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Author Topic: Shutterstock Reports Q3 2014 Results  (Read 12478 times)

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« on: November 06, 2014, 17:05 »
+3
- Third quarter revenue increased 41% from prior year to $83.7 million
- Adjusted EBITDA increased 36% to $17.3 million
- Quarterly paid downloads increased 23% to 31.2 million
- Revenue per download increased 13% to $2.65
- Image collection grew 44%; currently exceeds 44 million images and 2.1 million video clips

Read more about it here;

http://seekingalpha.com/pr/11606925-shutterstock-reports-third-quarter-2014-financial-results?app=n


« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2014, 19:31 »
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Looks like they had a good quarter.  I wonder why they are down nearly 10% after the announcement.  Might be a good time to buy?

« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2014, 19:37 »
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Looks like they had a good quarter.  I wonder why they are down nearly 10% after the announcement.  Might be a good time to buy?

Good results were anticipated. A classic case of "buy on the rumour, sell on the news". Always seems to happen when a business announces good news.

Rinderart

« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2014, 20:30 »
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Closed at 74.91 today.

« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2014, 20:32 »
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Closed at 74.91 today.
Yeah but it looks like it went down below 65 in after hours trading.  The earnings report came after the close.

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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2014, 23:42 »
+3
- Image collection grew 44%; currently exceeds 44 million images and 2.1 million video clips

this is huge, how long they can sustain such a growth ? soon they will have 2-300 million pics on sale, how are we supposed to stand out or even to make steady sales there ? however, i'm sure most of the growth is in the top selling niches.

« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2014, 00:40 »
+7
- Image collection grew 44%; currently exceeds 44 million images and 2.1 million video clips

this is huge, how long they can sustain such a growth ? soon they will have 2-300 million pics on sale, how are we supposed to stand out or even to make steady sales there ? however, i'm sure most of the growth is in the top selling niches.

Mind boggling.  Every time I sell an image I think "someone picked that out of 40 million options".  How on earth did they find mine???

« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2014, 00:48 »
+1
I can bet that in 2/3 of the times they used the 'New files' filter. It will not get any better, especially for people like me who missed the last six to ten years.

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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2014, 02:05 »
+7
I can bet that in 2/3 of the times they used the 'New files' filter. It will not get any better, especially for people like me who missed the last six to ten years.

sure but ultimately this factor alone WILL kill the microstock model because they won't be able to keep the promise of selling cheap but selling many times, you'll barely sell only once and for half a dollar, thus making it impossible to sustain the production costs.

i'm the first saying in stock you need a big portfolio but once the leading agency is doubling or tripling the size of its whole archive every year you just can't stay afloat, sooner or later your portfolio will be irrilevant, a drop in the ocean.

« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2014, 02:08 »
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Unfortunately, I think you are right. The only winner in this case is the agency. I guess the bank always wins :(

« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2014, 02:35 »
+3
- Image collection grew 44%; currently exceeds 44 million images and 2.1 million video clips

this is huge, how long they can sustain such a growth ? soon they will have 2-300 million pics on sale, how are we supposed to stand out or even to make steady sales there ? however, i'm sure most of the growth is in the top selling niches.

I think results in the future (for photographers) will be more and more on search placement (if it isn't already) and how good the search algorithm is on the site.  How many website are there on the web - yet people are still able to find what they are generally looking for

« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2014, 02:46 »
+3
- Image collection grew 44%; currently exceeds 44 million images and 2.1 million video clips

this is huge, how long they can sustain such a growth ? soon they will have 2-300 million pics on sale, how are we supposed to stand out or even to make steady sales there ? however, i'm sure most of the growth is in the top selling niches.

They don't need to sustain the growth in the collection. If they stopped accepting images today they could probably still keep growing the business for years.

Lightrecorder

« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2014, 03:30 »
+5
Its a matter of CYA for them. The more contributors and images they have, the more secure their business is, if people decide to pull out. They can slash royalties tomorrow, lose half the contributor base and still have 20 million images. Agencies are in power, we are just minions.

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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2014, 05:48 »
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Its a matter of CYA for them. The more contributors and images they have, the more secure their business is, if people decide to pull out. They can slash royalties tomorrow, lose half the contributor base and still have 20 million images. Agencies are in power, we are just minions.

of course but time will tell if this is a winning strategy, look how many agencies closed down in the last 5-10 yrs, many of them were former market leaders with highly paid execs all thinking they know the score, and yet ...


« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2014, 05:49 »
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Its great to see a stock agency doing well in the marketplace.  It shows positivity when many other agencies seem to be struggling, creating an overall negative environment. 

Having said that, its unfortunate that SS have not come out with any increase in basic  commission structure to contributors in a number of years. The producers of the content also have costs and also live in an inflationary world.  An agency when doing well, could remember that contributors are the backbone of this industry and owners of the content. Should we not be a part of the success?

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« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2014, 05:53 »
+1
They don't need to sustain the growth in the collection. If they stopped accepting images today they could probably still keep growing the business for years.

sure, screwing their own suppliers which are also buyers in many cases, just like iStock did ... what could ever go wrong ?

besides, agencies are not a search engine, they're not google, they don't need to keep in store billions of images that never sold and never will, they can pretty much set a limit like 50 million pics on sale and periodically delete the non-sellers, if your image never sold once in 5 yrs what's the point of wasting time and storage space ?

claiming to have xxx millions of pics is just a marketing strategy after all, there's no technical reason to do that considering only 20% of the images are maybe selling decently and the remaining 80% could be wiped out and nobody would ever notice.


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« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2014, 05:55 »
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They don't need to sustain the growth in the collection. If they stopped accepting images today they could probably still keep growing the business for years.

but the competitors would profit from that, they would push buyers into the "freshness" of their archive compared to SS's stale collection.

for what is worth, SS could be even bought by google or microsoft or apple, it's a realistic possibility.


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« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2014, 06:00 »
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I think results in the future (for photographers) will be more and more on search placement (if it isn't already) and how good the search algorithm is on the site.  How many website are there on the web - yet people are still able to find what they are generally looking for

yes but it;s a lot harder to design a ranking system for images.

images in a stock agencies don't get linked from reputable and less reputable sites, all they can do is making a rank based on views/clicks/zooms/freshness and a few other obvious factors but that's all, so keywording will become THE only way to rank and keyword spamming will flourish even more.

the simplest and most logical fix is for agencies to set a limit in the number of pics they store, or at least giving more visibility to new uploads, one way or another they have to monetize their collection otherwise photographers will quit and while they quit they will also spread the word around and maybe stopping buying there too, same scenario witnessed with istock already and in fact they're struggling to recover.

if they think in the bigger scenario we're worthless they're right but they can't downplay the unexpected consequences of their greedy strategies.




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« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2014, 06:33 »
+3
The producers of the content also have costs and also live in an inflationary world.  An agency when doing well, could remember that contributors are the backbone of this industry and owners of the content. Should we not be a part of the success?

if nothing changes sooner or later people will stop supplying agencies and it will become universally accepted that microstock is unsustainable unless you live in a third world country, it's the same thing we've witnessed with the outsourcing of IT services to india, china, and south east asia.

for someone living in the west these jobs have simply disappeared, it could be the same for micro in one way or another, especially in some niches.

i mean look at australia where now you need 10$ for a burger or a beer and up to 20 bucks for a pack of cigarettes, it's going to be * hard to make a living in OZ off microstock but it's still doable if you live in Bali or Manila or Bangkok.

« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2014, 06:46 »
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They don't need to sustain the growth in the collection. If they stopped accepting images today they could probably still keep growing the business for years.

but the competitors would profit from that, they would push buyers into the "freshness" of their archive compared to SS's stale collection.

for what is worth, SS could be even bought by google or microsoft or apple, it's a realistic possibility.

I'm not proposing it as a policy for them, I'm just saying that the insane rate of growth in the collection isn't necessary, if they added a million or two images a year it would probably keep things fresh enough for the buyers to be happy.

Buyouts happen, look at what happened to Getty Images, but it's much easier to buy an ailing public company than one doing well.

« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2014, 06:49 »
+5
I can bet that in 2/3 of the times they used the 'New files' filter. It will not get any better, especially for people like me who missed the last six to ten years.

sure but ultimately this factor alone WILL kill the microstock model because they won't be able to keep the promise of selling cheap but selling many times, you'll barely sell only once and for half a dollar, thus making it impossible to sustain the production costs.

i'm the first saying in stock you need a big portfolio but once the leading agency is doubling or tripling the size of its whole archive every year you just can't stay afloat, sooner or later your portfolio will be irrilevant, a drop in the ocean.

A huge number of new images accepted are bizarrely LCV and have little or no chance of ever selling. I don't know why some contributors waste their time uploading vast numbers of similar images when they clearly don't understand 'stock'. Equally I don't understand why SS go to the expense of reviewing and storing so many pointless images. I'm surprised they don't at least impose upload limits based on the sales record of contributors.

