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Author Topic: How are things at SS  (Read 5985 times)

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« on: May 20, 2008, 07:36 »
if you visited SS forum you must have come across a thread about declining sales.is that a general trend or a seasonal thing do you thing IS's subs plan has something to do with it.

until this month I didn't notice a significant drop in my sales but this month (especially for the past week)things started to  really slow down.may be just ebb and flow I don't know?but one thing for sure sşnce the beginning of  may I have a declining trend  all over the sites.

« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2008, 07:46 »
SS sub model + their search algorithm means

more approved photos = more money for SS
more new photographers = more money for SS (especially if they stay under payout)

the fact that the "dilution effect" is rewarding for SS is not really good for long time earning potential of the contributors.

From what I read SS is not the no1 earner for the big players (anymore). For me it's equal no1 in earning. However SS does not grow anymore. I have stable earning ... and I upload about 5-10 photos a week.

Just my 2ct



« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2008, 07:48 »
I have noticed a slight drop on SS this month.  In the beginning of the month I put it down to European holidays.  Things improved but not quite to last months sales levels. 

I hear people talking about the summer slowdown, but in my experience (3 years) that never starts until June.  I think you are right that istock's coming subscription plan may be taking a bit of the wind out of SS's sales. 

We will have to see what happens after istocks plan goes live before we can know for sure. 

I understand about the dilution effect, but since April was my BME on SS by a pretty wide margin, I don't think that is the likely reason for the drop this month.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2008, 07:50 by lisafx »

« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2008, 08:08 »
i can't say i have seen any significant drop - perhaps rather a rise.

I think it is just ebb and flow so far.  As soon as sales drop or rise a little people seem to get excited and predict the end of one site and the success of another.

Until there are REALLY drastic changes in earnings I don't think we can make much for conclusions.  The earnings rating from last month seems to have everyone sitting in about the same spot - with istock actually a little down compared to shutterstock.

Nonetheless it will be interesting to see how istock subcriptions play out (once they get started) in relation to shutterstock.

« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2008, 08:22 »
For about three weeks my sales were way down, but this past week they're closer to normal. And now that I've said that, I'm sure my sales will tank for the rest of the week. :)

« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2008, 09:03 »
may is about 40% slower than april. uploading every week about 30 new images, as always. In april I got 550$, in may i dont know if I will reach 300$. Dont think so.

« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2008, 09:58 »
In general, May slow. But yesterday I had a BDE at SS. Go figure.


« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2008, 11:17 »
In the SS forums, Jon popped into the "Sales Suck!" thread that Laurin Rinder started - and changed the title to "Sales". He said he'd changed it as SS had sold more images last month than ever before.

This month SS is in 4th place in my earnings tally - it's generally been #1 in the last year or so (with one or two months where Fotolia took the crown, and last month IS took back the top spot).

« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2008, 11:21 »
SS is currently in first position for me earning 2x what the next best site earns (either dreamstime or fotolia.. depending on the week)


« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2008, 11:52 »
In the SS forums, Jon popped into the "Sales Suck!" thread that Laurin Rinder started - and changed the title to "Sales". He said he'd changed it as SS had sold more images last month than ever before.

This month SS is in 4th place in my earnings tally - it's generally been #1 in the last year or so (with one or two months where Fotolia took the crown, and last month IS took back the top spot).
Too funny, Jonny boy worded that one very carefully. What if the thread had been titled "downloads suck"?! Sales are great for them, but just because they sell more subscriptions, doesn't mean those sales convert to downloads for us.  In fact it's better for them if they get more sales and we get less downloads.

« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2008, 12:17 »
I can't find that thread at SS, but it seems to me that Jon's remarks simply confirm what many people have been saying in that downloads for individual contributors are not as important to SS than overall sales; it's all very well announcing record sales but when those sales are split between 102,000 contributors instead of 54,000 a year ago it indicates that SS can flourish while contributors suffer.

Last year fintastique used to track the growth of each agency and I recall that SS, IS, DT and FT were almost always in the 18,000 to 22,000 new images a week range; a week at 28,000 produced gasps.  Now SS is accepting 52,000 a week that's two and a half times last year's levels.  Have customers increased by 250% over the same period?  Anything is possible, but I suspect the answer is no.

Call me cynical if you like, but if it is true that SS wants to increase profits by dilution we should expect them to increase the minimum payout - such a move would confirm the strategy of taking on thousands of small players in the hope that payouts are never made.

« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2008, 12:26 »
Sales are better than ever for me at SS...you have to keep uploading!

« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2008, 12:36 »
Hatman - it is already happening. No raise for lowest tier means you just cut off MOST of contributors. Because they alltogether have much more photos then highest tier photographers. So they earn SS most of the money and are paid lowest commision = great business for SS. All this "commision raise" was very well calculated and planned together with raise of subscription prices. It means SS is now earning significantly more then before. If anyone thinks they were hardly hit by buyers leaving because of higher subscription price, he/she must be pretty naive. Such business decisions are perfectly planned and thinked out and all those "tears" by SS staff are just excuses and "political talk", nothing else. They off course dont want us to see background of this changes and real results for SS.

« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2008, 13:31 »
More for them, less for you.

My sales suck!

« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2008, 14:17 »
I still firmly stand on the opinion that the main reasons why Shutterstock earnings are falling are:
- Shutterstock hasn't changed crap for years now (sticking to their becoming-obsolete subscription model when everyone else is evolving in a complex mixture of either credits AND subs or "subbed" credits; not marketing enough, not responding to competition advances, last but not least not upgrading their brand),
- the quality standards have CONSIDERABLY degraded,
- and consequently the flood of new images does not have only a quantitative effect (dilluting database) but also a qualitative turn-off for buyers.

There are wider economical considerations to be taken into account, but this is mainly a Shutterstock related issue. I would not pick excuses outside the house.


« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2008, 14:38 »
I'm about 20% up on April which has been BME (still pretty new, so don't know how representative my stats are), even though I barely uploaded any files (preparing a big batch). One thing that I did notice is that I'm gettin very few USA downloads compared to last month. Anyone else seeing this?

« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2008, 16:01 »
I can tell you that my referral earnings (from an ever increasing list of referred members) keep getting better and better... My earnings from photo sales are about 30% down... So, SS is making lots of money and we are not... It was to be expected.  It is "their" business and they care for "their" earnings...  I can even wonder if the search engine is not biased to show first works from low earners and new members... We have to face it, it is a classic us vs them in the long run.

« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2008, 16:39 »
Didn't anyone notice that Jon's statement said that "last month" was their best month ever.  It was also my best month there ever as well.

But May is on track to be my worst in months.  Isn't everyone in that SS thread complaining about May - not April?

When exactly did new sub rates kick in?   Did buyers load up on plans before the new prices kicked in?

« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2008, 18:57 »
Sales at SS have not changed for me they are right on track for the usual May sales cycle. For me they are up about 20% from last year.

I think some of the submitters who routinely get into the top 50 may be feeling a drop because of the people who latch onto and clone their most downloaded images.  It is a shame that they can not profit from those images themselves without others dragging the downloads under with hundreds of knock offs.

« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2008, 19:49 »
I've seen a drop in sales for most of this month, though yesterday sales have jumped back up again. I'm not sure whether this is just a random spike, but I'm hoping it's going to carry through to the end of the month.

It's a bit early yet to tell whether the changes from the 14th are going to make a major difference.

« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2008, 08:15 »
for quite long time SS was my second best earner after IS but this month they already drooped to third place and StockXpert is just behind them.it has been a good month on FT ,which  took over second place from SS.


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