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Author Topic: Subscription Coming Soon to StockXpert  (Read 11881 times)

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« on: September 28, 2007, 11:50 »
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Guys,

Just wanted to give you a heads up that we will be launching subscription very soon. I know some of you have expressed ambivalence towards subscriptions, but we are doing this because we have found that subscribers are an additional customer base.

We talked about making it optional for the contributor, but we felt it would work against the site overall because the offering wouldn't be consistent to the consumer.

The payout will be $.25 per download.

Let me know if you have any questions, and of course, comments.

Thanks!
-Steve


« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2007, 12:26 »
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you should better approve my pics from 3 weeks ago:)

« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2007, 12:28 »
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The payout will be $.25 per download.

I know I'd already expressed my concerns about it before ,$.25 per download regardless of size? it sounds   loss of money to me for contributers,which  means  in order  to achieve to $2,50 the commission which I currently receive for an XL  sale I will have to get 10 downloads.
I know Steve  you  clearly expressed that you're doing this attract more buyers but I am sure the system will also attract existing buyers to become subscribers,which may  sounds  good for StockXpert but I am not sure if it will work the same way to the contributers.

and one more thing I am concerned about we all know in terms of number of files StockXpert hasn't got as many files as some other subscription  based sites i.e. SS I don't know what kind of overall effect this might have.

you might have noticed lately it has been discussed more and more among contributers how low micro prices are and we were hoping to find a way to get the prices at the optimum potential level they have but to my point of view subscription system only does the opposite.

anyway I hope it will work out I guess we will have to wait and see,I wish at least the commissions were  $.30 like SS offers.

thank you for keeping us updated Steve and thanks for giving us opportunity discuss this freely
much appreciated
« Last Edit: September 28, 2007, 12:35 by stokfoto »

« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2007, 13:03 »
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steve-oh:

As you stated, many contributors have voiced their concerns about subscription sales (time and time again).  Royalties would be cut in half when a Small image sells under a subscription package ($0.50 vs. $0.25).  But royalties would be cut 20x when an XXL image sells under a subscription package ($5.00 vs $0.25).

I think that it would be more just if the size of the image was taken into account for a subscription.  For example, charge the equivalent of 1 download for a Small size, 2 downloads for a Medium size, 3 downloads for a Large size, etc.  This would result in a sliding scale for royalties: $0.25 for a Small size, $0.50 for a Medium size, $0.75 for a Large size, etc.

Both sides would win under this scenario.  Buyers would still get a drastic reduction in price, and contributors would get higher royalties for larger image sizes.

« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2007, 13:12 »
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Is there an "opt out" feature?

« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2007, 13:25 »
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Hi stokfoto!

I understand your concerns. There may be some overlap. Some per download buyers may buy subscriptions, but I think it may be a small percentage and I think what you gain from subscription will outweigh this.

We get feedback to the site about offering subscriptions, and at the tradeshows I've attended people ask about subscription. When we say no we don't offer it, they go somewhere else. They don't just go PPD with us.

So I do believe it's mainly a separate customer base, which is why we also launched the DG opportunity. You will reach a different clientele looking for more exclusive imagery at a higher price point.

Like you said, we will have to wait and see. It's new for us too.

Thanks!
-Steve

« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2007, 13:43 »
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Is there an "opt out" feature?

have you read the posting? it's all there ... :D

« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2007, 13:58 »
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Guys,

to address your concerns about your XL and XXL files, our experience has been (with Photos.com and LiquidLibrary subscription offerings) that the most popular download size for subscribers is medium size. Very few download the larger file sizes.

-Steve

« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2007, 14:26 »
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I might be the only one but I think the subscription option is a good idea.  30 cents would have been a better price but I suppose dreamstime do 25 cents, so this is in line with them.

My earnings have gone up a lot since dreamstime introduced subscriptions, so I don't think this will reduce my overall earnings.

« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2007, 14:26 »
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I'm so encouraged that yet another site values its own contributors enough to give away their body of work for nothing.

« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2007, 14:55 »
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to address your concerns about your XL and XXL files, our experience has been (with Photos.com and LiquidLibrary subscription offerings) that the most popular download size for subscribers is medium size. Very few download the larger file sizes.

I just went to Photos.com and took a look at the offerings.  I did a search and selected an image.  I then noticed that there were 5 sizes as follows:

Multimedia (667 x 800)
Medium (1000 x 1200)
High (2001 x 2400)
Super (2751 x 3300)
Ultra (4001 x 4800)

Only the first three options (Multimedia, Medium, and High) were available by subscription.  The last two options (Super and Ultra) were only available by single download options (with the prices for the image being $219 and $299 respectively).

So the largest size available via subscription is about 5 MP, which would equate to a Large on StockXpert.

Why not offer something similar on StockXpert - only allow the smaller sizes to subscriptions?

« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2007, 15:05 »
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Stockmania,

Good suggestion, and I will pass it on, but I think if we are to offer subscriptions, we need to offer a service that competes with the other microsites.

Do any of the other microsites have size limits on their subscription offering?

Do many of you not contribute to the other stock sites that offer subscriptions?

