MicrostockGroup

Agency Based Discussion => Shutterstock.com => Topic started by: Shelma1 on August 29, 2019, 10:14

Title: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Shelma1 on August 29, 2019, 10:14
My apologies if this article has been posted previously.

“The company reported anemic revenue growth figures, and revenue growth deceleration is becoming a major problem.
Enterprise revenue growth has fallen off a cliff and actually shrunk this quarter after being a prior source of optimism.
The $1.2B company has $260M in cash, but the business is struggling.”

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4288413-shutterstock-continues-deteriorate
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Stockmaan on August 29, 2019, 10:38
 it's to late for Similar Content Policy dear Shutterstock. You have been years behind
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on August 29, 2019, 15:07
I hadn't seen that and was curious about who the writer was (as in whether they had any particular ax to grind). I think that SeekingAlpha offers bloggers on financial topics a platform for their articles, so this doesn't represent a consensus of analyst views on SS but just this guy's take. His description of himself (no name)

"Long-term focus, with some exceptions. Professional experience in health care, enterprise technology, media. I'm a self-taught investor. I started investing my own money in 2010 and have outperformed the S&P 500 by an average of 5% per year since then. Other individual investors have done far better. My biggest mistakes aren't any major dogs, but passing on big-name winners like Apple, Google, Priceline, others. "

I don't disagree with what he's saying, but he doesn't appear to have many followers. Here's a link to Seeking Alpha's guide to using blogs to increase your subscribers (I didn't bother to figure out what their "Marketplace" is or how much subscribers pay)

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4156779-marketplace-success-tips-best-practices-using-blog-posts

SSTK closed at $35.79 today, so apparently the blogger's negative views didn't tank the stock price :)
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: BalkanskiMacak on August 30, 2019, 07:21
So, here are my two cents about what is SS doing. It's my own interpretation from what I have seen, the evidence is, of course, hard to find, but it may be close to the reality, way more than all the radical statements I have seen here.

Basically, they started something like two years ago now a war on portfolio size, that was quickly followed by most of the main stock agencies.

Why so? Competing: with other microstock websites of course, but also with free websites. By doing so, their goal was to get as much content as possible to become kind of universal. You have any request? We have the solution, unlike IS, DT, etc. or unlike Pixabay.

The second part of the plan, I guess, was to setup an algorithm that could exclude, almost immediately, all the rubbish. That could explain why they have made that many changes to the algorithm, at least till the end of 2018. I got the feeling it became less radical after.

The results? Well, they are a bit complicated to see for the moment. As far as I remember, the last results were showing a 30% increase of the portfolio for a 3% increase of the revenue.

That being said, on the long term run, the strategy is not that stupid, the only issue will be for SS, eventually, to get rid of all the "rubbish" content that is pretty costly in terms of server space while not generating anything. It's as well a good opportunity to get rid of a part of the reviewing process that has been handled by completely incompetent people. An example: I tried recently to resubmit files that were rejected in 2015 for their quality, big surprise: not only they got accepted, but even more, they are among my best performers this year. Conclusion: the heavy process that was existing in 2015 was not only a pain in the ass for me, but as well for SS, given they had to pay the guys, and they lost some sales opportunities.

Then, why didn't it work, at least not for the moment? At the contrary of most of the people here, I don't think it's because of similar content. All the agencies now are accepting similar content! I recently uploaded by mistake the same batch twice, it got accepted everywhere... except Bigstock that flagged a few pictures as similar. Yes, even Adobe didn't see anything. So, judging by the differences of financial results from all the agencies, there is something else.

To me, that something else is pretty clear: if Shutterstock is failing, it's because there is a heavy competition in the agencies' world. If we look at the market, in fact, there hasn't been a lot of agencies that closed down/got bought over the past years, meaning there are still heavy fights on the market.

The future? Well, it's hard to say. It seems SS is trying to revert their acceptance strategy. It may be a good thing about similar content, but I got as well the feeling they became again completely stupid on other issues, especially for the commercial licenses (like the infamous "Focus: The main subject of this image is not in focus." for panoramas that were completely sharp).

About the big picture, the global financial situation will have an impact, if the recession gets confirmed. In the microstock market, there will be casualties. Either some major platforms will simply shut down (my forecast: 123RF will be among the first) or will be bought and merged by other platforms (my forecast: DT will be bought, even though I wouldn't be surprised if Getty were to sell IS).

So, SS, in this game, is definitely not on the verge of collapsing. That being said, fewer agencies may not be such good news for the contributors, as there will be less bargain power facing platforms that will be in an almost monopolistic situation.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Tenebroso on August 30, 2019, 11:33
Since I have read things like this in this forum, ........ If you do not know English well, do not use irony..... or in my comments, recommend that you do not use the google translator, because my intention to participate in this forum is not valued,...... I decided to leave the comments for the usual four others and simply read, as 99% of the users of this forum do.


That said, I entered here probably the last time, because I liked your approach. I simply want to add, that today, it is more expensive for the websites to delete the files. The price of keeping them in the server is null for the storage capacity of these days. Deleting files is laborious and costs money.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: trek on August 30, 2019, 13:13
Since I have read things like this in this forum, ........ If you do not know English well, do not use irony..... or in my comments, recommend that you do not use the google translator, because my intention to participate in this forum is not valued,...... I decided to leave the comments for the usual four others and simply read, as 99% of the users of this forum do.


That said, I entered here probably the last time, because I liked your approach. I simply want to add, that today, it is more expensive for the websites to delete the files. The price of keeping them in the server is null for the storage capacity of these days. Deleting files is laborious and costs money.

Deleting files could be fast and easy if they simply delete unsold files after ___ years. 
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Asthebelltolls on August 30, 2019, 13:44
Since I have read things like this in this forum, ........ If you do not know English well, do not use irony..... or in my comments, recommend that you do not use the google translator, because my intention to participate in this forum is not valued,...... I decided to leave the comments for the usual four others and simply read, as 99% of the users of this forum do.


That said, I entered here probably the last time, because I liked your approach. I simply want to add, that today, it is more expensive for the websites to delete the files. The price of keeping them in the server is null for the storage capacity of these days. Deleting files is laborious and costs money.

Deleting files could be fast and easy if they simply delete unsold files after ___ years. 

Isn't that something Dreamstime tried a few years ago? They dropped that approach so I assume it didn't work.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: George_ on August 30, 2019, 13:54
Why should they delete products that payed people to curate and stored for a long time? Further why should upset people that spend time to shoot, upload keyowrk and list them?

