pancakes

MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: Shutterstock manipulating earning potential - Can they do this really?  (Read 19943 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

ethan

« on: April 04, 2014, 10:00 »
+2
I am reading some alarming claims on another forum that the very recent (apparently) change to the SS search facility is turning on and off photographers portfolios during the day to limit their ports exposure and subsequently their earnings, thereby controlling a photographers success.

Surely this cannot be true  :o

Is it even legal to do such a thing? Well, maybe it is legal but surely not moral or ethical?

Or is this just unhappy SS photog's going through a dip in sales?


« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2014, 10:06 »
0
what other forum?
And What Proof?

« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2014, 10:08 »
+13
My sales have continued to dip, but I don't subscribe to these conspiracy theories. I've always just assumed that SS changes their algorithms because they have so many images that they need to shuffle the deck occasionally to get new results.

« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2014, 10:15 »
+7
I suppose these are the comments made by that mischief maker and ne'er do well who finds it amusing to provoke and undermine. In which case they have no value and are best ignored.

PS. He is banned from here (as far as I know) and should have been booted out of SS long ago.

shudderstok

« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2014, 10:19 »
+3
with all due respect, it takes an idiot to no realize that most agencies today are not manipulating earning potential for contributors.

they are all messing with computer algorithms to keep our royalties as low as possible and in the meant time telling us we are "special"


« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2014, 10:20 »
+5
what other forum?
And What Proof?

Who, other than a Shutterstock employee, could give you anything beyond wild speculation?

Changing best match placement is something I'd expect and for it to be nearly continual. Targeting individual photographers seems preposterous. Fotolia apparently targeted those with higher royalty rates - moving them back in search results - which was reported by enough Emeralds and up to seem credible.

People want to know the unknowable. Waste of time.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 10:22 by Jo Ann Snover »

ethan

« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2014, 10:23 »
0
what other forum?
And What Proof?

I saw it on the SS forum.

Ron

« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2014, 10:32 »
+1
what other forum?
And What Proof?

I saw it on the SS forum.
Quote, link?

ethan

« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2014, 10:38 »
+2
what other forum?
And What Proof?


I saw it on the SS forum.
Quote, link?


Paste of message here:
Thats just it! did not want to share this but since you mentioned it: you hit the nail. Friend of my wife who many consider an analytical computer guru had a look at some agencies searches and after only half hour he came to the conclusion certain searches are controlled as far as earnings, i.e. at certain intervals you are allowed to earn at full potential etc, then you are cut-off.
If true this raise a huge moral/ethical question. Person in question is not just anybody, he has worked with corps like Adobe, Google and twitter, even put together programs for Citicorp investments.
Mind you, I hardly needed anybody to tell me something is badly worng, one day you can have like 20 ODs, 6 SODs and some ELs, next day you get like 50 subs. Even bhy the law of average, this can not hold true.

Link Here:
http://submit.shutterstock.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=130802&start=2940

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2014, 10:43 »
+8
^^, but as they always warn in History lessons, "Look at the Source".

« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2014, 10:45 »
+3
There has been often speculation about iStockphoto and their searches. Because iStock pays different percentages to different people there is some reasonable explanation why it would happen. Though I never bought into any of those speculation because in the bigger picture it doesn't make sense. The main target of all selling companies is to make customers buy something, and to deliberately keep a product hidden that they might want to buy to "save" money just doesn't make sense.

It makes even less sense for Shutterstock as they don't have different collections and even the difference between the top three of their four earning levels is less than 20%. Saving 5 cents by excluding an image that might otherwise sell would be rather stupid.

ethan

« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2014, 10:46 »
0
^^, but as they always warn in History lessons, "Look at the Source".

Sorry don't understand, do you mean the fellow called Chris that posted this ?

« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2014, 10:47 »
+17
The chap who wrote that piece thinks "The Matrix" is a documentary.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 10:52 by Red Dove »

« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2014, 10:53 »
+3
Mind you, I hardly needed anybody to tell me something is badly worng, one day you can have like 20 ODs, 6 SODs and some ELs, next day you get like 50 subs. Even bhy the law of average, this can not hold true.
Stock art is heavily customer driven and customers can vary wildly on what they want. Some days it is busy and some days it is slow. Some people want subs and others want just one image.

« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2014, 10:53 »
+3
There has been often speculation about iStockphoto and their searches. Because iStock pays different percentages to different people there is some reasonable explanation why it would happen. Though I never bought into any of those speculation because in the bigger picture it doesn't make sense. The main target of all selling companies is to make customers buy something, and to deliberately keep a product hidden that they might want to buy to "save" money just doesn't make sense.

It makes even less sense for Shutterstock as they don't have different collections and even the difference between the top three of their four earning levels is less than 20%. Saving 5 cents by excluding an image that might otherwise sell would be rather stupid.

It would make sense for them to do this but personally I don't see it.
Yes there are ups and downs but I am at the top tier and have been for years and I continually see my earnings increase.
And your assumption that SS sells images to make money is wrong. They sell subscriptions and other packages - Hoping & Knowing you won't use the entire allotment - that's how they make money. Actually every time someone downloads an image they lose money actually make less money.

« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2014, 10:53 »
+14
^^, but as they always warn in History lessons, "Look at the Source".

Sorry don't understand, do you mean the fellow called Chris that posted this ?

Christian Lagerek is a well known purveyor of really "out there" opinions - based on his prior lives here; I don't know him personally. Can't argue with the quality of his work, but I would want some other source before printing a story if I were a newspaper :)

ethan

« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2014, 10:55 »
0
^^, but as they always warn in History lessons, "Look at the Source".

Sorry don't understand, do you mean the fellow called Chris that posted this ?

Christian Lagerek is a well known purveyor of really "out there" opinions - based on his prior lives here; I don't know him personally. Can't argue with the quality of his work, but I would want some other source before printing a story if I were a newspaper :)

OK Got it  :)


ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2014, 10:59 »
+5
^^, but as they always warn in History lessons, "Look at the Source".

Sorry don't understand, do you mean the fellow called Chris that posted this ?

Indeed. He has a history here.

« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2014, 11:03 »
+3
And your assumption that SS sells images to make money is wrong. They sell subscriptions and other packages - Hoping & Knowing you won't use the entire allotment - that's how they make money. Actually every time someone downloads an image they lose money actually make less money.

Ok, that is another way of looking at it and has some "logic" that could be used to come up with ideas... but to achieve that kind of "success" they would have to hide all content that the customer might download, making it impossible to find something matching the customers needs. They don't win by hiding "image1" if the result is a download for "image2". And in the end the overall experience needs to be good enough to make customers renew their subscriptions if possible, right?

So I still go with "we don't care which image gets the download, we only care if the customers gets what he wants in the shortest time possible" as the most reasonable goal for any agency and how they structure their search results.

« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2014, 11:12 »
+2
And your assumption that SS sells images to make money is wrong. They sell subscriptions and other packages - Hoping & Knowing you won't use the entire allotment - that's how they make money. Actually every time someone downloads an image they lose money actually make less money.

Ok, that is another way of looking at it and has some "logic" that could be used to come up with ideas... but to achieve that kind of "success" they would have to hide all content that the customer might download, making it impossible to find something matching the customers needs. They don't win by hiding "image1" if the result is a download for "image2". And in the end the overall experience needs to be good enough to make customers renew their subscriptions if possible, right?

So I still go with "we don't care which image gets the download, we only care if the customers gets what he wants in the shortest time possible" as the most reasonable goal for any agency and how they structure their search results.

Actually we agree - like I said It might make sense but I just don't see them hiding particular portfolios. If they were a lot of us would be seeing disastrous results - and we aren't. I just see growth.

ethan

« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2014, 11:43 »
+2
And your assumption that SS sells images to make money is wrong. They sell subscriptions and other packages - Hoping & Knowing you won't use the entire allotment - that's how they make money. Actually every time someone downloads an image they lose money actually make less money.

Ok, that is another way of looking at it and has some "logic" that could be used to come up with ideas... but to achieve that kind of "success" they would have to hide all content that the customer might download, making it impossible to find something matching the customers needs. They don't win by hiding "image1" if the result is a download for "image2". And in the end the overall experience needs to be good enough to make customers renew their subscriptions if possible, right?

