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Author Topic: Changes to the Referral program  (Read 12930 times)

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EmberMike

« on: February 05, 2013, 10:20 »
+1
Just got this email:

Quote
To start, we're going to raise payouts from $0.03 to $0.04 cents per referred download. Were also going to update the term so that payouts will be earned for the first two years that a referred contributor is active on our site. These changes will become effective as of February 28, 2013 and will affect contributors you have referred in the past, as well as those you refer in the future. There will be no changes to the footage referral program at this time.

Sounds like a downgrade rather than an upgrade. It's more money in the short term, but our referral earnings get cut off after 2 years.

Not cool, SS. This is a pay cut for those who have produced lots of referrals or have referred high-value artists who produce lots of sales volume.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 10:32 by EmberMike »


« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2013, 10:26 »
0
Interesting. It's hard to tell when someone was referred, so I don't know how this will affect me right away. I figured this would eventually happen though.

« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2013, 10:29 »
+1
I agree with Ember Mike, not nice from SS. I would have prefered the old version of referral program.

EmberMike

« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2013, 10:31 »
0

I get $10-$12 per day in referral earnings. I suspect there will be no grace period for the 2/28 date this change becomes effective, so as of that day I'm down $10-$12 per day. Thanks, SS.

Really curious about how the big-time referrers feel about this, guys like Lee.

« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2013, 10:35 »
+13
not good, a gentle reminder for you not to trust any agency too much.

« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2013, 10:37 »
+3
I guess this will be a big blow to a small number of people. It doesn't make much difference to me but I won't bother with referral links any more.

« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2013, 10:47 »
0
With 200,000 downloads/day ( http://submit.shutterstock.com/forum/post-2423551.html ), this will bring SS some nice money,... which will be lost for plenty of people. I don't think this will be only a few isolated cases. I too will miss the old referral program and I just recommended a few people (but one of them is a really good one).

The problem is when people start with microstock, they do not have big portfolio, and after the time they will reach good sales - cut! No more referred downloads. So you won't get the share at times when it matters most.

« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2013, 10:51 »
0
Really curious about how the big-time referrers feel about this,
How I feel about this? Just imagine that your referrals generated 6,2% of all Shutterstock sales from the beginning of its history. Of course I'm happy!
Can anybody lend me a bottle of poison? ;D
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 10:53 by zastavkin »

« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2013, 10:53 »
+3
Quote
The goal of these changes is to bring a wider variety of new contributors and content to our site.

Can they just say it is about money?

EmberMike

« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2013, 10:54 »
+3
Quote
The goal of these changes is to bring a wider variety of new contributors and content to our site.

Can they just say it is about money?

Seriously. Is not about bringing in new contributors and content, it's about killing the referral program. Nothing else.

« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2013, 10:58 »
+7
OOooh, everyones fav microstock co. finaly took the first step showing what they too are about.

« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2013, 11:03 »
+3
To be honest, I'm surprised they didn't cut it a long time ago. The need to pay for luring new contributors in vanished long ago and with it the benefit to SS of such a programme.

« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2013, 11:05 »
+2
Considering it takes at least 2 years for anybody to build a reasonable portfolio to bring in income, no surprise that some money hungry CEO would take advantage of this. I CANNOT BELIEVE they are suddenly adding a time limit cap, what a huge stab in the back.


Referring contributers literally helped SS build their entire image collection. What a * huge backstabbing.

Microbius

« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2013, 11:16 »
+1
It also doesn't really effect me, but I too am disappointed to see the weasel words in the announcement.  "The goal of these changes is to bring a wider variety of new contributors and content to our site."

That's the kind of wording I'd expect from IStock

How about using a bit of that extra cash to give us a pay rise? there is such a thing as inflation!

EmberMike

« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2013, 11:25 »
+3
It also doesn't really effect me, but I too am disappointed to see the weasel words in the announcement.  "The goal of these changes is to bring a wider variety of new contributors and content to our site."

That's the kind of wording I'd expect from IStock...

Bingo.

I can take the financial hit. It stings, but I'll figure out how to make it up somehow. What is really disappointing is the way in which this is being communicated to us, with barely 3 weeks notice and using some very istock-like weasel wording.

RacePhoto

« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2013, 11:31 »
0
Interesting. It's hard to tell when someone was referred, so I don't know how this will affect me right away. I figured this would eventually happen though.

Earnings > Referred Contributors > it shows the year. Not the month. I'd agree that we only get a general view of when they went active.