Bulk sales, lowest prices and resolutions seems a better idea. Guess this already happened?
After all, deleting all unsold would actually reduce marketplaces to a big reset point.

Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: trek on August 30, 2019, 13:56
Regarding Dreamstime:  That's because most their files never sell these days.  They were also using the unsold - delete ploy to get people to donate to their "free" section.   
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: trek on August 30, 2019, 14:01
Why should they delete products that payed people to curate and stored for a long time? Further why should upset people that spend time to shoot, upload keyowrk and list them?

Bulk sales, lowest prices and resolutions seems a better idea. Guess this already happened?
After all, deleting all unsold would actually reduce marketplaces to a big reset point.

Why.. to get rid of insanely redundant low quality material that frustrates buyers.  If it hasn't sold in 10 years I say trash it.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: George_ on August 30, 2019, 14:05
By the technical or artistic side, you are totally correct @trek

But an agency is a company, accountants that counts products and assets. And they love to see and show numbers grow. Perhaps i am wrong though

:)
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: trek on August 30, 2019, 14:07
By the technical or artistic side, you are totally correct @trek

But an agency is a company, accountants that counts products and assets. And they love to see and show numbers grow. Perhaps i am wrong though

:)

I think your right.  I think they want to brag about a billion image library (even if it's half crap).
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Mrblues101 on August 30, 2019, 15:05
This is bad new... SS was my first company for long time, i hope they can recovery soon
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Tenebroso on August 30, 2019, 15:41
Seven years ago, many high quality images were not sold. Today, high quality images are not sold. Quality is a subjective concept in this business. Some blogs highlighted the image rather than the article and its owner is clear about what an image that accompanies an article or an image that cancels the article means.

Garbage for some, heritage for companies, that will sell the images of 2019 with a 100% benefit in a few years. Fashion, market analysis, historical or documentary photos as archival assets that were uploaded in 2019 in the future. A city with the changed profile, the costumes of the models, everything is saleable in the future.


I do not recommend deleting images from your portfolios that you have not sold. In addition, it helps to highlight other images.

Adobe believes that all its users are professionals with professional photography programs, maybe they should update their requirements. Similar concepts in a vertical and horizontal image, I do not think it is appropriate. But each agency has its interests and they study every point of their business and my ideas may not be their idea.


Therefore, it is simply the current market. When pirates steal the images of today in two hours and upload them to all agencies in two hours in 100 pirate accounts, it will be a problem greater than the amount of images hosted on a server, patrimony of each agency.

Not only does it not cost them money to store images, but it took their money and time to get them.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Uncle Pete on September 01, 2019, 21:10
Why should they delete products that payed people to curate and stored for a long time? Further why should upset people that spend time to shoot, upload keyowrk and list them?

Bulk sales, lowest prices and resolutions seems a better idea. Guess this already happened?
After all, deleting all unsold would actually reduce marketplaces to a big reset point.

Why.. to get rid of insanely redundant low quality material that frustrates buyers.  If it hasn't sold in 10 years I say trash it.

Not going to say I really want or believe this, but why not get rid of artists with poor collections, loads of redundant poor selling images and spammed up keywords? Lets say, people who don't make many sales and are just taking up space with poor images that will never sell. Asking because at what point does the remove someone else's work, come down to remove someone else, and maybe remove someone who's here and cares?
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Pauws99 on September 02, 2019, 01:18
Why should they delete products that payed people to curate and stored for a long time? Further why should upset people that spend time to shoot, upload keyowrk and list them?

Bulk sales, lowest prices and resolutions seems a better idea. Guess this already happened?
After all, deleting all unsold would actually reduce marketplaces to a big reset point.

Why.. to get rid of insanely redundant low quality material that frustrates buyers.  If it hasn't sold in 10 years I say trash it.

Not going to say I really want or believe this, but why not get rid of artists with poor collections, loads of redundant poor selling images and spammed up keywords? Lets say, people who don't make many sales and are just taking up space with poor images that will never sell. Asking because at what point does the remove someone else's work, come down to remove someone else, and maybe remove someone who's here and cares?
The problem would be would they remove the "right" people. We already know how inconsistent their reviewing is.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: George_ on September 02, 2019, 02:59
If I got it right "most" people start by uploading poor quality or common themed items and start to grow or get better / more relevant / picky

If I was asked / had to delete half of current port, it would be the half first with minor exclucions.

Actually.... first 3/4 of it...

let's make it 9/10 to be more accurate...

:P

Jokes aside, whatever I "think" as good or curators tend to rate as better than most of my items is never sold until today.

Quote
Therefore, it is simply the current market. When pirates steal the images of today in two hours and upload them to all agencies in two hours in 100 pirate accounts, it will be a problem greater than the amount of images hosted on a server, patrimony of each agency.

Going offtopic, as long as this is SS thread, it would be interesting, how P5 will react to hosting originals that are stolen and listed in other or even free sites as long as they will have to "match" prices.

???

Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Pauws99 on September 02, 2019, 03:34
If I got it right "most" people start by uploading poor quality or common themed items and start to grow or get better / more relevant / picky

If I was asked / had to delete half of current port, it would be the half first with minor exclucions.

Actually.... first 3/4 of it...

let's make it 9/10 to be more accurate...

:P

Jokes aside, whatever I "think" as good or curators tend to rate as better than most of my items is never sold until today.

Quote
Therefore, it is simply the current market. When pirates steal the images of today in two hours and upload them to all agencies in two hours in 100 pirate accounts, it will be a problem greater than the amount of images hosted on a server, patrimony of each agency.

Going offtopic, as long as this is SS thread, it would be interesting, how P5 will react to hosting originals that are stolen and listed in other or even free sites as long as they will have to "match" prices.

???
Oddly though I am selling more images from 6-7 years back for the first time than new content. tbh my standards have slipped from the days where 40-50% rejections from shutterstock was fairly common.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: gnirtS on September 02, 2019, 07:12
Im thinking overall the quality of what i upload to SS now is lower than several years ago.

Years ago they had proper technical checks, standards and stopped similars.  Since they axed that i've been far less selective and uploaded images i previously wouldn't have purely because they made it a numbers game just to be seen.
The stuff is in my view acceptable (technically its fine) but overall the quality on average is lower than previously where i only uploaded a few of the best from a particular shoot.

