum!

« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2020, 08:17 »
+1
That's great, thank you for the hard work

« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2020, 08:22 »
0
The problem with this approach is that I think it might be a logistical nightmare. First of all, that means - no real time $ reporting for subs. Secondly, not everyone's subscription plan will begin on the 1st of the month, so this means a sale would be reported 30/31 days after the sale has been made in order to account for that. Someone who licensed one of your images on April 24, but started the plan on April 21 means that you would see the $ on May 21st at the earliest. Right?

It reminds me the situation at iStock : no live datas on earnings, royalties statement released every 20th of the following month...

« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2020, 08:27 »
0
I just filled out your form and submitted it. Good luck with this!

« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2020, 08:43 »
0
Sorry, I feel churlish seemingly sniping from the sidelines when someone else has made an effort but the questionnaire does not address my concerns.

  •    I dont shoot video and there is no N/A answer or the option to skip.
  •    Not resetting after 12 months is better than resetting after 12 months but I would not consider that change a victory. Its the wrong pitch with which to begin a negotiation.
  •    Percentages/subscription blah blah. Thats the mechanics. The question for me is what is the absolute minimum I would accept for a photograph to be licensed and that is probably $0.33, same as Adobe and a couple of cents less than DT.

« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2020, 08:45 »
0
Thank you all. If you want to help, the best you can do is to share the poll to other places. This is the only forum/group I'm on (since 2009!), so if any of you are contributors on other forums or facebook groups, sharing this poll there is the best course of action for our collective good.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2020, 08:58 by spike »

« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2020, 08:49 »
0
Sorry, I feel churlish seemingly sniping from the sidelines when someone else has made an effort but the questionnaire does not address my concerns.

  •    I dont shoot video and there is no N/A answer or the option to skip.
  •    Not resetting after 12 months is better than resetting after 12 months but I would not consider that change a victory. Its the wrong pitch with which to begin a negotiation.
  •    Percentages/subscription blah blah. Thats the mechanics. The question for me is what is the absolute minimum I would accept for a photograph to be licensed and that is probably $0.33, same as Adobe and a couple of cents less than DT.

I added the "I don't know" options for video-based questions.

If you select "no", you will be taken to the next page to enter what you would consider minimum baseline guarantee in the new scheme.

That's what it says in the description of the question.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2020, 08:59 by spike »

« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2020, 09:11 »
+2
Good Idea, unity for SS shutdown.

Stand togehter and kick this greedy boys out of the Empire State Building...

« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2020, 09:16 »
0

Quote

I added the "I don't know" options for video-based questions.

If you select "no", you will be taken to the next page to enter what you would consider minimum baseline guarantee in the new scheme.

That's what it says in the description of the question.

Thanks - form submitted. Maybe it's just me but until you explained the subscription question I had taken "leave subscriptions alone" to mean leave them as they are now, i.e. pre 1 June, so would have answered "yes".

« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2020, 09:21 »
0

Quote

I added the "I don't know" options for video-based questions.

If you select "no", you will be taken to the next page to enter what you would consider minimum baseline guarantee in the new scheme.

That's what it says in the description of the question.

Thanks - form submitted. Maybe it's just me but until you explained the subscription question I had taken "leave subscriptions alone" to mean leave them as they are now, i.e. pre 1 June, so would have answered "yes".

Actually, you understood it well. I have added an additional clarification.

If you select "no", this means you don't want the subs to be 25c-38c (current rates) after June 1st - you want them to be percentage based. Then you can select what the minimum baseline guarantee would be (currently proposed to be 10c after June 1st). if you select "yes", that means you want them to say at current levels, 25c-38c.

Sorry for the confusion and the fact that the poll might not be ideally worded. Perfect is the enemy of the good - and we're in a kind of a rush, so I wanted to get it up and running as soon as possible. If anyone has any suggestion pertaining to how to improve the wording, I'm all ears.

We're at 43 respondents, I will publish the collective portfolio size when we reach 50, and preliminary results of the poll when we reach 100.

« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2020, 13:42 »
+3
I filled out the form, but there are a couple of things I couldn't say.

1. Any levels-based scheme should be based on $$ not downloads. They don't report revenue and profit to shareholders in units and we don't get paid in units. Even with that change, I have severe reservations about having annual sales targets because t means that if the agency becomes very poor at selling our content, they get rewarded with a bigger share of each sale. We then have to fund their decline or quit.

