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Author Topic: SS continues to deteriorate  (Read 13050 times)

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Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #25 on: September 03, 2019, 10:56 »
+3
The following makes for depressing reading...but as always, there's light at the end of the tunnel....

https://brutallyhonestmicrostock.com/2019/09/03/declining-earnings-in-microstock-veterans-pov/

I'd hate to burst your bubble... you say in your article "you have to face the fact that the good old days are long gone by at least 3-5 years, maybe even longer" and as an industry veteran I can say "maybe even longer", the slide really began circa 2007 for the industry as a whole. The industry shift to microstock was the warning shot across the bow. It's a sad day when you have to sell 30 photos at Adobe or SS or IS and even GI just to pay for your monthly Cloud Subscription and note that is before taxes.

And someone with longer experience that kept records by year, say starting in 2005, would so an even more depressing bar chart. I'm not that person because I didn't start "big" and after the initial interest, I didn't keep detailed records after about 2009. Most of my volume uploads were in 2012 - 2013, which means the graph would be skewed.

If I did do since 2012, I'm not sure that would be accurate or a fair view, because of the areas of interest I upload and my scattered periods of effort that dwindled into boredom/lethargic uploads. I can add that since I'm essentially working with two agencies, and the rest are dormant, my stats would also be invalid for anyone else to view.

I would say though, that anyone new or getting into Microstock, should really take the reports here to heart and find something else. This is NOT a growth business nor growing market and hasn't been for possibly five years. To start now and make what some people did, working hard for the last ten years, is an uphill battle against the volume and existing competition.

There's not a very likely expectation of success in terms of earnings for effort and investment.



« Reply #26 on: September 03, 2019, 11:33 »
+1
microstock is not a way to live...sure in the next 2 3 years is still possible....i-m so fcking angry to myself because i not uploaded all my file in the past and began serious only in 2017, so stupid...2017 is the last year in fact you could upload and earn. i have a collection in catalog manage of file uploaded in 22017 2018 2019....file from 2017 , ok they are online for more time , have earned each more than a dollar and 30....file of 2018 not even 45 cent so far, old one year less...file from 2019 not even 0,12 cent...and my file 20119 are much better and more stock oriented that the one uploaded in 2017....simply new files in the last two years don-t ell ue to the flooding of new files in the last 2 years. and it will be only worst...to have the same return per file of 2017 probably i should have uploaded in 2019 5 6 times the files of 2017....next year you will need 10 times to hope to sell like past year. it-s a war between poor, fired mostly form contributor of country with very low medium salary, lw cost of production and low cost of earning.

« Reply #27 on: September 03, 2019, 13:03 »
+3
I think this industry is reaching market saturation. There's only so many companies and small business they can sell to. And with technological advances in cell phone cameras in the last few years, just about anyone can take a photo and use it on a website and look semi-professional. There are also those pesky free sites, not to mention pirate sites to contend with.

SS isn't really deteriorating...their growth is. I think this will become the norm from here on out, where it's hard to have the type of growth that we see 10 years ago. Competition is rising, just like every other industry so the only thing we can all do is focus on producing work that has a lot of commercial value and find ways to make it visible to buyers.

StockDaebak

« Reply #28 on: September 03, 2019, 21:44 »
+3
I haven't read every post here as I've been away out filming but just a quick update and observation,  last week and a half of August I sold $400 worth of editorial video on SS, some clips 4K, and the observation and this may be just co-incidence but I was uploading a batch every day and as soon as stuff got approved sales started coming in.

Perhaps like is the case with other algorithms in social media and Google, you need to post something new once a day to gain some lift, not necessarily everything in your pending folder but try doing a batch each say and see if suddenly sales take off.

And this is the hard part both financially and motivation wise especially as things have slowed down since April on multiple sites but as long as you are in the biz, keep the pedal to the floor, shoot/upload/repeat. Ya gotta get those numbers up and it 100% will not sell if you didn't shoot it or upload it.