*Hopefully* they'll go back to stopping similar and applying technical standards consistently then i can do less work uploading!

I think last time anyone from SS commented they said 90% of images on the database have never sold.  That was a few years ago, i suspect that is higher now.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Uncle Pete on September 02, 2019, 22:00
Why should they delete products that payed people to curate and stored for a long time? Further why should upset people that spend time to shoot, upload keyowrk and list them?

Bulk sales, lowest prices and resolutions seems a better idea. Guess this already happened?
After all, deleting all unsold would actually reduce marketplaces to a big reset point.

Why.. to get rid of insanely redundant low quality material that frustrates buyers.  If it hasn't sold in 10 years I say trash it.

Not going to say I really want or believe this, but why not get rid of artists with poor collections, loads of redundant poor selling images and spammed up keywords? Lets say, people who don't make many sales and are just taking up space with poor images that will never sell. Asking because at what point does the remove someone else's work, come down to remove someone else, and maybe remove someone who's here and cares?
The problem would be would they remove the "right" people. We already know how inconsistent their reviewing is.

Thank you for understand the bottom line. Who decides which of us is allowed to stay or who is removed. If the reviews are so terribly inconsistent, who would decide which images stay and what's removed? Who decides what's relevant or who should be allowed to upload?

The mistake was lowering standards, building numbers for the sake of "we have more images". I don't think there's a way to reverse the past, but there is a way to build for the future. That would be, image standards, selective content and quality over volume.

Or just keep going the same direction, let the buyers decide and accept with soft review. I still don't know how this new hard line on similar images is going to turn out. Right now there has been an over compensation.

Along the lines of the other opinions and history, my best selling are from the early years, most of the time. A couple are from after the standards changed, when I uploaded previous rejections that I thought had potential. Some have sold, some the reviews were right.

Do we want to let the buyers decide, or let the reviewers decide what the buyers will see? If one chooses to trust the reviews, then there's no way to complain when we disagree. If we want the buyers to have the final decision, then we can't complain so much about Crapstock that doesn't get filtered.

Personally I think the agency, whatever one wishes to step up, should set their own quality and subject standards and stick with that. But then again, we see a fear of failure, where agencies try to please everyone and allow too many sub-standard subjects and marginal quality.
 
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Pauws99 on September 03, 2019, 03:35
Whatever contributors think the key to this industry is satisfying buyers. If an agency can actually achieve a step change in search quality putting relevant high quality images in front of buyers consistently  they will "win". Some claim to with their AI enhanced search engines...I just don't believe that. The cost of quality control to achieve this at microstock prices is prohibitive I think.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: jonbull on September 03, 2019, 04:47
super slow strato month....you cannot build a business if they ad one million crap images every weeks. it's clear. offer is hundreds times more than demand. is a normal economic consideration. sure you cannot work 24 to struggle and keep a minimum acceptable earning.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Uncle Pete on September 03, 2019, 10:03
Whatever contributors think the key to this industry is satisfying buyers. If an agency can actually achieve a step change in search quality putting relevant high quality images in front of buyers consistently  they will "win". Some claim to with their AI enhanced search engines...I just don't believe that. The cost of quality control to achieve this at microstock prices is prohibitive I think.

That hits the target. Also as far as we've seen, the AI is "still learning", AKA a failure and pretty much a hardy laugh.

The offshore reviews or contracted or whatever they are doing, is also a failure. Inconsistent rejections for minor technical issues, or completely wrong interpretations, while images that never should have passed were being accepted in the thousands. Also what appears to be a weak attempt to curb theft or spam. So now we get the whiplash effect of over regulation so stringent that legitimate variations are being rejected.

Once the investors spotted the issues with duplicates, spam and theft, the crap hit the wall. And that's where we are currently, over reaction, instead of thoughtful moderation and adjustments.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Brasilnut on September 03, 2019, 10:12
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/

Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Clair Voyant on September 03, 2019, 10:35
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.

Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Uncle Pete on September 03, 2019, 10:56
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.

Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: jonbull on September 03, 2019, 11:33
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.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Minsc on September 03, 2019, 13:03
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.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: StockDaebak on September 03, 2019, 21:44
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.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: jonbull on September 04, 2019, 07:34
september begin worst than august and august was not the best month across all agency.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: StockDaebak on September 04, 2019, 08:05
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.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: jonbull on September 04, 2019, 08:51
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.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on September 04, 2019, 09:42
I don't know, but I finally had a good month.  Best since last August.  Almost double last month. 
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: gnirtS on September 04, 2019, 09:43
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.

Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Five Thumbs on September 04, 2019, 11:30
...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?
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: George_ on September 04, 2019, 12:24
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..

:/
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: charged on September 04, 2019, 13:50
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. 
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: StockDaebak on September 04, 2019, 22:17
@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.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: YadaYadaYada on September 05, 2019, 18:19
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?
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: ShadySue on September 06, 2019, 04:03
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.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: BalkanskiMacak on September 06, 2019, 11:41
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.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Pauws99 on September 06, 2019, 11:52
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 ;-).
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: BalkanskiMacak on September 07, 2019, 07:18
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.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Pauws99 on September 07, 2019, 10:19
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.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: tätarätä on September 08, 2019, 02:22
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.

 
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: DavidK on September 08, 2019, 12:47
I don't care about the money, its just about the fun.

How nice for you.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: MotionDesign on September 08, 2019, 14:12
SS growth for me.
Video sales almost every day, also on weekend.
Seems that buyers love (high quality) motion graphics  :)
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: trabuco on September 08, 2019, 14:15
edit

1,2,3 breath
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: MotionDesign on September 08, 2019, 14:31
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 :)
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Thomas from France on September 09, 2019, 01:04
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.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: jonbull on September 09, 2019, 06:58
always the same stuff always the same old files...nothing new sells....unbielevable.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: George_ on September 09, 2019, 08:18
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.

Love the attitude. I wish I could say the same.

Most people pay for gear and upload for exposure and fame.

He does his/her hobby and sometimes get and some money out of it.
Plus having a steady job or at least expences covered and living a healthy life with exercise!

Again, I wish I could say the same.

:)
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: DiscreetDuck on September 09, 2019, 08:34
always the same stuff always the same old files...nothing new sells....unbielevable.

