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Author Topic: Shutterstock CEO Jon Oringer featured in Forbes  (Read 13528 times)

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« Reply #50 on: February 26, 2013, 21:19 »
0
I think we photographers are losing track of how the big agencies simply see us as an obstacle to their growth in profitablity, and intend to route around us by changing the game from "product" to "service".

I don't agree with all your 3 paragraphs but I would love to hear more about the last one, what is your suggestion? ;)


« Reply #51 on: February 26, 2013, 21:25 »
0
I think we photographers are losing track of how the big agencies simply see us as an obstacle to their growth in profitablity, and intend to route around us by changing the game from "product" to "service".

I don't agree with all your 3 paragraphs but I would love to hear more about the last one, what is your suggestion? ;)

My only suggestion is to accept the fact that microstock is a declining business, that the rate of decline will only increase, and we should find ways to redirect our efforts.  The only thing that will stop the decline in commissions will be big players pulling their portfolios.

Now tell me what I said that you disagree with, and why.  I'm not saying this will be the only outcome, or that it will happen overnight - just that it will be the dominant trend.  And that Oringer has basically already stated this, if perhaps not as directly.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 21:30 by stockastic »

« Reply #52 on: February 26, 2013, 21:44 »
-1
1 - SS is not trying to lower the prices as much possible (2.3$ revenue per download in last 4 months of 2012 like they reported a few days ago, it have increased from 2.16$, have you got less royalties? they haven't changed and prices stayed the same too) OTOH they have the same pricing for years, it is working for me and I am sure a few more also
2 - Jon is still respecting us, sure I haven't enjoyed the referral cut (but I have zero referrals), the BigStock deal doesn't look good but will see how it goes (its soon to tell but my SS sales weren't hurt)
3 - we aren't obstacles, we are the ones feeding buyers everyday, sure they can get rid of us but so far I haven't seen them kicking out without a strong reason

« Reply #53 on: February 26, 2013, 21:49 »
0
1.  Yes they've held the line for quite a while.  In fact I'm making more over time.  But I predict this won't continue forever.

2.  Agreed - so far.

3.  The people now running the big agencies are starting to feel like they already have enough images to satisfy the great majority of buyers for a long time.  And they really want to cut reviewing costs.  They aren't worried about a decline in submissions.


The transition from "product" to "service" is already a major trend in the software industry.  MS Office is now a subscription, not a DVD.

« Reply #54 on: February 26, 2013, 22:22 »
0
They have gone from thinking to scheming.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 22:27 by MisterElements »

« Reply #55 on: February 26, 2013, 22:35 »
-9
SS sees itself as being in the image search business - Oringer has said as much.  The plan is to drive the price of an image as low as possible - basically by finding the point where photographers start to pull major portfolios - and instead make money from 'fees' for 'services'.  They have to pay a commission on the sale price of an image - but not on whatever they charge a customer to help him find that image. 

This is basically what subscriptions - and other new pricing schemes - accomplish: they break the commission model and replace it with arbitrary, token payments to photographers.   Increasingly the agencies will make their profits from upfront charges to "use their search tools" while reducing the so-called purchase price to a small piece of the transaction.   

I think we photographers are losing track of how the big agencies simply see us as an obstacle to their growth in profitablity, and intend to route around us by changing the game from "product" to "service".


Have you bought shares in Dignitas recently? Your posts are all so pessimistic and depressing it seems like you are trying to drive us all to suicide. Let's see what Jon has actually said recently;

"Lets begin with our key operating metrics download volume and revenue per download. Every download is a business licensing an image on our platform. When businesses choose Shutterstock to license images and video, contributors earn money and receive feedback on whats selling. This motivates contributors to upload more content which increases the breadth of our library and in turn helps us to attract new customers and to foster their loyalty. This is a virtuous cycle that drives our business and ultimately our financial results."

http://seekingalpha.com/article/1214061-shutterstock-s-ceo-discusses-q4-2012-results-earnings-call-transcript?part=single

Jon appears to value contributors and has an 8 year history of doing so. Your miserable, hand-wringing and pathetically defeatist attitude is painfully repetitive, uninformed and inaccurate to the facts.

