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Author Topic: SS Announces Commission Increase for May 2008  (Read 41058 times)

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DanP68

« Reply #175 on: May 13, 2008, 16:00 »
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I'm embarassed to have stated I felt SS would come through big time for contributors.  This is a major disappointment.  For the life of me, I cannot understand why they teased this raise 2 months ago with the "pleasantly surprised" promise.

The only thing I can think of which justifies this is the possibility that their sales have fallen through the floor since iStock announced subscriptions.


« Reply #176 on: May 13, 2008, 16:07 »
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From threads in the SS forums that is exactly what has happened.  I think that they were hoping to be able to give a much larger raise.



The only thing I can think of which justifies this is the possibility that their sales have fallen through the floor since iStock announced subscriptions.

DanP68

« Reply #177 on: May 13, 2008, 16:11 »
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You may be right. 

The most disappointing part of all of this is, all of the other microstock sites will now be emboldened to keep their subcription commissions low.  Heck, Shutterstock still pays less than 123RF per subscription commission, so why should anyone else raise?

« Reply #178 on: May 13, 2008, 16:24 »
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Firstly, as explained elsewhere, the subscription model doesn't 'work' in an industry of rising prices; its great when it's priced at $149 or $199, but at $249, $299 etc the model fails simply because the service is then priced above the reasonable level for thousands of small design firms (who will revert to single image buying).

To maintain profitability SS needs as many contributors as possible who fail to reach payout - this explains why they are allowing hundreds of new contributors to join each week and now have more than 102,000 photographers.  Yet 123RF recently announced 'more than 2 million images from 5,000 photographers', so if we assume those same 5,000 are at SS it means SS has 97,000 photographers earning very low money or none at all.

SS isn't interested in Yuri or Andres because those people don't make them any money; they ARE interested in keeping them on board simply to attract customers.  What SS really wants is as many up and coming Yuris as possible.

BUT, I'm interested in the fact that the 38c top tier is the same rate as iStock's minimum payment per subscription sale for diamond exclusives.  I don't think this number is coincidence.  SS appears to have deliberately matched the iStock model for higher earning photographers.  Don't forget too that the payment per credit for non-exclusives is 19c.

SS couldn't change its size system because it had already announced pricing structure to customers in March.  However the 38c is perhaps a hint that things will change next year.  SS might need a year to implement a strategy change to charge more for higher rez images.  The 38c is a 'clue' to the future.

So an interesting announcement.  In fact almost exactly what one should have expected.


« Reply #179 on: May 13, 2008, 16:25 »
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.36 cents is disappointing

but when viewed as 20% it looks better :)

but then the US dollar has dropped, and inflation gone up. I think the amount per download is probably about the same as 12 months ago.

I dont see much follow on to other sites for subs increases.

 

grp_photo

« Reply #180 on: May 13, 2008, 16:28 »
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You may be right. 

The most disappointing part of all of this is, all of the other microstock sites will now be emboldened to keep their subcription commissions low
Yes this is a major point. I would have loved to see more pressure on the subscription model in general as IS is the only site which can lead a major increase in single-photo model, SS is the only site which can lead a major increase in the subscription model.

« Reply #181 on: May 13, 2008, 16:30 »
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nice to see the raise has already kicked in.  I see a few 'raised' downloads already.

helix7

« Reply #182 on: May 13, 2008, 16:57 »
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I put it nicely in the SS forum, but I'll be a little less political here.

This raise is crap. This was supposed to be the raise that sent SS flying to the front of the line for contributors who saw SS slide into 2nd or 3rd on their lists. Instead, it maybe just slowed the decline. For me, SS has been barely hanging onto the 2nd spot. In 6 months I can definitely see them slipping into 3rd, maybe even 4th at this rate. Even if they didn't jack the commissions up to $0.40 for everyone, there should have at least been a $0.40+ tier for upper level contributors.