Just to see, I looked at recent stuff for landscape : https://www.shutterstock.com/fr/search/landscape?sort=newest&image_type=photo (https://www.shutterstock.com/fr/search/landscape?sort=newest&image_type=photo)
UNBELIEVABLE, I was not conscient about all the crap coming in. Nothing surprising that recent stuff, even if the best keeps unseen and unsold, buyers don't come through all these snapshots to find professionnal photo... How serious contributors can feel proud by participating on such a platform? personnaly, I feel ashamed to put my best pictures there.
But, I am sure that one day things will change, and they will have to clean up the base.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: jonbull on September 09, 2019, 11:14
always the same stuff always the same old files...nothing new sells....unbielevable.

Just to see, I looked at recent stuff for landscape : https://www.shutterstock.com/fr/search/landscape?sort=newest&image_type=photo (https://www.shutterstock.com/fr/search/landscape?sort=newest&image_type=photo)
UNBELIEVABLE, I was not conscient about all the crap coming in. Nothing surprising that recent stuff, even if the best keeps unseen and unsold, buyers don't come through all these snapshots to find professionnal photo... How serious contributors can feel proud by participating on such a platform? personnaly, I feel ashamed to put my best pictures there.
But, I am sure that one day things will change, and they will have to clean up the base.

SAME FELLING...i stopped uploading serious stuff to ss...totally useless at this point...they sell always they same stuff....if you have hundred file in good position you sell them if not it's totally useless to upload new stuff...every sunday i always sell my two bestseller, every day included sunday....so it's not the quality the problem, the problem is that at this point new file have a 1% chance to sell. all changed after they cancel the third tab...once it was easier...last two years a nightmare for new upload.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Minsc on September 09, 2019, 13:48
Not sure if something changed, but the last few weekdays have been really good with about 20% more downloads. Maybe SS is tweaking their search algorithm again.

Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Uncle Pete on September 09, 2019, 14:19
always the same stuff always the same old files...nothing new sells....unbielevable.

Just to see, I looked at recent stuff for landscape : https://www.shutterstock.com/fr/search/landscape?sort=newest&image_type=photo (https://www.shutterstock.com/fr/search/landscape?sort=newest&image_type=photo)
UNBELIEVABLE, I was not conscient about all the crap coming in. Nothing surprising that recent stuff, even if the best keeps unseen and unsold, buyers don't come through all these snapshots to find professionnal photo... How serious contributors can feel proud by participating on such a platform? personnaly, I feel ashamed to put my best pictures there.
But, I am sure that one day things will change, and they will have to clean up the base.

Perfect example of proof by using a terrible example. One word search for Landscape? Are you joking?

What buyer would do that? Landscape  ::)

always the same stuff always the same old files...nothing new sells....unbielevable.

You say you stopped uploading and when you did it was rejects. What did you expect?
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: MotionDesign on September 09, 2019, 15:03
My pov is that high quality content = sales!
I don't know about photos or real footage, but for illustrations and motion graphics this is the key. No search algorithm or voodoo rituals...simply creative high quality content.
But i'm happy to listen to other motion designers inputs.
...Maybe i'm wrong but i suspect that the same rule apply to others types of content.
Sorry for my terrible english :)

Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: DiscreetDuck on September 09, 2019, 15:35
Perfect example of proof by using a terrible example. One word search for Landscape? Are you joking?
What buyer would do that? Landscape  ::)

Consider I did not want to test a buyer vision, I just wanted to observe recent submissions.
Try this :
https://www.shutterstock.com/fr/search?sort=newest&image_type=photo (https://www.shutterstock.com/fr/search?sort=newest&image_type=photo)

Better for you?
Your perspective may be different considering you entered here late 2017, I started microstock mid 2004. Maybe I'm not that stupid regarding query and search engine.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: jonbull on September 09, 2019, 15:44
always the same stuff always the same old files...nothing new sells....unbielevable.

Just to see, I looked at recent stuff for landscape : https://www.shutterstock.com/fr/search/landscape?sort=newest&image_type=photo (https://www.shutterstock.com/fr/search/landscape?sort=newest&image_type=photo)
UNBELIEVABLE, I was not conscient about all the crap coming in. Nothing surprising that recent stuff, even if the best keeps unseen and unsold, buyers don't come through all these snapshots to find professionnal photo... How serious contributors can feel proud by participating on such a platform? personnaly, I feel ashamed to put my best pictures there.
But, I am sure that one day things will change, and they will have to clean up the base.

Perfect example of proof by using a terrible example. One word search for Landscape? Are you joking?

What buyer would do that? Landscape  ::)

always the same stuff always the same old files...nothing new sells....unbielevable.

You say you stopped uploading and when you did it was rejects. What did you expect?

my rejects is probably in the 5% for batch. I'm not uploading my best stuff or creative one, simply upload stuff i not consider my best work, that doesn't mean is bad work, probably much better than what you are uploading.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: jonbull on September 09, 2019, 15:50
Perfect example of proof by using a terrible example. One word search for Landscape? Are you joking?
What buyer would do that? Landscape  ::)

Consider I did not want to test a buyer vision, I just wanted to observe recent submissions.
Try this :
https://www.shutterstock.com/fr/search?sort=newest&image_type=photo (https://www.shutterstock.com/fr/search?sort=newest&image_type=photo)

Better for you?

just look the ss forum , some thread like doom and gloom or that guy who wanna upload 10000 photos....then you realize.
for me it's unbieleavbel why they keep accepting that stuff..if i were a customer i would pay the dollar more to brows serious collection like stocksy or even stock i s much better with much less garbage.
they are losing market share day by day...their 4q keep losing growth and probably next will be red numbers....they keep losing enterprise customer...shouldn't they realize that the problem is their collectioN?
had they ever browsed unsplash? pixabay...i fell better looking unsplash collection for each  keyword than ss for sure....ahow we can blame customer who buy to unsplash...better images, more creative, right now covering the needs of many customers, and free!
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: StockDaebak on September 09, 2019, 19:52
On the subject of titles and keywords I wonder with the AI software getting better and better is soon it will be better for that to be automated and done by the agency.

Right now you have people who are new at this and just learning and might get thousands of video or photo files tagged wrong or you have the spammers doing it on purpose and at the end of the day no one can find anything. Not everyone is an expert at thi but this is a library and if stuff is not filed properly it won't be found.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: PZF on September 10, 2019, 02:54
On the subject of titles and keywords I wonder with the AI software getting better and better is soon it will be better for that to be automated and done by the agency.

Right now you have people who are new at this and just learning and might get thousands of video or photo files tagged wrong or you have the spammers doing it on purpose and at the end of the day no one can find anything. Not everyone is an expert at thi but this is a library and if stuff is not filed properly it won't be found.

