MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: Another possible Reason Why Shutterstock Sales May be Off for Some Contributors  (Read 8471 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

w7lwi

  • Those that don't stand up to evil enable evil.
« on: July 27, 2013, 18:35 »
+3
A relatively large number of contributors on SS have noted their sales have been down for the better part of this year.  Many theories have been advanced for this, such as search engine bugs, a massive influx of new contributors (mostly from IS) and several other ideas.  Here's another one that I gleaned from a financial publication.

In the July 22 issue of Barron's, page M5, there an interesting article regarding Shutterstock's performance on the stock market.  I'll not go over the entire article; however, I will quote the section I found of interest.  "However, sales and marketing expenses fell in the first quarter of 2013, even though they've been rising sharply, an average of 60% in the past three years.  The company noted that advertising will increase for the remainder of 2013 and beyond."

It appears this may have been done as an accounting strategy in order to allow the appearance of income growth during this period.  Barron's goes on to say "If sales and marketing had grown at their customary pace or even half the annual average, little or no first-quarter growth would have occurred."  This would have put a damper on the rapid rise of Shutterstock's (SSTK) growth in the market.

I think most would agree that if you don't have a strong sales and marketing strategy, and the financing to execute it, in today's competitive environment your overall sales are going to suffer.  They did say that they were going to increase advertising for the balance of 2013 and beyond.  This may be at least part of the reason contributors (myself included) have noticed the beginnings of an uptick in sales over the past couple of weeks.  Hopefully that will continue.  It will be interesting to see just what the sales and marketing numbers were for the second quarter when SS issues their next report in August.


ruxpriencdiam

    This user is banned.
  • Location. Third stone from the sun
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2013, 19:37 »
0
I posted this over there and figured i would put it here as well.

Theory:

A theory is just that a theory until it can be proven and since we cant prove anything otherwise it so still remains a theory for now. ;D

lisafx

« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2013, 23:03 »
+1
This theory is as good as any other I've heard on the subject. 

Beppe Grillo

« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2013, 01:21 »
0
My theory is that there is a global (world wide) economic crisis

Donvanstaden

« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2013, 01:33 »
+2
My theory is that there is a global (world wide) economic crisis

correction.... western world economic crisis... Emerging markets are seeing record growth for various reasons and if companies like SS are savy they will move their eggs into the right baskets... the growth of these markets should not be underestimated! Look our good friend Yuri moving his business to my home country, you thing he did that for the good weather?

« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2013, 03:58 »
0
A relatively large number of contributors on SS have noted their sales have been down for the better part of this year.  Many theories have been advanced for this, such as search engine bugs, a massive influx of new contributors (mostly from IS) and several other ideas.  Here's another one that I gleaned from a financial publication.

In the July 22 issue of Barron's, page M5, there an interesting article regarding Shutterstock's performance on the stock market.  I'll not go over the entire article; however, I will quote the section I found of interest.  "However, sales and marketing expenses fell in the first quarter of 2013, even though they've been rising sharply, an average of 60% in the past three years.  The company noted that advertising will increase for the remainder of 2013 and beyond."

It appears this may have been done as an accounting strategy in order to allow the appearance of income growth during this period.  Barron's goes on to say "If sales and marketing had grown at their customary pace or even half the annual average, little or no first-quarter growth would have occurred."  This would have put a damper on the rapid rise of Shutterstock's (SSTK) growth in the market.

I think most would agree that if you don't have a strong sales and marketing strategy, and the financing to execute it, in today's competitive environment your overall sales are going to suffer.  They did say that they were going to increase advertising for the balance of 2013 and beyond.  This may be at least part of the reason contributors (myself included) have noticed the beginnings of an uptick in sales over the past couple of weeks.  Hopefully that will continue.  It will be interesting to see just what the sales and marketing numbers were for the second quarter when SS issues their next report in August.

If you take this from the SS forum.... just forget it... : )))

« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2013, 04:00 »
+1
My theory is that there is a global (world wide) economic crisis

So how come my sales on SS were growing, altho I didn't upload for months. When I started uploading gaain recently, they grew even more.

Beppe Grillo

« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2013, 06:18 »
+1
My theory is that there is a global (world wide) economic crisis

So how come my sales on SS were growing, altho I didn't upload for months. When I started uploading gaain recently, they grew even more.

Because there is always one exception to confirm the rule

« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2013, 07:36 »
+1
This theory is as good as any other I've heard on the subject.

I doubt it, because it doesn't seem to make sense: Sales are falling because they are not advertising, therefore the number of buyers is falling, therefore SS is making more money and increasing its profits. That would only work if advertising costs greatly exceeded the custom they brought in. But if people are seeing a big drop in earnings from lack of advertising it follows that the value generated by advertising exceeds its costs.

« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2013, 07:41 »
+1
My theory is that there is a global (world wide) economic crisis

So how come my sales on SS were growing, altho I didn't upload for months. When I started uploading gaain recently, they grew even more.