Pretty soon it won't matter one bit to me. If the terms are, since they first went active, my only accepted referral will go dark next month. If it's from the date of the contract change, I might have another $4 in my future.

I feel bad for the people who worked hard for years to build a good referral list. Especially the person who referred me, because she was trying all over on many forums and encouraging people to join SS.

I guess this will be a big blow to a small number of people. It doesn't make much difference to me but I won't bother with referral links any more.

Removing mine right now.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 11:34 by RacePhoto »

« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2013, 11:35 »
0
I have 47 referred photographers. All of them joined 2010 and earlier.


« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2013, 11:37 »
0
Earnings > Referred Contributors > it shows the year. Not the month. I'd agree that we only get a general view of when they went active.

Ah, I see. It's on their profile. Thanks.

lisafx

« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2013, 11:45 »
+13
I get under $1 a day in referral earnings, so this won't really affect my income.  But it does give me a slightly uneasy feeling about what's coming next...

« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2013, 11:50 »
0
for what its worth-- I posted this on the iStock / Getty / Google D-Day (Deactivation Day) page

http://www.facebook.com/events/157094501107518/permalink/160265830790385/?notif_t=like

BUT my opinions here seam to fall on def ears, for some reason?

Just delet yout istock/getty/google acct. Put them down as a loss and move on. untill the next co. tries something similar. then we do the same to them.
 Thats the only way you can protect your IP and send a strong message, this diactivating crap is doing nothing. eventually, they all want to take our work and give it away for free. its obvious with the constant diminishing % we are given. and dont praise any microstock co. as being good and fair. shutterstock just changed the way we make $$ from refferals. in a bad way for us. i have been waiting for them to show there true colors. what do yo think they are going to do when say istock gos away. i will tell you they will be worse then istock. they are worse selling our stuff for a quarter--wake up ppl!!! we need to use these co. for ourselves. NOT them to use us for themselves! when a co. starts pushing us we move on. One thing you do not understand is that WE hold the power over them. WE are stronger and can push them around. but it has to be "WE" together that make the move/change.

RacePhoto

« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2013, 11:56 »
+4
I get under $1 a day in referral earnings, so this won't really affect my income.  But it does give me a slightly uneasy feeling about what's coming next...

EXACTLY! +1 and a ♥



« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2013, 11:58 »
+4
I get under $1 a day in referral earnings, so this won't really affect my income.  But it does give me a slightly uneasy feeling about what's coming next...

As others have said the need for the referral system probably disappeared long ago. The person that got my referral, from a cheeky post on the Fred Miranda forum, is still 'earning' about $100 per month from my sales __ over 8 years later.

I'm hoping that by reducing the referral system they can pay more out to contributors instead because they're the people that are actually doing the work and generating the content.

I wouldn't be surprised is this has something to do with a sudden rush of ex-exclusives from Istock uploading large portfolios and all attached to a 'referral'. There's no value in that to SS.

« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2013, 12:05 »
+1
I get under $1 a day in referral earnings, so this won't really affect my income.  But it does give me a slightly uneasy feeling about what's coming next...

As others have said the need for the referral system probably disappeared long ago. The person that got my referral, from a cheeky post on the Fred Miranda forum, is still 'earning' about $100 per month from my sales __ over 8 years later.

I'm hoping that by reducing the referral system they can pay more out to contributors instead because they're the people that are actually doing the work and generating the content.

I wouldn't be surprised is this has something to do with a sudden rush of ex-exclusives from Istock uploading large portfolios and all attached to a 'referral'. There's no value in that to SS.

If they wanted to end the referral system then they would stop all future referrals, not suddenly gouge us on our referral earnings. It's all about the profit, and if you think doing this will result in pay increases for contributors, then LOL.

« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2013, 12:08 »
+1

I'm hoping that by reducing the referral system they can pay more out to contributors instead because they're the people that are actually doing the work and generating the content.


i wish of that but ironically, that isn't where the trend of microstock is going. we have 1 or 2 agencies having almost 85% of the market and making all the decisions for us. less profit for happy contributors ? no such things.

Microbius

« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2013, 12:14 »
+3
Actually they probably had no choice but to change the referral structure, because of the large numbers of exclusives being referred to the site outstripping the growth in new buyers.

I would have preferred if they didn't bother with the 3-4c raise, put in the two year limit and raised contributor's rates instead.

It is crazy that referers have been earning in perpetuity from people they refered 5+ years ago.

« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2013, 12:16 »
0
.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2014, 22:28 by tickstock »

« Reply #26 on: February 05, 2013, 12:23 »
0
I'm hoping that by reducing the referral system they can pay more out to contributors instead because they're the people that are actually doing the work and generating the content.

I don't think it's fair to say referrers don't do any work. It can be a lot of work to run a well read blog or website. Plus, they bring in buyers, contributors and links. Those are things that grow sites like SS to the size they are today. That said, I think SS's referral program was pretty generous, so it isn't surprising to see it scaled back.


« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2013, 12:24 »
-2
Just unlike their facebook show them what it is like to loss a little something...make them go under 100K likes again . We have more control then you think. Harmless but powerful.

« Reply #28 on: February 05, 2013, 12:25 »
+2
Just unlike their facebook show them what it is like to loss a little something...make them go under 100K likes again . We have more control then you think. Harmless but powerful.

I tried commenting on the facebook page but it looks like comments need approval. How surprising.

« Reply #29 on: February 05, 2013, 12:41 »
-2
Just unlike their facebook show them what it is like to loss a little something...make them go under 100K likes again . We have more control then you think. Harmless but powerful.

Are you serious? Isn't that what 9-year olds do to express themselves?

« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2013, 12:53 »
-1
Just unlike their facebook show them what it is like to loss a little something...make them go under 100K likes again . We have more control then you think. Harmless but powerful.

Are you serious? Isn't that what 9-year olds do to express themselves?

lol :) you can't bring yourself to do it I understand your afraid :)

« Reply #31 on: February 05, 2013, 12:58 »
+1
.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2014, 22:28 by tickstock »

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #32 on: February 05, 2013, 13:12 »
0
I am now accepting offers for my wonderful domain (still unsure if I'll sell it, just considering):

http://www.microstockphoto.co.uk

Perfect for someone wishing to open a new agency or a personal portfolio in the UK.

(I had a list of all stock sites and used it mainly for referrals until yesterday, but I quickly converted it to a meta-search engine today after reading the news about the referral programme)


Poncke

« Reply #33 on: February 05, 2013, 13:34 »
0
I get under $1 a day in referral earnings, so this won't really affect my income.  But it does give me a slightly uneasy feeling about what's coming next...

EXACTLY! +1 and a ♥
Hear hear, hearts for all

« Reply #34 on: February 05, 2013, 13:42 »
+9
From Shutterstock's referral program page (emphasis added):

Quote
Make money by referring other photographers! If you sign up a photographer - that photographer will receive $0.25 on their photo downloads - and you will receive $0.03 on their downloads! You could make money by merely promoting the Shutterstock Submit Program! All you have to do is have them visit the link customized for your account below. A cookie will be stored on their computer so that they could sign up within 30 days - and you will still receive credit! As long as they continue to be a member, you will continue to make money off of their photos!

Basically they're now trying to reneg on their side of the contract in respect of past referrals.

If they want to do it for future referrals that's one thing - if you don't want to participate you can simply withdraw from the program by deleting links etc or not passing on information by word of mouth. For past referrals, there is simply no way of "unreferring" contributors. You've already performed your end of the bargain, now they're trying to back out theirs by cutting off payment.

Time to seek decent legal advice for those that have enough of an interest in this.

« Reply #35 on: February 05, 2013, 16:26 »
+1
With 200,000 downloads/day

saving them:
- 180k $ per month
- 2.16 Million $ per year


EmberMike

« Reply #36 on: February 05, 2013, 16:46 »
0
With 200,000 downloads/day

saving them:
- 180k $ per month
- 2.16 Million $ per year

Give us a penny raise on subs out of that 2 mill and it costs them $730,000. They keep the other mil and a half.

They still look good to investors, saving the company over a million dollars, and at the same time help us offset some the loss of referral earnings.

They could do even one better. Kill off the referral program completely. Forget $0.03 or $0.04 payouts. Just end it. Obviously that's the intent of this move anyway. They save even more money by not having to payout anything at all if the referral program doesn't exist. And they don't need the program, that's obvious. The review queue is nearly 2 weeks long. Clearly no shortage of new content there.

« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 16:53 by EmberMike »


« Reply #37 on: February 05, 2013, 17:04 »
0
pretty much I wasn't screwed this time but I feel like I was, agencies keep on disappointing and prove again they don't really care about the ones who submit or write blog posts bringing them more contributors

they can end it for me too, I don't have a single referral at SS but I would love to get something out of this, like many said a raise would be suitable

« Reply #38 on: February 05, 2013, 17:24 »
+1
And they don't need the program, that's obvious. The review queue is nearly 2 weeks long. Clearly no shortage of new content there.