I recently undertook some analysis of my own portfolio and was quite surprised by how much my revenue was affected by recent uploads. New images still get found on SS and still sell in worthwhile volume. The only thing that has changed from say 2-3 years ago is that new images do take somewhat longer to be noticed and climb the default sort-order. It used to be days or weeks but now it can take several months.

Every niche subject still has a market of a certain volume. You just need to make sure that you are uploading enough quality images of that market to ensure that you maintain (or grow) your share of it.

The success of SS is a somewhat double-edged sword in my view. The volume of images that they sell has given stability and predictability to my earnings far more than any other agency. However their dominance also gives me cause for concern. Last month (a BME on SS), together with earnings from BigStock, they generated over 65% of my total and my data indicates that their market-share is still growing strongly. At their current rate of growth (and with the continued decline of other agencies) SS could take their market-share to 80% over the next couple of years ... and that would be a significant cause for concern.

« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2014, 06:58 »
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They don't need to sustain the growth in the collection. If they stopped accepting images today they could probably still keep growing the business for years.


but the competitors would profit from that, they would push buyers into the "freshness" of their archive compared to SS's stale collection.

for what is worth, SS could be even bought by google or microsoft or apple, it's a realistic possibility.


I'm not proposing it as a policy for them, I'm just saying that the insane rate of growth in the collection isn't necessary, if they added a million or two images a year it would probably keep things fresh enough for the buyers to be happy.

Buyouts happen, look at what happened to Getty Images, but it's much easier to buy an ailing public company than one doing well.


It's probably just cheaper rather than 'easier' to buy an ailing public company. The current market capitalisation for SSTK is $2.69B. That would be loose change to Google or Apple. Apple is currently sitting on a cash mountain of $165B+.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/sep/07/apple-iphone-6-cash-pile-tax-avoidance-us

« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2014, 07:07 »
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They don't need to sustain the growth in the collection. If they stopped accepting images today they could probably still keep growing the business for years.


but the competitors would profit from that, they would push buyers into the "freshness" of their archive compared to SS's stale collection.

for what is worth, SS could be even bought by google or microsoft or apple, it's a realistic possibility.


I'm not proposing it as a policy for them, I'm just saying that the insane rate of growth in the collection isn't necessary, if they added a million or two images a year it would probably keep things fresh enough for the buyers to be happy.

Buyouts happen, look at what happened to Getty Images, but it's much easier to buy an ailing public company than one doing well.


It's probably just cheaper rather than 'easier' to buy an ailing public company. The current market capitalisation for SSTK is $2.69B. That would be loose change to Google or Apple. Apple is currently sitting on a cash mountain of $165B+.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/sep/07/apple-iphone-6-cash-pile-tax-avoidance-us


I was thinking in terms of the optimism of existing shareholders. There's a price beyond which it isn't worth paying and if a large section of shareholders aren't willing to set their sights that low then a deal doesn't happen. If you want to get off a sinking ship, however, that is another thing altogether.
If you had SS shares and were offered 10% above last night's close by a potential purchaser, would you grab the cash or wait for something better?
Just now, Qatar's bid for Canary Wharf has been turned down, with the owners saying it is too low. Qatar could easily increase the offer, but will they think it's worth it?

« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2014, 07:14 »
0
They don't need to sustain the growth in the collection. If they stopped accepting images today they could probably still keep growing the business for years.


but the competitors would profit from that, they would push buyers into the "freshness" of their archive compared to SS's stale collection.

for what is worth, SS could be even bought by google or microsoft or apple, it's a realistic possibility.


I'm not proposing it as a policy for them, I'm just saying that the insane rate of growth in the collection isn't necessary, if they added a million or two images a year it would probably keep things fresh enough for the buyers to be happy.

Buyouts happen, look at what happened to Getty Images, but it's much easier to buy an ailing public company than one doing well.


It's probably just cheaper rather than 'easier' to buy an ailing public company. The current market capitalisation for SSTK is $2.69B. That would be loose change to Google or Apple. Apple is currently sitting on a cash mountain of $165B+.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/sep/07/apple-iphone-6-cash-pile-tax-avoidance-us


I was thinking in terms of the optimism of existing shareholders. There's a price beyond which it isn't worth paying and if a large section of shareholders aren't willing to set their sights that low then a deal doesn't happen. If you want to get off a sinking ship, however, that is another thing altogether.
If you had SS shares and were offered 10% above last night's close by a potential purchaser, would you grab the cash or wait for something better?
Just now, Qatar's bid for Canary Wharf has been turned down, with the owners saying it is too low. Qatar could easily increase the offer, but will they think it's worth it?


Agreeing on a price is the easy bit. If you buy an ailing business then you are buying someone else's problems. Remember BMW buying Rover? It became known as 'The English Patient' and was a millstone around their neck until they finally managed to offload it.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/679434.stm

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« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2014, 07:17 »
+1
There's a price beyond which it isn't worth paying

considering the actual 2.7 billion capitalization and their 44 million images it would cost roughly 60$/image which is laughable as 80% of those pics hardly sell once or twice in their lifetime.

i think it's obvious their goal is a far sell out.
3 billions $ for SS is totally detached from reality, they've already squeezed the lemon to the bone, all they can hope for is gaining even more market share.


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« Reply #25 on: November 07, 2014, 07:22 »
+1
I'm not proposing it as a policy for them, I'm just saying that the insane rate of growth in the collection isn't necessary, if they added a million or two images a year it would probably keep things fresh enough for the buyers to be happy.

exactly ! an "infinity" collection with billions of images is just NOT necessary and a waste of time and money for everybody involved including photographers who are shooting stuff that has no value and will keep doing it as long as SS keep accepting their uploads.

where are they heading ? like Alamy with millions and millions of unedited cr-ap that nobody wants ?
"obscure" subjects ? hard to find stuff ? "long tail" ?

in the past it made sense to have a few million images on sale, but now ? every possible subject and location and concept has been shot to death from any possible perspective.



« Reply #26 on: November 07, 2014, 07:22 »
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They don't need to sustain the growth in the collection. If they stopped accepting images today they could probably still keep growing the business for years.

^ I believe that this is not necessarily the whole picture. As follows:

Shutterstock is clearly all about the revenues today. The revenues are without question impressive.

But in terms of the future of the stock - and apart from the revenues today ... it has some aspects in common with social networking stocks. Those sorts of tech stocks are invariably also partly valued on the number of active users and the extent of that activity. Partly because there is always the (flawed IMO) expectation that an active membership represents a future potential other business opportunity - when the business inevitably diversifies as it must if momentum is to be maintained.

Any analysis of the future direction of the stock is going to take in account data which relates to active engagement. The number of contributing members and the amount of content being contributed will be a relevant number (whether or not it really should be). There has to be the sense that SS is still the big thing.

The stock price is crucial. A company with a falling stock price quickly comes under pressure. The whole market has been kept afloat by QE for the past few years - and despite that being wound down the reality is that govt money will continue to flow for years via existing commitments.

(IMO - this thing about the amount of membership activity potentially affecting the price or future price is something which contributors often ignore when trying to work out, for example, why standards do not gradually get tighter).


« Reply #27 on: November 07, 2014, 07:24 »
+1
There's a price beyond which it isn't worth paying

considering the actual 2.7 billion capitalization and their 44 million images it would cost roughly 60$/image which is laughable as 80% of those pics hardly sell once or twice in their lifetime.

i think it's obvious their goal is a far sell out.
3 billions $ for SS is totally detached from reality, they've already squeezed the lemon to the bone, all they can hope for is gaining even more market share.

But they've already sold it, when they floated it on the stock exchange. Also, bear in mind that images are worth several times as much to the agencies as they are to us, plus you can play strange money-market games with companies, the way that Getty has been played by its various owners - nothing really to do with the intrinsive value of it's libraries.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2014, 07:27 by BaldricksTrousers »

« Reply #28 on: November 07, 2014, 07:24 »
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There's a price beyond which it isn't worth paying

considering the actual 2.7 billion capitalization and their 44 million images it would cost roughly 60$/image which is laughable as 80% of those pics hardly sell once or twice in their lifetime.

i think it's obvious their goal is a far sell out.
3 billions $ for SS is totally detached from reality, they've already squeezed the lemon to the bone, all they can hope for is gaining even more market share.

You might think that the price is ridiculous however the market, the people that actually stump up the money, clearly do not. The price is set by the market and that's what they value it at.

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« Reply #29 on: November 07, 2014, 07:24 »
+1
SS could take their market-share to 80% over the next couple of years ... and that would be a significant cause for concern.

i'm sure this is what's gonna happen, at this point SS has an unlimited supply of cash and nobody can beat them at their own game, certainly not FT or DT.

« Reply #30 on: November 07, 2014, 07:28 »
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SS could take their market-share to 80% over the next couple of years ... and that would be a significant cause for concern.

i'm sure this is what's gonna happen, at this point SS has an unlimited supply of cash and nobody can beat them at their own game, certainly not FT or DT.

Or DPC?