Much easier said than done I know but the only things on peoples minds now as we head into September should be finding viable sites to sell editorial/commercial video and photos and producing more content and keep in mind who our customer is and what they watch today and shooting styles etc.

We know the agencies have made a turn for the worse, we need to look ahead now and find new opportunities and ways to sell the product we are making.

« Reply #29 on: September 04, 2019, 07:34 »
0
september begin worst than august and august was not the best month across all agency.

StockDaebak

« Reply #30 on: September 04, 2019, 08:05 »
0
september begin worst than august and august was not the best month across all agency.

Since April something clearly has been "off" across several agencies and across all genres of content so I think with it being so sudden it might very well be the global economy reading into recession and that affects all industries directly or indirectly and with everyone from individuals to businesses being so massively in debt right now it's not pretty.

Every agency is suddenly making changes, Pond5 obviously, Storyblocks and now SS is seriously limiting what you can upload onto their servers, it is a similar video or photo to what is already on the site it is rejected so they suddenly care about server space although they are presenting it as caring about the customer experience.

Have to get creative and busy making new content and promoting the heck out of it everywhere.

« Reply #31 on: September 04, 2019, 08:51 »
+3
september begin worst than august and august was not the best month across all agency.

Since April something clearly has been "off" across several agencies and across all genres of content so I think with it being so sudden it might very well be the global economy reading into recession and that affects all industries directly or indirectly and with everyone from individuals to businesses being so massively in debt right now it's not pretty.

Every agency is suddenly making changes, Pond5 obviously, Storyblocks and now SS is seriously limiting what you can upload onto their servers, it is a similar video or photo to what is already on the site it is rejected so they suddenly care about server space although they are presenting it as caring about the customer experience.

Have to get creative and busy making new content and promoting the heck out of it everywhere.

i doubt being creative will make a big difference in micro stock world....you can be creative but too many garbage files....for me it's clear that most sales are made through popular tab, nobody search for new files in that mess of garbages they accepted since 2017....my sales are mostly related to files older than 2017, nothing new sells and they are better content i was sure they had a market...since they reduced tabs to 2 instead to 3 new files sales are simply non existent...i would like the add a chosen by staff files, so new files with good character could have a chance to sell.. the rpd of files uploaded in 2018 and 2019 for me are simply terrible while 2017 i have already passe the 1,5 dollar for each file uploaded. in 2018 and 2019 we are near 0,1 cent. after 2017 they opened the gates et voila.
in addiction for me free stuff is impacting more and more, why you can criticize customer? they go to unsplash and find much better and creative stuff than 99% of files you see in micro, for free...i saw file downloaded 10 millions times...and those are money taken away by micro stock.

« Reply #32 on: September 04, 2019, 09:42 »
+7
I don't know, but I finally had a good month.  Best since last August.  Almost double last month. 

« Reply #33 on: September 04, 2019, 09:43 »
+2
From a *customer* and business point of view, if it were possible for me to get an image or video of a required topic with an acceptable quality for no money vs paying for it you'd be mad to not do so.
So yes, we all dislike sites like unsplash etc but you really cant blame the buyers here.

These days everyone has a phone with a camera of the quality that would require a big, bulky ILC along with technical knowledge to execute.  So a lot of things that previously meant that was in short supply and required buying is now easily recreated by normal people with phones and available free of charge.
More and more things can be done in-house for specific projects and free libraries providing the same stuff as paid agencies.

So it seems now really to get around that the things being sold have to be of things that CANT be recreated by someone on the street with a phone.  Different locations, different topics, different techniques etc.  *something* has to be done to differentiate it.

I do think along the line lots of us (me included) have gotten lazy and just taking the easy option that used to work.

That said, the extra effort required to get new techniques, locations, topics may not be worth it if you sell an image for $0.20 or a video for $0.6.


« Reply #34 on: September 04, 2019, 11:30 »
0
...and this may be just co-incidence but I was uploading a batch every day and as soon as stuff got approved sales started coming in...

