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Author Topic: Missed minimum payout for the first time in 8 years  (Read 7905 times)

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« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2020, 13:43 »
+4
From the "your mileage may vary" file:

Somehow despite the SS changes (because of?) I have been making more -- compared to 2018 and 2019 -- each month since May. Yes I'm getting a lot of .10 subs but I'm also seeing many more than 1.00 each. Have they also messed with search around the time of the royalty shift?

I had taken a wait and see approach and so far I'm glad I did. Of course, come January if I see a huge drop like we are all expecting i may still stop uploading or even yank the port.

(FWIW I've been at this 10+ years, have a five figure port and a four figure monthly income at SS.)

Some people, like you, are doing better. Some are doing worse, like me. But the people I've heard from, that I trust, like you, and who had high quality collections, and made money, are all doing the same or better. This is during a terrible business downturn.

So the impression and conclusion, shouting and protests, that "everyone" is making less, is not supported. Plus, while I'm not a SS agent, employee or secret paid forum disinformation specialist (as sometimes is claimed if anyone says anything reasonable), and I'm NOT defending the 10c minimum download promise. Just that the facts and flow of angry posts, are not supported by actual data of what's going on.

I'm pretty much getting, in round numbers, 30% of what I used to on SS. I don't have a premium collection or top material for Microstock. I'm getting what I deserve. No I'm not uploading and yes I'm disappointed and find no motivation to add anything new.


Well fair enough but I have got to know quite a few of very big contributors over my 15 years with SS and with stunning portfolios! and believe me every single one of them is down and I mean down! and this time there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Sorry but this seems to be the new norm.


« Reply #26 on: September 02, 2020, 07:29 »
+6
The global economy hits the ground. Millions of business disappear off the screen. The Microstock market follows the trend. Only few industries benefit, when they have the right product at the right time. Same with the vast majority of the contributors. Those with the right product will survive.
Surprise, surprise?? No.

« Reply #27 on: September 02, 2020, 09:36 »
+3
I read an article that the microstock agencies were selling more with the covid.



I totally agree. SS plays the bum and disappears from the market. Adobe works and survives.

Les

« Reply #28 on: September 04, 2020, 19:30 »
+4
I'm pretty much getting, in round numbers, 30% of what I used to on SS. I don't have a premium collection or top material for Microstock. I'm getting what I deserve. No I'm not uploading and yes I'm disappointed and find no motivation to add anything new.

Absolutely true, I can confirm those numbers. SS killed their golden goose with a lot of decent videos and images, and destroyed any motivation to shoot and upload new assets.
 
 
« Last Edit: September 04, 2020, 20:12 by Les »

« Reply #29 on: October 15, 2020, 03:38 »
0
The new royalty system is still much lower at level 4. I moved to level 4 fairly quick which gives 30% royalty, I think previously I was on 33% and used to get lots of 0.33 cents per sale but now at level 4 at 30% it is still like being at level 1 with lots of 0.10 cent sales, to be honest Ive had everything from 0.10, 0.11, 0.12 etc onwards

« Reply #30 on: October 17, 2020, 06:28 »
+1
By nature of my job i know quite a lot of SS contributors.  Most are in the high hundred to low thousands of dollars a month bracket.
I dont know a single one who isnt doing at least 50%.  And they'd all in in the level 3 video or level 5 images bracket.

Video took a double hit with the pay cut and the introduction of ultra cheap packages so sub dollar commissions.  It'll be a triple hit in January when going back to level 1 because of the relatively low volume of sales in video vs the tiers.

Image wise im level 5 and for example subs have gone from 0.38c to an average RPB of 0.21c.  And for many people subs make up a large proportion of sales.