My income from SS has been consistently increasing over the last 8 years. They've never lied to me, reduced my royalties or f**ked me about with dodgy currency exchange rate deals. Give the guy some credit for never having let contributors down and always having delivered on his promises.

« Reply #56 on: February 26, 2013, 22:48 »
+4
I appreciate the pessimism.  ;D

« Reply #57 on: February 26, 2013, 23:13 »
0
.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 15:38 by Audi 5000 »

« Reply #58 on: February 26, 2013, 23:15 »
+8

Have you bought shares in Dignitas recently? Your posts are all so pessimistic and depressing it seems like you are trying to drive us all to suicide....

My income from SS has been consistently increasing over the last 8 years. They've never lied to me, reduced my royalties or f**ked me about with dodgy currency exchange rate deals. Give the guy some credit for never having let contributors down and always having delivered on his promises.

That's even saltier than your usual - one person's realism might seem like pessimism to you, but I don't agree with you about the future of Shutterstock. I wouldn't argue at all about the past.

The dividing line for me was that memo about the royalties at Bigstock.

The minute Jon started down that road - albeit with a subsidiary - he shot a big hole in the goodwill bucket that up until then had been pretty close to full from my point of view.

I don't have a crystal ball any more than you do, but in terms of future behavior, I'm not seeing things continue in a positive vein at Shutterstock - at least not for contributors like me.

And the quote about the virtuous cycle was one I included in the e-mail to the Bigstock manager who announced the new RC scheme for Bigstock subs royalties as it seemed especially ironic in light of what they were planning to to.

Now, those words in the IPO filing and earnings call seem more like spin for public consumption than the reality for contributors behind the scenes.

« Reply #59 on: February 26, 2013, 23:18 »
+1

Have you bought shares in Dignitas recently? Your posts are all so pessimistic and depressing it seems like you are trying to drive us all to suicide....

My income from SS has been consistently increasing over the last 8 years. They've never lied to me, reduced my royalties or f**ked me about with dodgy currency exchange rate deals. Give the guy some credit for never having let contributors down and always having delivered on his promises.

That's even saltier than your usual - one person's realism might seem like pessimism to you, but I don't agree with you about the future of Shutterstock. I wouldn't argue at all about the past.

The dividing line for me was that memo about the royalties at Bigstock.

The minute Jon started down that road - albeit with a subsidiary - he shot a big hole in the goodwill bucket that up until then had been pretty close to full from my point of view.

I don't have a crystal ball any more than you do, but in terms of future behavior, I'm not seeing things continue in a positive vein at Shutterstock - at least not for contributors like me.

And the quote about the virtuous cycle was one I included in the e-mail to the Bigstock manager who announced the new RC scheme for Bigstock subs royalties as it seemed especially ironic in light of what they were planning to to.

Now, those words in the IPO filing and earnings call seem more like spin for public consumption than the reality for contributors behind the scenes.

I 100% agree!

"The minute Jon started down that road - albeit with a subsidiary - he shot a big hole in the goodwill bucket that up until then had been pretty close to full from my point of view."

Now the question is why did he do it........is he testing the RC system before moving it over to SS?
« Last Edit: February 26, 2013, 23:20 by MisterElements »

« Reply #60 on: February 26, 2013, 23:24 »
0
.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 15:38 by Audi 5000 »

« Reply #61 on: February 26, 2013, 23:43 »
+1
No matter how cheap the subscriptions at BS I'm not entirely worried that BS will have an impact on anything else.  They simply don't have a powerful library.   It is evident in my own sales, and also I had to shop for a few images 3 times this calendar year and BS fell short each time.   I know there's a lot of MSG'ers who claim that they have also suspended uploads.  I have not uploaded since their announcement and it would be very easy to walk away from them.

« Reply #62 on: February 27, 2013, 12:40 »
+6
A lot of this discussion could be reduced to faith in Jon Oringer - whether you take his pro-contributor statements seriously or regard them as typical CEO spin and hype - and whether you believe he's going to remain in control of the company.   