Hell, $0.40 would have even been a little disappointing. After all the discussion about what a low percentage SS pays, how $0.50 would be more in the ballpark of a fair rate, etc., they low-ball us with this $0.33-$0.38 garbage. I'm extremely disappointed.

This sends a clear message as far as I'm concerned. SS is not interested in rebuilding their contributor relations. They are basically saying that they sleep fine at night knowing that contributors get the shaft, and they are not interested in doing anything about it.

« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 16:59 by helix7 »

CofkoCof

« Reply #183 on: May 13, 2008, 17:03 »
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Re: What SS Tier Are You In?
Reply #16 on: Today at 15:21
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I'll try to analyze this, hope you can understand it Cheesy

Shutterstock first decided to raise the prices of their images. This was due to:
- submitters wanting a raise, they (or should I say we) wouldn't wanna sell our images ofr 0.25/0.3 for ever
- their profit was becoming smaller due to the costs they have or they weren't on their projected plan for 2008 because of the costs(servers, reviewers, people reading forums, bandwidth all cost money). The costs are bigger and bigger as the number of photographers increases. It is true that more photographers bring more money but they will only cover the costs if the demad rises acordingly. Which in my opinion isn't true, that's why SS (and other agencies) take bigger and bigger piece of the pie and that's why (well add oversaturated market) the future may not be so bright for MS.
- because they could. Increasing prices means more money

So they increased prices. The waited a few months before doing a raise for submitters. Reasons for doing that:
- to see how the new prices will go with the buyers. After they saw how many they lost they could set the raise for us
- get a boost in their money
- so that the buyers wouldnt buy subs with the old price and buy images that need to be paid with the new price (this still happens though, because o the yearly and half yearly subscriptions, thats why they needed the money from the previous point)

So they analyzed the sales and set up a raise that is best for covering costs, paying us and also increasing their earnings. It probably is best what they could do (well of course they probably got more from it that us, they also need to cover increasing cost for the whole year ahead of us). Increasing the prices of images even further and giving us a bigger raise would make many buyers go away and we would be earning the same or even less, we would just get more for a download. Huh

CofkoCof

« Reply #184 on: May 13, 2008, 17:05 »
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This sends a clear message as far as I'm concerned. SS is not interested in rebuilding their contributor relations. They are basically saying that they sleep fine at night knowing that contributors get the shaft, and they are not interested in doing anything about it.
It's a clear message that they want as many contributors as possible, not stars, just regular people who will hardly reach 500$. They will make the most from those. That's bad news for us. It's gonna be hard to keep up with so many images from other people around.

Contakt

    This user is banned.
« Reply #185 on: May 13, 2008, 17:09 »
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So an interesting announcement.  In fact almost exactly what one should have expected.



Interesting analysis but I'd be equally interested to hear your predictions over the short to medium term.

As I see it the market is in a steady state of decline with over-saturation looming on the horizon.

The SS subscription model relies too heavily on keeping content fresh and I can't see how they will continue to attract new customers at the level required to maintain earnings and still remain competitive.

It is one of the key reasons why uploads need to be maintained to keep this insatiable monster from imploding in on itself.

The istock model, in stark contrast, is ideal because they've maintained standards from the outset. SS, on the other hand, is still sitting on a mountain of detrius that needs to be flushed down the toilet but that's not going to happen either today or tomorrow.

With so many other competitors all selling virtually identical stock it can only lead to a price war which is why IS are pushing for exclusivity so heavily.

Let's face it, the arse is falling out of this business and if ever you needed evidence of that, look no further than the paltry raise provided by SS today.