« Reply #31 on: October 28, 2020, 04:55 »
+1
I have made an updated statistics after 3 month of commission drop in September (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfIZ45QUnXg). The average commission per image dropped significantly. In my case, it is around 30 % less per image sale. And that is a lot. Nevertheless, after three months of very low sales in year-to-year comparison (June-August) and also in comparison with the beginning of 2020, September and October sales are somewhat better and it is comparable with previous system (the average value per download is still much smaller but number of sales is higher). So it seems that the regularity of payouts will probably not change much. I have disabled my video portfolio completely though. Curious what will happen in January and what will I do with my portfolio, that can be disastrous.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #32 on: October 28, 2020, 12:05 »
0
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but levels and January will hardly make a change in the cheap downloads or earnings. We're just looking at charts with smoke and mirrors. Most large package subscription downloads, at any level, barely change with the percentages.

I'm level 4 and I still get loads of 10 credits. Sure I also get more 19-16-14 which is something I should worry about making 4 cents less for a coupe months? or celebrate now for making 4 cents more?  :o



Salmon is $.10 commission
Yellow is under $.25 commission

50 images and less, we are all making more than before. (except, possibly, some of the level one 50 packs, and level 2 advance billing 50 pack)

Looking at the actual cost of the subs, for buyers, we are getting higher than the level percentages with the 10c minimum. In the past, some of these subscriptions, we were getting paid more than the buyer paid. So judging from what most of my downloads are now, most of my downloads in the recent past, were costing SS money, to my credit.


Les

« Reply #33 on: November 02, 2020, 03:05 »
+2
Looking at the actual cost of the subs, for buyers, we are getting higher than the level percentages with the 10c minimum. In the past, some of these subscriptions, we were getting paid more than the buyer paid. So judging from what most of my downloads are now, most of my downloads in the recent past, were costing SS money, to my credit.

In other words, SS is offering our images way below a reasonable cost. If a buyer wants an image, he would gladly pay a dollar or two for it. It would be still a bargain.

« Reply #34 on: November 02, 2020, 03:13 »
+6
missed minimum payout for the first time in 8 years (bar first few months), have my minimum set at $100, first time in 8 years no pay out, $93 for july, awesomeness

my best month on ss was $800, oh how the mighty have fallen

If possible there are 2 things that you should stay away in 2020: Covid and shutterstock.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #35 on: November 04, 2020, 16:57 »
+1
Looking at the actual cost of the subs, for buyers, we are getting higher than the level percentages with the 10c minimum. In the past, some of these subscriptions, we were getting paid more than the buyer paid. So judging from what most of my downloads are now, most of my downloads in the recent past, were costing SS money, to my credit.

In other words, SS is offering our images way below a reasonable cost. If a buyer wants an image, he would gladly pay a dollar or two for it. It would be still a bargain.

I'd agree. In fact I think the prices have been too low from the start. Now I've lost 30% of my more recent income. Also people were willing to work and create images, for 25c a download, flat rate, no levels, just 25c a download. Doesn't that seem wrong as well?

But what I pointed out that seems to be ignored, no business can survive by losing money on a majority of the big subscription package sales. They can raise the prices and lose the income from many customers, or run in the red, and lose money.

"Reasonable Prices" is a reflection of the competition and the market. For the basic economics of a business, they also need to consider, supply and demand and the cost of the products that are sold.

« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2020, 09:01 »
0
When sales go down, dont fix the blame on Shutterstock only. Maybe the portfolio is out of date by now, which may happen any time.

« Reply #37 on: November 05, 2020, 12:02 »
+1
When sales go down, dont fix the blame on Shutterstock only. Maybe the portfolio is out of date by now, which may happen any time.

artwork is not a supermarket product but your opinion seems to sound like one. 
what you think is "old" in SS will be NEW in other avenues.

« Reply #38 on: November 05, 2020, 12:43 »
0
When sales go down, dont fix the blame on Shutterstock only. Maybe the portfolio is out of date by now, which may happen any time.

artwork is not a supermarket product but your opinion seems to sound like one. 
what you think is "old" in SS will be NEW in other avenues.
S

Les

« Reply #39 on: November 06, 2020, 20:49 »
+3
Looking at the actual cost of the subs, for buyers, we are getting higher than the level percentages with the 10c minimum. In the past, some of these subscriptions, we were getting paid more than the buyer paid. So judging from what most of my downloads are now, most of my downloads in the recent past, were costing SS money, to my credit.