If, for the sake of argument, you remove Oringer from the equation - it seems to me that you're left with a newly-public company and strong pressure to increase profits in the short term.  And 2 obvious ways to do that are 1) push subscription models, so that future price increases to buyers don't require paying more to contributors;   2) reduce inspection costs, by discouraging submissions that seem (statistically) unlikely to pay off, and by introducing automated inspections for technical quality.


Only time will tell.

« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 13:13 by stockastic »

« Reply #63 on: February 27, 2013, 15:29 »
-2
A lot of this discussion could be reduced to faith in Jon Oringer - whether you take his pro-contributor statements seriously or regard them as typical CEO spin and hype - and whether you believe he's going to remain in control of the company.   

If, for the sake of argument, you remove Oringer from the equation - it seems to me that you're left with a newly-public company and strong pressure to increase profits in the short term.  And 2 obvious ways to do that are 1) push subscription models, so that future price increases to buyers don't require paying more to contributors;   2) reduce inspection costs, by discouraging submissions that seem (statistically) unlikely to pay off, and by introducing automated inspections for technical quality.


Only time will tell.

How can you 'remove Oringer from the equation' when he owns 54% of the business? It might be a publically quoted company but, strictly speaking, it is neither publically owned or controlled.

It seems to me that every agency that has gone down the route of reducing contributor royalties, in a bid to boost profits, has experienced the opposite effect. I have no doubt that if SS tries it then the result will be the same. The most effective strategy to grow a microstock enterprise is loyalty to content providers.

« Reply #64 on: February 27, 2013, 16:31 »
0
A lot of this discussion could be reduced to faith in Jon Oringer - whether you take his pro-contributor statements seriously or regard them as typical CEO spin and hype - and whether you believe he's going to remain in control of the company.   

If, for the sake of argument, you remove Oringer from the equation - it seems to me that you're left with a newly-public company and strong pressure to increase profits in the short term.  And 2 obvious ways to do that are 1) push subscription models, so that future price increases to buyers don't require paying more to contributors;   2) reduce inspection costs, by discouraging submissions that seem (statistically) unlikely to pay off, and by introducing automated inspections for technical quality.


Only time will tell.

How can you 'remove Oringer from the equation' when he owns 54% of the business? It might be a publically quoted company but, strictly speaking, it is neither publically owned or controlled.

It seems to me that every agency that has gone down the route of reducing contributor royalties, in a bid to boost profits, has experienced the opposite effect. I have no doubt that if SS tries it then the result will be the same. The most effective strategy to grow a microstock enterprise is loyalty to content providers.

Really are you pathologically naive.  If you plan on cashing out at the peak.  You push the stock prices up by bleeding your contributors until you reach the point of no return and they begin to revolt.  Then just before the scheme goes south you cash out!

Your first clue will be on the first page of BS.  They have begun to push corporate clients to BS by dropping prices and cost per image.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 16:42 by gbalex »

Poncke

« Reply #65 on: February 27, 2013, 16:53 »
+2
What if we move SS from the equation? You end up with just a dude.

« Reply #66 on: February 27, 2013, 17:05 »
+3
It seems to me that every agency that has gone down the route of reducing contributor royalties, in a bid to boost profits, has experienced the opposite effect. I have no doubt that if SS tries it then the result will be the same. The most effective strategy to grow a microstock enterprise is loyalty to content providers.

How loyal can they really be to 35000+ contributors? I think SS does a good job at selling files and communicating with its contributors, but I'd be fooling myself to think that they are loyal to me or represent my best interests.


« Reply #67 on: February 27, 2013, 17:55 »
-3
I feel like I'm the only person here upset about the referral issue.

« Reply #68 on: February 27, 2013, 18:15 »
0
A lot of this discussion could be reduced to faith in Jon Oringer - whether you take his pro-contributor statements seriously or regard them as typical CEO spin and hype - and whether you believe he's going to remain in control of the company.   

If, for the sake of argument, you remove Oringer from the equation - it seems to me that you're left with a newly-public company and strong pressure to increase profits in the short term.  And 2 obvious ways to do that are 1) push subscription models, so that future price increases to buyers don't require paying more to contributors;   2) reduce inspection costs, by discouraging submissions that seem (statistically) unlikely to pay off, and by introducing automated inspections for technical quality.


