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Author Topic: 2014 by Shutterstock Founder (previously Bravo Shutterstock)  (Read 28427 times)

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« Reply #75 on: January 07, 2015, 13:54 »
+9
Please don't repost the "shouts", they are SO annoying.


« Reply #76 on: January 07, 2015, 13:55 »
+6
Unfortunately, I think the mold was set early on for microstock contributors receiving low commissions. It started out as photographers with little or no prior experience, submitting to make a few bucks. Gradually those photographers got better. Then when the already-in-business photographers saw there was money to be made, they had to jump on the bandwagon to compete and survive and get a little piece of the pie.

As images got better and better, SS gave a little bit of raise to contributors, but most of the other companies decided to go the greedy route and keep everything for themselves (but then again, SS is just as greedy). And they continued the bad behavior, when they saw how many millions of contributors were hooked (it's almost like the microstock companies were dealing crack) and wouldn't leave, no matter how badly they were treated. Why on earth would any of the companies, including SS, give any raises?

It is all a shame, really.

Snow

« Reply #77 on: January 07, 2015, 14:37 »
+3
And they continued the bad behaviour, when they saw how many millions of contributors were hooked (it's almost like the microstock companies were dealing crack) and wouldn't leave, no matter how badly they were treated. Why on earth would any of the companies, including SS, give any raises?

It is all a shame, really.

You have made a good point there and to this day I see many people complaining on a daily basis but do absolutely nothing about it, even the seasoned contributors do so. It truly is like they're hooked. Agencies know it well enough and exploit it.

Semmick Photo

« Reply #78 on: January 07, 2015, 14:47 »
+5
Unfortunately, I think the mold was set early on for microstock contributors receiving low commissions. It started out as photographers with little or no prior experience, submitting to make a few bucks. Gradually those photographers got better. Then when the already-in-business photographers saw there was money to be made, they had to jump on the bandwagon to compete and survive and get a little piece of the pie.

As images got better and better, SS gave a little bit of raise to contributors, but most of the other companies decided to go the greedy route and keep everything for themselves (but then again, SS is just as greedy). And they continued the bad behavior, when they saw how many millions of contributors were hooked (it's almost like the microstock companies were dealing crack) and wouldn't leave, no matter how badly they were treated. Why on earth would any of the companies, including SS, give any raises?

It is all a shame, really.


I have wondered about this myself, and I am thinking, could it be that we love the creative part so much, in combination with a little dose of narcissism we as humans possess, what gets us hooked to this game? I love to take photos, I love to process them and  I love it to see them get downloads. I love to see my photos used, it makes me proud, and I love the money it makes me. Seems it is just all of that combined, which makes us take whatever the agencies give us.

« Reply #79 on: January 07, 2015, 15:59 »
+2
Unfortunately, I think the mold was set early on for microstock contributors receiving low commissions. It started out as photographers with little or no prior experience, submitting to make a few bucks. Gradually those photographers got better. Then when the already-in-business photographers saw there was money to be made, they had to jump on the bandwagon to compete and survive and get a little piece of the pie.

As images got better and better, SS gave a little bit of raise to contributors, but most of the other companies decided to go the greedy route and keep everything for themselves (but then again, SS is just as greedy). And they continued the bad behavior, when they saw how many millions of contributors were hooked (it's almost like the microstock companies were dealing crack) and wouldn't leave, no matter how badly they were treated. Why on earth would any of the companies, including SS, give any raises?

It is all a shame, really.


I have wondered about this myself, and I am thinking, could it be that we love the creative part so much, in combination with a little dose of narcissism we as humans possess, what gets us hooked to this game? I love to take photos, I love to process them and  I love it to see them get downloads. I love to see my photos used, it makes me proud, and I love the money it makes me. Seems it is just all of that combined, which makes us take whatever the agencies give us.

waa, really all excellent points. +10 full marks 2 u 2.
i remember a jewish businessman once told another ethnic when asked why he refused to lower his prices of custom made suits to beat walmart,etc said "once you lower price, youu cannot raise it so easily".
this is not a jew mentality, i remember in some old chinese movie the same wisdom was quoted.
same with editorials where today newspapers tell newbie photojournalist they don't pay nothing but give your name as creditline . irresistible  carrot to  newbie, but to us, we say, "hell, i have images all over the world, why do i need your newspaper to credit me?"

but by now, it is also too late for you and me after biting on those carrots and giving all away in subs.
you are right, the take all you want for low price is the killer to all. but i think ss has a prevention for hoarding, no???

