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Author Topic: Cap on daily earnings?  (Read 18857 times)

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« Reply #125 on: September 28, 2015, 02:49 »
+8

Excellent post HalfFull - I think this is exactly what's happening.   "...there is a a cut off that slows sales down once a threshold is met" - that's what I see. Which brings me back to my original question - does SS decide how much to pay each of us and we're just getting a salary? It sure feels like that to me. What's the point of improving then and growing your portfolio? Motivation - down the toilet...
Time to move out of this business.

For the last seven months I have been within. 5% give or take of my monthly threshold. Amazing! having siad this I really don't mind being on a monthly salary as long as its a good salary. LOL. so I can't complain.

As far as improving, growing your port, uploading?  well thats gone down the drain long time ago. What we are seeing now is exactly a carbo-copy of what happened with the traditional photo-agencies back in the mid 90s followed by a few years and then it all collapses. :)

I don't think we are seeing the collapse of the business just a business finding the limitations of it's current ranking system. This system works great when the business is growing fast and the increase split over all it's contributors is increasing each month. Now, with the volume of contributors and the slowing growth (in terms of revenue coming in) and the still massive increase in terms of contributors / images they are having to cut the amount of earnings to some.

They are still working on the principle of trying to please everyone but not really pleasing anyone. The bigger earners will feel they are being held back, lower earners will be happy to begin with until throttling comes in. Lower earners who supply a lot will wonder why their earnings don't increase in line with the growth of their port etc etc.

The system they employ means people earn well from the beginning (sales come in quickly) rather than seeing very little for months until image and contributor ranking builds up based on sales (without promotion). This more traditional approach of rewarding increased rank based on image popularity only means there will be fewer individual contributors at the top, not as varied selection of images (but still plenty, 1000's contributors still) but the ones that don't cut it will fall quickly and ultimately stop supplying, while the successful ones will continue to supply, possibly in greater numbers. This of course speeds up the demise of the less successful contributors as images are pushed further down.

The type of growth curve from this type of ranking is a very shallow to begin with but will steepen quickly once images move up the ranking system faster. Like a rolling snowball it can gather pace quickly. There are a few agencies out there that work with this more traditional approach.

SS will have to decide if it wants to continue to please everyone (and fail) or reward those whose images climb up the ranking system without assistance (and reduce the variety of contributors). Continuing the way they are going now will ultimately result in them losing more contributors from the middle to top as they will be full time and looking for increased earnings from their increased portfolios.

I believe SS are at a crossroads and they'll have to revisit how they rank contributors as FT starts eating into their client base more and more, which will in turn will mean contributors at SS will notice this capping more and more.


« Reply #126 on: September 28, 2015, 03:10 »
+1

Excellent post HalfFull - I think this is exactly what's happening.   "...there is a a cut off that slows sales down once a threshold is met" - that's what I see. Which brings me back to my original question - does SS decide how much to pay each of us and we're just getting a salary? It sure feels like that to me. What's the point of improving then and growing your portfolio? Motivation - down the toilet...
Time to move out of this business.

For the last seven months I have been within. 5% give or take of my monthly threshold. Amazing! having siad this I really don't mind being on a monthly salary as long as its a good salary. LOL. so I can't complain.

As far as improving, growing your port, uploading?  well thats gone down the drain long time ago. What we are seeing now is exactly a carbo-copy of what happened with the traditional photo-agencies back in the mid 90s followed by a few years and then it all collapses. :)

I don't think we are seeing the collapse of the business just a business finding the limitations of it's current ranking system. This system works great when the business is growing fast and the increase split over all it's contributors is increasing each month. Now, with the volume of contributors and the slowing growth (in terms of revenue coming in) and the still massive increase in terms of contributors / images they are having to cut the amount of earnings to some.

They are still working on the principle of trying to please everyone but not really pleasing anyone. The bigger earners will feel they are being held back, lower earners will be happy to begin with until throttling comes in. Lower earners who supply a lot will wonder why their earnings don't increase in line with the growth of their port etc etc.

The system they employ means people earn well from the beginning (sales come in quickly) rather than seeing very little for months until image and contributor ranking builds up based on sales (without promotion). This more traditional approach of rewarding increased rank based on image popularity only means there will be fewer individual contributors at the top, not as varied selection of images (but still plenty, 1000's contributors still) but the ones that don't cut it will fall quickly and ultimately stop supplying, while the successful ones will continue to supply, possibly in greater numbers. This of course speeds up the demise of the less successful contributors as images are pushed further down.