Only time will tell.

How can you 'remove Oringer from the equation' when he owns 54% of the business? It might be a publically quoted company but, strictly speaking, it is neither publically owned or controlled.

It seems to me that every agency that has gone down the route of reducing contributor royalties, in a bid to boost profits, has experienced the opposite effect. I have no doubt that if SS tries it then the result will be the same. The most effective strategy to grow a microstock enterprise is loyalty to content providers.

Really are you pathologically naive.  If you plan on cashing out at the peak.  You push the stock prices up by bleeding your contributors until you reach the point of no return and they begin to revolt.  Then just before the scheme goes south you cash out!

Your first clue will be on the first page of BS.  They have begun to push corporate clients to BS by dropping prices and cost per image.

You're well off the mark. In your simple world every situation is the same but the real world is far more complex. Oringer has no plans to 'cash out' so your theory does not apply. If he had he would already have done so. He already has more money than he can reasonably spend. This is now a game to him and he's in it to win it. His objective is become the biggest stock content provider, in all formats, and he still has a very long way to go. He's certainly not going to blow it with a quick 'pump and dump' any time soon __ if ever.

The IPO was simply a means of gaining 'free money' with which to invest in furthering his empire, when the opportunity arises, and also reducing his own risk at the same time. It's also a handy means of measuring exactly where you are in 'the game'. Oringer has retained full control of the business and he only has to keep doing what he's already been doing for the last 8 years to keep the business growing and satisfy the existing shareholders. If they should ever kick up a stink then he has the money to buy them out anyway ( as Branson did with Virgin and as Michael Dell is doing now).

Poncke

« Reply #69 on: February 27, 2013, 18:40 »
+1
A lot of this discussion could be reduced to faith in Jon Oringer - whether you take his pro-contributor statements seriously or regard them as typical CEO spin and hype - and whether you believe he's going to remain in control of the company.   

If, for the sake of argument, you remove Oringer from the equation - it seems to me that you're left with a newly-public company and strong pressure to increase profits in the short term.  And 2 obvious ways to do that are 1) push subscription models, so that future price increases to buyers don't require paying more to contributors;   2) reduce inspection costs, by discouraging submissions that seem (statistically) unlikely to pay off, and by introducing automated inspections for technical quality.


Only time will tell.

How can you 'remove Oringer from the equation' when he owns 54% of the business? It might be a publically quoted company but, strictly speaking, it is neither publically owned or controlled.

It seems to me that every agency that has gone down the route of reducing contributor royalties, in a bid to boost profits, has experienced the opposite effect. I have no doubt that if SS tries it then the result will be the same. The most effective strategy to grow a microstock enterprise is loyalty to content providers.

Really are you pathologically naive.  If you plan on cashing out at the peak.  You push the stock prices up by bleeding your contributors until you reach the point of no return and they begin to revolt.  Then just before the scheme goes south you cash out!

Your first clue will be on the first page of BS.  They have begun to push corporate clients to BS by dropping prices and cost per image.

You're well off the mark. In your simple world every situation is the same but the real world is far more complex. Oringer has no plans to 'cash out' so your theory does not apply. If he had he would already have done so. He already has more money than he can reasonably spend. This is now a game to him and he's in it to win it. His objective is become the biggest stock content provider, in all formats, and he still has a very long way to go. He's certainly not going to blow it with a quick 'pump and dump' any time soon __ if ever.

The IPO was simply a means of gaining 'free money' with which to invest in furthering his empire, when the opportunity arises, and also reducing his own risk at the same time. It's also a handy means of measuring exactly where you are in 'the game'. Oringer has retained full control of the business and he only has to keep doing what he's already been doing for the last 8 years to keep the business growing and satisfy the existing shareholders. If they should ever kick up a stink then he has the money to buy them out anyway ( as Branson did with Virgin and as Michael Dell is doing now).
I am sorry, but it seems you know more then Jon himself. Nobody knows what he is up too.

No matter how fanatic the SS fanboys are, just because they say something doesnt make it true.

« Reply #70 on: February 27, 2013, 19:47 »
+2
I am sorry, but it seems you know more then Jon himself. Nobody knows what he is up too.