And yet, their explanation is "The goal of these changes is to bring a wider variety of new contributors and content to our site."

I'm outraged because I spent lots of time bringing in new photographers for Shutterstock. Now they are completely cutting off my referral earnings, while continuing to sell those photographer's images. They didn't uphold their end of the agreement. It's a complete and total shaft.

« Reply #39 on: February 05, 2013, 17:29 »
+2
"The goal of these changes is to bring a wider variety of new contributors and content to our site."

what a joke, a few guys write this down and then show to Jon, what does he say? can anybody explain me their logic? why aren't agencies open and truth? even SS is playing with us

Poncke

« Reply #40 on: February 05, 2013, 17:32 »
+4
Its a first kick in the balls for everyone believing in SS. I dont have any referrals but I am as worried as the rest of you.

They raise you one cent, but take away dollars.

lisafx

« Reply #41 on: February 05, 2013, 17:33 »
0
Its a first kick in the balls for everyone believing in SS.

That's my reading of it too.

« Reply #42 on: February 05, 2013, 17:43 »
-1
I don't think that it's only coincidence that they have changed rules now - when many ex-exclusives  are heading to SS and many current SS contributors try to make them to use their referral link.

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #43 on: February 05, 2013, 18:08 »
+1
Not a big deal in terms of income loss (only have one referral), but I worry about the things to come.

« Reply #44 on: February 05, 2013, 18:43 »
+2
Its a first kick in the balls for everyone believing in SS.

That's my reading of it too.

Call me cynical but I have been expecting the worst for some time!  I really wish I could believe differently, but I have been kicked in the teeth too many times to miss the writing on the wall.

If we want to be treated fairly we will have to be prepared to make it happen for ourselves one way or the other!

Microstock Man

  • microstockman.com

« Reply #45 on: February 05, 2013, 18:47 »
+2
Not good. This will hurt a LOT of people.

Surely the least they could do is grandfather the existing referrals as lifetime, since that was the agreement in the first place.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #46 on: February 05, 2013, 19:02 »
+5
It was only a matter of time before they started looking to squeeze every extra penny of profit out of the company. 

The easiest place to start is wringing contributors dry like every other place else has. Begin with the low impact stuff like referrals. When that isn't enough, start taking benefits away. When that isn't enough, drop commissions and raise prices and say "but you make the same money". And on and on.

Deja Vu


Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #47 on: February 05, 2013, 19:03 »
+2
Didn't we agree to a CONTRACT stating we would earn referral revenues for a lifetime?

Can they just breach the contract?

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #48 on: February 05, 2013, 19:05 »
0
Contract? We don't need no stinking contract.

« Reply #49 on: February 05, 2013, 19:09 »
0
.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2014, 22:28 by tickstock »

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #50 on: February 05, 2013, 19:27 »
+1
Didn't we agree to a CONTRACT stating we would earn referral revenues for a lifetime?

Can they just breach the contract?
SHUTTERSTOCK RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY THESE TERMS AT ANY TIME AND TO NOTIFY YOU BY AN ANNOUNCEMENT ON YOUR LOGIN PAGE OF THE MODIFICATIONS. YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY ALL SUCH CHANGES. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH ANY OF THE CHANGES PLEASE REMOVE ALL OR THAT PORTION OF YOUR SUBMITTED CONTENT TO WHICH YOU DO NOT WISH THE CHANGES TO APPLY FROM THE SHUTTERSTOCK WEBSITE.

Okay. Fuck them.

« Reply #51 on: February 05, 2013, 21:06 »
+1
We do not really have "contracts" with the agencies. You agree to accept their conditions and they can change the terms and notify you of the changes. Then you have the choice to either leave the agency or accept the conditions. The word "contract" implies that both parties had some input into their mutual business arrangement, but that is not the case. It is a one-sided take it or leave it. A bit like renting a stall at the market to sell your stuff, if the landlord raises the rent you can either accept it (and the reduced profit) or quit and find a different market. But maybe the original market is still the best location for your products, so you put up with the higher rent.

« Reply #52 on: February 06, 2013, 06:13 »
0
For those that have a SS account, they can see this link, after they are logged:

http://submit.shutterstock.com/refinfo.mhtml

So, if it's like this, it cannot be done. Am I wrong, or what?
Of course, the link will change, probably, shortly.