I mention this because I gave 123rf's rolling 12-month scheme a try - remember how they promised it would increase sales for us? What happened (and I was actively uploading to them at the time) was that content selling briskly on Shutterstock and others did nothing much on 123rf. When the inevitable happened and I dropped down a level in royalties I closed my account. It was clear (from my portfolio's performance at other agencies at the same time) that that problem was with them, not my content. But they get rewarded and my royalties would have been reduced.

We want a system where both the agency and we have a way to thrive together. The biggest motivator to upload is sales. The reason that SS has become less and less interesting (from a contributor point of view) is that with over 320 million images, adding over a million a week, there's no way to keep up as a producer and they can't grow the business fast enough to do that either.

They want to discount subscriptions more to try and grow the business but can't afford to, even given that they keep the "extra" for undownloaded allotments. The last quarterly report, the e-commerce business was growing and the enterprise segment shrinking. I expect they'll dig their heels in on flat rate subscription royalties and try to fiddle with the formula for levels or making it rolling.

If I really thought they could fix the enterprise business - where all those lovely SOD royalties came from, I think - I'd be concerned about the percentages more. But I think the nuts and bolts of this is keeping the flat subs royalties. Perhaps we should ask for a new subs tier above 38 cents? :)

« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2020, 14:11 »
+1
All good points, Jo Ann. If anything, this incident proved that we need to have a place to organize ourselves, not just in the sense of random forum posts, but vote on things determining our collective policy.

The poll has 68 responses and we have over 500k assets as of now. Like Dyatlov said in the show: not great, not terrible.

I hope we can get more people engaged with this.

« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2020, 17:54 »
+6
Why even bother trying to salvage anything with this company? It's like trying to get an abusive spouse to promise to stop beating you. What is the point? SS is junk and we really don't need them.


« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2020, 23:45 »
+4
Why even bother trying to salvage anything with this company? It's like trying to get an abusive spouse to promise to stop beating you. What is the point? SS is junk and we really don't need them.

I'm not optimistic that we can get changes - Shutterstock is now a big public company with a huge image library - but the reason to try is that they've earned many thousands for lots of us and for a long time were undisputed monthly earnings leader after Getty and the private equity idiots ruined iStock (the first far and away leader in earnings).

At 10 cents a sub download we don't need them, but it isn't June 1st yet and possibly they might be worried enough about noticeable quantities of proven salable content being removed from their library to rethink their cash grab.

« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2020, 23:46 »
+2
The form is here: https://forms.gle/YqpTCREUodA4iTz98

It's completely anonymous and even I can't see any of your details. (the form is hosted on Google Forms)

Like the subject of this thread and the description of the form say - this is to determine what our collective demands are and to see how much bargaining power we have.

Please share it so that people who don't frequent this forum can fill it out as soon as possible. We need to act quickly.

Thanks!

if you have a non-google form, I'll fill it in. google is NOT anonymous, despite whatever they say. especially when tehy say "you MUST sign into google, with your verified phone account, before we will let you fill in this form"...

« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2020, 23:50 »
+1
Thanks for setting up the survey.

« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2020, 00:42 »
+2
Not interested in any of the options you give in the survey. I am not going again on a hamster wheel. Today they might backtrack and make a rollover to next year. But i tell you that, those targets are going to be worse and worse as the years pass by.

My rule is simple. Everyone that pays under 30% gets no content from me. The only agencies that are fair are those that pay a reasonable fixed percentage (the higher the better) and share the risk and success with you, that percentage can be different depending if you are exclusive or not.

Don't fall into the yearly target trap. It will bite you back very hard.

« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2020, 01:38 »
+2
100 responses - preliminary results

Collective portfolio size: 796761 assets

  • Levels must be calculated on a 12-month window, and not be reset at the beginning of each year.
92% YES
8% NO

  • There should be a change for video levels (Levels 5 and 6 are unattainable)
77% YES
3% NO
20% I DON'T KNOW

  • Shutterstock needs to end the video subscription program
63% YES
16% NO
21% I DON'T KNOW

  • Apply the levels structure to on-demand content, but leave subscriptions alone. (25c-38c, as they were before June 1st changes)
75% YES
25% NO

---------------

  • If you answered "no" to the question above, what should be the minimum baseline guarantee for a subscription royalty?