Because there is always one exception to confirm the rule

How do you know it's an exception

Beppe Grillo

« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2013, 08:05 »
0
My theory is that there is a global (world wide) economic crisis

So how come my sales on SS were growing, altho I didn't upload for months. When I started uploading gaain recently, they grew even more.

Because there is always one exception to confirm the rule

How do you know it's an exception

Good question!
« Last Edit: July 28, 2013, 08:09 by Beppe Grillo »

« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2013, 08:13 »
+1
My theory is that there is a global (world wide) economic crisis

So how come my sales on SS were growing, altho I didn't upload for months. When I started uploading gaain recently, they grew even more.

Because there is always one exception to confirm the rule


Now there are two of us. I've seen continuous growth even without uploading in 2012 and after starting up again in February 2013 I've seen real sales growth. May-June are the best three months I've had at SS and July might be even better.

I suspect this is true of a lot of contributors who don't write about it - to avoid others copying their best sellers and being accused of insensitivity or downright mendacity in the numerous "doom and gloom" threads.

« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2013, 08:15 »
+2
For me, they're selling less subs and more at higher prices.  I sell less but earn more.  Can't see anything bad about that.

Some people might be suffering more, if their portfolio is in an over saturated category.  I don't have people images, I think that keeps me away from most of the competition.

« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2013, 08:20 »
0
For me sales have not grown with more images than I hoped but I don't think the experience of a few individuals over a short time tell us much

« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2013, 08:43 »
0
I've been uploading continuously, and my sales have increased slowly but at least they've increased.  As for Shutterstock advertising, I have heard quite a few sponsorship ads on podcasts.  They may have shifted their advertising to less expensive venues that they feel will give them more visibility at lower cost.  And they may well be right, at least in terms of reaching potential buyers.

« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2013, 10:07 »
+1
A relatively large number of contributors on SS have noted their sales have been down for the better part of this year.  Many theories have been advanced for this, such as search engine bugs, a massive influx of new contributors (mostly from IS) and several other ideas.  Here's another one that I gleaned from a financial publication.

In the July 22 issue of Barron's, page M5, there an interesting article regarding Shutterstock's performance on the stock market.  I'll not go over the entire article; however, I will quote the section I found of interest.  "However, sales and marketing expenses fell in the first quarter of 2013, even though they've been rising sharply, an average of 60% in the past three years.  The company noted that advertising will increase for the remainder of 2013 and beyond."

It appears this may have been done as an accounting strategy in order to allow the appearance of income growth during this period.  Barron's goes on to say "If sales and marketing had grown at their customary pace or even half the annual average, little or no first-quarter growth would have occurred."  This would have put a damper on the rapid rise of Shutterstock's (SSTK) growth in the market.

I think most would agree that if you don't have a strong sales and marketing strategy, and the financing to execute it, in today's competitive environment your overall sales are going to suffer.  They did say that they were going to increase advertising for the balance of 2013 and beyond.  This may be at least part of the reason contributors (myself included) have noticed the beginnings of an uptick in sales over the past couple of weeks.  Hopefully that will continue.  It will be interesting to see just what the sales and marketing numbers were for the second quarter when SS issues their next report in August.


Does anyone read the documents they file with the SEC?  If so do you think they are lying in those?

Revenue is increasing, downloads are increasing and they have a nice cash reserve.  They have plenty of funds for advertising.  Revenue and downloads increased despite decreasing spend on advertising.

They may be using the search to spread sales to less expensive submitters to increase revenue, but if the download numbers they are reporting are correct sales should be way up for everyone.

The site is buggy as hell therefor some submitters may be seeing lower sales because of those, but sales numbers in general are up on the site.

10Q 3/31/2013 http://www.secinfo.com/d11MXs.x17an.htm#1stPage

Snip

Liquidity and Capital Resources

As of March 31, 2013, we had cash and cash equivalents of $107.0 million, which primarily consisted of money market mutual funds and checking accounts. Since inception, we have financed our operations primarily through cash flow generated from operations. Historically, our principal uses of cash have been funding our operations, capital expenditures and distributions to members. On October 4, 2012, we made a final distribution to the LLC members constituting approximately all of the cash generated from the operations of the LLC, since the last distribution to members and any other cash and cash equivalents on hand at the time of the distribution, other than any amounts received under the term loan facility, as described below. Following this final distribution, no additional distributions were made to members of the LLC prior to the Reorganization. Additionally, following the Reorganization, our tax rate and related tax payments have increased significantly as we became subject to federal, state and additional city income tax.

We entered into a term loan facility in September of 2012 that provided for a $12 million term loan. Following the final distribution to members described above, the borrowings from the term loan facility were used to fund the short-term capital needs of our operations following the final distribution to members described above and our IPO. On December 24, 2012, we paid down $6.0 million of the term loan and on March 25, 2013, we paid off the remaining outstanding balance of $6 million. As of March 31, 2013, we have no outstanding debt. Additionally, we believe our existing cash and cash equivalents and cash flow generated from operations will be sufficient to meet our working capital and capital expenditure for at least the next twelve months.