AI is still rubbish. See Adobe thread above.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: H2O on September 10, 2019, 06:33
Quality will always sell, the great problem is finding quality in amongst all the rubbish, the amount of times I have heard buyers (myself included) saying, 'once you have waded through all the rubbish'.

The other problem is that those that produce the quality are increasingly leaving Microstock, sales keep going down, along with lower and lower commissions, the only site in the last 10 years to put up commission rates is Adobe, all credit to them.

A race to the bottom is a sign of desperation by the likes of Getty, a company mortgaged to the hilt with the contributors paying the shareholders and banks to drink Champagne.

This was never what Microstock was about, it was a partnership 50/50, unfortunately the Mill owners from the 17th Century have moved in.

As they say you pay peanuts you get . . . .

The way forward is quality sold on your own site.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: StockDaebak on September 10, 2019, 09:17
The way forward is quality sold on your own site.
[/quote]

Much easier said than done but I've been saying this for a long time now, we have to try the sell direct method, at least try it and many of us are one person operations so it's too much work to do everything and make it work.

Can't be out shooting video or photos full time and then become web developer and site admin in the evening when that itself is a full time job so maybe options to look at are Shopify and Amazon to sell these digital products that we have or stand alone sites but you may need to partner with someone or work in a team or get some outside help.

Then there is the massive promotion needed to get the attention of customers.  It's a ton of work.

But millions of small, medium and large businesses are doing it, selling their products on their own sites so it's possible, not everyone has to go through an agency.

The agencies do make it easier so we can focus on doing the work but lately it's getting to be impossible to make a living because of all the little deals and side deals and stuff that leads to more great news, you are making even less money next month!.

Even Shopify or Amazon would be better than these stock agencies, you pay for the use of their infrastructure but that's it.

Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Pauws99 on September 10, 2019, 10:39
The way forward is quality sold on your own site.

Much easier said than done but I've been saying this for a long time now, we have to try the sell direct method, at least try it and many of us are one person operations so it's too much work to do everything and make it work.

Can't be out shooting video or photos full time and then become web developer and site admin in the evening when that itself is a full time job so maybe options to look at are Shopify and Amazon to sell these digital products that we have or stand alone sites but you may need to partner with someone or work in a team or get some outside help.

Then there is the massive promotion needed to get the attention of customers.  It's a ton of work.

But millions of small, medium and large businesses are doing it, selling their products on their own sites so it's possible, not everyone has to go through an agency.

The agencies do make it easier so we can focus on doing the work but lately it's getting to be impossible to make a living because of all the little deals and side deals and stuff that leads to more great news, you are making even less money next month!.

Even Shopify or Amazon would be better than these stock agencies, you pay for the use of their infrastructure but that's it.
[/quote]

 Depends on your market...if its individuals and small businesses possibly. The corporates who have accounts with the likes of Shutterstock are never going to use those sites. From what I can see you have to be in the elite 1% to make significant money from your own site.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: charged on September 10, 2019, 10:57
On the subject of titles and keywords I wonder with the AI software getting better and better is soon it will be better for that to be automated and done by the agency.

Right now you have people who are new at this and just learning and might get thousands of video or photo files tagged wrong or you have the spammers doing it on purpose and at the end of the day no one can find anything. Not everyone is an expert at thi but this is a library and if stuff is not filed properly it won't be found.

AI is still rubbish. See Adobe thread above.

For now at keywording stock photos. Though it already beats the best human players on chess, checkers, go, etc.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: gnirtS on September 10, 2019, 13:04
For now at keywording stock photos. Though it already beats the best human players on chess, checkers, go, etc.

As seen below.  Another one of the aircraft produced "black woman in hospital bed, Africa".  This is google reverse image.  If anything SS and AS suggestions are worse.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Uncle Pete on September 11, 2019, 12:38
Perfect example of proof by using a terrible example. One word search for Landscape? Are you joking?
What buyer would do that? Landscape  ::)

Consider I did not want to test a buyer vision, I just wanted to observe recent submissions.
Try this :
https://www.shutterstock.com/fr/search?sort=newest&image_type=photo (https://www.shutterstock.com/fr/search?sort=newest&image_type=photo)

Better for you?
Your perspective may be different considering you entered here late 2017, I started microstock mid 2004. Maybe I'm not that stupid regarding query and search engine.

LOL another invalid conclusion. Because I joined here in what? That's my third time, I closed my account because of being frustrated with how the forum had gone down hill. Better now. Would you care that I started in Microstock in 2007 or so? I mean would that mean my opinion would be more valid to you?  :)

A one word search doesn't represent what any intelligent buyer is going to search and the word landscape is even worse because it's so vague. Just pointing out that one word search to prove something, does not prove anything.

I did click the link, what was I supposed to see? Recent submissions, I get that, what's your point? If you mean SS is accepting junk, yeah I'd agree. The whole review process seem to fall apart in about 2012 when they went for "we have the most photos". But just in case, can you be specific what I should be looking at in recent uploads?

Here's a good three word search that should make you wonder what SS is thinking...  https://www.shutterstock.com/search/sliced+vegetables+isolated?sort=newest&image_type=photo (https://www.shutterstock.com/search/sliced+vegetables+isolated?sort=newest&image_type=photo)
446,334 sliced vegetables isolated stock photos - and it's most recent since you suggested that.

Seems that the limit is around four similar images, although we both know that reviewers are luck, chance and some are more vigilant about enforcing strict rules. (in other words, full of a false sense of power)  >:( Some will probably reject twp images as similar, because they are outsourced and many are just making money, without the concept of what their job is. To review and accept suitable images. Instead they see it as, finding things wrong and rejecting images.

So anyway, tell me what I'm supposed to be seeing in recent uploads, I'm unclear what your point was?
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: StockDaebak on September 17, 2019, 08:51
Here we are half way through September and for me this month (editorial content) Pond5 is leading by a long shot, sales recovered nicely but at SS it's still a but on the slow side of normal but it's only the 17th.