In other words, SS is offering our images way below a reasonable cost. If a buyer wants an image, he would gladly pay a dollar or two for it. It would be still a bargain.

I'd agree. In fact I think the prices have been too low from the start. Now I've lost 30% of my more recent income. Also people were willing to work and create images, for 25c a download, flat rate, no levels, just 25c a download. Doesn't that seem wrong as well?

But what I pointed out that seems to be ignored, no business can survive by losing money on a majority of the big subscription package sales. They can raise the prices and lose the income from many customers, or run in the red, and lose money.

"Reasonable Prices" is a reflection of the competition and the market. For the basic economics of a business, they also need to consider, supply and demand and the cost of the products that are sold.

A long time ago I was told by a seasoned businessman that the worst mistake you can make when starting a business, is to price your products too low. Well, SS is not starting a new business, but they are trying their best to ruin their existing agency. They have definitely ruined livelihood of many of their contributors.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #40 on: November 07, 2020, 21:56 »
0
Looking at the actual cost of the subs, for buyers, we are getting higher than the level percentages with the 10c minimum. In the past, some of these subscriptions, we were getting paid more than the buyer paid. So judging from what most of my downloads are now, most of my downloads in the recent past, were costing SS money, to my credit.

In other words, SS is offering our images way below a reasonable cost. If a buyer wants an image, he would gladly pay a dollar or two for it. It would be still a bargain.

I'd agree. In fact I think the prices have been too low from the start. Now I've lost 30% of my more recent income. Also people were willing to work and create images, for 25c a download, flat rate, no levels, just 25c a download. Doesn't that seem wrong as well?

But what I pointed out that seems to be ignored, no business can survive by losing money on a majority of the big subscription package sales. They can raise the prices and lose the income from many customers, or run in the red, and lose money.

"Reasonable Prices" is a reflection of the competition and the market. For the basic economics of a business, they also need to consider, supply and demand and the cost of the products that are sold.

A long time ago I was told by a seasoned businessman that the worst mistake you can make when starting a business, is to price your products too low. Well, SS is not starting a new business, but they are trying their best to ruin their existing agency. They have definitely ruined livelihood of many of their contributors.

I hate to break this to you as news, but agencies don't care about our livelihood. They care about their profit.

And to agree, the worst way to sell anything is "our price is lower" because that has nothing to do with quality. Anyone in sales and marketing will tell you that. The cheapest, low cost products are not the best products or best value.

I'll try this again? "Reasonable Prices" is a reflection of the competition and the market.

Competition in Microstock has been based for years on the cheap and weak, selling by charging less, and supported by artists who upload to those sites. Now the disease has spread to SS and now the same people care about pricing? Why did they upload to the cheap price cutting agencies, that had low sales and low prices and low income for us? SS didn't lead in price cutting, they followed.

« Reply #41 on: November 07, 2020, 23:38 »
+2
Seems this is how they've solved their problems

Need more customers, offer lower prices for video, one month free, and rock bottom subscription

Need more profits - lets cut the contributors share, offer 10c even at the so called 40% tier, reset them every year and let them claw their way back in the name of fairness to new folks

More profits - remove reviewers, use half baked AI

Guess its gone into the zone where the idea ia just to grow share value short term


« Reply #42 on: November 08, 2020, 08:23 »
+1
Another issue that doesn't seem to be touched on is the standard customer "base".

Reading Trustpilot and the end user Facebook/stock groups a *lot* of these people subscribe to the 1 month trial with no intention of ever paying for it after that.  They take what they need and that's it.
Dangling a carrot to lure people in is one thing but its counterproductive if everyone takes the carrot and never comes in.
Long term wise for a business, thats not good.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #43 on: November 08, 2020, 11:22 »
+1
Another issue that doesn't seem to be touched on is the standard customer "base".

Reading Trustpilot and the end user Facebook/stock groups a *lot* of these people subscribe to the 1 month trial with no intention of ever paying for it after that.  They take what they need and that's it.
Dangling a carrot to lure people in is one thing but its counterproductive if everyone takes the carrot and never comes in.
Long term wise for a business, thats not good.