For those of you who are relying upon this industry as your main source of income you need to diversify and you need to diversify quickly.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 17:33 by Contakt »

« Reply #186 on: May 13, 2008, 17:57 »
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I don't understand why SS didn't learn a lesson from all the fuzz from the previous raise! Same story; a lott of contributors pissed off because they where promised a raise, and didn't get any, because they where below the $500 marker.
Now they do it again!  ???
Well at least Im past the 500, but 3 cents doesn't make me very happy!
It doesn't make much right with the current dollar rate.
And they charge European customers in Euro!
« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 18:02 by Gregor909 »

« Reply #187 on: May 13, 2008, 18:04 »
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I don't know if there will be saturation soon.  alamy is doing fine with 12 million images so why should the microstock sites have problems at these relatively low levels?  It seems that buyers always want new images.  There are swarms of new contributors but what percentage are highly motivated and have the skill to succeed?  Looking at my referrals on istock, there is still a balance between new contributors and buyers.

Contakt

    This user is banned.
« Reply #188 on: May 13, 2008, 19:23 »
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I don't know if there will be saturation soon.  alamy is doing fine with 12 million images so why should the microstock sites have problems at these relatively low levels?  It seems that buyers always want new images.  There are swarms of new contributors but what percentage are highly motivated and have the skill to succeed?  Looking at my referrals on istock, there is still a balance between new contributors and buyers.


Agreed, but there are just too many other bit players coming into the arena and that also leads to over-saturation, thereby driving down pricing.

CofkoCof

« Reply #189 on: May 13, 2008, 21:18 »
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I don't know if there will be saturation soon.  alamy is doing fine with 12 million images so why should the microstock sites have problems at these relatively low levels?  It seems that buyers always want new images.  There are swarms of new contributors but what percentage are highly motivated and have the skill to succeed?  Looking at my referrals on istock, there is still a balance between new contributors and buyers.
54,264 pictures were newly added to ss last week. At current pace there will be twice as much images online 1.3 years from today. And that approximation doesn't include any increase in the number of submitters. How long can you keep up the pace? And sure Alamy maybe doing fine, SS might also be doing fine with 12m images. How about us?
« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 21:21 by CofkoCof »

« Reply #190 on: May 13, 2008, 21:25 »
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Incredible. So, when Istock brought out subscriptions they didnt completely rip us off- as they could have done. They had the chance, but they didnt take it. The deal wasnt bad at all. But shutterstock did rip us off- the percentage we make is a lot lower now than it was before. So, who do you trust? Sounds like the time to go exclusive to me. Afterall, what's going to happen next? SS is clearly going to do something similar next time too. I bet in a year their prices will be raised 50-100 percent and our cut will go up 10-20 percent. This is a rip off.

« Reply #191 on: May 13, 2008, 23:52 »
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No raise 4 me  :'(
Still under the $500 mark.... but if I WAS over the $500 point I would be furious!

I was feeding the beast for a while, but I am done.

I will wait out the remainder of the time that I am obliged to at DT and then I am pulling the plug everywhere except IS.

IS simply has the best business model IMHO, and their subs model is much more fair to the contributors.



« Reply #192 on: May 13, 2008, 23:57 »
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No raise 4 me  :'(
Still under the $500 mark.... but if I WAS over the $500 point I would be furious!

I was feeding the beast for a while, but I am done.

I will wait out the remainder of the time that I am obliged to at DT and then I am pulling the plug everywhere except IS.

IS simply has the best business model IMHO, and their subs model is much more fair to the contributors.
Good for you.
And you know what would be good for contributors everywhere? If a lot of people ditched shutterstock and went exclusive with istock as a result of this. Those that stick around give the message that "you can pay us as little as you want". There has to be a negative result when they lower our cut or theyll just keep doing it.

« Reply #193 on: May 14, 2008, 00:56 »
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I don't know if there will be saturation soon.  alamy is doing fine with 12 million images so why should the microstock sites have problems at these relatively low levels?  It seems that buyers always want new images.  There are swarms of new contributors but what percentage are highly motivated and have the skill to succeed?  Looking at my referrals on istock, there is still a balance between new contributors and buyers.
54,264 pictures were newly added to ss last week. At current pace there will be twice as much images online 1.3 years from today. And that approximation doesn't include any increase in the number of submitters. How long can you keep up the pace? And sure Alamy maybe doing fine, SS might also be doing fine with 12m images. How about us?