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« Reply #31 on: November 07, 2014, 07:34 »
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The price is set by the market and that's what they value it at.

they've good reasons to market SS so high but it won't last forever, SS is not a tech/media company that is launching new product every year or that is doing M&As, all they're doing now is preparing the company for a sell out and yes the most obvious candidates for this are companies like apple/MS/google/adobe.


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« Reply #32 on: November 07, 2014, 07:35 »
+5
SS could take their market-share to 80% over the next couple of years ... and that would be a significant cause for concern.

i'm sure this is what's gonna happen, at this point SS has an unlimited supply of cash and nobody can beat them at their own game, certainly not FT or DT.

I'd agree.

I hope all of you people who rely on SS for income have a Plan B in place. Because they are running over the competition like a steam roller. When they have dominant market share, and stock price growth stalls, they will have no choice but to start changing contributor terms to improve their financials. And at that point they know they will be able to do whatever they want to contributors. Because IS has proven contributors will take severe abuse as long as the money keeps coming in. And I think SS has learned from IS's games where that fine line is between money and abuse. It's only a matter of time.

« Reply #33 on: November 07, 2014, 07:36 »
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They don't need to sustain the growth in the collection. If they stopped accepting images today they could probably still keep growing the business for years.

^ I believe that this is not necessarily the whole picture. As follows:

Shutterstock is clearly all about the revenues today. The revenues are without question impressive.

But in terms of the future of the stock - and apart from the revenues today ... it has some aspects in common with social networking stocks. Those sorts of tech stocks are invariably also partly valued on the number of active users and the extent of that activity. Partly because there is always the (flawed IMO) expectation that an active membership represents a future potential other business opportunity - when the business inevitably diversifies as it must if momentum is to be maintained.

Any analysis of the future direction of the stock is going to take in account data which relates to active engagement. The number of contributing members and the amount of content being contributed will be a relevant number (whether or not it really should be). There has to be the sense that SS is still the big thing.

The stock price is crucial. A company with a falling stock price quickly comes under pressure. The whole market has been kept afloat by QE for the past few years - and despite that being wound down the reality is that govt money will continue to flow for years via existing commitments.

(IMO - this thing about the amount of membership activity potentially affecting the price or future price is something which contributors often ignore when trying to work out, for example, why standards do not gradually get tighter).

I think you are somewhat flawed in this. From the point of view of 'data collection' and 'social engagement' it is not the contributors who might be valued but the customers. Contributors number in 10's of thousands whereas customers, who actually spend money, number in the millions. Not that your theory probably holds for this anyway.

Have you heard of Strava? Strava are a website that enables cyclists and runners to upload their rides or runs, recorded on a GPS device, that can then be compared to others who have ridden the same route or user-generated 'segment'. The basic service is free and, a bit like Facebook, Strava are trying to work out ways to monetise their success. One valuable asset they have is the details of millions of cyclists from all around the world who tend to be fairly well-off and who spend an average of $3K per year on cycling gear. A lot of businesses would pay dearly to access that data.

Would the email addresses of image buyers be equally valuable?

« Reply #34 on: November 07, 2014, 07:41 »
+1
The price is set by the market and that's what they value it at.

they've good reasons to market SS so high but it won't last forever, SS is not a tech/media company that is launching new product every year or that is doing M&As, all they're doing now is preparing the company for a sell out and yes the most obvious candidates for this are companies like apple/MS/google/adobe.

As BT has already pointed out 'they' can't be "preparing the company for a sell-out" ... because 'they' already sold it in an IPO two years ago.

For all we know Apple or Google (or any other potential purchaser) could already have been buying SS, share by share, for a couple of years.

« Reply #35 on: November 07, 2014, 08:08 »
+1
I think you are somewhat flawed in this.

I'm not wrong in essence although I could probably have worded my post better. The rate of growth of the collection is an important number. Rightly or wrongly it is one measure of growth which is being taken into account. We know this, it's obvious, from the reporting.

Suppose for example that they were to report that uploads had declined. That would be taken as a negative.

« Reply #36 on: November 07, 2014, 08:13 »
+1
I agree the dominant market share is a concern but its not SS's fault is it? I doubt this industry will look the same in 5 years - if I knew what it would look like i'd be far too busy making a fortune to be worried about 33c subs ;D


« Reply #37 on: November 07, 2014, 09:44 »
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I hope all of you people who rely on SS for income have a Plan B in place. Because they are running over the competition like a steam roller. When they have dominant market share, and stock price growth stalls, they will have no choice but to start changing contributor terms to improve their financials. And at that point they know they will be able to do whatever they want to contributors.
I don't know if you have to wait that long, from what I remember every earnings report investor call has had a question about royalty rates and the company is beating expectations every quarter.  It might just take one quarter of meeting expectations?

« Reply #38 on: November 07, 2014, 10:03 »
+1
I hope all of you people who rely on SS for income have a Plan B in place. Because they are running over the competition like a steam roller. When they have dominant market share, and stock price growth stalls, they will have no choice but to start changing contributor terms to improve their financials. And at that point they know they will be able to do whatever they want to contributors.
I don't know if you have to wait that long, from what I remember every earnings report investor call has had a question about royalty rates and the company is beating expectations every quarter.  It might just take one quarter of meeting expectations?

That would be a very dangerous game for SS to play. Istock already tried 'management by quarterly target review' when H&F were their masters ... and look where it got them.

If SS were to destroy itself through greed, as IS did, then another agency or two would simply step up to take their place.

I'd definitely have concerns if Oringer were to walk away but I don't think he will. It's now a game to him. He wants to make SS as big as possible and he knows that he won't achieve that by messing with either his customers or his contributors. If short-term greed were in his nature then we'd already have witnessed it. Instead the opposite is true.

« Reply #39 on: November 07, 2014, 10:08 »
+1
I hope all of you people who rely on SS for income have a Plan B in place. Because they are running over the competition like a steam roller. When they have dominant market share, and stock price growth stalls, they will have no choice but to start changing contributor terms to improve their financials. And at that point they know they will be able to do whatever they want to contributors.
I don't know if you have to wait that long, from what I remember every earnings report investor call has had a question about royalty rates and the company is beating expectations every quarter.  It might just take one quarter of meeting expectations?

That would be a very dangerous game for SS to play. Istock already tried 'management by quarterly target review' when H&F were their masters ... and look where it got them.

If SS were to destroy itself through greed, as IS did, then another agency or two would simply step up to take their place.

I'd definitely have concerns if Oringer were to walk away but I don't think he will. It's now a game to him. He wants to make SS as big as possible and he knows that he won't achieve that by messing with either his customers or his contributors. If short-term greed were in his nature then we'd already have witnessed it. Instead the opposite is true.
So far they have been consistent in saying they aren't planning on changing the royalty rates.  One thing that bothers me from their answers is that some quarters they say the royalty rate has been and will be 28% while other quarters (including the most recent one) they said the royalty rate was about 30%.  Maybe that's not such a big deal but with the amount of money they are dealing with the difference between 28 and 30 percent is over $500,000 in royalties paid per month.
My point was more about investor pressure than how great Jon is, I'm not sure how much influence investors have over the company.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2014, 10:20 by tickstock »

Rinderart

« Reply #40 on: November 07, 2014, 11:21 »
0
- Image collection grew 44%; currently exceeds 44 million images and 2.1 million video clips

this is huge, how long they can sustain such a growth ? soon they will have 2-300 million pics on sale, how are we supposed to stand out or even to make steady sales there ? however, i'm sure most of the growth is in the top selling niches.

Mind boggling.  Every time I sell an image I think "someone picked that out of 40 million options".  How on earth did they find mine???

Always shocked also.

« Reply #41 on: November 07, 2014, 11:30 »
+7
"Mind boggling.  Every time I sell an image I think "someone picked that out of 40 million options".  How on earth did they find mine???"

I think that too, but I also sometimes look at the "what sold" thread, and think "someone picked that out of 40 million options".  How on earth did they pick that???" ;)

Hobostocker

    This user is banned.
« Reply #42 on: November 07, 2014, 11:36 »
+1
It's only a matter of time.

indeed.

they need us only as long as there's some serious competition, once they're a monopoly we'll be dumped like a sack of potatoes.

Hobostocker

    This user is banned.
« Reply #43 on: November 07, 2014, 11:41 »
0
As BT has already pointed out 'they' can't be "preparing the company for a sell-out" ... because 'they' already sold it in an IPO two years ago.

For all we know Apple or Google (or any other potential purchaser) could already have been buying SS, share by share, for a couple of years.

usually when they want to buy a public company they make an offer to the shareholders, these deals are always dodgy and behind doors.

however, it would be logical they sell to Adobe, but for whatever reason Adobe was never serious about stock,
i think they don't see it as a big money maker and selling stock is not part of their company culture.

« Reply #44 on: November 08, 2014, 14:33 »
0
Looks like they had a good quarter.  I wonder why they are down nearly 10% after the announcement.  Might be a good time to buy?

According to insidertrading.org two SSTK officers sold relatively large personal stakes on 03/11. i.e. just before the reporting.

