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Author Topic: Start again at Shutterstock? Or not  (Read 2288 times)

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« Reply #25 on: August 15, 2022, 16:18 »
+1
I can't understand people throwing away good money.

I don't understand people who don't value themselves and who work for free and don't even see it.
I do not understand people who do not understand west is not west anymore if you understand travel  with world to new world. I remember $1, 000 per pic but I survive cancer and this is pieces of ....  ;) for me Keep smiling I do not like boring  people ;) I love strong survivors


« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2022, 20:00 »
+1
I have never stopped uploading to Shutterstock and I don't understand people's reasoning for stopping.
Especially those that cut off their noses to spite their face and close their accounts and empty their ports.
Yep, SS has a lot of dime sales. That's for sure. Still, it's easy to upload, easy to maintain portfolios.
I can't understand people throwing away good money.
I upload, upload, upload to only a few other agencies because most are not worth the effort.
Shutterstock, Dreamstime, Adobe and Wirestock are my favorites. I run hot and cold on Wirestock but
hey, uploading is easy and they sell.
Everybody does things differently and if you don't agree with me, that's fine. Why should I care?
Some people find a niche in other agencies and that's great. Some jump from this to that to whatever
in the pursuit of sales. Great if that works for you.
But tossing free money never makes sense to me.

Wholeheartedly agree with this. Yes, the royalty $ cut sucked and I was disheartened after it happened and made me less motivated. It took me a month to 'get over it' and start uploading again. I'm not leaving money on the table. I like having my photos out there in the world, being used. Right now, one of my photos (of myself as the model) is on a billboard on a major, very busy US interstate. It's fun, I enjoy it, and the money isn't bad. June 2022 was my highest Shutterstock month ever, by far. I also still do get large $$$ (triple digit) photo downloads. And Adobe is kickin' butt for me right now.

I would've taken these photos anyway - the majority of my photos are from vacations I've taken. I don't take photos just for stock - but I have on occasion and I do it because I enjoy it.

I also "upload upload upload" (great motto, BTW!) I have a large portfolio nearing 20,000 photos, so that helps for sure. I'm not a wirestock person because I want to do it all myself and with a big portfolio, I jump through the % ranks at SS very quickly. Except for video - I could use their help as my video portfolio is under 1,000 (working on it though).
« Last Edit: August 15, 2022, 20:03 by yougogirl »

« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2022, 20:02 »
0
Quote
How many people have E&O Insurance in the Microstock business?

i guess not many, but lets say you missed a pattern, in the end you pay the bill.
you have signed this

Quote
I already have Internet and cameras and lenses, that if I already took and edited a photo for some other agency, then uploading to more places, is = Free Money. The work is done.

if you upload you lose a lot because you further devalue prices-> other agencies will also follow down
if you upload your computer + router needs at last lets say 200W/h
if you upload you spend time

thats the opposite of free,
dont feel offended, its just my honest opinion.



« Reply #28 on: August 15, 2022, 22:00 »
0
Someone put a bullet through his eye. No one knows who gave the order. When I heard it, I wasnt angry; I knew Moe, I knew he was head-strong, talking loud, saying stupid things. So when he turned up dead, I let it go. And I said to myself, this is the business weve chosen.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2022, 22:06 »
+1
Quote
How many people have E&O Insurance in the Microstock business?

i guess not many, but lets say you missed a pattern, in the end you pay the bill.
you have signed this

Quote
I already have Internet and cameras and lenses, that if I already took and edited a photo for some other agency, then uploading to more places, is = Free Money. The work is done.

if you upload you lose a lot because you further devalue prices-> other agencies will also follow down
if you upload your computer + router needs at last lets say 200W/h
if you upload you spend time

thats the opposite of free,
dont feel offended, its just my honest opinion.

Not offended, Free Money is just a joke term for me. Nothing is free if someone wants to pick at every detail. I have to wake up in the morning and run water, I have to eat, I have to drive to the store or work. I have a car and insurance and that takes fuel and maintenance. I have to pay the mortgage and taxes... so a computer that I already have and a camera that I already have and images that I already took for some other reason? I'm just expanding their usefulness.