Caz

« Reply #53 on: February 06, 2013, 07:10 »
0
I have to say I'm gutted. I haven't had anything for sale on Shutterstock for many years but was happily making $75 payouts from referral earnings alone on referrals from way back when. Same happened with Fotolia before their time limit too, referred contributors from the site's start up were making me some nice money for nothing while I've had nothing for sale on their site for more than 5 years. I guess people like me are why it doesn't make any business sense for them to continue. Bah  :(

« Reply #54 on: February 06, 2013, 07:18 »
+2
We do not really have "contracts" with the agencies. You agree to accept their conditions and they can change the terms and notify you of the changes. Then you have the choice to either leave the agency or accept the conditions. The word "contract" implies that both parties had some input into their mutual business arrangement, but that is not the case. It is a one-sided take it or leave it. A bit like renting a stall at the market to sell your stuff, if the landlord raises the rent you can either accept it (and the reduced profit) or quit and find a different market. But maybe the original market is still the best location for your products, so you put up with the higher rent.

No this is more like you renting out the stall, and the renter telling you they've changed the contract in a way that lets them keep the stall but stop paying you rent for it. There's nothing left to do on your side of the contract with respect to previously referred contributors, just SS deciding to cancel payment as previously agreed.

Many contracts are created in a way where a standard set of terms is drawn up by one party on a take-it-or-leave-it basis - that doesn't mean that the weaker bargaining party has no rights or that alteration clauses can be read so widely. As with most commercial transactions, there is a contract involved - how its going to be interpreted really depends on whether anyone is prepared to challenge what is being done.

« Reply #55 on: February 06, 2013, 16:49 »
0
Not cool to see my Yuri-referral earnings go :P :'(  Well but it was quite nice while it lasted   8)
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 17:01 by incarno »

« Reply #56 on: February 06, 2013, 17:46 »
+1
Not cool to see my Yuri-referral earnings go :P :'(  Well but it was quite nice while it lasted   8)

Dang! That would be nice. Maybe, they made this change because of you. Should we call it the "Incarno Rule" now?  ;D


Poncke

« Reply #57 on: February 06, 2013, 18:27 »
0
Quote
Hello everyone,

We apologize for any confusion.

The Referral Program page (http://submit.shutterstock.com/refinfo.mhtml) is for informational purposes only. It does not override Shutterstocks Submitter Terms of Service (TOS). The email sent yesterday is simply an advance notice of a pending change to our Submitter TOS.

When the referral program re-launches on February 28, you will receive $0.04c for every referred download for a period of 2 years after a contributor has been approved.

Here are examples of some of the changes:

* If you refer someone and that contributor is approved on March 1, 2013, you will receive referral earnings of $0.04c per download for that contributor's downloads for the next 2 years (until March 1, 2015).

* If you referred someone 12 months ago (January 1, 2012), you will begin earning $0.04c for each download beginning on February 28, 2013, and you will continue to earn this rate until January 1, 2014.

* If you referred someone 5 years ago, those referral payments will end on February 28, 2013, because the contributor was approved over 2 years ago.

We hope the examples above help clarify the upcoming changes. If there are more questions, we encourage you to write in to us at submit@shutterstock.com.

Sincerely,
Anthony Correia
Director, Contributor Success
Shutterstock|Bigstock

« Reply #58 on: February 06, 2013, 20:30 »
+1
Quote
Hello everyone,

We apologize for any confusion.

The Referral Program page (http://submit.shutterstock.com/refinfo.mhtml) is for informational purposes only. It does not override Shutterstocks Submitter Terms of Service (TOS). The email sent yesterday is simply an advance notice of a pending change to our Submitter TOS.

When the referral program re-launches on February 28, you will receive $0.04c for every referred download for a period of 2 years after a contributor has been approved.

Here are examples of some of the changes:

* If you refer someone and that contributor is approved on March 1, 2013, you will receive referral earnings of $0.04c per download for that contributor's downloads for the next 2 years (until March 1, 2015).

* If you referred someone 12 months ago (January 1, 2012), you will begin earning $0.04c for each download beginning on February 28, 2013, and you will continue to earn this rate until January 1, 2014.

* If you referred someone 5 years ago, those referral payments will end on February 28, 2013, because the contributor was approved over 2 years ago.

We hope the examples above help clarify the upcoming changes. If there are more questions, we encourage you to write in to us at submit@shutterstock.com.

Sincerely,
Anthony Correia
Director, Contributor Success
Shutterstock|Bigstock



Why . do they release a statement on the basis of "confusion"? Nobody here is confused. They're simply ignoring the outrage we're expressing. Typical corporate robot response..