« Reply #45 on: November 08, 2014, 23:24 »
0
I can bet that in 2/3 of the times they used the 'New files' filter. It will not get any better, especially for people like me who missed the last six to ten years.

sure but ultimately this factor alone WILL kill the microstock model because they won't be able to keep the promise of selling cheap but selling many times, you'll barely sell only once and for half a dollar, thus making it impossible to sustain the production costs.

i'm the first saying in stock you need a big portfolio but once the leading agency is doubling or tripling the size of its whole archive every year you just can't stay afloat, sooner or later your portfolio will be irrilevant, a drop in the ocean.

They have been able to double the size of the archive solely because IS failed to compete and so many small contributors came here to brag about their outrageous and never ending sales at SS.

Once all the IS exclusives have cut and run the growth at SS will stall. The will have a hard time maintaining current rates via new contributors generated by skill feed etc.


« Reply #46 on: November 08, 2014, 23:33 »
0
The price is set by the market and that's what they value it at.


they've good reasons to market SS so high but it won't last forever, SS is not a tech/media company that is launching new product every year or that is doing M&As, all they're doing now is preparing the company for a sell out and yes the most obvious candidates for this are companies like apple/MS/google/adobe.


As BT has already pointed out 'they' can't be "preparing the company for a sell-out" ... because 'they' already sold it in an IPO two years ago.

For all we know Apple or Google (or any other potential purchaser) could already have been buying SS, share by share, for a couple of years.


http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/sstk/institutional-holdings


« Reply #47 on: November 09, 2014, 02:00 »
+2
in the past it made sense to have a few million images on sale, but now ? every possible subject and location and concept has been shot to death from any possible perspective.

Actually, it hasn't. I shot Circassian chicken this week, which is a classic Ottoman dish, and SS did not have a single picture of it before that (though it did have something resembling a waldorf salad that was mislabelled as Circassian chicken, presumably because there was a walnut present).

Incidentally, it is interesting to see how poor the quality of food pictures on a google search is if microstockers haven't got stuck into the subject.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2014, 02:03 by BaldricksTrousers »

PZF

« Reply #48 on: November 09, 2014, 03:21 »
+1
But the issue is how many people WANT a picture of Circassian chicken etc. When we get into really tiny niches, the game has to be well nigh over. I could do pics of all the local variations of biscuits in Italy - can't imagine selling (m)any....
PS I have no idea what Circassian chicken is except it invoves walnuts (!) and maybe it is an extremely popular thing....somewhere....

« Reply #49 on: November 09, 2014, 04:18 »
+2
It's quite popular in the Middle East as part of a meze.  It doesn't matter if it is a tiny niche that only has 20 buyers a year if you are the only one with pictures of it. It's no different from shooting something that sells 20 million licenses a year, if evry picture of yours has a million competitors. In fact, it's better, because my image is always going to be on the first page of the search, if I shoot Girl With Headphones I probably won't be in the first 40 pages.
It's shredded chicken in a walnut, bread, stock, onion and spice sauce drizzled with a mix of walnut oil and paprika. It's surprisingly nice, actually.

« Reply #50 on: November 09, 2014, 04:49 »
0
It doesn't matter if it is a tiny niche that only has 20 buyers a year if you are the only one with pictures of it.

Surely something niche is better sold at a site like Alamy where it has the potential to earn more. And, also, RM - so that repeat and additional uses are also paid.

« Reply #51 on: November 09, 2014, 05:01 »
+1
It doesn't matter if it is a tiny niche that only has 20 buyers a year if you are the only one with pictures of it.

Surely something niche is better sold at a site like Alamy where it has the potential to earn more. And, also, RM - so that repeat and additional uses are also paid.

With Alamy's low sales - meaning possibly no sale ever - and RM licenses going for $20 commission (and 25 year RM licenses kicking about), I would think there is an excellent chance of SS delivering bigger returns on something like this. One SOD or EL at Shutterstock could be worth more. The Arab foods I'm doing at the moment are mainly intended for Photoarabia, in the hope that they may develop a decent market in the Middle East over the next couple of years.

« Reply #52 on: November 09, 2014, 07:27 »
+9
Here's the thing that scares the crap out of me...

Look at the chart for "Historical Operating Metrics"...

The rate of growth in the image collection has been accelerating at a frightening pace.

From Q3 to Q4 2012, the collection grew by 7.4%.  That rate of increase steady rises from quarter to quarter, and in the most recent period, from Q2 to Q3 2014, the collection grew by 10.0%

THIS is why we're making less and less while we upload more and more.  Unless you're an uploading machine, you cannot keep your port growing at the accelerating rate of the overall collection. 

If this trend continues, most of us will watch our SS earnings continue to dive no matter how hard we work. 

Very discouraging stuff, and it's making me question how much blood, sweat and tears I will continue pouring into microstock. 

« Reply #53 on: November 09, 2014, 08:54 »
+3
Here's the thing that scares the crap out of me...

Look at the chart for "Historical Operating Metrics"...

The rate of growth in the image collection has been accelerating at a frightening pace.

From Q3 to Q4 2012, the collection grew by 7.4%.  That rate of increase steady rises from quarter to quarter, and in the most recent period, from Q2 to Q3 2014, the collection grew by 10.0%

THIS is why we're making less and less while we upload more and more.  .

Look at the actual number of added photos and you'll be even more scared. Even if the rate had remained at 7.4% throughout, the growth would still be exponential. If you have 7.4% increase per quarter in a collection of 100,000 images then in Q1 you add 7,400, in Q2 you add 7,950, in Q3 you add 8,500 and in Q4 you add 9,160, over the course of a year you have increased from 100,000 to about 133,000.

It's always been clear that nobody can keep up with collections that are growing 30, 40 or 50% a year. The miracle is that the agencies have found enough buyers for us still to be able to make some money more than 10 years after this began.

« Reply #54 on: November 09, 2014, 11:34 »
0
Here's the thing that scares the crap out of me...

Look at the chart for "Historical Operating Metrics"...

The rate of growth in the image collection has been accelerating at a frightening pace.

From Q3 to Q4 2012, the collection grew by 7.4%.  That rate of increase steady rises from quarter to quarter, and in the most recent period, from Q2 to Q3 2014, the collection grew by 10.0%

THIS is why we're making less and less while we upload more and more.  Unless you're an uploading machine, you cannot keep your port growing at the accelerating rate of the overall collection. 

If this trend continues, most of us will watch our SS earnings continue to dive no matter how hard we work. 

Very discouraging stuff, and it's making me question how much blood, sweat and tears I will continue pouring into microstock.

But the revenue pie is not being shared out between images but between contributors. I very much doubt that the number of contributors (who actually know what they are doing) is growing at anything like the same rate.

A huge number of the new images being accepted are multiple similars of LCV subjects. There are contributors out there that are working incredibly hard to generate massive portfolios of images ... most of which will never sell. Even if the images themselves are ok then some folk are uploading 10 or 20 nearly identical images when 1 or 2 would have been enough. Microstock has always been more about working smart than working hard.

As I wrote in an earlier post the libraries actually grew much faster as a percentage of the total at the start of microstock. For example SS's library grew in size by more than 100x between 2005 and 2008.

« Reply #55 on: November 09, 2014, 11:53 »
+2
I hope all of you people who rely on SS for income have a Plan B in place. Because they are running over the competition like a steam roller. When they have dominant market share, and stock price growth stalls, they will have no choice but to start changing contributor terms to improve their financials. And at that point they know they will be able to do whatever they want to contributors.

I don't know if you have to wait that long, from what I remember every earnings report investor call has had a question about royalty rates and the company is beating expectations every quarter.  It might just take one quarter of meeting expectations?


That would be a very dangerous game for SS to play. Istock already tried 'management by quarterly target review' when H&F were their masters ... and look where it got them.

If SS were to destroy itself through greed, as IS did, then another agency or two would simply step up to take their place.

I'd definitely have concerns if Oringer were to walk away but I don't think he will. It's now a game to him. He wants to make SS as big as possible and he knows that he won't achieve that by messing with either his customers or his contributors. If short-term greed were in his nature then we'd already have witnessed it. Instead the opposite is true.

So far they have been consistent in saying they aren't planning on changing the royalty rates.  One thing that bothers me from their answers is that some quarters they say the royalty rate has been and will be 28% while other quarters (including the most recent one) they said the royalty rate was about 30%.  Maybe that's not such a big deal but with the amount of money they are dealing with the difference between 28 and 30 percent is over $500,000 in royalties paid per month.

My point was more about investor pressure than how great Jon is, I'm not sure how much influence investors have over the company.