Interesting observation StockDaebak. Just out of interest. Were the sales of your new content, or older content, or both?

« Reply #35 on: September 04, 2019, 12:24 »
+1
Not only lazy for not doing new things. For me at my 46 or so is kind of hard to learn from scratch eg 3D. And even when i get in the mood there is no spare time..

:/

« Reply #36 on: September 04, 2019, 13:50 »
+1
Not only lazy for not doing new things. For me at my 46 or so is kind of hard to learn from scratch eg 3D. And even when i get in the mood there is no spare time..

:/

If it is important enough to you, you will do it. You don't do it because it isn't important enough to you. The same applies to me. I'd be interested in learning 3D but it isn't important to me. I'm more interested in streamlining my photography workflow. There is much more to gain there in the short term, so that is where I spend my time. 

StockDaebak

« Reply #37 on: September 04, 2019, 22:17 »
0
@five Thumbs, It's an observation but could also just be coincidence that I was tagging a batch each day last week and buyers came along who actually needed what I have all in the same week.

It's mostly older stuff as in I uploaded it a year ago, so rare that anything new and freshly uploaded sells so I guess it takes time to rise up in rank to even come close to being found but then again I am not an expert in titles and keywords.

Mostly stuff from a year ago or a bit less, all editorial, only one sale this week and it too was an older one.

« Reply #38 on: September 05, 2019, 18:19 »
0
september begin worst than august and august was not the best month across all agency.

Since April something clearly has been "off" across several agencies and across all genres of content so I think with it being so sudden it might very well be the global economy reading into recession and that affects all industries directly or indirectly and with everyone from individuals to businesses being so massively in debt right now it's not pretty.

Every agency is suddenly making changes, Pond5 obviously, Storyblocks and now SS is seriously limiting what you can upload onto their servers, it is a similar video or photo to what is already on the site it is rejected so they suddenly care about server space although they are presenting it as caring about the customer experience.

Have to get creative and busy making new content and promoting the heck out of it everywhere.

i doubt being creative will make a big difference in micro stock world....you can be creative but too many garbage files....for me it's clear that most sales are made through popular tab, nobody search for new files in that mess of garbages they accepted since 2017....my sales are mostly related to files older than 2017, nothing new sells and they are better content i was sure they had a market...since they reduced tabs to 2 instead to 3 new files sales are simply non existent...i would like the add a chosen by staff files, so new files with good character could have a chance to sell.. the rpd of files uploaded in 2018 and 2019 for me are simply terrible while 2017 i have already passe the 1,5 dollar for each file uploaded. in 2018 and 2019 we are near 0,1 cent. after 2017 they opened the gates et voila.
in addiction for me free stuff is impacting more and more, why you can criticize customer? they go to unsplash and find much better and creative stuff than 99% of files you see in micro, for free...i saw file downloaded 10 millions times...and those are money taken away by micro stock.

When did you start?

ShadySue

« Reply #39 on: September 06, 2019, 04:03 »
0
That said, the extra effort required to get new techniques, locations, topics may not be worth it if you sell an image for $0.20 or a video for $0.6.
+100
Especially as most things not well covered or oversaturated have limited buyer interest, so pointless in Micro.
I'm sure there are some desirable niches to find, but not many, and I suspect most of them would be very difficult and/or expensive to get pemission to shoot.

« Reply #40 on: September 06, 2019, 11:41 »
+2
That said, the extra effort required to get new techniques, locations, topics may not be worth it if you sell an image for $0.20 or a video for $0.6.
+100
Especially as most things not well covered or oversaturated have limited buyer interest, so pointless in Micro.
I'm sure there are some desirable niches to find, but not many, and I suspect most of them would be very difficult and/or expensive to get pemission to shoot.

I definitely disagree. From my personal experience, there are plenty of niches that are definitely worth exploiting, some of them being huge.