RacePhoto

« Reply #59 on: February 07, 2013, 02:23 »
+2
I'm hoping that by reducing the referral system they can pay more out to contributors instead because they're the people that are actually doing the work and generating the content.
Ha, brilliant!  How much of a pay raise should we be expecting?

Easy one. Since they won't be paying that 3 cents or 4 cents anymore, why not give everyone at all levels a 2c raise.

Company wins, because they get 2c more (or 1 depending on what age you look at) And all of us get a 2c raise. Everyone wins, except the people who made good money on referrals. So the larger whole, more contributors, will profit more from their own work.

« Reply #60 on: February 07, 2013, 04:05 »
+3
I don't agree with what they are doing at all but if they are going to make cut backs I would rather it be on referrals where we are making money off other peoples' work than a cut in comissions on our own work.

Microbius

« Reply #61 on: February 07, 2013, 04:39 »
-1
I'm hoping that by reducing the referral system they can pay more out to contributors instead because they're the people that are actually doing the work and generating the content.
Ha, brilliant!  How much of a pay raise should we be expecting?

Easy one. Since they won't be paying that 3 cents or 4 cents anymore, why not give everyone at all levels a 2c raise.

Company wins, because they get 2c more (or 1 depending on what age you look at) And all of us get a 2c raise. Everyone wins, except the people who made good money on referrals. So the larger whole, more contributors, will profit more from their own work.

Honestly I don't think they will be making any more money because of these changes, I think it is to maintain their current profitability in light of the many Ex-Exclusives getting referred quicker than they can bring in new sales to compensate. But you are right, we are due a pay increase in any case.

« Reply #62 on: February 07, 2013, 05:57 »
0
Honestly I don't think they will be making any more money because of these changes, I think it is to maintain their current profitability in light of the many Ex-Exclusives getting referred quicker than they can bring in new sales to compensate.

Sorry, but I don't think this is correct. For profitability it doesn't matter if the new guys are selling anything or not, the referral payments are paid just from the actual sales. No sales, no payments to referrals.

« Reply #63 on: February 07, 2013, 07:30 »
0
Honestly I don't think they will be making any more money because of these changes, I think it is to maintain their current profitability in light of the many Ex-Exclusives getting referred quicker than they can bring in new sales to compensate.

Sorry, but I don't think this is correct. For profitability it doesn't matter if the new guys are selling anything or not, the referral payments are paid just from the actual sales. No sales, no payments to referrals.

agreed.  It doesn't cost them any more to have more contributors.  Their referral program costs are always going to stay in proportion to sales.

« Reply #64 on: February 07, 2013, 08:49 »
0
Honestly I don't think they will be making any more money because of these changes, I think it is to maintain their current profitability in light of the many Ex-Exclusives getting referred quicker than they can bring in new sales to compensate.

Sorry, but I don't think this is correct. For profitability it doesn't matter if the new guys are selling anything or not, the referral payments are paid just from the actual sales. No sales, no payments to referrals.

agreed.  It doesn't cost them any more to have more contributors.  Their referral program costs are always going to stay in proportion to sales.

There's one more variable to factor in: The relation of people signing up via a referral link to those signing up without referral.

Assuming now many ex-exclusives coming in, and due to intensiv discussions on various boards most of them via a referral link (maybe more than average), and further assuming many of those have big portfolios with high sales potential, it may lead to higher referral costs.

Just guessing here, but I am sure SS has all the data to make some good predictions here.

RacePhoto

« Reply #65 on: February 08, 2013, 00:05 »
+1
Here's an easy prediction, SS will make 3 cents more per download for everyone who joined in February 2011 and before. Every single sale from all the big time collections, will now be 3 cents more profitable. Every new member jumping over from IS will cost them 4 cents for two years, but their revenue from more high quality images, will also increase!

Please Microbius, think about this. 2011 Shutterstock generated revenues of $120.3 million, up 45.0% on the year, and you say it's not going to make any more money? What's 3 percent of 120 million? That's what they will make starting in Feb. Hint: 3.6 million dollars!


Honestly I don't think they will be making any more money because of these changes, I think it is to maintain their current profitability in light of the many Ex-Exclusives getting referred quicker than they can bring in new sales to compensate.

Sorry, but I don't think this is correct. For profitability it doesn't matter if the new guys are selling anything or not, the referral payments are paid just from the actual sales. No sales, no payments to referrals.

agreed.  It doesn't cost them any more to have more contributors.  Their referral program costs are always going to stay in proportion to sales.