« Reply #80 on: January 07, 2015, 16:50 »
+2
They have no reason to pay anybody more. They are making all the right moves for their company, investors, and destroying the competition. They get to work in a swanky ultra expensive NY office building and employees get all kinds of benefits. Execs are rolling in money.

All of this while they pay their contributors pennies per sale and contributors sing love songs about them. Why would they pay any more?

It really is a brilliant business model.
Very true but the bottom line is that it's a business and the purpose of a business is to maximise profit for the business.  They do this well and far more professionally than anyone else. The rates are poor but nobody is forcing any of us to contribute there.. 

« Reply #81 on: January 07, 2015, 17:00 »
+5
They haven't explicitly cut our earnings,
They did cut my earnings.  I referred a few people to sign up with the understanding that the referral income was forever. 

« Reply #82 on: January 08, 2015, 16:25 »
-3
They haven't explicitly cut our earnings,
They did cut my earnings.  I referred a few people to sign up with the understanding that the referral income was forever.

they never said it was forever; nothing is forever. dreamstime also has a limit 3yrs , i had all my affliates cut off after 3 yrs without notice too

« Reply #83 on: January 08, 2015, 17:19 »
+5
They haven't explicitly cut our earnings,

They did cut my earnings.  I referred a few people to sign up with the understanding that the referral income was forever.


they never said it was forever; nothing is forever. dreamstime also has a limit 3yrs , i had all my affliates cut off after 3 yrs without notice too

http://www.shutterstock.com/blog/homepage-tools-part-1-make-money
"If someone signs up, you will earn a $.03 commission every time one of their images gets downloaded."

I guess by "every time" they really meant something else, honest mistake right?

Uncle Pete

« Reply #84 on: January 09, 2015, 11:59 »
0
Odd, why do I get 4 cents for referral DLs?

Let me see if I understand:

Most of the agencies, cut pay, cut commissions, cut prices and changed the incentive levels. Most have ended referrals all together or limited the time.

SS held the pay promise and changed the referrals from (implied) lifetime to two years, and what people are complaining about is:

1) It should have been forever
and
2) We should have received a raise.

What about the places that gave no raise, took back income, changed promises, cut levels, cut commissions, opened sub and partner sites (With no Opt Out), sold to API partners with no accountability or notice, some in secret calling them subs. They also offered new discounts to customers, re-valued credits, threatened artists and did other underhanded things to contributors.

And people are upset because "we should get a raise" from the one place that puts four times in money in the bank, over the rest? Really?

Yes, I'd agree, we should get a raise, but I'm not calling out SS or complaining about it. I'm happy getting the monthly commissions. There is a difference.


They haven't explicitly cut our earnings,

They did cut my earnings.  I referred a few people to sign up with the understanding that the referral income was forever.


they never said it was forever; nothing is forever. dreamstime also has a limit 3yrs , i had all my affliates cut off after 3 yrs without notice too

http://www.shutterstock.com/blog/homepage-tools-part-1-make-money
"If someone signs up, you will earn a $.03 commission every time one of their images gets downloaded."

I guess by "every time" they really meant something else, honest mistake right?

« Reply #85 on: January 09, 2015, 12:12 »
+2
Odd, why do I get 4 cents for referral DLs?

Let me see if I understand:

Most of the agencies, cut pay, cut commissions, cut prices and changed the incentive levels. Most have ended referrals all together or limited the time.

SS held the pay promise and changed the referrals from (implied) lifetime to two years, and what people are complaining about is:

1) It should have been forever
and
2) We should have received a raise.

What about the places that gave no raise, took back income, changed promises, cut levels, cut commissions, opened sub and partner sites (With no Opt Out), sold to API partners with no accountability or notice, some in secret calling them subs. They also offered new discounts to customers, re-valued credits, threatened artists and did other underhanded things to contributors.

And people are upset because "we should get a raise" from the one place that puts four times in money in the bank, over the rest? Really?

Yes, I'd agree, we should get a raise, but I'm not calling out SS or complaining about it. I'm happy getting the monthly commissions. There is a difference.


They haven't explicitly cut our earnings,

They did cut my earnings.  I referred a few people to sign up with the understanding that the referral income was forever.


they never said it was forever; nothing is forever. dreamstime also has a limit 3yrs , i had all my affliates cut off after 3 yrs without notice too

http://www.shutterstock.com/blog/homepage-tools-part-1-make-money
"If someone signs up, you will earn a $.03 commission every time one of their images gets downloaded."

