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Author Topic: my recent Interview to Stocksy CEO Bruce Livingstone  (Read 10564 times)

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« Reply #25 on: May 07, 2013, 14:04 »
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 14:09 by Audi 5000 »

« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2013, 14:09 »

"We also pay the highest royalty rates in the industry."

Ah, that was it. I think that one may be arguably "true" with the 100% EL licenses. The first with no upload limits... not so much.

Poncke v2

« Reply #27 on: May 07, 2013, 14:10 »
Well, again, CanStockPhoto pays 50% http://www.canstockphoto.com/payout_schedule.php and they claim the same as Stocksy only in a different wording

"We're proud pay some of the absolute highest rates in the industry. Check for yourself! "

And there are more agencies paying 50% or higher and I am not sure but when they were working on Stocksy, Alamy paid 60% at that time.

EDIT: Indeed, if you add the 100% EL and the profit payout at the end of the year, they might have indeed the highest royalties.

« Reply #28 on: May 07, 2013, 15:02 »
My problem is he gives credit to getty for the growth!   What did getty do besides reduce the market share from 70% to what is now 25%.  How does he call that growth.  Allowing the other sites to thrive and now SS has replace IS in yearly revenue.  It had to be painful see the 2 billion dollars left on the table in the 3 years after the sale.  How many people had a chance to be a billionaire and passed.  I can think of a few like Bill Gates early partner that sold his 50% of microsoft for $500,000.   I do understand the getty threat but it wouldn't have been succesful because of the dislike of getty.

« Reply #29 on: May 08, 2013, 08:47 »
it's online now, and it will be translated into Chinese by a volunteer

Chinese translation is online now, please refer to the end of the Chinese translation to see original English version.

« Reply #30 on: May 08, 2013, 15:45 »
Good interview,  I love the candid explanation of why he had to sell to Getty and how it became to big to handle. Probably the first real answer we have on the subject. 

I wish him and the Stocksy contributors good luck going forward.   Fair payment for the artist is something that should be a cornerstone in this industry.

« Reply #31 on: May 08, 2013, 18:29 »
A refreshingly honest and frank interview that was packed with relevant information for our industry.

A few of the points Bruce made stuck out in regard to all of the sites and our position in the industry in general.  I think some of the sites have outgrown their initial site infrastructure and instead of replacing it they apply fixes that are temporary at best and ineffective in general. We see more bugs popping up every day because the sites choose to pour money into searches that bring them more revenue and bring down cost per sale; while they leave us to struggle with serious bugs caused by underlying technology which is old and outdated.


(Q stands for Question, B stands for Bruce. All photos are provided by Bruce)

Q: Why you sell iStockPhoto then?  If we can go back and you have a second chance, what will you do?  Sell it or keep it?

B: I sold iStockphoto for a number of reasons. I had been struggling with the loss of my two brothers and my father. I had some partners in iStockphoto that I didn't want to work with anymore and wasn't able to buy them out or move them away from the company without having a lot of money. I needed to grow the company very quickly in order keep our lead in the industry and to do that I needed quite a bit of capital. The combination of those things weighed very heavily in my decision to sell iStockhoto. I was able to stay with iStockphoto and Getty for three years after I sold it. It grew very rapidly with Getty backing me. It was what happened after I left iStockphoto that eventually made me want to get back into the industry. I don't regret selling it. It was at the size that it had become unmanageable

Q: I read in forum that people missed you.  Why you leave iStock?

B: I was asked by Jonathan Klein to take a back seat, step down as CEO and become a chairman with no real control. I didn't want to sit idly by while Getty cut photographer's pay while raising the prices. As a result, I had to leave.

Q: Someone said if Bruce was controlling iStock now, iStock surely will be different from what it is today.  Do you agree?  Can I have your comments on todays iStockPhoto?

B: If I were controlling iStockphoto, I would be investing in a long term strategy, not managing the budget by the quarter.

I would firstly work on the underlying technology as it's old and outdated. It was never designed to be as big as it has become.

The "best match" needs a lot of work, or could be removed entirely. The most important thing I would be doing is giving a larger share of the royalties to photographers. They should be fairly paid.

Q: When did you have the idea to start a co-op stock agency?  And why?

Q: From what you stated in stocksy website -- 50% on regular sales and 100% of extended licenses, pays out all profits to artists... It looks like you dont want to make money on it?  Is it a just a hobby for you, or a charity thing? Otherwise, in what perspective shall people understand this?  We all know iStockPhoto is a revolution to traditional stock photo industry, are you doing a new one to microstock industry now?

B: It is Stocksy's goal to distribute the wealth and profits among its photographer-owners, rather than hoard a reserve of cash.

With a 50% cut, there is plenty of money for good salaries and to properly market a product. Every photographer should know this and understand that if they get anything less than 50%, they're not being fairly paid.

I hope that photographers will demand more for their work.

I hope that big agencies will wake up and realize they're lost without their artists and they need to do treat people better. I hope they focus on making a good product, not a good profit. The reality is that this situation is going to get worse before it gets better. Photographers will earn less and continue to compete in a sea of competition as the big stock houses load more and more bad stock images.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2013, 01:49 by gbalex »

« Reply #32 on: May 08, 2013, 19:04 »
Thanks William, it's a good interview.

« Reply #33 on: May 08, 2013, 20:43 »
So cats are not allowed there?!

Bruce Ill promise that Ill apply all kind of crappy instagram filters on my cats even you are alergic to cats fur  ;D


« Reply #34 on: May 08, 2013, 21:55 »
With a 50% cut, there is plenty of money for good salaries and to properly market a product. Every photographer should know this and understand that if they get anything less than 50%, they're not being fairly paid.

yes, i remember clearly when all istock photographers got 50% and we were all being fairly paid before getty bought you out for millions and reduced our rates. too funny. a true messiah.


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