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Author Topic: Shutterstock just became iStock 2.0  (Read 31477 times)

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« on: May 26, 2020, 10:37 »
+2
email just received:

"In the coming weeks, Shutterstock will be updating the earnings structure that determines how much you get paid when customers license your work. We are making this adjustment in order to reflect changes in the market for creative content, help to create fair opportunities for all our contributors, and reward performance with greater earnings potential.

How does it work?
 
   These new levels are based on the number of times your content is licensed rather than your lifetime earnings.
 
   All contributors reset to level 1 for both images and videos every year on January 1st.
 
   There are separate levels for images and for videos, and you graduate through them independently based on your download count in each category.
 
Stay tuned for updates that include tips to help you quickly climb to the higher levels!
 
Thank you,

Paul Brennan
VP, Content Operations "


« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2020, 10:43 »
+6
Wow, pretty breaking news and utterly sad that even SS has to go that low.

What I didn't understanding from that email is whether the new pay rate percentages will apply also to subscriptions sales (for which we now receive a fixed pay based on lifetime earnings). If that's the case, I already see 0.03 cents sales as with Istock.

« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2020, 10:43 »
+9
W.T.F !  >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(

« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2020, 10:43 »
+7
Amazing, they are going from bad to worse and seem to be loving it!


Microstock Man

  • microstockman.com

« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2020, 10:45 »
+10
I have barely ever been on the SS forums, but this announcement was bad enough that it made me express my anger (politely).

iStock 2.0 alright.

The corporate greed strategy seems to be the same no matter what the company name is.

anon20200611

« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2020, 10:46 »
+1
The only thing that matters is if this system will be + or - for contributors. Right now we don't know. What SS does might be an one-sided decision yes, but they only came to terms with what is the industry standard in every other image back. So why do we complain? Their percentage towards contributors is the same as Adobe Stock or more with some plans that can offer lower prices. How many customers buy the 750 annually prepaid though?

Previously, they paid an average contributor like me, something like a 30% for my work. Now they will pay me a month in 25%, 3-4 months in 30% (same as before) and 7-8 months in 35%. So basically, this seems like an increase to me. People that have under 100 dl's per year and "threaten" to pull their ports ... well sorry to say guys but you didn't really work for stock. How can an active contributor with four digits of Shutterstock income pull their port out of SS? These words would never come from someone that knows how to work.

The only way to see if SS is unfair with this new system is to put in the test. It's very easy to calculate your average / dl. Just take the total earnings and divide them with total dl's. For me this number right now is 0,643 average per download on my IMAGE portfolio (not vector or video). Istock is a lot lower than that, because Istock only pays a ridiculous percentage for non exclusive and that's why they receive only a fraction of my images TWO years after like a "back catalogue".

So, that's that. I would agree more if SS decided for a rolling 12 month system instead of the January reset though. I think it complicates things without need. These 100 first dl's ... from 1 million contributors ... well it's up to 100.000.000 dl's they will sell with lower % on contributor profits. This, for them is scalable. And for contributors it's not. And that's why I disagree with the January reset and would promote the idea of a rolling 12 month system. But even that, it doesn't mean that I will protest or sign petitions before I see real proof in numbers as to what is actually happening.

Regards to everyone
« Last Edit: June 01, 2020, 13:27 by ThomasAndreas »

« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2020, 10:46 »
+14
Well, I can't make any sense of this. Will everyone zero at the beginning of each year (start on 15% and have to rise up the ranks fresh)? that seems insane.

If not, why is my level on the email tied to my downloads so far since January, and not based on my total for last year, which would place me well into the next tier.

« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2020, 10:46 »
+3
Just received that too. Unfortunately this is the perfect moment for any corp to introduce cutbacks. I stopped taking things personally a long time ago so I no longer expect them to act morally. I'm at 35% at the moment and far from both level limits. To be honest I find their arbitrary search changes far more disruptive than this update.
p.s
Wonder how this will affect subs too since it's not explicitly stated in the mail
« Last Edit: May 26, 2020, 10:50 by thx9000 »

« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2020, 10:47 »
+4
what does that mean in terms of earnings?

i am at 38 cent now, how much is 35% of what? nobody knows what a single image earns.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2020, 10:51 by Microstockphoto »

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2020, 10:48 »
+4
Well, I can't make any sense of this. Will everyone zero at the beginning of each year (start on 15% and have to rise up the ranks fresh)? that seems insane.

If not, why is my level on the email tied to my downloads so far since January, and not based on my total for last year, which would place me well into the next tier.

"All contributors reset to level 1 for both images and videos every year on January 1st."
 

« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2020, 10:49 »
+11
Just reread the email. That thing I said would be insane, that everyone starts every year on 15%, yeah, that's what they are doing.

This is worse, much, much worse than IStock. They don't even base it off a trailing 12 months total or anything. I guess no one pays their mortgage or rent for January February then? Hope everyone has very understanding banks/ landlords.

EDIT: Sorry I was typing when you posted
EDIT: to clarify, the method is worse than IS, though of course the levels are much better for us
« Last Edit: May 26, 2020, 11:32 by Justanotherphotographer »

« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2020, 10:52 »
+8
Well, I can't make any sense of this. Will everyone zero at the beginning of each year (start on 15% and have to rise up the ranks fresh)? that seems insane.

If not, why is my level on the email tied to my downloads so far since January, and not based on my total for last year, which would place me well into the next tier.

"All contributors reset to level 1 for both images and videos every year on January 1st."

INFUCKINGSANE

« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2020, 10:52 »
+2
Well, I can't make any sense of this. Will everyone zero at the beginning of each year (start on 15% and have to rise up the ranks fresh)? that seems insane.

If not, why is my level on the email tied to my downloads so far since January, and not based on my total for last year, which would place me well into the next tier.