A feeling of Dj vu I just read this exact message, minutes ago, in a different thread about Adobe?  :o

« Reply #44 on: November 08, 2020, 19:02 »
+1
.....
A long time ago I was told by a seasoned businessman that the worst mistake you can make when starting a business, is to price your products too low. Well, SS is not starting a new business, but they are trying their best to ruin their existing agency. They have definitely ruined livelihood of many of their contributors.

that's only true if you're selling widgets or services, but not for commodities - pork bellies or stock images -- for the latter, when supply meets of exceeds demand, lower prices will win 

Les

« Reply #45 on: November 08, 2020, 19:23 »
+1
.....
A long time ago I was told by a seasoned businessman that the worst mistake you can make when starting a business, is to price your products too low. Well, SS is not starting a new business, but they are trying their best to ruin their existing agency. They have definitely ruined livelihood of many of their contributors.

that's only true if you're selling widgets or services, but not for commodities - pork bellies or stock images -- for the latter, when supply meets of exceeds demand, lower prices will win

The commodities argument is true only for genuinely common images - like tomatoes, ducks or girls on the phone. Unfortunately in the current scheme of SS catalog structure, many unique and exceptional images are treated and priced in the same way as the former group.

« Reply #46 on: November 09, 2020, 20:31 »
+1
.....
A long time ago I was told by a seasoned businessman that the worst mistake you can make when starting a business, is to price your products too low. Well, SS is not starting a new business, but they are trying their best to ruin their existing agency. They have definitely ruined livelihood of many of their contributors.

that's only true if you're selling widgets or services, but not for commodities - pork bellies or stock images -- for the latter, when supply meets of exceeds demand, lower prices will win

The commodities argument is true only for genuinely common images - like tomatoes, ducks or girls on the phone. Unfortunately in the current scheme of SS catalog structure, many unique and exceptional images are treated and priced in the same way as the former group.

that's an artist's POV  - for buyers & the agencies, images are a commodity not fine art

50%

« Reply #47 on: November 10, 2020, 05:29 »
0
So sorry for you. I've pulled all my work from them and went exclusive for video at Pond5 as a way to try and stave off canibalising cheap video sales at SS rather than full priced sales at other agencies.
very wise decision!

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #48 on: November 10, 2020, 08:32 »
+1
.....
A long time ago I was told by a seasoned businessman that the worst mistake you can make when starting a business, is to price your products too low. Well, SS is not starting a new business, but they are trying their best to ruin their existing agency. They have definitely ruined livelihood of many of their contributors.

that's only true if you're selling widgets or services, but not for commodities - pork bellies or stock images -- for the latter, when supply meets of exceeds demand, lower prices will win

The commodities argument is true only for genuinely common images - like tomatoes, ducks or girls on the phone. Unfortunately in the current scheme of SS catalog structure, many unique and exceptional images are treated and priced in the same way as the former group.

that's an artist's POV  - for buyers & the agencies, images are a commodity not fine art

While you are both right, the actual collection is mostly the commodity type, Microstock, and the "unique and exceptional images" is the minority. Anyone with U&EI should leave SS or at the least, never upload those images to any Microstock site.

There's the difference. If you have fine art in a fine art gallery, for sale at appropriate prices, that's a match. If someone uploads "unique and exceptional images" to Microstock, they shouldn't expect more than what Microstock offers as payment.

If they (SS) want to give me $.10 then I'll upload the matching quality and content images. Same for IS and their Connect sales of $0.00643 and 0.00059 I mean how low can we go? $.05 on iStock for a commission? A crummy 5 cents?

Microstock has become a commodity business, a volume, over creative or artistic, kind of way to market.  Artists shouldn't expect anything more than that kind of returns. If your images deserve more money or more respect, put them where you can expect to receive the same.

ps sales on Adobe are going up in volume and value for me lately, and there's no reset in January.

« Reply #49 on: November 22, 2020, 05:06 »
0
It will take time though, for now SS continues to be in the top 3 per month with pond5 and Adobe contributing more to monthly income and SS dropping fast.

The scary part will be the coming few months where monthly income will go down


 

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