I guess by "every time" they really meant something else, honest mistake right?


My reply was in response to the statement that Shutterstock has never cut our earnings.  They did.  It's as simple as that.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #86 on: January 09, 2015, 12:25 »
+2
They didn't cut earnings, they limited the period for Referral payment credits.  :)

I'm not really going to disagree with you. They did change the contract.

I was going for the general thread, including your comments, not limited to ONLY your observation. I wish the subject was not named what it is. I can do without the Bravo cheer leading, even thought I like what I get from SS.

Someone please tell me, what other agency, that produces income, has never made pay cuts? Or better yet, name one other that ever gave us a raise! ???

SS did increase pay and added higher levels over the years. I'd be all for a new higher level for those people who make SS the success it is. They deserve the reward for their efforts. (more than I do for just barely making the top level)



My reply was in response to the statement that Shutterstock has never cut our earnings.  They did.  It's as simple as that.

« Reply #87 on: January 09, 2015, 13:06 »
+4
They didn't cut earnings, they limited the period for Referral payment credits.  :)
Interesting that Shutterstock called them earnings:  "The Referral program is a great way to earn additional income through Shutterstock, aside from selling your images and video."
or
"The royalty payable to you for such referred downloads is set forth on the Earnings Schedule."

They were earnings and they were cut, they cut earnings.  I don't see how you can argue with that?

« Reply #88 on: January 09, 2015, 13:19 »
+8
One more higher tiered contributor level raise would be nice.  Let's face it, those that have earned more than 5 or 6 figures (gross; lifetime) with Shutterstock are in the minority.  Something like that wouldn't entirely bankrupt the company, or put that much of a dent into its overhead. 

One extra tier will also motivate its more seasoned contributors to submit even more great content.  "Cream of the crop" type content.  Either way, I've always been very thankful for the opportunity with SS all of these years. 

Semmick Photo

« Reply #89 on: January 09, 2015, 13:45 »
0
They cut referral earnings back to 3 years but upped the royalty from 3 to 4 cent. Thats what I recall.

Semmick Photo

« Reply #90 on: January 09, 2015, 13:57 »
+6
One more higher tiered contributor level raise would be nice.  Let's face it, those that have earned more than 5 or 6 figures (gross; lifetime) with Shutterstock are in the minority.  Something like that wouldn't entirely bankrupt the company, or put that much of a dent into its overhead. 

One extra tier will also motivate its more seasoned contributors to submit even more great content.  "Cream of the crop" type content.  Either way, I've always been very thankful for the opportunity with SS all of these years.
Are seasoned contributors really going to submit even more great content, cream of the crop type content? I seriously doubt that. How high will that raise be? 25 to 33 cent is the biggest difference, 8 cent, then 3 cent, then 2 cent. How high does a raise need to be to entice seasoned contributors to submit even more great content?

And I think all contributors should get a raise, not only the high earners, or the ones longest with SS.

« Reply #91 on: January 09, 2015, 14:04 »
+2


Someone please tell me, what other agency, that produces income, has never made pay cuts? Or better yet, name one other that ever gave us a raise! ???


... or where most of us receive regular (monthly) payout.

this coming from me, as Uncle Pete know, not just a cheerleader for ss as i have been a loud objector in the other thread re ss. but i support the ss i know from old, and the directional changes last month which show ss is back to being the shutterstock i know and am proud of.


Semmick Photo

« Reply #92 on: January 09, 2015, 14:13 »
0


Someone please tell me, what other agency, that produces income, has never made pay cuts? Or better yet, name one other that ever gave us a raise! ???


Photodune gave us a raise not long ago. I went from 33% to 36%.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2015, 14:50 by Semmick Photo »

« Reply #93 on: January 09, 2015, 14:45 »
+5
Performance rewards, and seniority; they are pretty standard in the corporate world.  I don't see why they shouldn't happen for us, as we are still providing content for the corporation.  Even better quality images than when we first started.  You pay your dues, do your due diligence and should get rewarded; not screwed.  That's usually how it goes, but unfortunately life isn't always that fair.  I'm not saying we are being screwed, but it's not easy competing with all the content from other photographers and illustrators that is steadily flowing in.  That's why I think those who have been backing the company the longest should get "a little something sweeter" for their loyalty and hard work.  It's the least we could get... it's not like we don't have to pay for our own overpriced healthcare plans now, as independent contractors (or face a 2% yearly penalty on our income, by the govt.)