Thanks!
-Steve

grp_photo

« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2007, 15:29 »
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I HATE SUBSCRIPTIONS  >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( :'( :'(
Snapvillage gives you the possibility to option out for suscriptions (you can decide on each images individually or set it globally as a standard for all your images).
If StockXpert don't give me the possibility to option out i certainly will stop uploading and remove some of my better pictures. I did the same as dreamstime started with subscription because of this i have only a portfolio  of about 1000 pictures at DT and at StockXpert i have over 3000.
PLEASE MAKE IT OPTIONAL

« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2007, 16:26 »
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My earnings have gone up a lot since dreamstime introduced subscriptions, so I don't think this will reduce my overall earnings.

The earnings went up since DT introduced subscription not because of the subscriptions but because they gave a substantial price increase and introduced a tier system at the same time.  I'm convinced that if they hadn't done that the earnings would have gone down

« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2007, 16:51 »
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Oh no, 25c earningss again?  This is a plague in CanStockPhoto and CS, a bit of a nightmare in DT (though not as much as I had expected, but my earnings in DT have decreased), and now you plan to make the same in one of my favourite sites? 

Why not offer good discount in credit packages instead of subscription? 

Now I'll hold my uploads for a while.  I'm really disappointed with StockXpert's decision.

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2007, 17:01 »
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Do any of the other microsites have size limits on their subscription offering?
Thanks!
-Steve
Many experienced stockers have recommended to downsample to 4 or 5 mp for SS because they are loath to give their XL files away for such low return.

The wild price differences in this industry don't sit well with me.   LO sells the largest/original file size for $50 and they give me $25.   Now, stop laughing.  I know a lot of us are discouraged that LO has failed to take off, but I HAVE and many others have sold XL's there.  It just doesn't seem right selling that same image for the $ or whatever the purchaser will pay you on subscription.

« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2007, 17:48 »
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I HATE SUBSCRIPTIONS  >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( :'( :'(
PLEASE MAKE IT OPTIONAL


You'll notice that there never is a discussion about subscriptions from a microstock site.  Nor is there ever an agreement about this.  There is just an announcement that it is coming.  End of story.

The reason that sites refuse to make subscriptions optional is because they know that all of their contributors will opt out and then they wouldn't have anything to offer their buyers.  So they try to sweet talk us like we don't know any better.  They tell us how much more money we will make.  Well, the only people that make out on a subscription deal are the buyers and the site owners.

Have any of you had 100s of new subscription sales from DT?  I highly doubt it.  From the chatter, it appears that they are far and few between.

THIS IS EXACTLY WHY WE NEED A UNION (OR ASSOCIATION OR CLUB OR WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT).

Microstock sites would never try this if we were organized and had the power to deal with them on the same level.  Instead, they know that we are disorganized and won't stand together.  So they can basically do almost anything.

Contributors spend $1000s of dollars on cameras and lenses every year or so.  We spend countless more money on computer hardware and software.  We even sometimes pay for models.  We do all of the hard work and then we get stiffed by a greedy company.

If a buyer came to any of us individually and asked if they could buy 100 images from us for $30 we would laugh at them (and probably tell them that they insulted us).  Why do we take this sort of abuse from any microstock site???

« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2007, 18:19 »
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StockManiac, I find your comments about a microstock union very interesting. Have you seen what's been happening in the macrostock market in the last two months? Getty Images offered a $49 web-use license and the industry went into uproar. The interesting part is that all the photographer representatives, in the form of industry associations, have been the ones "making submissions" to Getty and "writing letters" - the exact "organization" you're referring to.

Now, I don't agree with you about unions, but you've really got me thinking. The disorganization is what made microstock possible. If microstock had been geared toward professional photographers instead of hobbyists it would never have succeeded. Can you imagine professional photographers earning hundreds of dollars per sale accepting a deal to earn 25cents? The disorganization was the open market - digital camera and Internet enabled "mom n' pop" contributors - no professional photographer associations, no unions, not even industry conventions.

Getting back on to the issue of StockXpert and their subscription, they're a commercial organization offering you an opportunity. If you don't like it you can simply decline, as others have suggested. Voting with your dollars (in this case your photos) is more powerful than any union. And this way it's organic - if StockXpert contributors aren't earning sufficient royalties, they'll take their business elsewhere and StockXpert will have to re-assess or close their doors. If, however, it turns out like they predict, then their contributors will be better off and they'll continue to flourish.

In short, I don't care how much margin a microstock agency makes on their sales. I care about how much money they give me at the end of the month relative to my portfolio size. StockXpert can give me a 1% commission if they like. At the end of the month I'll look at my earnings to decide whether they're worthwhile, not at my portion.

That being said, I'd love to see you or someone else setup a microstock contributor's union. I wouldn't join, but it'd be fun to watch.

« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2007, 18:34 »
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I have mixed feelings about this.

first DT offered subscription with the same reason as StockXpert now uses :

"We're only offering what other sites already offer"

In case of DT they ment SS.

But what they didn't tell was that a shutterstock subscription is for 750 images and costs something of $199 (please forgive me if mess up the numbers)

Then DT went in with a subscription of 300 images for only $90. Meaning that there will be a lot less downloads "given away" because 300 image / month is much more reasonable than 750.