For obvious reasons, I won't say too much, but I'd say that the key is "local", to take some pictures that are country, or even region specific.

From my experience, I only got two failures: France and Ukraine. The French failure is probably due to the fact that there are strong local actors, mainly the huge databases of the local press and the AFP giant, that go, very often, past the simple news material. The Ukrainian failure is probably due to the fact there are proportionally way more contributors than the local market demand.

The only issue with this comes from the keywording. You need to be able to use general keywords and very specific keywords, and it takes research. As a result, it's pretty hard for me to caption more than 10 files per hour. Calculating the revenue, it's however worth it. To summarize, I have noticed that even the "duck in pond" pictures can work if they are keyworded with precision. One of the first pictures I got on microstock back in the time gave me an RPI that is probably 10 times higher than my average, mainly because of the precise keywording. There are, furthermore, plenty of other topics that are usually extremely ordinary, but that are giving a good return on investment as long as you have a clean shot and good keywords.

When the agencies talk about "authenticity", they are kind of right. It takes however a bit more than just doing less processed snapshots or integrating "diversity people" in a picture. In the end, the buyers are getting pretty sensitive to this.

To summarize, to indentify a niche, just explore the local market potentials and the situation of the local competition.

« Reply #41 on: September 06, 2019, 11:52 »
+2
That said, the extra effort required to get new techniques, locations, topics may not be worth it if you sell an image for $0.20 or a video for $0.6.
+100
Especially as most things not well covered or oversaturated have limited buyer interest, so pointless in Micro.
I'm sure there are some desirable niches to find, but not many, and I suspect most of them would be very difficult and/or expensive to get pemission to shoot.

I definitely disagree. From my personal experience, there are plenty of niches that are definitely worth exploiting, some of them being huge.

For obvious reasons, I won't say too much, but I'd say that the key is "local", to take some pictures that are country, or even region specific.

From my experience, I only got two failures: France and Ukraine. The French failure is probably due to the fact that there are strong local actors, mainly the huge databases of the local press and the AFP giant, that go, very often, past the simple news material. The Ukrainian failure is probably due to the fact there are proportionally way more contributors than the local market demand.

The only issue with this comes from the keywording. You need to be able to use general keywords and very specific keywords, and it takes research. As a result, it's pretty hard for me to caption more than 10 files per hour. Calculating the revenue, it's however worth it. To summarize, I have noticed that even the "duck in pond" pictures can work if they are keyworded with precision. One of the first pictures I got on microstock back in the time gave me an RPI that is probably 10 times higher than my average, mainly because of the precise keywording. There are, furthermore, plenty of other topics that are usually extremely ordinary, but that are giving a good return on investment as long as you have a clean shot and good keywords.

When the agencies talk about "authenticity", they are kind of right. It takes however a bit more than just doing less processed snapshots or integrating "diversity people" in a picture. In the end, the buyers are getting pretty sensitive to this.

To summarize, to indentify a niche, just explore the local market potentials and the situation of the local competition.
I'd certainly go along with "local" its an area you know better than your competitors and one where you can get images at far less cost. The days of recouping the cost of a holiday in exotic places is long gone I fear. Bus Fare maybe ;-).


« Reply #42 on: September 07, 2019, 07:18 »
0
That said, the extra effort required to get new techniques, locations, topics may not be worth it if you sell an image for $0.20 or a video for $0.6.
+100
Especially as most things not well covered or oversaturated have limited buyer interest, so pointless in Micro.
I'm sure there are some desirable niches to find, but not many, and I suspect most of them would be very difficult and/or expensive to get pemission to shoot.

I definitely disagree. From my personal experience, there are plenty of niches that are definitely worth exploiting, some of them being huge.

For obvious reasons, I won't say too much, but I'd say that the key is "local", to take some pictures that are country, or even region specific.