I guess we have to remember to produce produce produce, Canada goose doesn't stop making jackets in April, they make em all summer so the stores are well supplied for the selling season.  That and producer unusual stuff you think no one will ever buy :)
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: marthamarks on September 17, 2019, 09:10
My pov is that high quality content = sales!
I don't know about photos or real footage, but for illustrations and motion graphics this is the key. No search algorithm or voodoo rituals...simply creative high quality content.
But i'm happy to listen to other motion designers inputs.
...Maybe i'm wrong but i suspect that the same rule apply to others types of content.
Sorry for my terrible english :)

Your English is fine. :)
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: BalkanskiMacak on September 17, 2019, 10:10
This month is definitely a roller coaster for me as well. It terribly started, not only on SS, it was the first time, for instance, that I was recording a weekly revenue growth below 0.4% (it doesn't even happen during Christmas). On SS, however, it started to spectacularly recover last week, and it seems to continue.

The weird thing is that I am having a lot of single & other, not only in terms of revenue, but as well in terms of volume. It's the first time such a thing happens this year.

Last time it happened, I was facing the same pattern (unusually low sales, and suddenly plenty of single and others that appear, covering all the previous losses). It can definitely be a coincidence, but I have some feeling SS is actually using the single & other column to do some reconciliation following some bugs and failures. At the moment, it's just a theory, but it would make some kind of sense.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: MotionDesign on September 18, 2019, 02:02
My pov is that high quality content = sales!
I don't know about photos or real footage, but for illustrations and motion graphics this is the key. No search algorithm or voodoo rituals...simply creative high quality content.
But i'm happy to listen to other motion designers inputs.
...Maybe i'm wrong but i suspect that the same rule apply to others types of content.
Sorry for my terrible english :)

Your English is fine. :)

thanks!  :)
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: OM on September 18, 2019, 19:10
Perfect example of proof by using a terrible example. One word search for Landscape? Are you joking?
What buyer would do that? Landscape  ::)

Consider I did not want to test a buyer vision, I just wanted to observe recent submissions.
Try this :
https://www.shutterstock.com/fr/search?sort=newest&image_type=photo (https://www.shutterstock.com/fr/search?sort=newest&image_type=photo)

Better for you?
Your perspective may be different considering you entered here late 2017, I started microstock mid 2004. Maybe I'm not that stupid regarding query and search engine.

LOL another invalid conclusion. Because I joined here in what? That's my third time, I closed my account because of being frustrated with how the forum had gone down hill. Better now. Would you care that I started in Microstock in 2007 or so? I mean would that mean my opinion would be more valid to you?  :)

A one word search doesn't represent what any intelligent buyer is going to search and the word landscape is even worse because it's so vague. Just pointing out that one word search to prove something, does not prove anything.

I did click the link, what was I supposed to see? Recent submissions, I get that, what's your point? If you mean SS is accepting junk, yeah I'd agree. The whole review process seem to fall apart in about 2012 when they went for "we have the most photos". But just in case, can you be specific what I should be looking at in recent uploads?

Here's a good three word search that should make you wonder what SS is thinking...  https://www.shutterstock.com/search/sliced+vegetables+isolated?sort=newest&image_type=photo (https://www.shutterstock.com/search/sliced+vegetables+isolated?sort=newest&image_type=photo)
446,334 sliced vegetables isolated stock photos - and it's most recent since you suggested that.

Seems that the limit is around four similar images, although we both know that reviewers are luck, chance and some are more vigilant about enforcing strict rules. (in other words, full of a false sense of power)  >:( Some will probably reject twp images as similar, because they are outsourced and many are just making money, without the concept of what their job is. To review and accept suitable images. Instead they see it as, finding things wrong and rejecting images.

So anyway, tell me what I'm supposed to be seeing in recent uploads, I'm unclear what your point was?

UFB!

Search SS 'Relevant' Landscape and that brings up far better stuff than the garbage on 'Fresh Content'.
Mind you, go to Unsplash and search 'Landscape'...pretty good for free!
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Uncle Pete on September 24, 2019, 10:09
always the same stuff always the same old files...nothing new sells....unbielevable.

Just to see, I looked at recent stuff for landscape : https://www.shutterstock.com/fr/search/landscape?sort=newest&image_type=photo (https://www.shutterstock.com/fr/search/landscape?sort=newest&image_type=photo)
UNBELIEVABLE, I was not conscient about all the crap coming in. Nothing surprising that recent stuff, even if the best keeps unseen and unsold, buyers don't come through all these snapshots to find professionnal photo... How serious contributors can feel proud by participating on such a platform? personnaly, I feel ashamed to put my best pictures there.
But, I am sure that one day things will change, and they will have to clean up the base.

Perfect example of proof by using a terrible example. One word search for Landscape? Are you joking?

What buyer would do that? Landscape  ::)

always the same stuff always the same old files...nothing new sells....unbielevable.

You say you stopped uploading and when you did it was rejects. What did you expect?

my rejects is probably in the 5% for batch. I'm not uploading my best stuff or creative one, simply upload stuff i not consider my best work, that doesn't mean is bad work, probably much better than what you are uploading.

Probably  :) You got that part right.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Uncle Pete on September 24, 2019, 10:15

Search SS 'Relevant' Landscape and that brings up far better stuff than the garbage on 'Fresh Content'.
Mind you, go to Unsplash and search 'Landscape'...pretty good for free!

So the point is, recent uploads are not as good as relevant if I chose "relevant" as the search for the same subjects?

Relevant displays better content?

Yeah, free images everywhere and we wonder why sales are down?  :(
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Stock4Me on September 24, 2019, 17:16
always the same stuff always the same old files...nothing new sells....unbielevable.

Just to see, I looked at recent stuff for landscape : https://www.shutterstock.com/fr/search/landscape?sort=newest&image_type=photo (https://www.shutterstock.com/fr/search/landscape?sort=newest&image_type=photo)
UNBELIEVABLE, I was not conscient about all the crap coming in. Nothing surprising that recent stuff, even if the best keeps unseen and unsold, buyers don't come through all these snapshots to find professionnal photo... How serious contributors can feel proud by participating on such a platform? personnaly, I feel ashamed to put my best pictures there.
But, I am sure that one day things will change, and they will have to clean up the base.

Perfect example of proof by using a terrible example. One word search for Landscape? Are you joking?

What buyer would do that? Landscape  ::)

always the same stuff always the same old files...nothing new sells....unbielevable.

You say you stopped uploading and when you did it was rejects. What did you expect?

my rejects is probably in the 5% for batch. I'm not uploading my best stuff or creative one, simply upload stuff i not consider my best work, that doesn't mean is bad work, probably much better than what you are uploading.