DT also said they pay the same as SS -> meaning $0.25.  In the meanwhile SS raised the payout to $0.30 ... .... but we're still stock with $0.25 at DT.
 
What will StockXpert do ?  Offer a subscription of 200 images ? for $60 ??  And the next site ?  100 images for $30 ???  Before we know it we have 'subscriptions' of 10 images.

THATS MY CONCERN  in the end the competitions between the sites will lower are payout.

« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2007, 19:29 »
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Getting back on to the issue of StockXpert and their subscription, they're a commercial organization offering you an opportunity. If you don't like it you can simply decline, as others have suggested.

Well, that's not correct.  You can't simply decline because there is no "opt out".  An opt out feature is exactly what everyone is asking for.  Even better would be an opt in feature.  But the microstock sites refuse to even humor us with the thought.

At this point, the only thing that you could do is stop doing business with them.  In other words you would have to remove all of your images.  But some microstock sites (e.g., DT) won't even let you remove your own images because you agreed to leave your images on their site for a certain amount of time (6 months in DT's case).

If this were a new microstock site that was starting up and they made this announcement, they would be laughed off of this forum.  But the problem is that most of us already have an investment in this site.  Most of us have spent hours and hours of time editing, keywording, and uploaded 100s or 1000s of images with the promise that we would get a payback for our efforts over the years.

Finally, we uploaded the images under a previous contract.  It just isn't fair to have the old contract pulled out from under you and a new contract implemented without your consent.

There have been many discussions about the lifetime of an image on this and other forums.  Most people agree that a generic image (that is not fashion or technology oriented) should have a lifetime of at least 5 or 10 years.  After all, a picture of an apple is a picture of an apple.  But now it seems like the problem is not the lifetime of the image, but the lifetime of the contract that you agreed to.  Contracts don't even seem to last a year in this environment.  They are constantly changing the contract behind our backs without even asking us for comments.  This is a classic example of bait and switch.  They bait us in with enticements (such as higher royalties) and then once they establish themselves, they switch out the original contract with a newer contract that benefits only themselves.

It seems that StockXpert is becoming the latest victim of their own success.

Last week their Annual Contest turned into a joke and now this.

steve-oh:

If StockXpert really cares about its contributors, then "show us the money".  Here are some suggestions:

- Allow us to opt-out or opt-in of subscriptions

- Only allow subscriptions sales on smaller image sizes

- Have a sliding royalty scale for subscription royalties based on the size of the image (0.25 for small, 0.50 for medium, etc)

- Give contributors a 0.35 royalty for subscriptions.

I'm sure that there are other options out there as well.

But to come out with a royalty plan that is the lowest in the industry is simply not acceptable.

« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2007, 20:15 »
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Guys,

Thanks for you input! There actully was a discussion started by FreezingPics about this here:

http://www.microstockgroup.com/index.php?topic=2254.0

Some of you voiced your concern with subscription, but the discussion didn't turn into much, so I figured most contributors didn't mind one way or another.

It's my job to relay your comments and concerns back to the folks at StockXpert, and I will.

Thanks!
-Steve

« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2007, 20:31 »
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It seems to me that StockXpert have done everything pretty well so far - given the size of their library, they appear to have a very high customer/image ratio (far higher than say DT or BigStock) and I get encouraging results.

StockXpert were also not tempted to build the library with any old rubbish; they've been selective right from the start, and this builds confidence in customers.  They have a tightly run contributor list of only 3,400 photographers, compared to 17,000 at DT and 36,000 at IS.

Also, through Steve, StockXpert have tried to give good communication - how often do we see anyone in authority from FT or BigStock posting here?

Now Steve says that StockXpert's reseach shows that subscriptions will INCREASE the customer base, resulting in increased sales for us all.  Given what I've seen so far, I am inclined to trust StockXpert's judgement, unless and until proven otherwise.  I don't think this is a way to 'screw' photographers at all - StockXpert will need to run the subscription model in an efficient way in order for it to make profits, and that means it will need volumes of customers to dilute maximum download risk.

However I agree that 25c is disappointing and will need to be higher if StockXpert wants to use this to attract quality images.

« Reply #22 on: September 28, 2007, 20:54 »
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How about this:

-----

750 'credits' a (30 day) month for say

25 'credits' can be used per day (up to 25 downloads a day)

-----

commissions:
20c per credit. this would make a months subscription cost $150 in commissions if the person uses all 25 credits that they can per day.
so the commissions per size would be:
Small = 20cents
Medium = 40cents
Large = 60cents
XLarge = 100cents
XXLarge = 200cents

-----

Subscription plans:
1 month - $179 ($29 profit for StockXpert if buyer uses all credits) $20 less than SS
3 months - $499 ($49 profit for StockXpert if buyer uses all credits) $60 less than SS
6 months - $899 ($1 loss for StockXpert if buyer uses all credits) $160 less than SS
12 months - $1699 ($101 loss for StockXpert if buyer uses all credits) $300 less than SS


just a thought. I know submitters hate giving away a full size for only .25c or .30c. This would make it more fair for the submitters.