The type of growth curve from this type of ranking is a very shallow to begin with but will steepen quickly once images move up the ranking system faster. Like a rolling snowball it can gather pace quickly. There are a few agencies out there that work with this more traditional approach.

SS will have to decide if it wants to continue to please everyone (and fail) or reward those whose images climb up the ranking system without assistance (and reduce the variety of contributors). Continuing the way they are going now will ultimately result in them losing more contributors from the middle to top as they will be full time and looking for increased earnings from their increased portfolios.

I believe SS are at a crossroads and they'll have to revisit how they rank contributors as FT starts eating into their client base more and more, which will in turn will mean contributors at SS will notice this capping more and more.

Very good post! well written!

yes held-back is the right expression. I have experienced and on a number of occasions the potential earnings capacity from SS and its quite daunting. There have been many $.500/ days there. The potential is enormous.

Pleasing everybody is an impossibillity. I believe there are some 50K contributors to SS. Joke! and as you say Adobe/FT is without doubt closing in fast.
Interesting to see how they will respond or maybe just playing it safe.

« Reply #127 on: September 28, 2015, 03:41 »
+5
I did not believe this theory, as my weekly income had huge ups and downs but on average it was increasing.

But as soon as I reached 0.36 level, my weekly chart simply flattened, within a few cents difference. 3 weeks in a row - the creepy part is, weekly earnings are exactly the average of the last 8 weeks before reaching 0.36 ($1 difference).

It could be a huge coincidence as my bestsellers have very stable search positions, but it's strange. I will observe in the coming weeks and post the results later. And will also upload more than usual to see if affect earnings.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2015, 03:57 by Nikovsk »

« Reply #128 on: September 28, 2015, 04:41 »
+4
I have the same patterns. The last week of a month is "correcting the balance" in + or in -, depending from average. So no progress is possible with ss for a contributor.

« Reply #129 on: September 28, 2015, 08:58 »
+3
[...]It could be a huge coincidence as my bestsellers have very stable search positions[...]

Becareful when you check the search position of your images using you account (or maybe your IP/Personal Ubication) because i notice a big difference between the search position when i check it using my account and when i use anybody else computer...

« Reply #130 on: September 28, 2015, 09:37 »
+2
I just checked two of my images out of curiosity. First I checked for them with my IP, and then with "anonymizer".

First image:
more then 150.000 results
my IP: 8th place in "popular"
anonymizer: 13th place

second image:
100.000+ results
my IP: somewhere in the middle of  the second page
anonymizer: same

« Reply #131 on: September 28, 2015, 09:42 »
+3

Excellent post HalfFull - I think this is exactly what's happening.   "...there is a a cut off that slows sales down once a threshold is met" - that's what I see. Which brings me back to my original question - does SS decide how much to pay each of us and we're just getting a salary? It sure feels like that to me. What's the point of improving then and growing your portfolio? Motivation - down the toilet...
Time to move out of this business.

Amen, sister friend.  I've uploaded 511 images so far this year.  The quality of my images has improved better than anything I've uploaded through my career.  I have been focusing more on photos however, rather than illustrations, vectors, or raster graphics.  511 uploads is not my best performance, but I've been kind of discouraged with these earnings (so what's the point of killing myself to try and make a few more bucks per month?)  Some artists who are hustlers, as I used to be, can easily submit 100 new images every week.  I'm done killing myself for diminishing returns. 

Now is the time when microstock really is only pennies, per hour... at least from new work!  My motivation is gone as well.  Why?  I have no shame to share my actual earnings from newly approved uploads from this year, as they are almost laughable.  Here's what I've figured out: 

From those 511 new files approved, I have earned a whopping $1-something-per-hour (from time spent actually working) on Shutterstock alone, which is an agency that makes up 35-40% of my total income.  What is my motivation for staying in this business?  Back in 2008 if you uploaded 500 new images, you'd be earning $500 more collectively, per month.  Much different than today.  Yes, I can go out and grab a corporate dayjob to double my income right now.  I'd rather be poor and have no stress.  And yes, the newly approved images will earn more in the years to come... but not that much more, the way the files keep dumping in.  Market saturation is a bigger beast than any of us individually can control anymore. 

