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Author Topic: Subscription sales?  (Read 7099 times)

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« on: October 20, 2007, 12:09 »
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Anyone get one yet?


« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2007, 12:27 »
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nope  not yet  and I am not sure if I will opt out soon but I will give it a go for a while.

I know I am terrible  at maths(I mean it) but one question come to my mind how on earth they make money with such subscirpiton system (my question applies for SS too)
buyers need to pay roughly  USD 200 for one month subscription allowing them to download max of 25 files every day which means 750 image a month. in this case buyers will be paying 26 cent per file(250/750=0,26 cent) and the site pays 0,30 dollars to the contributer.as much as my maths knowledge allows me they are @ minus 4 cents. I know there has got to be a simple answer for that so I'd appreciate if someone can enlighten me:)

« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2007, 12:38 »
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nope  not yet  and I am not sure if I will opt out soon but I will give it a go for a while.

I know I am terrible  at maths(I mean it) but one question come to my mind how on earth they make money with such subscirpiton system (my question applies for SS too)
buyers need to pay roughly  USD 200 for one month subscription allowing them to download max of 25 files every day which means 750 image a month. in this case buyers will be paying 26 cent per file(250/750=0,26 cent) and the site pays 0,30 dollars to the contributer.as much as my maths knowledge allows me they are @ minus 4 cents. I know there has got to be a simple answer for that so I'd appreciate if someone can enlighten me:)

Answer is:

People don't download 25 files every day.
Weekends alone take up 200 images a month worth of downloads, and many people don't work on weekends. (Hence our downloads slow dramatically)
« Last Edit: October 20, 2007, 12:39 by Kngkyle »

« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2007, 12:48 »
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Answer is:

People don't download 25 files every day.
Weekends alone take up 200 images a month worth of downloads, and many people don't work on weekends. (Hence our downloads slow dramatically)

thank you for the reply. that means their profits rely on  unused limits in other words the least files downloaded the more  earnings for the site  in contrast the more images downloaded the more  money  contributers make. it has got to be working some how so they keep doing it.

Cheers

« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2007, 04:01 »
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I got my first subscription sale today.

$0.30 commission for a XXL download... $0.30 instead of $5  :'(

I feel a little bit worried, especially because StockXpert was performing extremely well for me until now. But I will see how my earnings evolve at StockXpert for the next weeks before deciding whether I'm in or out.

« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2007, 04:38 »
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How can you see if one image is available or not for suscription sales ?
I've opt out but I cannot see the difference. There is still subscription information under my photos.

« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2007, 05:10 »
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Oh dear Araminta.  I share your concern.  Steve has assured us that StockXpert sees subscription customers as a different category completely and will enhance sales and earnings overall.  Let's not panic - StockXpert and Steve have always responded well, and I'm sure they have the long term profitability and success of their business and contributors in mind.

Nonetheless, seeing an XXL go for 30c is very disheartening, whatever the circumstances.

« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2007, 05:52 »
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On a certain site that also introduced subsciptions this year :

October 2006 average income per picture : 1.02 $
October 2007 average income per picture : 0.66 $

I'm still confused as how this subscription plan benefits the photographers.

Patrick.

ps : forgot to add that october 2006 i had 155 downloads, october 2007 186, but earnings from this year october are still roughly about 30 $ less then income from october 2006.... hoera subscriptions (sarcastic)
« Last Edit: October 21, 2007, 05:55 by patrick1958 »

« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2007, 06:26 »
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On a certain site that also introduced subsciptions this year :

October 2006 average income per picture : 1.02 $
October 2007 average income per picture : 0.66 $

I'm still confused as how this subscription plan benefits the photographers.

Patrick.

ps : forgot to add that october 2006 i had 155 downloads, october 2007 186, but earnings from this year october are still roughly about 30 $ less then income from october 2006.... hoera subscriptions (sarcastic)

This is what subscriptions are all about.

For buyers: download more, pay less
For photographers: deliver more, receive less

With the numbers you mention, we need a market growth of between 50 and 100%, not to increase our income, but to protect status quo.

If this trend continues, it may become a very good reason to go exclusive with IS.

« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2007, 06:31 »
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why all the fear about subscriptions.  it is pretty well agreed that shutterstock gives the best return on our photos (if you haven't checked out the polls now might be a good time) ... so why when other sites decide to start offering subscriptions there is such strong negativity.

« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2007, 06:41 »
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Oh dear Araminta.  I share your concern.  Steve has assured us that StockXpert sees subscription customers as a different category completely and will enhance sales and earnings overall.