« Last Edit: September 28, 2007, 20:57 by Kngkyle »

« Reply #23 on: September 28, 2007, 21:02 »
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The fixed subscription scheme is what kept me away from SS from the start.  I tolerate it in DT while it is a small percentage of my sales (about 10-15% of my dlds).  I'm still trying to see how CS, CanStockPhoto and 123RF develop, but I haven't uploaded anything to CS in months because I almost only gets subs sales there.

It may be arrogance from my part, but I simply do not agree that people may buy images so cheap (and we earn so little with them), no matter if there are many sales to make a good total earning.  It is just against my nature to devalue photography so much.

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #24 on: September 28, 2007, 21:06 »
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I don't believe in this. Increase the customers base, from where? From other subscription based agencies probably, but also from customers who currently buy images at the full price at StockXpert as well as other places.

The conclusion is the same anyway: since most of us are represented at all the major agencies, any price decrease will affect us negatively, wherever the customers are coming from. Since the earnings per sale at StockXpert are relatively good, 0.25 per sale here means a major decrease.

Most of us have been praising SS for the income they have generated for us, but that is due to their high volume and the fact that they accept most images as long as they have no technical flaws. If those agencies that have had a stricter quality profile are going to pose as "also-rans" in the subscription business, the whole system gets diluted into what the nay-sayers warned about: microstock is good for the agencies and the buyers, and bad for the photographers.

At DT, the subscription sales have so far been low enough to be insignificant, at least for me, so I'm staying. But at Crestock, they represent the bulk of my sales, and since they can't seem to generate much volume, my profit is minimal. They, like StockXpert, are also a high quality agency, and the low price contradicts the whole purpose of their concept.

I'm still on the fence with regards to subscriptions, but I'm seriously considering pulling my portfolio from agencies offering subscriptions unless they:

A. Accept more or less all of my submissions, so that volume can compensate for the lower sales price.

B. Are able to generate sales volumes similar to those at SS. I have 20 times as many downloads at SS as I have at StockXpert, just to give you an idea.

jsnover

« Reply #25 on: September 28, 2007, 22:57 »
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I have to add my voice to the "what on earth are you thinking?" column regarding the plan to consider subscription sales with no opt out.

There is one successful microstock subscription site, and it sells only subscriptions.

DT, 123rf and CanStock have this mixed model of both credit sales and subscriptions and it hasn't worked well (IMHO) at any of those sites.

For subscription to work, especially at the low price of 25cents, there has to be big volume. SS has that, and no one else has.

A week or so ago I deleted 200+ of my bestselling images from CanStock because they have a low volume of sales and the percentage of that pitifully low volume that were 25 cent subscriptions has crept up and up to about 50% of the total. I figure this is just a bargain bin for large sizes of my popular files. Once I reach the next payout at CanStock the rest of the portfolio is going.

StockXpert has been very promising - a very high average sale price of $1 - and the volume has been good. It's a shame to see you consider changing that.

Why are you going to be able to make this mixed model work when no one else has? DT says that they're monitoring things and wil revisit the issue of prices if the percentage of subscription sales gets up above 10% of the total. IOW even they realize that they're not going to get what SS has.

I've stopped uploading to DT while I figure out what to do about their site - things have been going downhill since they introduced the subscription plan (at least for me).

None of the sites will offer an opt out, so that leaves us contributors with only one way to opt out - by deleting our portfolios if we don't like the new subscriptions. I don't want to do that - I've invested time and effort in uploading to StockXpert as you have in inspecting my images. But I see no reason to start offering bargains to customers with another half-baked subscription plan that's just cutting into sales price and not increasing the volume.

I'm not a happy camper...

« Reply #26 on: September 28, 2007, 23:17 »
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I'm so encouraged that yet another site values its own contributors enough to give away their body of work for nothing.


Well said.     Amen.

« Reply #27 on: September 29, 2007, 00:48 »
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Guys,

to address your concerns about your XL and XXL files, our experience has been (with Photos.com and LiquidLibrary subscription offerings) that the most popular download size for subscribers is medium size. Very few download the larger file sizes.

-Steve

Steve, this has not been our experience at DT.  Almost all subscription DL there are maximum size.
DT ignored most photographers' wishes when they brought in their subscription plan - many of us would have found it more acceptable if they had limited the size of DL allowed by subscription. Hopefully you will not go the same route.
I don't believe this will increase earnings for photographers.  It may grab a slice of Shutterstock's pie for StockXpert, but it won't be good for us.
We will not be uploading to StockXpert until we hear more details. If we don't like what we hear, we will delete our portfolio.
Linda & Colin

« Reply #28 on: September 29, 2007, 01:34 »
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25c is simply too low.  SS increased theirs to 30c earlier this year (and hopefully will make a further increase next year);  123RF have fixed theirs at 36c;  Dreamstime is the odd one out and shouldn't be letting our hard work go for a credit to us of 25c.

I don't have a problem with subscription sales, so long as there is a volume customer base and the payment to contributors is realistic and fair.  I can understand why most people here feel that 25c is a slap in the face.