Documentation of Insight Venture Capital Insider Moves http://tinyurl.com/lfeszaw

Insight Venture Capital placed insiders within shutterstock and not only granted them key positions within the company but large quantities of stock at a cost of $0. They also own a significant portion of its stock under various entities. These are large and easily tracked INSIGHT VENTURE PARTNERS V L P, SHUTTERSTOCK INVESTORS I LLC & Institutional holdings via INSIGHT HOLDINGS GROUP, LLC

SSTK Insider Activity (SEC Form 4)
http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/sstk/insider-trades

There is no questionthat these key holders will not hesitate to squeeze contributors if they see their positions losing value via plunging stock prices. In fact I am sure they have been doing so since March 2013 when Insight Venture Capital previously put key stakeholders in place to build and implement the new search that they rolled out out in March.

http://www.nasdaq.com/quotes/institutional-portfolio/insight-holdings-group-llc-651789

Top 5 Insider Trades
SHUTTERSTOCK INVESTORS I LLC       2,835,697
ORINGER JONATHAN       2,530,000
INSIGHT VENTURE PARTNERS V L P       1,610,000
INSIGHT VENTURE PARTNERS V L P       1,610,000
INSIGHT VENTURE PARTNERS V L P       1,300,000

Top 5 Holders of Institutional Holdings
1.      PRICE T ROWE ASSOCIATES INC /MD/    2,729,747
2.      WELLS FARGO & COMPANY/MN    1,923,913
3.      WELLINGTON MANAGEMENT CO LLP    1,344,486
4.      JACKSON SQUARE PARTNERS, LLC    1,318,414
5.      INSIGHT HOLDINGS GROUP, LLC    1,289,748

http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/sstk/ownership-summary#ixzz3IafANBvJ

« Last Edit: November 09, 2014, 11:58 by gbalex »

Photominer

« Reply #56 on: November 09, 2014, 12:02 »
0
It's quite popular in the Middle East as part of a meze. It doesn't matter if it is a tiny niche that only has 20 buyers a year if you are the only one with pictures of it. It's no different from shooting something that sells 20 million licenses a year, if evry picture of yours has a million competitors. In fact, it's better, because my image is always going to be on the first page of the search, if I shoot Girl With Headphones I probably won't be in the first 40 pages.
It's shredded chicken in a walnut, bread, stock, onion and spice sauce drizzled with a mix of walnut oil and paprika. It's surprisingly nice, actually.
That's it in a nutshell. What is a tiny niche to you? When GI did their "free" portal thing, there were a number of posts about bloggers being a negligible market. But to whom? If SS (for example) has over a million buyers, what is negligible? 1%? If I had 10k buyers (or even a fraction of those like 100 regular buyers), I'd be smiling all the way to the bank...

I agree though, even 20 buyers can be quite lucrative, especially if the picture is of something you were doing anyway like my food pix. There are a huge amount of mainstream items not well covered or barely covered. You just have to go look.


« Reply #57 on: November 09, 2014, 14:38 »
+1
It's quite popular in the Middle East as part of a meze. It doesn't matter if it is a tiny niche that only has 20 buyers a year if you are the only one with pictures of it. It's no different from shooting something that sells 20 million licenses a year, if evry picture of yours has a million competitors. In fact, it's better, because my image is always going to be on the first page of the search, if I shoot Girl With Headphones I probably won't be in the first 40 pages.
It's shredded chicken in a walnut, bread, stock, onion and spice sauce drizzled with a mix of walnut oil and paprika. It's surprisingly nice, actually.
That's it in a nutshell. What is a tiny niche to you? When GI did their "free" portal thing, there were a number of posts about bloggers being a negligible market. But to whom? If SS (for example) has over a million buyers, what is negligible? 1%? If I had 10k buyers (or even a fraction of those like 100 regular buyers), I'd be smiling all the way to the bank...

I agree though, even 20 buyers can be quite lucrative, especially if the picture is of something you were doing anyway like my food pix. There are a huge amount of mainstream items not well covered or barely covered. You just have to go look.

I cook, shoot and eat, so the cost to me of turning out food images is negligible, though there's some extra waste.  Looking at my total earnings over the last 10 years, the average return per image in my portfolio is about $20. Not a lot, but if shooting an extra 10 food pictures one day is going to bring in another $200 over the next 10 years it is still a worthwhile day's work.
On the other hand, I went to Venice once to shoot stock, that's a fairly high commercial value destination and my pictures sank almost instantly, without trace. It was an interesting trip but it's pretty clear it will never recoup its costs.  I've made quite a nice pile of cash from Santorini - but that's only because I was one of the very first microstockers to upload pictures of the famous churches.  I would say that breaking into a high-commercial-value area these days probably requires an absolutely extraordinary interpretation of the subject (which is then probably too good for the micros), if your pictures are just superb microstock HCV work then they are likely to be competing unsuccessfully against established, equally superb images and to be lost in the nether regions of the search before they've made an impact.  Yuri's HCV, high production cost, work now only seems to sell two or three times faster than my LCV, dirt-cheap, work; at one time he was outselling me 20 or 30-fold or more.

« Reply #58 on: November 09, 2014, 15:44 »
+2
But the issue is how many people WANT a picture of Circassian chicken etc. When we get into really tiny niches, the game has to be well nigh over. I could do pics of all the local variations of biscuits in Italy - can't imagine selling (m)any....
PS I have no idea what Circassian chicken is except it invoves walnuts (!) and maybe it is an extremely popular thing....somewhere....

Sometimes you don't know until you fill the niche :) I had Bell's Palsy in the summer of 2013 and did some stock photos of my face in that state as I saw just diagrams on SS and other sites at the time. I now see a man as well.

One of that series is now climbing the charts in my top 100 (by downloads). I'm not suggesting one can become Yuri Arcurs on such niches, but there are a lot of unfilled areas with smaller markets. A bit like indie films versus high budget blockbusters - if you can do the work on a low budget and have access to something authentic for the niche in question (there's no way to fake Bell's Palsy shots!), there are still opportunities.

If there was some big burst of interest in traditional Italian biscuits (think artisinal salts and other food fads that come and go)...

Photominer

« Reply #59 on: November 09, 2014, 16:24 »
0

Sometimes you don't know until you fill the niche :)
Yup. My Tahitian wedding chair is a good example of something very rare. But I've never sold it once. :)

Photominer

« Reply #60 on: November 09, 2014, 16:33 »
0
I cook, shoot and eat, so the cost to me of turning out food images is negligible, though there's some extra waste.  Looking at my total earnings over the last 10 years, the average return per image in my portfolio is about $20. Not a lot, but if shooting an extra 10 food pictures one day is going to bring in another $200 over the next 10 years it is still a worthwhile day's work.
I got into food photography mainly for the simplicity. I eat every day and my wife is a great cook, so adding a small bit of styling or plating was hardly any stretch. I put my setup between the kitchen and dining area and spent approx 1-2 minutes right before supper to shoot 90+% of my food portfolio. Then I ate it. :) My costs are purely time since everything else is either already paid for, or for other uses (like eating). That's what micro is for me. Spending a lot of money on a (micro) shoot just wouldn't be viable for me. I am amazed that others can do it, and it speaks to how good they are if they can. Otherwise, why pay more than peanuts to make peanuts?

Photominer

« Reply #61 on: November 09, 2014, 16:41 »
+1
There is no questionthat these key holders will not hesitate to squeeze contributors if they see their positions losing value via plunging stock prices. In fact I am sure they have been doing so since March 2013 when Insight Venture Capital previously put key stakeholders in place to build and implement the new search that they rolled out out in March.
Not trying to start an argument, but where exactly do you see contributors being squeezed? I haven't seen any reductions in royalties? Can you clarify exactly how we are being squeezed to get more profit to shareholders?

Tryingmybest

  • Stand up for what is right
« Reply #62 on: November 09, 2014, 17:12 »
+3
Good news. Now they can raise our commissions.

- Third quarter revenue increased 41% from prior year to $83.7 million
- Adjusted EBITDA increased 36% to $17.3 million
- Quarterly paid downloads increased 23% to 31.2 million
- Revenue per download increased 13% to $2.65
- Image collection grew 44%; currently exceeds 44 million images and 2.1 million video clips

Read more about it here;

http://seekingalpha.com/pr/11606925-shutterstock-reports-third-quarter-2014-financial-results?app=n

Uncle Pete

« Reply #63 on: November 09, 2014, 18:48 »
+1
Thank You! I've been trying to point out the same information and get pooh poohed with "algorithm change", capping, blackouts and who knows what else. Personally the IS exclusives coming over are a drop in the bucket, but part of the problem.

June 2012 20 million images. Aug 2014 40 million images.

Exactly what you have been saying. We can't keep up with that doubling of competition, and even an uploading machine, won't keep up with 10 million new images by March or April 2015.

We are bound to lose our share of the sales. This is not any great or mysterious discovery. Just that people don't want to admit that we are getting buried by the numbers.



Here's the thing that scares the crap out of me...

Look at the chart for "Historical Operating Metrics"...

The rate of growth in the image collection has been accelerating at a frightening pace.

From Q3 to Q4 2012, the collection grew by 7.4%.  That rate of increase steady rises from quarter to quarter, and in the most recent period, from Q2 to Q3 2014, the collection grew by 10.0%

THIS is why we're making less and less while we upload more and more.  Unless you're an uploading machine, you cannot keep your port growing at the accelerating rate of the overall collection. 