The "backbone of the company" statement I made was incredibly misunderstood.  Contributors as a whole are the backbone/product supplier, is all I meant.  That doesn't mean we still can't be under appreciated or jerked around by complicated back-end ranking or capping systems.  Maybe you guys are on to something.  I just know I'm done working for slave wages. 

What's my solution?  I'm moving over to one-time-commission-work and freelancing, with stock as a solid transitional back-burner income.  I can't apply for unemployment, being self-employed, so whatever trickles in from stock residual earnings is as best as I'll get.   Time to start making the transition because for me, the 10 year full-time income run is now beginning to show the ugly signs that it's soon over.  This year I should make about 50% of the income I made at my highest yielding year. 

Business sense tells me - I'm beating a dead horse.  It just isn't going to magically wake up.  It's time for me to move on, and I think it's been a long time coming.  No more paralysis of analysis for me.  Time for me to wake up and smell the coffee... because someone has to pay my bills.  I'll always love stock and continue contributing whenever I have spare time, if I feel like making slave wages in my spare time. But other than that, it's not the most lucrative choice for me anymore.  For other artists, they may be seeing different results.  I wish them the best in the road ahead :D  It's not going to get any easier.  Prepare yourself for it.  Change sucks - but it is inevitable in this life. 

Do I blame these changes on the agencies?  No, I don't see how we can do that.  I don't see how I could begin to blame any agency.  They're in the same boat.  Do you blame the grocery store when there is a chicken bird flu, and eggs are now $4 per dozen?  The suppliers get the blame, not the middlemen.  In our case, we can't control the fact that our market is being saturated at a rate that no one can slow down. 

Elena - on the other side of the coin, is this.  How many people do you know that can get regular raises every year at their dayjobs?  Not many... usually they are few and far between.  If you can still do what you do and enjoy the freedom and extra time that self-employment awards you, and still at least MAINTAIN your current income, then it's not as bad as it seems.  I still don't think it makes sense for me, to work any harder just to keep having my income decline.  My income will be down another 5 figures this year, over last... for the second year in a row.  I personally don't think I can keep up with how quickly the rock is sinking.  If things level out by year-end, then perhaps I'll change my mind... but I seriously doubt it will.  Even if I edit and submit another 1000 images from my hard drive before year's end. 
« Last Edit: October 02, 2015, 11:32 by ArenaCreative »

« Reply #132 on: September 28, 2015, 09:43 »
+2
I just checked two of my images out of curiosity. First I checked for them with my IP, and then with "anonymizer".

First image:
more then 150.000 results
my IP: 8th place in "popular"
anonymizer: 13th place

second image:
100.000+ results
my IP: somewhere in the middle of  the second page
anonymizer: same

Yes, this is another sad truth, they try to "motivate" us with this manipulation...

Search position rotation is a reality! Images position changes according with IPs, i think that the difference is bigger if you check from another country.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2015, 09:52 by Mrblues101 »

« Reply #133 on: September 28, 2015, 10:58 »
+1
I Create a single method to evaluate search position rotation, see the next post:
http://www.microstockgroup.com/index.php?topic=25898.0

« Reply #134 on: September 29, 2015, 19:49 »
0
I just checked two of my images out of curiosity. First I checked for them with my IP, and then with "anonymizer".

First image:
more then 150.000 results
my IP: 8th place in "popular"
anonymizer: 13th place

second image:
100.000+ results
my IP: somewhere in the middle of  the second page
anonymizer: same

Yes, this is another sad truth, they try to "motivate" us with this manipulation...

Search position rotation is a reality! Images position changes according with IPs, i think that the difference is bigger if you check from another country.

Mine don't change. Maybe a new group will enter and be positioned ahead and in a couple weeks they fall off and I'm back where I was. I see the good days as unusual and the low days as normal. Why should I find something wrong with getting a better then usual day? It's not a cap, it's a bonus. Then back to normal.

« Reply #135 on: September 30, 2015, 03:26 »
0
Why working out methods and why bother at all?  if there is such a thing as a cap or whatever it is. It's perfectly legit and above board anyway.

« Reply #136 on: September 30, 2015, 04:48 »
+2
I think, it's more a cap on daily exposure than on daily earnings. Sales are coming in batches in a short interval of time and then they stop. If some buyers are searching for the kind of images I have when the "window" is open than I'm lucky, if not,......

« Reply #137 on: September 30, 2015, 08:41 »
0
I think, it's more a cap on daily exposure than on daily earnings. Sales are coming in batches in a short interval of time and then they stop. If some buyers are searching for the kind of images I have when the "window" is open than I'm lucky, if not,......