StockXpert can do better than this.

« Reply #29 on: September 29, 2007, 01:40 »
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Thankfully I don't get that many subscription sales at DT.  But I've just looked at the last ten sales and I'm astonished and disappointed to see 2 Medium, 2 Large and 6 Maximum.  None of the sales are small.


« Reply #30 on: September 29, 2007, 02:43 »
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Thankfully I don't get that many subscription sales at DT.  But I've just looked at the last ten sales and I'm astonished and disappointed to see 2 Medium, 2 Large and 6 Maximum.  None of the sales are small.

I just checked my subscription sales on DT and have had the following breakout:

Medium (6%)
Large (17%)
Maximum (78%)

So it seems that in both of our accounts, the majority of sales were at the Maximum size.  This seems to contradict steve-ohs claim that subscription sales will be for smaller sizes.  And this makes perfect sense.  If you could download any image size for a subscription, why would you choose a small size?  Why not get the largest one available if there is no penalty?

« Reply #31 on: September 29, 2007, 02:55 »
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I just checked my subscription sales on DT and have had the following breakout:

Medium (6%)
Large (17%)
Maximum (78%)


My numbers are similar, in addition to a lot of vectors, that normally generate $4 per download.

With the information that has appeared during this discussion, I will opt out of subscriptions for all of my images on Snapvillage, instead of only the best ones, which was the original plan. It becomes increasingly clear, that subscriptions, so far looked upon as a double-edged sword, is more of a single-edged variety. Unfortunately, we are the ones being cut into pieces.

« Reply #32 on: September 29, 2007, 03:07 »
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Yes, I've opted out of all subscriptions at Snapvillage. In addition I've priced all my images at $10.  I spend a considerable amount of time making my pictures as perfect as possible, and of course that implies that the perfection MUST apply to maximum size; hence pricing all images for maximum size makes sense.

grp_photo

« Reply #33 on: September 29, 2007, 05:48 »
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Steve i'm a little astonished that you know the market so little. Please don't take it as an offence. But first thing you have to know is that microstock already matured most of the experienced user are interested in a longterm strategy now. There is only one succesful subscription site but first they are subscription only second most experienced user downsample their images for this site but this site does some automatic upsampling (called supersize) because of this it may look to you that they have a lot of highres files but they have not and buyers are aware of this. A good pricing scheme allows contributors to give you good quality both in terms of pixelsize and content. Even this only succesful subscription site is only succesful for newest files (this is the reason unexpiriended contributors rave so much about this site). I give you an example my last batch in January i send to them before i stopped submitting to them i earned over 700,- Dollars now i'm down to 200,- (i deleted a few files but not that much to explain this huge drop). This is not the business i wanna invest more time and effort this is the reason i will abandon this site at the end of the year as i abandonded 123rf already a few months ago. Better prices allows me to give you better pictures my pictures at Microstocksites are definately not the end of what i can do. To remain as a succesful agency its important to you to have good content the typical highvolume sellers will remain with you but the contributors with more creative and unique stuff will leave you. Even if buyers mostly buy the typical stuff they are most attracted by the pictures with better content (even if they are not good sellers). This is the reason IS is so succesful. If you introduce subscription without the possibility to option out i will stop submitting to you and i will delete my more unique pictures from your site these are not lame words i will do this as i did it with dreamstime.
You have already two sites stockxpert and stockxchange why not simply create a new one stockxscription if you are so interested in the subscription market (you can give StockXpert-users the possibility that they can offer their StockXpert-Portfolio also via the stockxscription-site if they want to do so).
« Last Edit: September 29, 2007, 06:59 by grp_photo »

grp_photo

« Reply #34 on: September 29, 2007, 07:48 »
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Getting back on to the issue of StockXpert and their subscription, they're a commercial organization offering you an opportunity. If you don't like it you can simply decline, as others have suggested. Voting with your dollars (in this case your photos) is more powerful than any union. And this way it's organic - if StockXpert contributors aren't earning sufficient royalties, they'll take their business elsewhere and StockXpert will have to re-assess or close their doors. If, however, it turns out like they predict, then their contributors will be better off and they'll continue to flourish.

In short, I don't care how much margin a microstock agency makes on their sales. I care about how much money they give me at the end of the month relative to my portfolio size. StockXpert can give me a 1% commission if they like. At the end of the month I'll look at my earnings to decide whether they're worthwhile, not at my portion.


I wonder why contributors with a small portfolio (in your case 100) are often saying yes to anything as long as they might see some kind of shortterm success and don't care about the longterm effects. While contributors with a portfolio size in the thousands are mostly much more concerned  about these devalueing moves. Maybe it's because they have more to loose or they now the business already better - i actually don't know i'm just wondering.

« Reply #35 on: September 29, 2007, 08:48 »
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I haven't noticed that myself. What I have noticed are three tiers of contributors:

1. Those with a small portfolio (such as myself) who are primarily concerned with selling their photos.

2. The middle tier with portfolio size roughly in the range 500 to 2000 who focus on strategy and the deal they get from each agency, often deleting their images from agencies they don't like.