So I still go with "we don't care which image gets the download, we only care if the customers gets what he wants in the shortest time possible" as the most reasonable goal for any agency and how they structure their search results.

Actually we agree - like I said It might make sense but I just don't see them hiding particular portfolios. If they were a lot of us would be seeing disastrous results - and we aren't. I just see growth.

Definitely I concur with that. Until seeing those comments I was unaware of anything being 'wrong' or odd about my sales trends. I only have a really tiny portfolio over on SS and I have only experienced BME for the last six to eight months, not necessarily in $ every month but certainly in downloads by on average 20-25% a month increases. Albeit only three and a half days into April I have 117 D/L (subs and ODD's) and fully expect to beat March total of 894 D/L if things stay the same.

I guess I just was slightly alarmed by what I was seeing (reading) on the SS forum so mentioned it here.

I won't be concerned having seen the comments and views posted in response to my OP.

Thanks everyone :)

« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2014, 11:46 »
+3
And your assumption that SS sells images to make money is wrong. They sell subscriptions and other packages - Hoping & Knowing you won't use the entire allotment - that's how they make money. Actually every time someone downloads an image they lose money actually make less money.

Last month only 36% of my earnings were from 25 a day subs - which is where SS makes more the less the buyer downloads.

64% of my earnings came from the types of sales where both SS and I make more the more the buyer downloads.

What you said was true way back when, but much less now (and the trend I see is that the non-subs stuff is growing over time)

Uncle Pete

« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2014, 12:16 »
+1
I am reading some alarming claims on another forum that the very recent (apparently) change to the SS search facility is turning on and off photographers portfolios during the day to limit their ports exposure and subsequently their earnings, thereby controlling a photographers success.

Answer Removed

So I still go with "we don't care which image gets the download, we only care if the customers gets what he wants in the shortest time possible" as the most reasonable goal for any agency and how they structure their search results.

Yes!

Actually we agree - like I said It might make sense but I just don't see them hiding particular portfolios. If they were a lot of us would be seeing disastrous results - and we aren't. I just see growth.

And another yes.

Stock art is heavily customer driven and customers can vary wildly on what they want. Some days it is busy and some days it is slow. Some people want subs and others want just one image.

And one more yes. Needs vary, it's random, not stable and a steady flow of demands. It makes no sense at all for SS to hide good selling images and try to force customers to buy less needed or lower quality images. They might be sending people away, which is a higher risk, than the 5 cents between .33 and .38. And what about the ODD and SODs, do you want to distract people and spread those out?
« Last Edit: April 07, 2014, 23:56 by Uncle Pete »

EmberMike

« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2014, 12:48 »
+3
Source? Proof? Anything?

Who is claiming this? How many DLs do they typically get? Because if someone is seeing 5 DLs during one time of day and zero another time (for example), I can see how someone might think that their port is "off" sometimes. But that's hardly "evidence" given the total daily sales number.

Can anyone with, say, 200 typical daily sales substantiate this theory? 100? Anyone?

Personally, I see nothing to back up this portfolio throttling theory. And I'm not saying how many DLs I get per day but let's just say that I'm crossing the quarter-million lifetime DL milestone by Monday so I think I'm credible.

Matter of fact, I'm seeing the opposite and April is rocking for me so far. April 1st was pretty close to a BDE.

« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2014, 13:35 »
+3
I don't believe in this conspiracy theory. Why woudn't SS want to sell as much as possible and keep their customers happy? What would SS benefit from doing this?

If someone has experienced their portfolio "dissappearing", I think it's more likely some technical glitch.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 13:37 by Perry »


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
11 Replies
3741 Views
Last post April 13, 2015, 23:58
by Me
10 Replies
4051 Views
Last post June 23, 2016, 05:08
by Justanotherphotographer
144 Replies
25069 Views
Last post February 22, 2017, 20:47
by JimP
3 Replies
2886 Views
Last post June 28, 2018, 00:23
by dpimborough
20 Replies
5040 Views
Last post September 29, 2018, 15:59
by nobody

Sponsors

Mega Bundle of 5,900+ Professional Lightroom Presets

Microstock Poll Results

Sponsors

3100 Posing Cards Bundle