Maybe... but finally daily exposure on search engine is direct proportional to daily earning...

« Reply #138 on: September 30, 2015, 08:55 »
0
I suspect one of the biggest influencers these past two years has been the exchange rate between US and Europe.

In 2014 the Euro was worth 1.3 to 1.4 USD but is now down to around 1.1 USD

In 2014 the Pound was worth 1.6 to 1.7 USD but is now down to around 1.55 USD

Anyway, the cheese moved back in 2013

« Reply #139 on: September 30, 2015, 09:13 »
+3
After reading more and more of this conspiracy theories I have to state my opinion:


I have worked in Law Enforcement for several years. One thing you learn with experience is when something "smells suspicious" and when it doesn't'. A good rule of thumb is to think like the person who you suspect. Think what would his motivation be of doing this "crime" and is there any motivation at all. In this case the suspect is Shutterstock. Does Shutterstock have anything to win on putting a daily cap on peoples earnings? If they had would the win be worth the time of making an advanced algorithm to put a daily cap on peoples earnings? In my opinion. No. No. And no!

The aim of Shutterstock to make as much profit of their portfolio of images as possible. I believe the approach of Shutterstock is to let the search algorithm do the work based on customer behavior whereas Stocksy for example has a more curated approach. I'm pretty sure the Shutterstock search algorithm is prioritizing images based on popularity of images and that the search is differentiated based on location.

And let's say that evil Shutterstock did but a cap on your earnings - there would be nothing you could do about it.

My point is: Stop worrying about conspiracies. Shoot more pictures.  ;)
« Last Edit: September 30, 2015, 09:16 by ammentorp »

« Reply #140 on: September 30, 2015, 11:14 »
+3
Shutterstocks bottom line is more profit. It makes more sense from the company perspective to have fresh new diverse content. You get more diverse content by spreading the wealth to more contributors to keep them motivated to keep uploading. As many others stated before me, some sort of capping makes a lot of sense to me and doesn't seem like a conspiracy theory at all. I am just curious on how much of that is going around which we will never find out.

As far as the search positions go, I would like to know how many of you guys are actual buyers of images. I buy from time to time and I usually stop searching around page 10 or so. So if anything, the real search placement you would need to check is from pages 5-10 and not pages 1-3.

« Reply #141 on: September 30, 2015, 11:18 »
0
I am just curious on how much of that is going around which we will never find out.
It's extremely easy to find out the answer and the fact that no one has shown it to be the case casts a lot of doubt on the theory.


« Reply #142 on: September 30, 2015, 11:35 »
+2
After reading more and more of this conspiracy theories I have to state my opinion:


I have worked in Law Enforcement for several years. One thing you learn with experience is when something "smells suspicious" and when it doesn't'. A good rule of thumb is to think like the person who you suspect. Think what would his motivation be of doing this "crime" and is there any motivation at all. In this case the suspect is Shutterstock. Does Shutterstock have anything to win on putting a daily cap on peoples earnings? If they had would the win be worth the time of making an advanced algorithm to put a daily cap on peoples earnings? In my opinion. No. No. And no!

The aim of Shutterstock to make as much profit of their portfolio of images as possible. I believe the approach of Shutterstock is to let the search algorithm do the work based on customer behavior whereas Stocksy for example has a more curated approach. I'm pretty sure the Shutterstock search algorithm is prioritizing images based on popularity of images and that the search is differentiated based on location.

And let's say that evil Shutterstock did but a cap on your earnings - there would be nothing you could do about it.

My point is: Stop worrying about conspiracies. Shoot more pictures.  ;)


it doesn't really work like that in the photo-agency business. SS, whats their company assets?.... picture of course. They are in the business of selling pictures, the more the better. By keeping the majority of contributors "happy"  they will forever upload more and more and soon some 60 million assets will turn into 70 million assets. The share-holders are extremely impressed with this.

Of course what they don't think about is that all these assets belong to the photographers but we have allowed SS to market and sell them on our behalf since they can do that a heck of a lot better then we can.