If this trend continues, most of us will watch our SS earnings continue to dive no matter how hard we work. 

Very discouraging stuff, and it's making me question how much blood, sweat and tears I will continue pouring into microstock.

Photominer

« Reply #64 on: November 09, 2014, 19:49 »
+1
Thank You! I've been trying to point out the same information and get pooh poohed with "algorithm change", capping, blackouts and who knows what else. Personally the IS exclusives coming over are a drop in the bucket, but part of the problem.

June 2012 20 million images. Aug 2014 40 million images.

Exactly what you have been saying. We can't keep up with that doubling of competition, and even an uploading machine, won't keep up with 10 million new images by March or April 2015.

We are bound to lose our share of the sales. This is not any great or mysterious discovery. Just that people don't want to admit that we are getting buried by the numbers.
I guess it depends on how you define "competition". Within my niches, who shoot to my target audiences, who market themselves the same way, have roughly the same quality and portfolio size, I just don't see the cause for alarm yet. I'm not competing with 40 million images. In some cases not even a few hundred. I think those who go after specific targets and do the research will see the gains. I think the hyper-competitive fields will be much tougher though. I'd love to see stats on how much of the 40 mil library is editorial, how much people, how much landscape, food, illustrations, etc...

ruxpriencdiam

    This user is banned.
  • Location. Third stone from the sun
« Reply #65 on: November 09, 2014, 20:06 »
-2
Here Pooh pooh on you some more! ;)



Thank You! I've been trying to point out the same information and get pooh poohed with "algorithm change", capping, blackouts and who knows what else. Personally the IS exclusives coming over are a drop in the bucket, but part of the problem.

June 2012 20 million images. Aug 2014 40 million images.

Exactly what you have been saying. We can't keep up with that doubling of competition, and even an uploading machine, won't keep up with 10 million new images by March or April 2015.

We are bound to lose our share of the sales. This is not any great or mysterious discovery. Just that people don't want to admit that we are getting buried by the numbers.



Here's the thing that scares the crap out of me...

Look at the chart for "Historical Operating Metrics"...

The rate of growth in the image collection has been accelerating at a frightening pace.

From Q3 to Q4 2012, the collection grew by 7.4%.  That rate of increase steady rises from quarter to quarter, and in the most recent period, from Q2 to Q3 2014, the collection grew by 10.0%

THIS is why we're making less and less while we upload more and more.  Unless you're an uploading machine, you cannot keep your port growing at the accelerating rate of the overall collection. 

If this trend continues, most of us will watch our SS earnings continue to dive no matter how hard we work. 

Very discouraging stuff, and it's making me question how much blood, sweat and tears I will continue pouring into microstock.


« Reply #66 on: November 09, 2014, 20:13 »
+3
Here Pooh pooh on you some more! ;)



Thank You! I've been trying to point out the same information and get pooh poohed with "algorithm change", capping, blackouts and who knows what else. Personally the IS exclusives coming over are a drop in the bucket, but part of the problem.

June 2012 20 million images. Aug 2014 40 million images.

Exactly what you have been saying. We can't keep up with that doubling of competition, and even an uploading machine, won't keep up with 10 million new images by March or April 2015.

We are bound to lose our share of the sales. This is not any great or mysterious discovery. Just that people don't want to admit that we are getting buried by the numbers.



Here's the thing that scares the crap out of me...

Look at the chart for "Historical Operating Metrics"...

The rate of growth in the image collection has been accelerating at a frightening pace.

From Q3 to Q4 2012, the collection grew by 7.4%.  That rate of increase steady rises from quarter to quarter, and in the most recent period, from Q2 to Q3 2014, the collection grew by 10.0%

THIS is why we're making less and less while we upload more and more.  Unless you're an uploading machine, you cannot keep your port growing at the accelerating rate of the overall collection. 

If this trend continues, most of us will watch our SS earnings continue to dive no matter how hard we work. 

Very discouraging stuff, and it's making me question how much blood, sweat and tears I will continue pouring into microstock.




You really should stick to the SS forum. Maybe folk over there would find your posts interesting and amusing. Probably not __ but at least it's worth a chance.


« Reply #67 on: November 09, 2014, 23:01 »
+1
There is no question that these key holders will not hesitate to squeeze contributors if they see their positions losing value via plunging stock prices. In fact I am sure they have been doing so since March 2013 when Insight Venture Capital previously put key stakeholders in place to build and implement the new search that they rolled out out in March.
Not trying to start an argument, but where exactly do you see contributors being squeezed? I haven't seen any reductions in royalties? Can you clarify exactly how we are being squeezed to get more profit to shareholders?
Those of us who experienced large drops when they rolled out the new search have explained ad nauseam, that the income drops occurred overnight.

If these sudden overnight drops in income had occurred because of large quantities of new exclusive content the drops would have occurred slowly over time.  Do you actually believe that the majority of exclusive content was uploaded overnight and that all exclusives jumped ship together on the very day our earnings were slashed? 

Most everyone I know who had large quantities of images in first pages experienced these drops. I do understand that if you did not have many images in first page searches to begin with, your sales would not have changed much.

We are now dealing with a venture capital firm and each quarter they prominently display "Revenue per download increased 13% to $2.65 " Do you really suppose that they choose to promote higher royalty contributors over comparable quality content from departing IS exclusives they initially pay $ .25

It will be interesting to see what occurs once SS has the lions share of exclusive content and those new members reach $ .38. New contributors from then on out will not have built up 10 plus years of content that they can upload with a few months or years work.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2014, 23:08 by gbalex »

Photominer

« Reply #68 on: November 10, 2014, 10:27 »
0
Ok, so if I understand correctly, you are saying that this group specifically targeted a segment of the contributor base to decrease their sales and increase the shareholder earnings?

Uncle Pete

« Reply #69 on: November 10, 2014, 10:46 »
0
Great point! I think Barry and I have been advocates of finding smaller needs that aren't over subscribed. Keep it up.

I also have never seen one of "Stockmarketers" works, but his targeting success and producing what's in demand, is also a good project direction. I never thought he'd hit the same wall that so many people run into.

Thank You! I've been trying to point out the same information and get pooh poohed with "algorithm change", capping, blackouts and who knows what else. Personally the IS exclusives coming over are a drop in the bucket, but part of the problem.

June 2012 20 million images. Aug 2014 40 million images.

Exactly what you have been saying. We can't keep up with that doubling of competition, and even an uploading machine, won't keep up with 10 million new images by March or April 2015.

We are bound to lose our share of the sales. This is not any great or mysterious discovery. Just that people don't want to admit that we are getting buried by the numbers.
I guess it depends on how you define "competition". Within my niches, who shoot to my target audiences, who market themselves the same way, have roughly the same quality and portfolio size, I just don't see the cause for alarm yet. I'm not competing with 40 million images. In some cases not even a few hundred. I think those who go after specific targets and do the research will see the gains. I think the hyper-competitive fields will be much tougher though. I'd love to see stats on how much of the 40 mil library is editorial, how much people, how much landscape, food, illustrations, etc...

Uncle Pete

« Reply #70 on: November 10, 2014, 10:49 »
0
Looks like chocolate ice cream or some fine whipped Chocolate pudding? It's some happy s41t whatever it is?  :)

Here Pooh pooh on you some more! ;)





« Reply #71 on: November 10, 2014, 10:58 »
+1
Ok, so if I understand correctly, you are saying that this group specifically targeted a segment of the contributor base to decrease their sales and increase the shareholder earnings?


The venture capital crowd understands that they have a short window of opportunity to drive stock prices up, grant themselves stock and cash out. http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/sstk/insider-trades

They stumbled upon the perfect scenario with shutterstock a company who was openly willing to hold prices down to gain market share while its main competition was failing and large numbers of contributors were willing to jump ship with portfolios of proven content that they had built up over a number of years.


Photominer

« Reply #72 on: November 10, 2014, 11:09 »
0
Ok, so if I understand correctly, you are saying that this group specifically targeted a segment of the contributor base to decrease their sales and increase the shareholder earnings?


The venture capital crowd understands that they have a short window of opportunity to drive stock prices up, grant themselves stock and cash out. http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/sstk/insider-trades

They stumbled upon the perfect scenario with shutterstock a company who was openly willing to hold prices down to gain market share while its main competition was failing and large numbers of contributors were willing to jump ship with portfolios of proven content that they had built up over a number of years.


Huh? is that a yes to my question or a no?

Lightrecorder

« Reply #73 on: November 10, 2014, 11:11 »
0
Here Pooh pooh on you some more! ;)
You really should stick to the SS forum.

This

Photominer

« Reply #74 on: November 10, 2014, 11:22 »
-1
They stumbled upon the perfect scenario with shutterstock a company who was openly willing to hold prices down to gain market share while its main competition was failing and large numbers of contributors were willing to jump ship with portfolios of proven content that they had built up over a number of years.
Sounds like good business practice for a company, isn't that exactly what made Walmart and Costco successful? Less so wonderful for us contributors. However, it is still miles better than all the agencies that actively decrease our commissions through shell games and parent companies skimming double royalties off of sales, or customer offerings that make us less and less money.