Yes I do create plop and shoot and Crapstock, just for stock uploads. I'd be lying if I said I didn't.

Humor me, but when did what we supply, or boycotts or protests, actually have any effect on what the agencies do or don't do?

More like, if you toss a pebble into a lake, the change in water level may be a reality, but it's so small and insignificant that nothing changes on a bigger level. SS has 397 million images, soon to be 400 Million. I'd like to be paid better and fairly, but the market creates the pricing. Supply and demand creates the value of what we do. SS is not leading, they are following.

I'll put it another way. If the same reasons we shouldn't upload to SS are valid, as a business and financial decision, then none of us should upload anything to any Microstock agency?  ;D

« Reply #30 on: August 16, 2022, 08:29 »
+1
I'd like to be paid better and fairly, but the market creates the pricing. Supply and demand creates the value of what we do. SS is not leading, they are following.

The way I look at it: Shutterstock followed the market opportunities that their suppliers (contributors) created. They did not slash contributor earnings because they needed to lower customer prices in order to stay competitive. Customer prices stayed the same? Shutterstock just saw an opportunity to take a bigger chunk of the pie for themselves because supply by contributors vastly exceeds demand by customers, and they could afford to lose some angry contributors.

Two years further down the road, we are rapidly creating another lower market, the one of flat fee/unlimited downloads or even totally free content, which makes Shutterstock anything but a bottom of the barrel agency nowadays. Not in terms of total earnings. Distribute a thousand decent quality stock images to the well known agencies, and you will notice that Shutterstock still is a top tier agency in terms of monthly earnings (considered you can get your images approved  ;)).

So whether the OP should start again with providing content to Shutterstock is mainly an emotional decision to take from my point of view. Are you willing to take the insult of selling the majority of your content in the 10 - 20 cents range? From a business perspective it's an easier decision: your monthly microstock earnings will increase significantly by including Shutterstock.










Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #31 on: August 16, 2022, 13:27 »
+1
I'd like to be paid better and fairly, but the market creates the pricing. Supply and demand creates the value of what we do. SS is not leading, they are following.

The way I look at it: Shutterstock followed the market opportunities that their suppliers (contributors) created. They did not slash contributor earnings because they needed to lower customer prices in order to stay competitive. Customer prices stayed the same? Shutterstock just saw an opportunity to take a bigger chunk of the pie for themselves because supply by contributors vastly exceeds demand by customers, and they could afford to lose some angry contributors.

Two years further down the road, we are rapidly creating another lower market, the one of flat fee/unlimited downloads or even totally free content, which makes Shutterstock anything but a bottom of the barrel agency nowadays. Not in terms of total earnings. Distribute a thousand decent quality stock images to the well known agencies, and you will notice that Shutterstock still is a top tier agency in terms of monthly earnings (considered you can get your images approved  ;)).

So whether the OP should start again with providing content to Shutterstock is mainly an emotional decision to take from my point of view. Are you willing to take the insult of selling the majority of your content in the 10 - 20 cents range? From a business perspective it's an easier decision: your monthly microstock earnings will increase significantly by including Shutterstock.

True, but make a note, that iStock slashed prices and values far before SS joined the depressing 10 cent route. Remember unsustainable and everyone makes 15%, no levels, no bonus, no nothing. And then Connect?

The bottom line, and I'm not supporting it, is the way to cut expenses for the agencies, is cut the cost of goods sold. Our commission. Prices have not stayed the same. There has been some adjusting to terms and licenses to make the prices lower, which means we get paid less. Everyone here notices less EL, less SO and less of the other high priced types of use.

Yes, many people make more by supporting the SS insulting rewards for our work. Let me say, Willing Victims who make a choice to take the money, instead of making nothing.

You're also right, that the OP needs to decide on their own if they want to get into this situation again, working for SS, and make something, that's undervaluing our work, or just do something else or concentrate on agencies that pay better. (which is down to Adobe?)

Many people talk about how we should do something or how we should stop uploading, but no one says how anything will change for the better if we do that. Back to throwing a pebble into the lake. We are nothing but a gnat on a 300 pound gorilla's back. 400 million images, what would 10,000 here and there matter. iStock adds half a million new assets a month.