I also was wondering that, is January 15% for everyone?

« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2020, 10:52 »
+1
Well, I can't make any sense of this. Will everyone zero at the beginning of each year (start on 15% and have to rise up the ranks fresh)? that seems insane.

If not, why is my level on the email tied to my downloads so far since January, and not based on my total for last year, which would place me well into the next tier.

"All contributors reset to level 1 for both images and videos every year on January 1st."
As a quota for the next year, not for the current, at least that's how I understand it. That mail is really lacking...

« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2020, 10:54 »
+2
Well, I can't make any sense of this. Will everyone zero at the beginning of each year (start on 15% and have to rise up the ranks fresh)? that seems insane.

If not, why is my level on the email tied to my downloads so far since January, and not based on my total for last year, which would place me well into the next tier.

I also was wondering that, is January 15% for everyone?

Correct, it's actually pretty clear, but my brain couldn't comprehend as it is also BATS**T INSANE

« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2020, 10:54 »
+6
I am not totally sure I understand this. I am at a very high lifetime earnings as I have been with SS for 15 years. If I understand this and maybe I don't . If you are a new contributor this is actually a good thing as for me maybe not. Sounds like kind of a reverse pyramid idea. You will make less money for the first few months and maybe make more or the same as you were making at the end of the year.

eyeidea

  • visualize your brainstorm

« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2020, 10:55 »
+1
Wow.  What?  This is not a good idea.


« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2020, 10:56 »
+8
Resetting down to 15% every year is a very nasty move! 123RF is using a similar structure but they are keeping an yearly rolling average.

I am level 5 on photos, so until next year, I may see some increase from photos (pending clarification on how subs and ODDs will be impacted)

On the other hand, I'm only level 3 on videos and I'll be losing here for a while, until next January disaster!

Not happy!

 >:(

« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2020, 10:58 »
+7
I can't believe that video download numbers for each level is the same as images. what? Video contributors are going to have the roughest end of this shite system.

eyeidea

  • visualize your brainstorm

« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2020, 10:59 »
+1
I can't believe that video download numbers for each level is the same as images. what? Video contributors are going to have the roughest end of this shite system.

This.

« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2020, 11:01 »
+3
I can't believe that video download numbers for each level is the same as images. what? Video contributors are going to have the roughest end of this shite system.

didnt even realise, just checked again, you are right, thats INFUCKINGSANE

« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2020, 11:02 »
+2
New payment schedule already starting on June 1st, 2020, for the rest of year earnings for each license will be based on the Image Level

« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2020, 11:02 »
+1
These 'tips' will be great, and will say "Worker harder, work faster, work smarter"

Its the usual squeeze.

« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2020, 11:04 »
+29
This is worse than both iStock and 123rf.

1. They reset to the lowest rate Jan 1 each year

2. It's unit sales not $$, so videos, subscriptions and the SOD high value licenses count the same. Imagine getting one of the high value SODs in January, and instead of $102 you get $51 (because you're at 15% versus 30%)

3. Video is really hosed as their units are the same as image units, but typically (at least in the past) videos sold fewer but at a high royalty. Contributors who do both have to earn royalty rates separately.

4. Not clear what happens to subscription payments - are Subscriptions are a percentage now with a 10 cent minimum. As their enterprise business is shrinking (last two earnings calls) but the "e-commerce" business - subscriptions - is growing, they'd gain quite a lot by cutting our royalties there. This is the really bad news.

For now, we can turn off our portfolios without removing content, although that may not survive this slash and burn maneuver. As I'm already at my 30% rate (what I've been earning so far), I'd have nothing to lose in the long term by turning off content - if I were to choose to try and protest this despicable cash grab by the new CEO

I'm not surprised, but I am angry. I'll wait a bit for the formal announcement before deciding what to do.

Tossers.

Edited to add that they've posted updated tables for video numbers - the email was apparently in error and had the same numbers for both.

I have asked them to clarify subscription payouts so we know how bad that will become.

Subscription payouts will be percentages of unit cost as if the entire download allotment was used with a minimum of 10 cents (they added another clarification to their forum announcement)

Shutterstock keeps any money from unused download allotments and does not share with contributors


For example, at the beginning of the new year, a subscription from the annual 750-a-month plan will net an image  contributor as little as 3.98 cents Even with the minimum, for large chunks of subs sales, that means 10 cents instead of 38 cents (in my case). That is less than 1/3 of what I used to get!

To add some numbers to this, I looked at my earnings in Dec 2019 and April 2020 to see what the difference would be with the new payments. December earnings were higher and had a larger proportion of non-subscription downloads. April had a higher proportion of subscription downloads.

For December 2019 my subscription earnings dropped 74% which led my overall earnings to drop 24%. For April 2020, the same earnings percentage decrease for subs led to a 35% drop in the monthly total.

Bottom line is that it would be really really hard to do anything with uploads that would make up for such a huge drop in income (and I'm images only, no video). Even at a 40% royalty rate, the best subscription royalty you get on the 350 or 750 subscription products is 23 cents - 15 cents less than we used to make

If all the above weren't enough, there is a new subscription plan even cheaper than the annual commitment/monthly billing version - you pay for the year up front and get a bigger discount. For 750 a month, cost per image is 22 cents (6.6 cents royalty at 30%, i.e. 10 cents) and for 350 a month it costs 39 cents per image - a princely 11.7 cents royalty!

And to think that just last year they were celebrating $1 billion in contributor payouts - they are world class jerks
« Last Edit: May 28, 2020, 22:44 by Jo Ann Snover »

« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2020, 11:04 »
+17
Shutterstock forum is  on fire :-/...

RESET TO RANK 1 each January... then they arrange with big clients to sell large licenses and enhanced licensed while we are at tier 1 and get only 15%?


 

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