3. The superstars like Yuri, Ron and Andres who are primarily concerned with selling their photos. All these three contribute to agencies that have subscriptions and aren't deleting any images.

I'm not criticizing anyone here. I'm in group 1 but follow the strategy and analysis like group 2.

It's true, I don't care about the long term effects. The market is changing every day, so what you plan today will be irrelevant tomorrow. Sacrificing income today so you'll have a better market tomorrow is silly. You don't know what's coming or who will be in the market tomorrow. That's why so many MACROstock photographers are upset about MICROstock. They planned and "protected" their industry, only to have it blown away by new technology.

Yes, photographers with larger portfolios have more to lose, and it's sad, but that's what happens in capitalist markets. That's exactly why Corbis aren't profitable - they invested massive amounts of money in photos just before photos became obscenely cheap to produce. It was a strategy that didn't work, and photographers who see their large portfolios as their primary income producing asset are right to be worried.

Listen to Sharply_done. His focus is on working hard and ongoingly producing new images. His strategy is sound, and based on reality and without emotional baggage. It's not about building your portfolio as an asset. It didn't work for Corbis and it won't work for anyone else.

Microstock changed the rules. You have to catch up and stop thinking with the old rules.

grp_photo

« Reply #36 on: September 29, 2007, 09:00 »
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sharply_done will go exclusive as soon he reached diamond at IS i wonder why  ;)

« Reply #37 on: September 29, 2007, 09:02 »
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How's that relevant?

grp_photo

« Reply #38 on: September 29, 2007, 09:09 »
0
wow you really don't understand because he is interested in a longterm success. And the subscription - model prooved to be a longterm-looser in many ways.

By the way i don't have anything against that StockXpert will add subscription all i'm asking is to make it optional for the contributors.

« Reply #39 on: September 29, 2007, 09:28 »
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You're not mistaken, but we're off the point.

Sharply will go exclusive when he reaches Diamond level. It's a mathematical decision - at that point it becomes financially wise to do so. (I can't find a quote for this, so correct me if it's inaccurate)

If he was more concerned about the long-term state of the industry than his earnings, he'd stop contributing to Shutterstock immediately.

He's wisely concerned with the long-term state of his earnings, not the long-term state of the market.

The point was, he's focussed on hard work and ongoing supply rather than a portfolio as an asset. This is still the case given his strategy to go exclusive.

« Reply #40 on: September 29, 2007, 10:09 »
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I don't see how having a subscription opt out would work.  It looks like a large percentage of the contributors would opt out and that would make it a bad deal for the subscribers.

My sales are going up all the time with some of the sites that offer subscriptions.  My earnings with istock are up and down and I am not seeing a good increase with continued uploads.

Perhaps more buyers are going for the subscription option.  It might not be a bad thing, as subscribers have a quota and are likely to download more images.  Those that buy as they use might be more selective and spend less in the long run.

« Reply #41 on: September 29, 2007, 10:22 »
0
I don't see how having a subscription opt out would work.  It looks like a large percentage of the contributors would opt out and that would make it a bad deal for the subscribers.

My sales are going up all the time with some of the sites that offer subscriptions.  My earnings with istock are up and down and I am not seeing a good increase with continued uploads.

Perhaps more buyers are going for the subscription option.  It might not be a bad thing, as subscribers have a quota and are likely to download more images.  Those that buy as they use might be more selective and spend less in the long run.

A subscription opt out could work. At first many people would likely opt out. But that means the people who opt-in would get a lot more volume making it worth while. Possibly even similar to Shutterstocks volume. Then a lot of the people who initially chose to opt out would likely change their minds when they see the volume. It would all depend on how well they can sell the subscription plans.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2007, 10:27 by Kngkyle »

« Reply #42 on: September 29, 2007, 10:28 »
0
Agreed, though if large numbers of contributors opt-out of subscription sales, it'll be very frustrating for subscribers who'll see images they can't have unless they pay with credits. It might turn away subscriptions, so those high sales never come through for those that did opt-in at the start.

« Reply #43 on: September 29, 2007, 10:35 »
0
Agreed, though if large numbers of contributors opt-out of subscription sales, it'll be very frustrating for subscribers who'll see images they can't have unless they pay with credits. It might turn away subscriptions, so those high sales never come through for those that did opt-in at the start.

Thats where it would depend on how well they could market the subscriptions. Maybe make a separate search option, maybe a separate number that shows the amount of images available for subscription downloads. They could set the default as being subscription enabled. So submitters would have to manually change their preferences to disable it. I'm sure a large number of submitters only uploaded 100 or less images and don't even look at the site any more. So all of those would be available for subscription download too.

« Reply #44 on: September 29, 2007, 10:47 »
0
I can pretty much guarantee that every microstock site will be offering subscription sales in the not-so-distant future.  That includes all of them - IS, FT, LO, etc.  It is a proven money maker.  It makes the site extra money, and saves buyers lots of money, but only provides a small increase for contributors.

The only way to stop the trend is to make a stand.  But the only way that would be possible is if the uber-portfolios were onboard.  A contributor with a 100 or so photos will make absolutely no difference to a large microstock site.