If someone has a realistic, working solution, not some personal philosophy, not about their perception of their personal value, I'm in with that plan. Show me how we can actually make a change and I'm in.

« Reply #32 on: August 16, 2022, 16:00 »
0
I'd like to be paid better and fairly, but the market creates the pricing. Supply and demand creates the value of what we do. SS is not leading, they are following.

The way I look at it: Shutterstock followed the market opportunities that their suppliers (contributors) created. They did not slash contributor earnings because they needed to lower customer prices in order to stay competitive. Customer prices stayed the same? Shutterstock just saw an opportunity to take a bigger chunk of the pie for themselves because supply by contributors vastly exceeds demand by customers, and they could afford to lose some angry contributors.

Two years further down the road, we are rapidly creating another lower market, the one of flat fee/unlimited downloads or even totally free content, which makes Shutterstock anything but a bottom of the barrel agency nowadays. Not in terms of total earnings. Distribute a thousand decent quality stock images to the well known agencies, and you will notice that Shutterstock still is a top tier agency in terms of monthly earnings (considered you can get your images approved  ;)).

So whether the OP should start again with providing content to Shutterstock is mainly an emotional decision to take from my point of view. Are you willing to take the insult of selling the majority of your content in the 10 - 20 cents range? From a business perspective it's an easier decision: your monthly microstock earnings will increase significantly by including Shutterstock.

True, but make a note, that iStock slashed prices and values far before SS joined the depressing 10 cent route. Remember unsustainable and everyone makes 15%, no levels, no bonus, no nothing.

It may be that istock started this crap. It is probably also true that there are no levels there.

Nevertheless, my RPD there is higher than that of shutterstock with level 5. istock started with the crap and shutterstock optimized it for itself and perverted it with flowery marketing phrases.

« Reply #33 on: August 16, 2022, 18:05 »
+1

True, but make a note, that iStock slashed prices and values far before SS joined the depressing 10 cent route. Remember unsustainable and everyone makes 15%, no levels, no bonus, no nothing. And then Connect?

The bottom line, and I'm not supporting it, is the way to cut expenses for the agencies, is cut the cost of goods sold. Our commission. Prices have not stayed the same. There has been some adjusting to terms and licenses to make the prices lower, which means we get paid less. Everyone here notices less EL, less SO and less of the other high priced types of use.

Yes, many people make more by supporting the SS insulting rewards for our work. Let me say, Willing Victims who make a choice to take the money, instead of making nothing.

You're also right, that the OP needs to decide on their own if they want to get into this situation again, working for SS, and make something, that's undervaluing our work, or just do something else or concentrate on agencies that pay better. (which is down to Adobe?)

Many people talk about how we should do something or how we should stop uploading, but no one says how anything will change for the better if we do that. Back to throwing a pebble into the lake. We are nothing but a gnat on a 300 pound gorilla's back. 400 million images, what would 10,000 here and there matter. iStock adds half a million new assets a month.

If someone has a realistic, working solution, not some personal philosophy, not about their perception of their personal value, I'm in with that plan. Show me how we can actually make a change and I'm in.

I was not actively involved to microstock when iStock/Getty massacred the commissions. So Shuttergate was my first "shock" in that regard.

True, the only agency that manages to balance better commissions at decent volumes is Adobe. At least for me. Yet, they only account for roughly 25% of my microstock income. Maybe 30% or so if I include some sales via Wirestock. Go figure. The rest is Shutterstock, iStock/Getty and some minion breadcrumbs.

I disabled my portfolio for a while, as many others did. And the only impact it had was a drastic decrease of my microstock earnings. Shutterstock didn't change their minds and sales at other agencies did not increase. So I took it. The hit. Enabled my portfolio again, as many others did, made a fairly decent rest of the year (considering my rather smallish port) and made a very good 2021 there. I saw a drastic decrease in bigger commissions in 2022, but (admittedly by a small margin), Shutterstock is still my top earning agency this year so far.

I look at how much an agency brings in at the end of the month. And three of them are worth my time and effort in that regard: Adobe, Shutterstock, and iStock/Getty.
They account for roughly 80%. The money is made by the big three, and two out of three are treating contributors like poop.