Show us who you are so we can see if your work backs your big talk.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Brasilnut on September 25, 2019, 18:06
Having a monster month on SS...
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Minsc on September 26, 2019, 02:22
I'm on pace for BME in September. Quite surprising.

They changed something on SS at the beginning of the month and some contributors are seeing the positive effects of it.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Deyan Georgiev Photography on September 26, 2019, 06:27
Having a monster month on SS...

You have some big sales in September, right?
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: davidbautista on September 26, 2019, 08:27
Having a monster month on SS...
0.7 rpd is very good!

Enviado desde mi LYA-L29 mediante Tapatalk

Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: davidbautista on September 26, 2019, 08:28
I'm on pace for BME in September. Quite surprising.

They changed something on SS at the beginning of the month and some contributors are seeing the positive effects of it.
Others don't. They change their f*cking algorithm and it works for some people. For me this month, no. But previous months I have seem some crazy changes. SS is a casino.

Enviado desde mi LYA-L29 mediante Tapatalk

Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Brasilnut on September 26, 2019, 08:31
Having a monster month on SS...

You have some big sales in September, right?

6 large ELs (including a $90 sale) and 3 clip sales making a big difference this month. Don't know what they did to change the algos, but more please!

Full report out in a few days on my blog.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: davidbautista on September 26, 2019, 08:33
Having a monster month on SS...

You have some big sales in September, right?

6 large ELs (including a $90 sale) and 3 clip sales making a big difference this month. Don't know what they did to change the algos, but more please!

Full report out in a few days on my blog.
Have you uploaded more content recently than usual? I tend to think they reward people that's constantly uploading.

Enviado desde mi LYA-L29 mediante Tapatalk

Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Deyan Georgiev Photography on September 26, 2019, 08:35
Having a monster month on SS...

You have some big sales in September, right?

6 large ELs (including a $90 sale) and 3 clip sales making a big difference this month. Don't know what they did to change the algos, but more please!

Full report out in a few days on my blog.

Keep rocking!
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Brasilnut on September 26, 2019, 09:07
Having a monster month on SS...

You have some big sales in September, right?

6 large ELs (including a $90 sale) and 3 clip sales making a big difference this month. Don't know what they did to change the algos, but more please!

Full report out in a few days on my blog.
Have you uploaded more content recently than usual? I tend to think they reward people that's constantly uploading.

Enviado desde mi LYA-L29 mediante Tapatalk

I've uploaded very few pics over the past 4 months (only about 350) vs something like 120 clips (been focused on uploading clips since I purchased a gimbal). So I don't think it's a significant factor.

Most of what has sold as ELs are at least a year old, one of them three years old.   
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: davidbautista on September 26, 2019, 09:21
Having a monster month on SS...

You have some big sales in September, right?

6 large ELs (including a $90 sale) and 3 clip sales making a big difference this month. Don't know what they did to change the algos, but more please!

Full report out in a few days on my blog.
Have you uploaded more content recently than usual? I tend to think they reward people that's constantly uploading.

Enviado desde mi LYA-L29 mediante Tapatalk

I've uploaded very few pics over the past 4 months (only about 350) vs something like 120 clips (been focused on uploading clips since I purchased a gimbal). So I don't think it's a significant factor.

Most of what has sold as ELs are at least a year old, one of them three years old.
SS works in mysterious ways

Enviado desde mi LYA-L29 mediante Tapatalk

Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: StockDaebak on September 26, 2019, 14:10
Late September editorial sales update here and it's still slow on SS, not dead but not what it should be for September, Pond5 picked up a bit but still way down especially for this time of year.

Awful reality when I realize I could make more money going door to door and charging $10 per house to rake leaves than doing stock footage full time.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: jpbarcelos on September 27, 2019, 14:31
Having a monster month on SS...

Thats hilarious and sad at the same time to me  :).  My BME by far was june. This Sept is my worst month this year so far. Hasnt been so bad since april last year, and i had half the portfolio I have today.
It just shows that sales are seasonal.
br,
Joao
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: OM on October 01, 2019, 05:54
Reviewing other posts here, I'm sure SS changed their algo in September. Good news for some but bad news for others like moi! Had a 4% increase in downloads but a 28% decrease in earnings compared to August; almost entirely due to lack of ODDs in September.

Due to lack of sales of new work, haven't uploaded anything since March/April. Seems pointless.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Julied83 on October 01, 2019, 06:24
Not my best month of the year but a good month ! It's not going down for me , but rising at SS ! New stuff are selling, slowly, but selling. I'm good with SS at this moment !
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: StockDaebak on October 01, 2019, 07:35
September ended up being "ok" but not great for the fall season but nothing to complain about considering how slow it's been here on SS and over at pond.  Both ended up higher for the month but nothing like it was last year or the year before.

Have to keep at it shoot/upload/sleep/repeat
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: jonbull on October 01, 2019, 07:48
subberstock...and adobe subs...20 % more download than last year combined 30 % less money.....it's clear that people who need credit or on demand photos are looking elsewhere.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: jonbull on October 01, 2019, 07:50
even those beggars outside supermarket earn much more per time than a sub....
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: OM on October 01, 2019, 10:05
subberstock...and adobe subs...20 % more download than last year combined 30 % less money.....it's clear that people who need credit or on demand photos are looking elsewhere.

My theory is that the big users still buy their subs every month but the smaller independent grahpic designers etc who used to buy an ODDs package as needed per job, now go first to Unsplash and Pixabay etc and only when they're unsuccessful do they return to SS/Adobe.

Probably explains why SS and Adobe advertise on those free sites...and help keep them in business ::) Eejits!
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: jonbull on October 01, 2019, 11:15
subberstock...and adobe subs...20 % more download than last year combined 30 % less money.....it's clear that people who need credit or on demand photos are looking elsewhere.

My theory is that the big users still buy their subs every month but the smaller independent grahpic designers etc who used to buy an ODDs package as needed per job, now go first to Unsplash and Pixabay etc and only when they're unsuccessful do they return to SS/Adobe.