Lightrecorder

« Reply #75 on: November 10, 2014, 11:25 »
0


It will be interesting to see what occurs once SS has the lions share of exclusive content and those new members reach $ .38.

I am at 38 cent and got some pretty good months, as in top 3 months, so that theory seems to be thin air.

Not IS exl though

Uncle Pete

« Reply #76 on: November 10, 2014, 11:37 »
0
Yes I am too and have found no drop in anything.

But for someone to promote the theory that SS is forcing buyers to take substandard images from new people, blocking old content, turning off zones or capping accounts, simply for the extra 3-5 cents, is kind of a reach?

Gbalex: Since this "specific date" when so many long time contributors found a sudden change, is often alluded to, what is that "specific date"?

Why does the date from many individuals, differ? To the point that some people say early 2012 and some Mid- 2013. Some seem to have just reached this in 2014? That's a sudden, drop, and targeting a group of long time contributors, because they earn too much.

What I'm getting at is this. How about some specific evidence? Instead of theories and claims which have nothing for proof other than "people have noticed" or someone has watched and has seen this.

Start with the specific date (month and year for example, not day) that the algorithm changed and all the people who dropped suddenly, had the same change at the same time. Is there one?




It will be interesting to see what occurs once SS has the lions share of exclusive content and those new members reach $ .38.

I am at 38 cent and got some pretty good months, as in top 3 months, so that theory seems to be thin air.

Not IS exl though

For reference: "Those of us who experienced large drops when they rolled out the new search have explained ad nauseam, that the income drops occurred overnight.

If these sudden overnight drops in income had occurred because of large quantities of new exclusive content the drops would have occurred slowly over time.  Do you actually believe that the majority of exclusive content was uploaded overnight and that all exclusives jumped ship together on the very day our earnings were slashed?

Most everyone I know who had large quantities of images in first pages experienced these drops. I do understand that if you did not have many images in first page searches to begin with, your sales would not have changed much."


ps I have images in the first pages of a number of very specific searches.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2014, 12:01 by Uncle Pete »


Photominer

« Reply #77 on: November 10, 2014, 11:59 »
0
I am more interested in something that says the algorithm changed specifically to target long time contributors as per his assertion that it is a planned strategy by a VC to enhance shareholder value at the expense of long time contributors.

« Reply #78 on: November 10, 2014, 12:06 »
+3
...simply for the extra 3-5 cents, ...

Without disagreeing with everything else you said, if a company can reduce the cost of sales for one item from 38 cents to 25 cents, that is about 30%.

Go to any big company and ask them what they would pay you if you had an idea how they could reduce their cost of sales by 30%.

That is not insignificant.

That being said, although I can see the motivation, that alone is no proof that they actually did/do punish specific portfolios.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #79 on: November 10, 2014, 12:24 »
-1
Yes and I'm forced to admit that investor pressures, could cause strange things and subterfuge. Yes cents from millions of DLs could add up to big dollars. You are correct.

But I don't really think SS would sink to that, and risk offending long time contributors by playing for pennies. I also can't see how they can force buyers to take substandard images, just because they cost the company less in commissions. SS wants the best and best matching images for the consumer, to appear first. It's totally illogical to think they would target us as individuals for lower rank, at the same time harming the image quality that buyers will see.

...simply for the extra 3-5 cents, ...

Without disagreeing with everything else you said, if a company can reduce the cost of sales for one item from 38 cents to 25 cents, that is about 30%.

Go to any big company and ask them what they would pay you if you had an idea how they could reduce their cost of sales by 30%.

That is not insignificant.

That being said, although I can see the motivation, that alone is no proof that they actually did/do punish specific portfolios.

shudderstok

« Reply #80 on: November 10, 2014, 13:32 »
0
Yes and I'm forced to admit that investor pressures, could cause strange things and subterfuge. Yes cents from millions of DLs could add up to big dollars. You are correct.

But I don't really think SS would sink to that, and risk offending long time contributors by playing for pennies. I also can't see how they can force buyers to take substandard images, just because they cost the company less in commissions. SS wants the best and best matching images for the consumer, to appear first. It's totally illogical to think they would target us as individuals for lower rank, at the same time harming the image quality that buyers will see.

...simply for the extra 3-5 cents, ...

Without disagreeing with everything else you said, if a company can reduce the cost of sales for one item from 38 cents to 25 cents, that is about 30%.

Go to any big company and ask them what they would pay you if you had an idea how they could reduce their cost of sales by 30%.

That is not insignificant.

That being said, although I can see the motivation, that alone is no proof that they actually did/do punish specific portfolios.

Once upon a time there was a company called Getty Images, and they became the darling of the stock industry and they would have never done any of the things suggested in this post. Then Getty Images went public and suddenly "contibutors" became financial "liabilities", they were our "agent" and not our "distributor", our photographs being our "images" and not our "assets". Publicly traded companies regardless of what the commodity will eventually do the very same thing. Each and every publicly traded company regardless of what they sell are all about the bottom line for the shareholders. To think any differently is to only fool yourself. The shareholders will get a raise before any of you, and if they lose money mark my words, so will you. Just sayin.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #81 on: November 10, 2014, 13:48 »
0
I have already agreed that investor groups and people like Hellman & Friedman were only interested in their short term gains, and we are the pawns.

Now about the question I actually asked for proof and evidence? Or is that conjecture, based on another company, and history, your factual proof?  ???

" income drops occurred overnight.

 sudden overnight drops in income had occurred...  very day our earnings were slashed?

Most everyone I know who had large quantities of images in first pages experienced these drops. I do understand that if you did not have many images in first page searches to begin with, your sales would not have changed much."


Hey wait, you aren't an SS contributor are you?


Yes and I'm forced to admit that investor pressures, could cause strange things and subterfuge. Yes cents from millions of DLs could add up to big dollars. You are correct.

But I don't really think SS would sink to that, and risk offending long time contributors by playing for pennies. I also can't see how they can force buyers to take substandard images, just because they cost the company less in commissions. SS wants the best and best matching images for the consumer, to appear first. It's totally illogical to think they would target us as individuals for lower rank, at the same time harming the image quality that buyers will see.

...simply for the extra 3-5 cents, ...

Without disagreeing with everything else you said, if a company can reduce the cost of sales for one item from 38 cents to 25 cents, that is about 30%.

Go to any big company and ask them what they would pay you if you had an idea how they could reduce their cost of sales by 30%.

That is not insignificant.

That being said, although I can see the motivation, that alone is no proof that they actually did/do punish specific portfolios.

Once upon a time there was a company called Getty Images, and they became the darling of the stock industry and they would have never done any of the things suggested in this post. Then Getty Images went public and suddenly "contibutors" became financial "liabilities", they were our "agent" and not our "distributor", our photographs being our "images" and not our "assets". Publicly traded companies regardless of what the commodity will eventually do the very same thing. Each and every publicly traded company regardless of what they sell are all about the bottom line for the shareholders. To think any differently is to only fool yourself. The shareholders will get a raise before any of you, and if they lose money mark my words, so will you. Just sayin.

shudderstok

« Reply #82 on: November 10, 2014, 14:02 »
0
I have already agreed that investor groups and people like Hellman & Friedman were only interested in their short term gains, and we are the pawns.

Now about the question I actually asked for proof and evidence? Or is that conjecture, based on another company, and history, your factual proof?  ???

" income drops occurred overnight.

 sudden overnight drops in income had occurred...  very day our earnings were slashed?

Most everyone I know who had large quantities of images in first pages experienced these drops. I do understand that if you did not have many images in first page searches to begin with, your sales would not have changed much."


Hey wait, you aren't an SS contributor are you?


Yes and I'm forced to admit that investor pressures, could cause strange things and subterfuge. Yes cents from millions of DLs could add up to big dollars. You are correct.

But I don't really think SS would sink to that, and risk offending long time contributors by playing for pennies. I also can't see how they can force buyers to take substandard images, just because they cost the company less in commissions. SS wants the best and best matching images for the consumer, to appear first. It's totally illogical to think they would target us as individuals for lower rank, at the same time harming the image quality that buyers will see.

...simply for the extra 3-5 cents, ...

Without disagreeing with everything else you said, if a company can reduce the cost of sales for one item from 38 cents to 25 cents, that is about 30%.

Go to any big company and ask them what they would pay you if you had an idea how they could reduce their cost of sales by 30%.

That is not insignificant.

That being said, although I can see the motivation, that alone is no proof that they actually did/do punish specific portfolios.