There's one more variable to factor in: The relation of people signing up via a referral link to those signing up without referral.

Assuming now many ex-exclusives coming in, and due to intensiv discussions on various boards most of them via a referral link (maybe more than average), and further assuming many of those have big portfolios with high sales potential, it may lead to higher referral costs.

Just guessing here, but I am sure SS has all the data to make some good predictions here.

« Reply #66 on: February 08, 2013, 11:26 »
+1
Walmart made profits of $15.7 billion last year and pay their workers minimum wage. History repeats itself people. No reason to expect Shutterstock to treat us like anything other than cheap employees.


« Reply #67 on: February 26, 2013, 17:19 »
-3
Still no response to our emails, forum posts, or Buzz responses.

Welcome to Shutterstock, a company that screws over contributors and completely ignores you.

« Reply #68 on: February 26, 2013, 17:46 »
+2
Still no response to our emails, forum posts, or Buzz responses.

Welcome to Shutterstock, a company that screws over contributors and completely ignores you.

What response would have made you happy? It's not like they were going to change their mind. They can try to smooth it over with words, but it would still be the same deal in the end.

« Reply #69 on: February 28, 2013, 10:05 »
0
Quote
To start, we're going to raise payouts from $0.03 to $0.04 cents per referred download.  ... . These changes will become effective as of February 28, 2013 ....

At least that part hasn't happened yet. It's Feb 28, and all referred downloads are still reported with $0,03 each...

EmberMike

« Reply #70 on: February 28, 2013, 10:43 »
0
Stings a little extra to have my BDE for referral earnings ($18.15) just 2 days ago, right before this all comes to an end.

Farewell, referral earnings... it was good while it lasted.

 :-[
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 10:46 by EmberMike »

« Reply #71 on: February 28, 2013, 10:49 »
0
Stings a little extra to have my BDE for referral earnings ($18.15) just 2 days ago, right before this all comes to an end.

Farewell, referral earnings... it was good while it lasted.

 :-[

I'm hoping it's not too bad and that some of my earners are under the 2 years.

« Reply #72 on: February 28, 2013, 11:11 »
+2
I do wonder whether their right to change the terms gives them the right to abandon the lifetime guarantee that they gave.  Surely that promise explicitly ring-fenced the arrangement against the "we can do what we like" clause? It may have been an unwise promise but trying to unsay it years later strikes me as rather dodgy.

« Reply #73 on: February 28, 2013, 11:28 »
+2
I do wonder whether their right to change the terms gives them the right to abandon the lifetime guarantee that they gave.  Surely that promise explicitly ring-fenced the arrangement against the "we can do what we like" clause? It may have been an unwise promise but trying to unsay it years later strikes me as rather dodgy.

I'd agree. If anyone took them to court over lost referral earnings I can't imagine that any judge would find in SS's favour.

« Reply #74 on: February 28, 2013, 12:17 »
0
I do wonder whether their right to change the terms gives them the right to abandon the lifetime guarantee that they gave.  Surely that promise explicitly ring-fenced the arrangement against the "we can do what we like" clause? It may have been an unwise promise but trying to unsay it years later strikes me as rather dodgy.

I am sure there is a fine print somewhere that referral program terms are subject to change; just as all our "agreements" with stock agencies. And since the position of SS is very strong right now, they don't really need a super-attractive referral program - just look to the right at the "Earnings Ratings" in microstock poll results, those numbers alone would attract new contributors. So I am not surprised they changed the terms; and I am actually impressed they balanced the change with a 25% increase of short-term referral payments.  Of course it would be nice if you could refer a few high-selling photogs and collect money for the rest of your life:) alas, this would be just too good to be true.

« Reply #75 on: February 28, 2013, 12:24 »
+1
I am actually impressed they balanced the change with a 25% increase of short-term referral payments.

sorry but there isn't anything to be surprised about, they pull that out to trick really tiny brains, they are saving 2 Million per year so a 1 cent more its irrelevant, far from a surprise but a cheap move

I would be surprised if they raised us (that I would), its not a cent in referrals for 2 years that will make us go crazy

p.s: I have no referrals
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 12:30 by luissantos84 »

« Reply #76 on: February 28, 2013, 13:25 »
0
I am actually impressed they balanced the change with a 25% increase of short-term referral payments.

sorry but there isn't anything to be surprised about, they pull that out to trick really tiny brains, they are saving 2 Million per year so a 1 cent more its irrelevant, far from a surprise but a cheap move