We plan to finance our operations and capital expenses largely through our operations. Since our results of operations are sensitive to the level of competition we face, increased competition could adversely affect our liquidity and capital resources, both by reducing our revenues and our net income, as a result of reduced sales, reduced prices and increased promotional activities, among other factors, as well as by requiring us to spend cash on advertising and marketing in an effort to maintain or increase market share in the face of such competition. In addition, the advertising and marketing expenses used to maintain market share and support future revenues will be funded from current capital resources or from borrowings or equity financings. As a result, our ability to grow our business relying largely on funds from our operations is sensitive to competitive pressures and other risks relating to our liquidity or capital resources.

On October 16, 2012, we completed our IPO of 5,175,000 shares of common stock, including 675,000 shares sold as a result of the underwriters exercise of their overallotment option, at a price of $17.00 per share. The IPO resulted in net proceeds to the Company from the offering of approximately $81.8 million after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions, and before deducting total estimated expenses in connection with the offering of $4.9 million.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2013, 11:32 by gbalex »

« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2013, 12:12 »
0
Earnings are actually about the same for me. Downloads seem to be slightly off but ELs and SODs are up


« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2013, 12:42 »
+1
Huge influx of former IS exclusive content is still the the most obvious reason for those who do traditional stock imagery.

« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2013, 13:32 »
+1
My theory is that there is a global (world wide) economic crisis

So how come my sales on SS were growing, altho I didn't upload for months. When I started uploading gaain recently, they grew even more.

Because there is always one exception to confirm the rule

How do you know it's an exception

It's not. July will make three straight BME for me in total downloads and earnings.

« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2013, 13:39 »
+2
Could it be because Yuri has removed his portfolio from SS? I'm sure I noticed a sharp downturn in my sales immediately after the announcement. There were probably major shifts in the currency rates of the SA Rand and the Danish Kroner at about the same time too. I haven't actually checked that one but it is entirely plausible.

« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2013, 13:50 »
0
People complain when I have good months and people complain when I have bad months. I don't really see a pattern.

Ron

« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2013, 14:53 »
0
BME for me. I never experienced a decrease in sales, but its been the same for months in a row. I dont see much increase but I have not experienced ANY of the theories brought forward on the SS forum to explain a decrease in earnings. BME, albeit with a small percentage but I havent added any images for a month either.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2013, 13:14 »
0
But that is your pattern? People complain no matter what.  :)

And I'm the third exception and predicting there are many more. If someone reads the complaints on the forum and assumes, that's the general trend, that's flawed reasoning. One squeaky wheel may need some grease, but that doesn't mean all the rest are dried up.

Single and other has been going up. July 2012 is $20 less than 2013. Every month this year is higher than last year. I hardly add anything new, except when I have a rainy day or something inspires me to shoot something.

People complain when I have good months and people complain when I have bad months. I don't really see a pattern.

ernstblucher

    This user is banned.
« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2013, 13:39 »
-1
Another theory: cooking the books (Enron style)
Another theory: Sales are up (SEC report) but your sales are down or they don't report your sales. Or they do it later that allowed for treasury purpose.
Another theory: People (meaning buyers and creative) are fed-up with this cheap low quality model.
Another theory: The hype is down, new websites will take their place in the short term.
Another theory: Buyers realize they don't need anymore stocks, they buy directly from us at double price  :D :)

« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2013, 13:49 »
+1
Another theory: cooking the books (Enron style)
Another theory: Sales are up (SEC report) but your sales are down or they don't report your sales. Or they do it later that allowed for treasury purpose.
Another theory: People (meaning buyers and creative) are fed-up with this cheap low quality model.
Another theory: The hype is down, new websites will take their place in the short term.
Another theory: Buyers realize they don't need anymore stocks, they buy directly from us at double price  :D :)

That's quite a list of serious accusations. In an earlier post you declined to provide details of your complaints due to supposed 'legal constraints'. Making wild and unsubstantiated claims like the above could prove very expensive for you legally.

Anyway, sales at SS are still growing for me. Already my best July ever and up 20% over 2012. What's not to like?


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
1 Replies
4499 Views
Last post September 15, 2008, 13:14
by RGebbiePhoto
13 Replies
6386 Views
Last post September 27, 2008, 22:23
by epixx
9 Replies
2922 Views
Last post September 01, 2016, 10:05
by Stockmaan
17 Replies
5346 Views
Last post November 07, 2018, 11:59
by thor_odt
36 Replies
9185 Views
Last post December 08, 2019, 08:21
by trabuco

Sponsors

Mega Bundle of 5,900+ Professional Lightroom Presets

Microstock Poll Results

Sponsors

3100 Posing Cards Bundle