Its business all the way. :)

« Reply #143 on: September 30, 2015, 12:10 »
0
After reading more and more of this conspiracy theories I have to state my opinion:


I have worked in Law Enforcement for several years. One thing you learn with experience is when something "smells suspicious" and when it doesn't'. A good rule of thumb is to think like the person who you suspect. Think what would his motivation be of doing this "crime" ...blah blah blah

My point is: Stop worrying about conspiracies. Shoot more pictures.  ;)

LMAOFTTF yes, we all know how efficient and effective the LE rule of thumb works.
that's why we have all those criminals and pushers all locked up in gaol
and only honest politicians and cops are running the land and protecting us good ppl
...
excuse me while i laugh and forget about conspiracies
;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

« Reply #144 on: September 30, 2015, 13:14 »
+1
My point is: Stop worrying about conspiracies. Shoot more pictures.  ;)
If I could have your portfolio I wouldn't worry either. Nice work!
With or without Law Enforcement experience, I also agree with this:

I'm pretty sure the Shutterstock search algorithm is prioritizing images based on popularity of images and that the search is differentiated based on location.

And let's say that evil Shutterstock did but a cap on your earnings - there would be nothing you could do about it.

« Reply #145 on: September 30, 2015, 13:16 »
+2
I am just curious on how much of that is going around which we will never find out.
It's extremely easy to find out the answer and the fact that no one has shown it to be the case casts a lot of doubt on the theory.

Extremely easy huh? like 1+1 easy? No wonder you get very little support in here with these type of remarks.

If its so easy, how come none of us have any clue on the type of variables that go into the search algorithm. You can program so many variables into this search algorithm, its almost impossible to figure it out without direct access. It can be 99% generic and that 1% or 1 line of code is all thats needed to have major bottom line profit margins for the company. Bunch of naive people up in here.

« Reply #146 on: September 30, 2015, 13:22 »
+2
I am just curious on how much of that is going around which we will never find out.
It's extremely easy to find out the answer and the fact that no one has shown it to be the case casts a lot of doubt on the theory.

Extremely easy huh? like 1+1 easy? No wonder you get very little support in here with these type of remarks.

If its so easy, how come none of us have any clue on the type of variables that go into the search algorithm. You can program so many variables into this search algorithm, its almost impossible to figure it out without direct access. It can be 99% generic and that 1% or 1 line of code is all thats needed to have major bottom line profit margins for the company. Bunch of naive people up in here.
You don't need to know anything about the coding.  The conspiracy theory is that once you reach a certain amount of sales in a month or get a good day of sales your images are moved lower in the search so you stop getting sales.  If that's the case then your images will drastically and quickly move down the search and back up again at the beginning of next month right?  How hard is that to track?  So in answer to your question it's about as easy as 1+1.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2015, 13:27 by tickstock »

Hongover

« Reply #147 on: September 30, 2015, 18:53 »
0
Except that images move up and down based on download volume, not manipulation. When are people going to accept that?

I've seen some of my images make its way to the top and it stays at the top. It go down or up a few places on occasion, but that only means other images have more downloads then mine or vise versa. It has nothing to do with SS "spreading the wealth".

I've been keeping track of some of my images for months, almost every day. Change isn't drastic, it's incremental.

Do a search for "Pets". Our fellow resident's pic is still at #3, like it was a few months ago.

« Reply #148 on: September 30, 2015, 19:55 »
+2


it doesn't really work like that in the photo-agency business. SS, whats their company assets?.... picture of course. They are in the business of selling pictures, the more the better. By keeping the majority of contributors "happy"  they will forever upload more and more and soon some 60 million assets will turn into 70 million assets. The share-holders are extremely impressed with this.

Of course what they don't think about is that all these assets belong to the photographers but we have allowed SS to market and sell them on our behalf since they can do that a heck of a lot better then we can.

Its business all the way. :)

Shutterstock is in the business of selling Subscriptions and other plans - not selling pictures. There is no real incentive to have more images downloaded unless they can get more buyers to purchase more Subscription Plans.

« Reply #149 on: October 01, 2015, 00:08 »
+4
Except that images move up and down based on download volume, not manipulation. When are people going to accept that?

I've seen some of my images make its way to the top and it stays at the top. It go down or up a few places on occasion, but that only means other images have more downloads then mine or vise versa. It has nothing to do with SS "spreading the wealth".

I've been keeping track of some of my images for months, almost every day. Change isn't drastic, it's incremental.

Do a search for "Pets". Our fellow resident's pic is still at #3, like it was a few months ago.

until it isn't - like when my best seller went from the #3 spot where it had been + - maybe 10 spots for a few years to I couldn't find it (at least page 25) overnight and not surprisingly the sales dried up too.


 

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