I would be surprised if they raised us (that I would), its not a cent in referrals for 2 years that will make us go crazy

p.s: I have no referrals

Luis, I agree they will save a lot of money this way; however, they could have changed the referral program and NOT offer an increase. And someone who continuously and actively providing referrals for them will make some money out of it, just not people who done some referral work five years ago and stopped since.
Plus, if they direct the saved money into more advertising, everyone could win.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 13:29 by Elenathewise »


« Reply #77 on: February 28, 2013, 13:31 »
+2
Walmart made profits of $15.7 billion last year and pay their workers minimum wage. History repeats itself people. No reason to expect Shutterstock to treat us like anything other than cheap employees.

If you expect to be treated like trash and you put up with it, they you can also expect that not to change.

We teach people how to treat us in large part by showing them what we are willing to put up with.

« Reply #78 on: February 28, 2013, 13:40 »
+2
Plus, if they direct the saved money into more advertising, everyone could win.

I don't know their plans

EmberMike

« Reply #79 on: February 28, 2013, 13:55 »
+5
...I am actually impressed they balanced the change with a 25% increase of short-term referral payments...

It's an empty gesture. An increase limited to 2 years means that in most cases, the referrer won't start to earn any significant amount. Just when a new contributor is starting to build up a portfolio that earns, the referral period will be over.


« Reply #80 on: March 02, 2013, 03:38 »
+1
I do wonder whether their right to change the terms gives them the right to abandon the lifetime guarantee that they gave.  Surely that promise explicitly ring-fenced the arrangement against the "we can do what we like" clause? It may have been an unwise promise but trying to unsay it years later strikes me as rather dodgy.

I am sure there is a fine print somewhere that referral program terms are subject to change; just as all our "agreements" with stock agencies.

My point is that while they can obviously change the terms for new referrals, I have doubts about whether they can cancel a promise they made that clearly stated it was irrevocable. Fortunately, it doesn't affect me but I can imagine that whoever referred Yuri is going hotfoot to a lawyer.

« Reply #81 on: March 05, 2013, 08:49 »
+1
as it takes at least 2 years for a new contributor to have a successful portofolio, why will I refer newbies in future ?... Thanks SS, I won't loose anytime to refer someone.
What's next ?

EmberMike

« Reply #82 on: March 05, 2013, 10:13 »
+2
as it takes at least 2 years for a new contributor to have a successful portofolio, why will I refer newbies in future ?...

You won't, and neither will I. This effectively kills off the referral program.

I can understand the cost-savings incentive to cut the referral program. I wish they had just done exactly that and were clear about their intentions. Instead we got this empty gesture of offering a "raise" to $0.04 with a 2-year cap on earnings. It's very istock-like, calling a paycut a raise.

Maybe I'm wrong and they really do expect people to continue referring contributors under this new program. I just don't see how anyone will be motivated to go through the effort to get a cut of the weakest 2 years of a contributor's earnings. If you get anything at all. Remember some folks sign up and then take quite a while to upload anything. I had a great referral, the guy got 500 DLs per day. But he didn't start out like that. It took a long time to get to the point of seeing any significant income.

« Reply #83 on: March 05, 2013, 10:16 »
+1
Still no response to our emails, forum posts, or Buzz responses.

Welcome to Shutterstock, a company that screws over contributors and completely ignores you.

Shutterstock ? Welcome to the world of stock photography my dear.

« Reply #84 on: March 05, 2013, 12:30 »
0
I do wonder whether their right to change the terms gives them the right to abandon the lifetime guarantee that they gave.  Surely that promise explicitly ring-fenced the arrangement against the "we can do what we like" clause? It may have been an unwise promise but trying to unsay it years later strikes me as rather dodgy.

I am sure there is a fine print somewhere that referral program terms are subject to change; just as all our "agreements" with stock agencies.

My point is that while they can obviously change the terms for new referrals, I have doubts about whether they can cancel a promise they made that clearly stated it was irrevocable. Fortunately, it doesn't affect me but I can imagine that whoever referred Yuri is going hotfoot to a lawyer.

What amazes me most about this was the extremely short notice period for such a profound change in the terms. Referrals from over 5 years ago (like my own) have gone to earning $100's per month ... to zero ... in just 3 weeks.

Some folk might have been investing their time and money to gain referrals, right up to the begining of February, only to find that the terms that they had based their investment decisions on, have changed almost overnight.


 

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