I would definitely be a lot more motivated to create more images, if there was a raise.  When you sell thousands of licenses per month, those 3 to 5 cents extra per subscription sale really do help. 


Semmick Photo

« Reply #94 on: January 09, 2015, 14:50 »
+1
Cream of the crop content cost a lot to produce, for 50 dollars more per month, are you going to invest in a 2000 dollar photo shoot?

« Reply #95 on: January 09, 2015, 17:06 »
+3
I'd love to see a video of Oringer speaking to a room full of photographers - instead of stockholders or Wall Street pundits.  Would it be the same Orwellian "less is more" double-think?   Of course.  It's the best of all possible worlds, for contributors.


« Last Edit: January 09, 2015, 17:13 by stockastic »

« Reply #96 on: January 09, 2015, 18:17 »
+4
Cream of the crop content cost a lot to produce, for 50 dollars more per month, are you going to invest in a 2000 dollar photo shoot?

If you think that's what it takes to make it full time as a stock photographer, you may have been misinformed.  I have honestly never invested more than $50 in any one photoshoot.  Most cost me nothing but my time and my gas, which I expense.  My gear is super cheap, in the longrun.  I get many years out of it.  I use my time, my ingenuity, and whatever I have on hand to keep overhead low.  You work with what you have, when you're working for pennies.  When you have a huge commercial budget working for someone else, it's a different story. 

Let's not get too off topic here.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #97 on: January 09, 2015, 18:21 »
0
There was a smiley and I did say I wasn't going to argue. It was just semantics humor and the fact that they never promised "forever" which you had claimed. I make my money from what I earn, not from what I refer. I could argue all day why referrals are not earnings... they are a bonus for recruiting. But no matter what the words, they did limit the term of the referral income - yes that's true.

Every contract, for every agency, says they reserve the right to make changes with notice.

But I need to ask, are you an IS exclusive or are you actually on SS with some referrals? You linked to a 2011 page that says 3 cents, and it went up to 4 cents. Yet another increase from SS.

I do agree that there's no reason for SS to give us a raise. And as a publicly traded stock, makes them want to make money for those people, not us. I'm just saying... it would be a nice gesture for the people who made the company what it is, and made a number of millionaires out of the officers of SS.

Here's the one I want to promote: Create Your Mini-Gallery

This is an extension of the Referral Program that allows you to display a mini-gallery on your own website or blog that links to your Shutterstock images. If a purchase is made as a result, you'll receive 20% (up to $50) of the subscription price (in addition to your download commission).

Just added it to five websites. I have low expectations, but why not?


They didn't cut earnings, they limited the period for Referral payment credits.  :)
Interesting that Shutterstock called them earnings:  "The Referral program is a great way to earn additional income through Shutterstock, aside from selling your images and video."
or
"The royalty payable to you for such referred downloads is set forth on the Earnings Schedule."

They were earnings and they were cut, they cut earnings.  I don't see how you can argue with that?
« Last Edit: January 10, 2015, 14:34 by Uncle Pete »

« Reply #98 on: January 09, 2015, 18:47 »
+5
They didn't cut earnings, they limited the period for Referral payment credits.  :)
Interesting that Shutterstock called them earnings:  "The Referral program is a great way to earn additional income through Shutterstock, aside from selling your images and video."
or
"The royalty payable to you for such referred downloads is set forth on the Earnings Schedule."

They were earnings and they were cut, they cut earnings.  I don't see how you can argue with that?

they should have grandfathered in existing, then cut off all new

Semmick Photo

« Reply #99 on: January 09, 2015, 20:26 »
+4
Cream of the crop content cost a lot to produce, for 50 dollars more per month, are you going to invest in a 2000 dollar photo shoot?

If you think that's what it takes to make it full time as a stock photographer, you may have been misinformed.  I have honestly never invested more than $50 in any one photoshoot.  Most cost me nothing but my time and my gas, which I expense.  My gear is super cheap, in the longrun.  I get many years out of it.  I use my time, my ingenuity, and whatever I have on hand to keep overhead low.  You work with what you have, when you're working for pennies.  When you have a huge commercial budget working for someone else, it's a different story. 

Let's not get too off topic here.

How much do you think Yuri's images cost to produce? Or Sean's flight attendant shoot in a real air-plane? $50? Are they enticed to shoot more cream of the crop for a 5 cent raise?

I am not ill informed, my photoshoots cost me nothing either.


 

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