No matter how fanatic the SS fanboys are, just because they say something doesnt make it true.

I completely agree that none of us know exactly what SS's plans are. However we do have clues as to the direction they are headed based on recent actions, such as changing BS royalties, cutting referral earnings, changing search algorithms, actively putting things in place to attract corporate clients to BS who previously purchased images on SS at a higher cost per sale.

I think it is pretty safe to assume that you have lost touch with reality when you ignore relevant actions so that you can convince yourself that things are going to continue to be rosy when signs are increasing that we could be in for more nasty changes.  When you ignore multiple negative actions and paint fairly tail scenarios for yourself based on what you want to happen, you are in for a real let down in the future.




« Reply #71 on: February 27, 2013, 19:56 »
0
I am sorry, but it seems you know more then Jon himself. Nobody knows what he is up too.

No matter how fanatic the SS fanboys are, just because they say something doesnt make it true.

It's quite simple. There are different types of entrepreneur. You can tell, with a reasonable degree of accuracy, from how they've played their cards in the past to how they are likely to play them in the future. No-one accuses Zuckerberg for example of being a 'pump and dump' merchant. He was offered millions, then hundreds of millions, then billions to sell out. Always he refused (which almost none of us could possibly have done). These guys are different to most of us and their motivations are different too. Oringer is the same and has similar ambitions.

As the golfer Rory Mcilroy pointed out recently, at the ripe old age of 23, he's no longer playing golf for the money (that side is already assured), he's just playing for titles and records. It's the same for Oringer and his type. Money has become largely meaningless; it's only winning the game that now matters.

« Reply #72 on: February 27, 2013, 20:00 »
+2
I am sorry, but it seems you know more then Jon himself. Nobody knows what he is up too.

No matter how fanatic the SS fanboys are, just because they say something doesnt make it true.

It's quite simple. There are different types of entrepreneur. You can tell, with a reasonable degree of accuracy, from how they've played their cards in the past to how they are likely to play them in the future. No-one accuses Zuckerberg for example of being a 'pump and dump' merchant. He was offered millions, then hundreds of millions, then billions to sell out. Always he refused (which almost none of us could possibly have done). These guys are different to most of us and their motivations are different too. Oringer is the same and has similar ambitions.

As the golfer Rory Mcilroy pointed out recently, at the ripe old age of 23, he's no longer playing golf for the money (that side is already assured), he's just playing for titles and records. It's the same for Oringer and his type. Money has become largely meaningless; it's only winning the game that now matters.

I agree with you, but what we are talking about here is the methods he could use to win the game.
You seem to believe he will never screw you, and I hope you're right, but others disagree.

« Reply #73 on: February 27, 2013, 20:20 »
+1
I agree with you, but what we are talking about here is the methods he could use to win the game.
You seem to believe he will never screw you, and I hope you're right, but others disagree.

If I was in Oringer's position, and even if I was his closest advisor, I would concur that screwing your contributor base is the quickest way to screwing yourself. It just about worked for H&F but obviously at the cost of slaughtering the Istock cash-cow in the process. Even then most of their gains came from paying themselves 'dividends' by shackling the business with debt. It wasn't from profit. That didn't matter to them because they only ever intended to 'invest' in the business for 3-5 years. The situation for SS and Oringer is completely different.

Poncke

« Reply #74 on: February 28, 2013, 12:01 »
+1
I agree with you, but what we are talking about here is the methods he could use to win the game.
You seem to believe he will never screw you, and I hope you're right, but others disagree.

If I was in Oringer's position, and even if I was his closest advisor, I would concur that screwing your contributor base is the quickest way to screwing yourself. It just about worked for H&F but obviously at the cost of slaughtering the Istock cash-cow in the process. Even then most of their gains came from paying themselves 'dividends' by shackling the business with debt. It wasn't from profit. That didn't matter to them because they only ever intended to 'invest' in the business for 3-5 years. The situation for SS and Oringer is completely different.
Whats the difference between Bruce and Jon then? Bruce was carried by many as a hero, he sold IS in the end. Why couldnt Jon do the same?


 

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