Once upon a time there was a company called Getty Images, and they became the darling of the stock industry and they would have never done any of the things suggested in this post. Then Getty Images went public and suddenly "contibutors" became financial "liabilities", they were our "agent" and not our "distributor", our photographs being our "images" and not our "assets". Publicly traded companies regardless of what the commodity will eventually do the very same thing. Each and every publicly traded company regardless of what they sell are all about the bottom line for the shareholders. To think any differently is to only fool yourself. The shareholders will get a raise before any of you, and if they lose money mark my words, so will you. Just sayin.

no i am not a SS contributor. i could not accept their terms and royalties back in 2006 and still don't. back then 0.25c seemed an insult compared to what was on offer then elsewhere which if memory serves correctly was the lowest royalty rate, also selling for subscription was a self destruct concept that i felt strongly against as it was a very real threat to the industry and the valuation of imagery, and i still feel the same way, granted i would be making 0.38c now, which still makes no sense to me.

and i was not referring to H&F, GI was publicly traded years earlier on NASDAQ as Getty Images in a similar fashion to SS currently.

ruxpriencdiam

    This user is banned.
  • Location. Third stone from the sun
« Reply #83 on: November 10, 2014, 14:41 »
0
Hey there pete!

For what it is worth you may as well crap in one hand and wish in the other and see which one fills up first!

Because no one here or on SS has the so called mysterious date you are and have been asking for or else they would  have already provided it to you.

It's a business and whenever a business finds a way to make more they make changes and if those submitting to them see their income drop it is up to them not SS to find out what to do differently and how to do it differently so they don't see this drop but instead of this they choose to come up with this mystery date you are talking about.

Sorry but the truth hurts and now lets have some popcorn and beer and watch as the show begins.


« Reply #84 on: November 10, 2014, 15:07 »
0
...simply for the extra 3-5 cents, ...

Without disagreeing with everything else you said, if a company can reduce the cost of sales for one item from 38 cents to 25 cents, that is about 30%.

Go to any big company and ask them what they would pay you if you had an idea how they could reduce their cost of sales by 30%.

That is not insignificant.

That being said, although I can see the motivation, that alone is no proof that they actually did/do punish specific portfolios.

Actually this will all play out in 10Q reports once shutterstock has assimilated the majority of IS exclusives and they have all hit $.38.  Once this occurs and has become stable we will be able to see the reality of the situation in Decreased Revenue and/or Decreased Revenue per download.

Typically return for the venture capitalist as a shareholder depends on the growth and profitability of the business. Venture capital funds are most interested in ventures with exceptionally high growth potential, as only such opportunities are likely capable of providing financial returns in the short window they require and thus offer a successful exit within the required time frame (typically 37 years) that venture capitalists expect.

« Reply #85 on: November 10, 2014, 15:52 »
+2
Actually this will all play out in 10Q reports once shutterstock has assimilated the majority of IS exclusives and they have all hit $.38.  Once this occurs and has become stable we will be able to see the reality of the situation in Decreased Revenue and/or Decreased Revenue per download.

You don't have to wait for reality, it's here, now. Tomorrow's reality may be a bit different, just as yesterday's was, but in the end you have to live with whatever today's reality is. Reality never "becomes stable".

« Reply #86 on: November 11, 2014, 10:05 »
-2
Actually this will all play out in 10Q reports once shutterstock has assimilated the majority of IS exclusives and they have all hit $.38.  Once this occurs and has become stable we will be able to see the reality of the situation in Decreased Revenue and/or Decreased Revenue per download.

You don't have to wait for reality, it's here, now. Tomorrow's reality may be a bit different, just as yesterday's was, but in the end you have to live with whatever today's reality is. Reality never "becomes stable".

Theoretically I agree, and personally I don't have to wait I can see it in my numbers and my friends numbers. I will be interested to see the changing ratios for Revenue per download once the majority of exclusives jump ship.

I think the fact that they want to lure IS exclusives to SS is one of the main reasons shutterstock answers contributor concerns here on MSG; while they refuse to answer them on shutterstocks own boards where the answers would reach all contributors. They want IS exclusives to see that they are responsive to contributor concerns when that is not the case at all.

They also fear that analyst will be watching this board.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2014, 10:38 by gbalex »


Uncle Pete

« Reply #87 on: November 11, 2014, 14:53 »
+2
Well contrary to another one of the false claims, SS has answered on their forum, the accusations of capping, blocking, and preferences for lower earning members. In fact (and I know you read it) Scott denied that any of that happens or that any of it is truth.

Of course for the conspiracy minded, the fact that SS openly denies it, must make it true?  :)

Yes, waiting for evidence and proof is like waiting for Santa Claus, except there's more evidence and proof that Santa exists, I mean people around the world believe in him and see him every year. He must be real!

There are photos of Nessie, Champ and the Yeti, but not a single strand of data for individual account manipulation, and targeting by SS?

Proof of the claims, that SS is somehow forcing inferior artists and images to the top of searches, has never been shown one bit. No evidence, just conjecture and anecdotal claims.

Why is that?


Hey there pete!

For what it is worth you may as well crap in one hand and wish in the other and see which one fills up first!

Because no one here or on SS has the so called mysterious date you are and have been asking for or else they would  have already provided it to you.

It's a business and whenever a business finds a way to make more they make changes and if those submitting to them see their income drop it is up to them not SS to find out what to do differently and how to do it differently so they don't see this drop but instead of this they choose to come up with this mystery date you are talking about.

Sorry but the truth hurts and now lets have some popcorn and beer and watch as the show begins.



« Reply #88 on: November 11, 2014, 18:45 »
+6
The people who had an unfair advantage because the search favored old pictures with more downloads count, lost that when SS changed the search to something fair. That's why gbalex and friends had long time pictures on the top of the search. Of course they are bitter, it gave somebody else like us a fair chance to get to the front of the search where all those old pictures held spots just because of age, total downloads and a bad set of algorithms. SS made it better and fairer for the rest of us to get higher search placement and make more money.

« Reply #89 on: January 18, 2015, 04:03 »
0
They don't need to sustain the growth in the collection. If they stopped accepting images today they could probably still keep growing the business for years.

sure, screwing their own suppliers which are also buyers in many cases, just like iStock did ... what could ever go wrong ?

besides, agencies are not a search engine, they're not google, they don't need to keep in store billions of images that never sold and never will, they can pretty much set a limit like 50 million pics on sale and periodically delete the non-sellers, if your image never sold once in 5 yrs what's the point of wasting time and storage space ?

claiming to have xxx millions of pics is just a marketing strategy after all, there's no technical reason to do that considering only 20% of the images are maybe selling decently and the remaining 80% could be wiped out and nobody would ever notice.

+10
« Last Edit: January 18, 2015, 04:24 by SSContributor »

« Reply #90 on: January 18, 2015, 12:27 »
0
Quote

On the other hand, I went to Venice once to shoot stock, that's a fairly high commercial value destination and my pictures sank almost instantly, without trace. It was an interesting trip but it's pretty clear it will never recoup its costs.  I've made quite a nice pile of cash from Santorini - but that's only because I was one of the very first microstockers to upload pictures of the famous churches.  I would say that breaking into a high-commercial-value area these days probably requires an absolutely extraordinary interpretation of the subject (which is then probably too good for the micros), if your pictures are just superb microstock HCV work then they are likely to be competing unsuccessfully against established, equally superb images and to be lost in the nether regions of the search before they've made an impact.  Yuri's HCV, high production cost, work now only seems to sell two or three times faster than my LCV, dirt-cheap, work; at one time he was outselling me 20 or 30-fold or more.

I have been surprised at the performance of several of my images of high commercial value, very well covered subjects.   I have a downtown shot of LA from the Hollywood Bowl overlook that there must be thousands of already on SS, yet mine has floated up to the first page to be a best seller for me.   (Of course, I live here, so it only cost me gas and the price of an In and Out burger to shoot).   I also have some Yosemite images (another well covered subject) that have also sold very well and are first page residents.     

I don't consider my takes of these subjects as any different than any other photogs, but I guess it is still possible to break into some of the well covered areas.  I expect there is a lot of luck involved though, so I wouldn't book a trip just to get stock shots or anything.     :)

The sheer numbers that the catalog is increasing by is very daunting though.  Think of how different SS was back in 07 when I joined.   In another 8 years, who knows what it will look like.  We will just all have to keep on our toes and move with the market. 

Rinderart

« Reply #91 on: January 18, 2015, 14:13 »
0
Current stock price close on friday 57.88.  And I for one DO believe in the conspiracy theory. I had Images that sold every single day since 2005. and on march 12th 2012. they never sold again. Last oct, Nov was fantastic. Dec fell over a cliff and still continues. the only thing Correct in my port is newist first. Thats it. And Im getting Mighty sick of it. 10 Years down the drain. I really am glad some are doing Fine..I have quite a few friends that said that also, Then Bam. things changed.

« Last Edit: January 18, 2015, 14:22 by Rinderart »

« Reply #92 on: March 13, 2015, 11:04 »
+1
Sudden increase in SS stock price, despite all markets being down.
About $7 (12-15%) up in last two days. Latest price over $64. No idea what is the cause for the extraordinary rise.
No new financial news available, could be due to purchases by insiders who know more than the shareholders.
   
« Last Edit: March 13, 2015, 11:09 by LesPalenik »


 

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