So yeah, I would love to be part of an initiative that makes them change their minds or go broke. But it's not gonna happen. That train has left the station and it's on it's way to the next one. As you said, the few dozen activist contributors who are willing to take a financial hit to make a point are nothing more than a gnat on a 300 pound gorilla's back.

Maybe we should ask ourselves a different question: what would feel like a fair price for licensing an image?
The most probable answer would be: well, that would depend on the usage, right?

10 cents for licensing an image on a social media post that vaporizes in a few hours or a low-traffic website?
You know what? Fine by me, go ahead, I don't care.

But this?  :o

STANDARD IMAGE LICENSE grants you the right to use Images:

As a digital reproduction, including on websites, in online advertising, in social media, in mobile advertising, mobile "apps", software, e-cards, e-publications (e-books, e-magazines, blogs, etc.), email marketing and in online media (including on video-sharing services such as YouTube, Dailymotion, Vimeo, etc., subject to the budget limitations set forth in sub-section I.a.i.4 below);

Printed in physical form as part of product packaging and labeling, letterhead and business cards, point of sale advertising, CD and DVD cover art, or in the advertising and copy of tangible media, including magazines, newspapers, and books provided no Image is reproduced more than 500,000 times in the aggregate;

As part of an "Out-of-Home" advertising campaign, including on billboards, street furniture, etc., provided the intended audience for such campaign is less than 500,000 gross impressions.

Incorporated into film, video, television series, advertisement, or other audio-visual productions for distribution in any medium now known or hereafter devised, without regard to audience size, provided the budget for any such production does not exceed USD $10,000;

For your own personal, non-commercial use (not for resale, download, distribution, or any commercial use of any kind)


That's a different story huh?
500,000 reproductions, worldwide, for 10 cents. Am I getting that right? Feels a bit... I don't know. Stretched? Like I totally misunderstood something. 
And do the 33, 36 or 38 cents at Adobe make us feel so much better then?
If not, what would be a fair price for a Standard License allowing customers to reproduce it 500,000 times?

I don't have the answers Pete. But I soothe myself with the fact that Microstock pays for new gear, and some trips.
And I made that money basically with something I really like doing: shooting and editing.
And I try to ignore all the rest. Why? There's nothing we can do about it.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #34 on: August 18, 2022, 11:14 »
0
Yes @Roscoe from time to time, people come up with, we need to do something about this, and we go round and round, but the answer is, with no power or control we can't change anything. And the idea that, if everyone stopped uploading, there would be a change is not only impossible, because there's no way to get any significant majority to do that, it's unrealistic in view of the catalogs the agencies already have.

Some people get angry, they get upset, they blame the artists and the agencies. But the facts are, it's a market, there are some simple economics, supply and demand at the bottom of how stock works. We aren't (most of the time) producing art or something that's unique or hard for many others to make the same or similar. We make something that's an over supplied commodity.

Yes, I make some money, I have some fun, I'd be doing most of this regardless and the fact that I can learn more and get better and buy some toys and an occasional bottle of scotch, is just fine. I do not depend on this income. I know some people do. But the bottom like is, we all make choices, and Microstock, for the majority of the people, is NOT a good choice for a way to make a living wage.

The choice for Microstock is work, where and how we wish, and take what we get, or do something else. There's no alternative.

Each person can decide on their own, what agencies and what images to produce and how much they want to work. We can't decide how much we get paid or demand better commissions. We can only selected where and who we are willing to work for.

No one is forcing us to create and upload? We aren't being held hostage and forced into labor. I don't know why so many people blame and hate the agencies, when it's their own personal choice to put the images up for sale with the agencies? And I still say, I don't see any agency promising us that we can make a living, creating stock images. Make some money yes. Make a profit, even that is difficult if someone evaluates the creative market as a true business, with realistic business expenses vs the financial return.

Yeah, I'm still having fun, or I'd be doing something else.  :) No I don't make a profit from what I shoot, in a true business accounting sense. I get to create images and hopefully someone else will need or appreciate what I do, and pay me for that.



 

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