From my experience, I only got two failures: France and Ukraine. The French failure is probably due to the fact that there are strong local actors, mainly the huge databases of the local press and the AFP giant, that go, very often, past the simple news material. The Ukrainian failure is probably due to the fact there are proportionally way more contributors than the local market demand.

The only issue with this comes from the keywording. You need to be able to use general keywords and very specific keywords, and it takes research. As a result, it's pretty hard for me to caption more than 10 files per hour. Calculating the revenue, it's however worth it. To summarize, I have noticed that even the "duck in pond" pictures can work if they are keyworded with precision. One of the first pictures I got on microstock back in the time gave me an RPI that is probably 10 times higher than my average, mainly because of the precise keywording. There are, furthermore, plenty of other topics that are usually extremely ordinary, but that are giving a good return on investment as long as you have a clean shot and good keywords.

When the agencies talk about "authenticity", they are kind of right. It takes however a bit more than just doing less processed snapshots or integrating "diversity people" in a picture. In the end, the buyers are getting pretty sensitive to this.

To summarize, to indentify a niche, just explore the local market potentials and the situation of the local competition.
I'd certainly go along with "local" its an area you know better than your competitors and one where you can get images at far less cost. The days of recouping the cost of a holiday in exotic places is long gone I fear. Bus Fare maybe ;-).

It depends actually. I got some cases where my travel was repaid in less than six months. There's even the question of the inspiration. When you're not in your usual environment, you may see things that look "typical" but that will seem usual to local photographers. I remember asking in North America to some photographers what would they describe as a typical local landscape, and most of them were not able to tell me, while I was able to see it, as it was unusual to me. Actually, most of the "local" shots that I'm doing in the places I'm going are not landmarks, but rather "ordinary" landscapes, urban or not.

Actually, it's still possible to travel to do stock, the question is however to plan everything and to target your destinations, keeping in mind there's a risk you gonna lose money.

« Reply #43 on: September 07, 2019, 10:19 »
+1
Thats not really a "holiday" anymore though. Yes if you are good and work hard you may recoup your costs but its not a case of just reeling off a few shots and watching the money roll in.

« Reply #44 on: September 08, 2019, 02:22 »
+1
I don't care about the money, its just about the fun.
I fiddle about a workflow to shoot and upload 300 food images a month with less than 1 hour work a day.
To shoot quick and good food photos with minimal effort. This is a competition. Maybe i should say its about the completion. Like it was in earlier days at photo competitions. Finding a way that works - after work one hour jogging and one hour shooting.

 

« Reply #45 on: September 08, 2019, 12:47 »
+6
I don't care about the money, its just about the fun.

How nice for you.

« Reply #46 on: September 08, 2019, 14:12 »
+1
SS growth for me.
Video sales almost every day, also on weekend.
Seems that buyers love (high quality) motion graphics  :)

« Reply #47 on: September 08, 2019, 14:15 »
+1
edit

1,2,3 breath

« Reply #48 on: September 08, 2019, 14:31 »
+4
SS growth for me.
Video sales almost every day, also on weekend.
Seems that buyers love (high quality) motion graphics  :)

I don't like the money either. What I really like is to be an slave and to get tons of stupid rejections.

ahahah! i understand. I'm at about 95% accepted, and i love money, because microstock is my main income. I like this job, i work when i want and where i want. I submit new content every day (2/3 videos). Low exepenses, i update my pc every 3 years, and the last 2 years adobe cc is free for me. Oh and i live in
a modern country (not third world).
I hope that my positive attitude don't hurt anyone :)
« Last Edit: September 08, 2019, 14:52 by MotionDesign »

« Reply #49 on: September 09, 2019, 01:04 »
0
I don't care about the money, its just about the fun.
I fiddle about a workflow to shoot and upload 300 food images a month with less than 1 hour work a day.
To shoot quick and good food photos with minimal effort. This is a competition. Maybe i should say its about the completion. Like it was in earlier days at photo competitions. Finding a way that works - after work one hour jogging and one hour shooting.

All this in all humilty, of course.


 

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