Whether you agree with subscription sales or not, a $0.25 royalty is simply too low for an XXL image or a vector.  That is the lowest royalty for subscription sales in the industry (at least for the big sites).  These companies makes millions of dollars a year in profits, and their profits keep rising.  They can afford to treat their subscribers (who helped make them the companies that they are today) a little better.

In my opinion, a sliding royalty scale (based on image size) would work the best.  But there are other options available as well.

« Reply #45 on: September 29, 2007, 10:52 »
0
Whether you agree with subscription sales or not, a $0.25 royalty is simply too low for an XXL image or a vector.  That is the lowest royalty for subscription sales in the industry (at least for the big sites).  These companies makes millions of dollars a year in profits, and their profits keep rising.  They can afford to treat their subscribers (who helped make them the companies that they are today) a little better.

In my opinion, a sliding royalty scale (based on image size) would work the best.  But there are other options available as well.



See my suggestion on that: http://www.microstockgroup.com/index.php?topic=2560.msg21965#msg21965

grp_photo

« Reply #46 on: September 29, 2007, 11:07 »
0
I can pretty much guarantee that every microstock site will be offering subscription sales in the not-so-distant future.  That includes all of them - IS, FT, LO, etc. 

I doubt IS will ever do it, it's the only good point about IS that they at least value the work of their contributors to some extend.
I'm sure many buyers already asked for a subscription at IS. Sure for buyers it would be a great bargain to get all those great illustrations at IS for just a couple of cents.
At LO we simply can ask Bryan what he think.

But i agree with your points in general  :)

grp_photo

« Reply #47 on: September 29, 2007, 11:11 »
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Steve,
my last beg to you is to inform us at least a couple a days in advance before subscription finally arrive. At least i want the chance to delete my important files which i don't wanna see to go away for 25,- Cents.
I'm off now for a couple of days i hope it is not already there than i'm back.
Thanks in advance.

« Reply #48 on: September 29, 2007, 11:17 »
0
I can pretty much guarantee that every microstock site will be offering subscription sales in the not-so-distant future.  That includes all of them - IS, FT, LO, etc. 

I doubt IS will ever do it, it's the only good point about IS that they at least value the work of their contributors to some extend.
I'm sure many buyers already asked for a subscription at IS. Sure for buyers it would be a great bargain to get all those great illustrations at IS for just a couple of cents.
At LO we simply can ask Bryan what he think.

But i agree with your points in general  :)

I am sure my average sale at dreamstime is above the istock price, even with the subscription sales.  I think the lowest price I get with istock is 17 cents.  That would be at least 25 cents with the subscription sites:)

« Reply #49 on: September 29, 2007, 11:37 »
0
Let me add my voice to those who are opposed to adding subscriptions to StockXpert.  Dreamstime added this feature to their site, and my earnings stagnated as a result. I would hate to see the same thing happen at StockXpert. StockXpert has been doing great lately - please don't ruin it!

« Reply #50 on: September 29, 2007, 11:46 »
0
Quote
I doubt IS will ever do it, it's the only good point about IS that they at least value the work of their contributors to some extend.

TNX, now I know the reason why they have the lowest payout ratio (20%) of ALL, and I repeat OF ALL, stocksites.

Quote
sharply_done will go exclusive as soon he reached diamond at IS i wonder why

And what will he do when IS introduces an subscription too ? 




« Reply #51 on: September 29, 2007, 12:53 »
0

[/quote]
I am sure my average sale at dreamstime is above the istock price, even with the subscription sales.  I think the lowest price I get with istock is 17 cents.  That would be at least 25 cents with the subscription sites:)
[/quote]

But you aren't selling a 10 mp photo for 17cents at Istock.

Steve-Oh, why not do the Bait & Switch?  ;)  Lure them in with 5mp subscriptions, and when they need the extra larges make them pay for extra larges.  You'll be capturing 2 customers in 1 then.

One thing about DT's subscription though... more subscription sales will elevate each photo to the next selling level more quickly - maybe we'll make more in the long run on DT once each photo is promoted?

« Reply #52 on: September 29, 2007, 13:42 »
0
quote
One thing about DT's subscription though... more subscription sales will elevate each photo to the next selling level more quickly - maybe we'll make more in the long run on DT once each photo is promoted?
quote

That is exactly what is happening with me at DT.  I just got a couple of sub. sales on an image which pushed it into the next pricing tier and then sold an XL for 4$. I am now quite regularly getting sales of 2$ and over.
We won't be getting this advantage at StockXpert though so I think  that we are going to end up losing money unless they offer us some thing to our advantage at the same time as introducing subsciption sales in the same way that DT did by putting up prices and introducing tier system.

« Reply #53 on: September 29, 2007, 20:30 »
0
Until it is evident that buyers who are looking for a particular subject and have a subscription, buy multiple different pictures of the same general subject from the same photographer subscription does not work for the photographers.
Case in point: today - a Saturday no less - 14 DL all about North Carolina. These sales were made at the same time on SS where most of the time a buyer not only buys one picture of a subject but multiples from my portfolio. No other microstock agency that offers subscriptions has shown the tendency of multiple DL of the same subject at the same time!!!