Probably explains why SS and Adobe advertise on those free sites...and help keep them in business ::) Eejits!

of cours, in addiction there is pinterest instagram where find free images...unspalsh who was seen by many just a non competitive reality, is killing this business.
in my opinion even big corporate takes files there , first the quality is much better than micro, they fit perfectly the current style choosen by many, the quality is very high and you can't find that garbage you find in micro....seem like is full of artist who don't bother to earn penny in ss but prefer visibility...i remember even apple used their files in  a presentation....

for me the big challenge of ss is make new good files seen by customer....yeasterday i make some research in ss for some kind of food....search pulled pork for example, watch popular and the new...how in the earth they accepted the garbage in the new tab? how is it possible to be discovered if there is this kind of spammingg in key word?
ss think to be smart but it's losing lot of customer, especially ion enterprise sector....hw they think a customer can be happy to bows to that kind of stuff not even my grandmother of 95 years old would make photo of?

in addiction they are killing any wish for positive and good worker to produce...there are photographer who don't upload fo rages as i see in fotolia for example who still sell thousand of photo per year simply because their position in page one....new contributor and nw files struggle to be seen. this is heavily biased toward old contributor...i hope they kill popular and leave only relevant or a tab wh i s mix of age and download or view..
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: BalkanskiMacak on October 01, 2019, 11:17
So, to summarize, this month was a roller coaster.

The month started pretty horribly, before having around the 15th a lot of Single & Others, including a $50 one, which is pretty unsual (my portfolio is made of 99% photos), before slowly returning back to a normal pace.

In the end, I'm within my goals for this month. The $50 sale made it among my BME's. Deducting this sale, it would have still been an average month, slightly better than the previous ones. In terms of downloads, as well, it would have been in the average, even though the numbers were probably 5 to 10% lower than usual (the RPD was therefore higher, even without the $50 sale).

As I was previously saying, I have this conspiracy theory that SS is using sometimes the Single & Other column to renconciliate amounts after they screwed up something in the royalties. It's not the first time indeed that I'm seeing this scheme happening. For the moment, however, I would still say it's a kind of conspiracy theory, as it can be a coincidence, given that I lack of evidence, even statistically speaking.

In terms of algorithm, something happened, indeed. It seems the algorithm is promoting more intensively the older pictures. I got actually a lot of sales from files with an ID inferior to 1200000000, while I used to have in the previous months good performance from files between 1200000000 and 1460000000 (there were a few strategic mistakes that could explain why the most recent files are failing, even though it shouldn't be that radical). Even more, I got some pretty big surprises with 1st sales on files that were older (below the billion).

So, in the end, it's a bit of a stressful situation after a beginning of the year that was perfect. That being said, the algorithm changes, in the end, just transformed the way I'm selling, but not the average result. Now, let's see if the trend continues. The last years, October was a bit of a disappointment, we'll see if there's a seasonality here.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on October 02, 2019, 01:44

 I have this conspiracy theory that SS is using sometimes the Single & Other column to renconciliate amounts after they screwed up something in the royalties. .... For the moment, however, I would still say it's a kind of conspiracy theory, as... I lack evidence,

Yup. Just another wild supposition.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Uncle Pete on October 02, 2019, 14:31

 I have this conspiracy theory that SS is using sometimes the Single & Other column to renconciliate amounts after they screwed up something in the royalties. .... For the moment, however, I would still say it's a kind of conspiracy theory, as... I lack evidence,

Yup. Just another wild supposition.

Just like they must have changed the algorithm because... without tracking specific images and where they are in the search over months or years. Just blame the evil agency and that's easy?  :)

I have tracked my best selling images and after years, they are still in the same relative positions as they were a year before. Some move up or down, depending on competition, but front page in a search, a three word search by the way not some silly one word. None that has sales has ever dropped from page 1 or 2 to suddenly page 23. So it appears that SS likes me better than everyone else? LOL

I suggest to the people who claim that the search on AS or SS or IS keeps changing and they are being punished for less uploads or file age, where old files are pushed down, oh wait, new files don't sell. Anything that fits, without actual watching, is open for a claim. Some I suspect are total speculation and change depending on the day or goal of the post.

Track and watch, for months and years, then tell us. I track photos with sales, their positions for a specific search term, that includes main keywords that a buyer might use. Make notes, same search, same words, what position is the test images or images?

As for month to month and general trends, yes, I'd agree, a continuing slow decline, across all agencies. Whether it's prices which means lower income or just lower numbers of downloads. Nothing is growing, the market is declining. No conspiracy, a young market that was growing, and growing, now is declining. Just what we'd expect if it was based on business and markets and consumers, instead of personal opinion and emotions.

Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: BalkanskiMacak on October 02, 2019, 15:37
I agree, I'm doing a supposition based on a pretty small statistical evidence made of 4 cases, two of them being pretty radical, two others slightly less. I would need of course more observation, but, based from my experience from a few years ago working in the back-office of a pretty big website, doing some weird inventory adjustments to reconcile inputs and outputs in accordance with the contracts is something pretty common. In the end, as long as I'm receiving my share, I actually don't really want to see how the sausage is made.

Then, in terms of algorithm, I have tracked a few cases, and there are indeed some changes in the search results over the time. Here again, even though I may be penalised in some cases, it seems some are taking advantage, so these changes are not totally bad, at least not for everybody.

The only solution I have found up until now to counter these suspected changes is to maintain an upload rate as stable as possible on the long term. This is as well how I can sometimes see something changing, like when older pictures suddenly start to come back.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: marthamarks on October 02, 2019, 16:22
In the end, as long as I'm receiving my share, I actually don't really want to see how the sausage is made.

Yep.

The only solution I have found up until now to counter these suspected changes is to maintain an upload rate as stable as possible on the long term.

Double yep.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: pancaketom on October 02, 2019, 20:46
I had a best seller that sold about once a day for about 4 years or so, then one day it went from one of the top 2 or 3 rows of a one word search with about 2000 pages of results at the time to I don't know where (I searched 25 pages or so without finding it). Daily sales stopped. Eventually I got another sale and searched again - this time it was 4 or so pages back. It gets a sale a month or so now. Search placement makes a big difference and that is one instance where a change made a noticeable difference in my income.

This happened years ago.  As far as SS deterioration goes. Mine could be all a result of the dilution of my images amongst the millions. It has dropped to about a third or a quarter of their high point. This is both less total sales and the almost complete disappearance of big sales (over $3) and the drastic reduction of OD sales.
Title: Re: SS continues to deteriorate
Post by: Zero Talent on October 02, 2019, 20:48

 I have this conspiracy theory that SS is using sometimes the Single & Other column to renconciliate amounts after they screwed up something in the royalties. .... For the moment, however, I would still say it's a kind of conspiracy theory, as... I lack evidence,

Yup. Just another wild supposition.

There is an Adjustment tab specifically made for that, but... you know.... let people conspire and theorize.  :)