  • In any pay rate system percentages must be based on an actual percentage of what the buyer paid for the image (subscription fee/ actual images downloaded) not on the total possible number of downloads. See image below and description for clarification.
78% YES
22% NO


« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2020, 01:41 »
+1
if you have a non-google form, I'll fill it in. google is NOT anonymous, despite whatever they say. especially when tehy say "you MUST sign into google, with your verified phone account, before we will let you fill in this form"...

That's just to prevent spam and/or people filling out the form multiple times.  :)

« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2020, 01:46 »
0
What is the point? SS is junk and we really don't need them.

I beg to differ. For many of us Shutterstock brings in the biggest earnings compared to others, and if not, still a very significant piece of the cake.

« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2020, 02:09 »
+2
100 responses - preliminary results



  • Levels must be calculated on a 12-month window, and not be reset at the beginning of each year.
92% YES
8% NO


Why do you think levels have to be re-evaluated at all ?




PZF

« Reply #25 on: May 29, 2020, 02:18 »
+1
if you have a non-google form, I'll fill it in. google is NOT anonymous, despite whatever they say. especially when tehy say "you MUST sign into google, with your verified phone account, before we will let you fill in this form"...

That's just to prevent spam and/or people filling out the form multiple times.  :)

Maybe. But I-m not going to get a Google account and another email just for this. Sorry.

« Reply #26 on: May 29, 2020, 03:34 »
0

Percentages MUST be based on an actual percentage of what the buyer paid for the image (subscription fee/ actual images downloaded) not on the total possible number of downloads.


Mmm ... Istock nightmare ? Nooo !

I prefer 35% now (i'm in level 5) that 15% one or two months later ...


« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2020, 15:12 »
+1
I follow what is happening in this forum. I wouldn't answer much. Maybe it will be my first message. We boycott SS and I try to support it from twitter. I think it will not be by boycotting the SS to bring the SS string. Let's send messages to the customers that SS works with. Let's also tag these customers on Twitter. I believe it will be more useful. No company wants to be badly associated with the artist.

Google Translate sorry :)

« Reply #28 on: May 30, 2020, 21:44 »
+1
if you have a non-google form, I'll fill it in. google is NOT anonymous, despite whatever they say. especially when tehy say "you MUST sign into google, with your verified phone account, before we will let you fill in this form"...

That's just to prevent spam and/or people filling out the form multiple times.  :)

there are other simple ways of verifying this, without using google...

« Reply #29 on: May 30, 2020, 22:54 »
0
Why even bother trying to salvage anything with this company? It's like trying to get an abusive spouse to promise to stop beating you. What is the point? SS is junk and we really don't need them.

I'm not optimistic that we can get changes - Shutterstock is now a big public company with a huge image library - but the reason to try is that they've earned many thousands for lots of us and for a long time were undisputed monthly earnings leader after Getty and the private equity idiots ruined iStock (the first far and away leader in earnings).

At 10 cents a sub download we don't need them, but it isn't June 1st yet and possibly they might be worried enough about noticeable quantities of proven salable content being removed from their library to rethink their cash grab.

I'm going to wait it out and see how my earnings are for the next 6 months. If they continue to get big licenses for me then I'll stay.

« Reply #30 on: June 01, 2020, 06:04 »
0
155 responses - preliminary results

Collective portfolio size: 1179912 assets

  • Levels must be calculated on a 12-month window, and not be reset at the beginning of each year.
92.3% YES
7.7% NO

  • There should be a change for video levels (Levels 5 and 6 are unattainable)
71% YES
3.9% NO
25.2% I DON'T KNOW

  • Shutterstock needs to end the video subscription program
59.4% YES
19% NO
28.4% I DON'T KNOW

  • Apply the levels structure to on-demand content, but leave subscriptions alone. (25c-38c, as they were before June 1st changes)
78.7% YES
21.3% NO

---------------

  • If you answered "no" to the question above, what should be the minimum baseline guarantee for a subscription royalty?


  • In any pay rate system percentages must be based on an actual percentage of what the buyer paid for the image (subscription fee/ actual images downloaded) not on the total possible number of downloads. See image below and description for clarification.
80.8% YES
19.2% NO


« Reply #31 on: June 03, 2020, 06:44 »
0
181 responses, collective portfolio size: 1325521 assets

That's not even 1% of their library.

I had the best intention to try and organize us, so we can use our leverage directly with shutterstock, but I'm just one guy and this poll wasn't spread around enough for it to have an effect. Guess we deserve $0.1 per image.


 

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