I would not support subscription at StockXpert . . .

If the pricing structure of any microstock agency for their subscription DLs does not force the buyer into weekend DLs it is not a good deal for photographers. My reduction in DLs over the weekend is smallest  on SS. Buyers buy regularily because of the daily limit.

« Reply #54 on: September 30, 2007, 03:10 »
0
I hadn't thought about that but you are absolutley right.  On DT I have never noticed multiple subscription sales of a similar subject whereas on SS that is the norm.

« Reply #55 on: September 30, 2007, 09:40 »
0
Ok. Because of your comments, the StockXpert team will discuss further this week.

I will keep you updated as to the outcome.

Thanks again for your swift and thorough feedback!
-Steve

« Reply #56 on: October 02, 2007, 17:29 »
0
It seems that (based on comments made from the StockXpert staff) there will be an opt-in/opt-out for subscription sales.  You can read more about it here:

http://www.stockxpert.com/forum.phtml?f=showtopic&n=5891&p=2

If this is true, then I would like to thank StockXpert for listening to their contributors.

I would also like to thank everyone that gave their honest opinions on this thread.  It just goes to show what can happen if we all work together.

« Reply #57 on: October 03, 2007, 01:08 »
0
I'm a little late to the discussion, but still wanted to add my 2 cents.

As a full-time microstocker supporting my family on this income, my biggest concern is that StockXpert's subscription might take customers away from the two sites that pay me more: SS and 123RF...thereby causing a decrease in my overall income.  If StockXpert would raise the commission from 25 cents to 30 or 36 cents, I would be much more supportive of the plan.  I'm all for competition between the sites, and StockXpert is my #1 favorite site, but I just want to make sure my family and I are not hurt in the process.  Those little nickels add up. 

« Reply #58 on: October 03, 2007, 03:28 »
0
I agree with you karimala. Even if I'm not so concerned about subscription, I still think 25cents commission is too low, unless StockXpert is planning to raise it depending on photographers sales or some other criteria like SS does.

« Reply #59 on: October 03, 2007, 03:50 »
0
Some constributers indicated that they will stop uploading when StockXpert introduce subscription sales. Maybe it is a planned move of StockXpert in order to get rid of the long pending queue. ;D  Some of my submissions are now pending evaluation for more than 10 days. Very disappointing of StockXpert that used to be the fastest in reviewing submissions.  I surely hope this is not the beginning of the end for StockXpert.

« Reply #60 on: October 03, 2007, 08:35 »
0
Opt-in/Opt-out will prevent anybody here from jumping ship. This is the feature we all wanted - and hopefully get. Otherwise there is no problem with the introduction of subscription if it increases the customer base for StockXpert.

« Reply #61 on: October 03, 2007, 09:21 »
0
Ya......I'm not to keen on the subscription sales myself.....but I must say that it hasn't effected my sales at DT very much...so we'll see.  I would feel much better of having a tiered system on the subscriptions as mentioned before.   say .25 for small, .40 for med, .60 for large. ect...ect.

I really don't like it when I have an XL or XXL photo downloaded and I only get .25 cents....it just doen't sit right.

If they offer a opt in opt out option that will be great. I will try it for a while and see.........before I opt out.... :-\

Tom

« Reply #62 on: October 03, 2007, 09:52 »
0
Yes. Opt-In/Opt-Out is a definite, and we will give you a few days before launch to make up your minds. :)

We're still discussing payout.

-Steve

« Reply #63 on: October 03, 2007, 10:05 »
0
Yes. Opt-In/Opt-Out is a definite, and we will give you a few days before launch to make up your minds. :)

We're still discussing payout.

-Steve

If we choose to opt-in at first, can we opt-out at a later time if we don't like how it's going? And have you decided how the commission is going to be yet? If its just .25c per download any file size that is a little well, crap.

« Reply #64 on: October 03, 2007, 10:24 »
0
It's opt-in/opt-out at anytime. We haven't decided on the commission yet.

« Reply #65 on: October 03, 2007, 10:38 »
0
thank you very much Steve,and Thank you StockXpert for making this optional and listening to the contributers.
I really appreciate that!


« Reply #66 on: October 03, 2007, 15:28 »
0
Steve-oh,

Thanks for letting is know and most of all for listening to us contributors.

I think one change between opt-in/opt-out should be allowed.  People who like subs sales may opt-in first and then be disappointed.  Others like me, who doesn't like subs sales, might prefer to opt-out first and then see it isn't damaging earnings so much (as it was the case in DT).

BTW, I'm not against subs sales if in a price per size model as suggested here.  I'm only against selling high res images for too little.

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #67 on: October 03, 2007, 16:18 »
0
madelaide - i think steve-oh was saying that you could go back and forth between opting in and out as you liked.

« Reply #68 on: October 03, 2007, 16:24 »
0
Ooops!  You're right Leaf!  I must be a bit slow today....   :o

Regards,
Adelaide

grp_photo

« Reply #69 on: October 07, 2007, 02:21 »
0
A thousand thanks for listening to us Steve! I really appreciate this so StockXpert is back to my number one site  :)


 

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