I think people who put in the work and don't just repeat the typical microstock photos will do fine.  People who upload 10 a week and don't seek out the gaps in the collection will have a hard time.  Look in the various alamy forums and it seems there are still lots of people making a living from stock.  There are also lots of people giving up after a few months when they don't get a sale.

« Reply #194 on: May 14, 2008, 01:17 »
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Ive been thinking about quality at shutterstock and their model. It just seems really bad to me.
1. They have no exclusivity agreement so their stuff can be found everywhere, meaning they dont have anything unique.
2. They deliberately give newest images far more strength than they should have, meaning that images which are more popular/more likely to sell are naturally put further back than they should be, lowering the quality of images the buyer sees. This also makes shutterstock work best for newbies who dont yet know what sells, and worse for people who have been doing this for years and know their stuff, giving those people more incentive to go exclusive with istock.
3. They give only a few cents per image, putting off a lot of macro photographers.
4. They just shafted contributors with a lousy raise, irritating everyone.

This means that of course, they have to be cheap. Because people who want quality will naturally go to istock or dreamstime.
It's really a race to the bottom with them. They also concentrate entirely on subscriptions at a time when all other sites are now going to sell both subscriptions and pay as you go. Doesnt seem very smart. It seems like theyre the only one with a gap now. I think shutterstock are destined to decline from here.

« Reply #195 on: May 14, 2008, 02:39 »
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2. They deliberately give newest images far more strength than they should have, meaning that images which are more popular/more likely to sell are naturally put further back than they should be, lowering the quality of images the buyer sees. This also makes shutterstock work best for newbies who dont yet know what sells, and worse for people who have been doing this for years and know their stuff, giving those people more incentive to go exclusive with istock.
3. They give only a few cents per image, putting off a lot of macro photographers.

Number 3 is the reason for number 2, I was with SS for a few months each upload would bring good downloads for the uploaded images then a decline, until the next upload.

I did stay until I got a payout at SS, other sites I left I have converted my low earnings to credits, so I can purchase images just to delete them, so someone else will benefit, and not the site.

SS have the buyers money, the buyer has a window in which to download, if they buy new contributors images SS may have to pay the contributor either $0.25 or $0.00 if they reach payout, if they buy non new contributors images they will have to payout $0.33+ per download which is a bit more per credit.

I.M.H.O. the new contributor are a big bonus to SS where you cannot convert your earnings if you leave.

« Reply #196 on: May 14, 2008, 02:47 »
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2. They deliberately give newest images far more strength than they should have, meaning that images which are more popular/more likely to sell are naturally put further back than they should be, lowering the quality of images the buyer sees. This also makes shutterstock work best for newbies who dont yet know what sells, and worse for people who have been doing this for years and know their stuff, giving those people more incentive to go exclusive with istock.
3. They give only a few cents per image, putting off a lot of macro photographers.

Number 3 is the reason for number 2, I was with SS for a few months each upload would bring good downloads for the uploaded images then a decline, until the next upload.

No it's not- what I mean is that SS pay somewhere around 30/40 cents per sale, which puts off macro photographers. Some people refuse to accept only being paid a few cents per sale, even if they have a large number of sales.

« Reply #197 on: May 14, 2008, 06:08 »
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I'm happy with the raise. I just got a 27% increase. How many employers would give you a 27% pay raise?

« Reply #198 on: May 14, 2008, 06:31 »
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Pay per sale up 20%.
Sales per image per month down 40%.
That's not what I call an increase. I call that a decrease.

« Reply #199 on: May 15, 2008, 10:03 »
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great salary raise !!!!

we are all complaining  BUT

DOES ANY ONE NOTICE THAT

THE BIG GUYS DOES NOT COMPLAIN ????

THE 10.000 IS LOW

BUT THE GUYS  WHO HAVE

A LOT MORE THAN 10.000 USD

ARE

OK!!!!!

seems to be a special deal for them???


 

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