They are correct about one thing: subscription customers is a different category of customers. They are the customers who buy in volume, maximizing the difference between subscriptions and regular sales.

And who are these volume buyers? Advertising agencies,  newspapers, magazines etc. Those who have traditionally bought images for much higher prices. They do not represent a new market for microstock photography, since they have always bought stock photos, and they are not where the  growth potential is. They are traditional stock photo buyers who save a lot of money now, buying cheap.

While there is a kind of logic, selling cheap to volume buyers, those volume buyers are the ones who would buy to whatever cost, since they need the images anyway. And up to 90+ percent discount on existing microstock prices is a bit much if you ask me (but nobody does   ::)  ).

To me, the subscriptions represent discounts to the wrong customers

« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2007, 07:03 »
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why all the fear about subscriptions.  it is pretty well agreed that shutterstock gives the best return on our photos (if you haven't checked out the polls now might be a good time) ... so why when other sites decide to start offering subscriptions there is such strong negativity.


No, they don't give the best return on our photos, they give the best sales volume. If SS didn't exist, even as little as 50% of their sales, spread over "traditional" microstock agencies, would probably generate more income for all of us.

Like most others, I have a portfolio at SS. "If you can't fight them, join them". But if subscriptions sales are going to be spread among all agencies, sales at SS will probably go down long term. Another result will be that there will be only one place to go for those who want to keep prices higher on a unique portfolio: IS

I'm already considering pulling my best photos from subscription agencies (except Snapvillage, where I can opt out for individual images). My best selling photo has so far generated $0.36 per sale at SS and $0.62 per sale at IS. It has generated 39% more money at IS than at SS, but with far less copies downloaded.

Obviously, I would like to have the income from both places. But if the image wasn't available at SS, a typical volume buyer, providing he was looking for that particular kind of image, would buy it from IS if he really needed it, and even if he had to pay a higher price.

This is all theory of course, but when I look at how I buy photos myself, it makes sense. I mostly shop around, not to find the lowest price, but to find the best image. If I charge a customer $500 for a design job, it doesn't really matter if I pay $0.25 or $10 for the image. What matters is that I have a satisfied customer, who actually pays me to find the best photo available for his use.

If I was a volume buyer, I would download as many photos as possible using a subscription, still charging my customer the same, but still, I would probably have to buy some photos for higher prices at places like IS.

What StockXpert,  and through them, the photographers, is now doing, is to ask more customers to become subscribers, and to pay lower prices. Not good for us, and long term, I don't think for StockXpert either.

Have you heard about the guy who, on a cold winter day, peed in his pants to stay warm?

« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2007, 07:58 »
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My main concern with subscription is that the price for a photo is the same whatever its size.

Pay the same for a 1MP pixels picture on a web site or a 15MP?

I know that StockXpert decides to follow this business model as they think they wouldn't compete with other subscription sites otherwise. It may be true.

But as a photographer, I may also decide in this case to upload only the lowest acceptable resolution as StockXpert and SS while keeping the highest resolution for IS?

For now, I'm just wondering whether the subscritption model is fair for me, as a photographer. SS is OK because I get a lot more downloads here compared to any other site, DT is OK for now because most of my downloads still come from per photo purchase and 123RF is OK because... well, my earning are so low here that it wouldn't make any difference.

But StockXpert is becoming one of my 3 bigger earner with SS and IS which is true only because I earn more than $1 per download on average here, not because I get a lot of downloads.

So, should subscription download become the rule rather than the exception... I may see my earning sink at StockXpert, in which case I will have to decide what is the better choice for me.

StockXpert seems confident that subscription will attract new buyers. As epixx, I think that buyers who can afford to pay $999 a year are the one who can afford to pay a lot more fot the picture they need.

This make me think about one of my picture which has been recently used as a design element for a web ad banner. Firstly, I was proud to see it: it was for an MS Office:Mac advertising on one of the most famous Mac rumors site. But I was also thinking that Microsoft has paid probably $1 for this picture... is it fair? I guess it is just business.

Let's see what happen at StockXpert.



PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2007, 08:05 »
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Quote
If this trend continues, it may become a very good reason to go exclusive with IS.

With all of the goofy stuff and changes going on elsewhere this is looking more attractive. But what are chances of IS adding subscriptions at some point? They have the volume.

« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2007, 08:06 »
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I share Araminta's concern (in her first post), because, roughly speaking, a one-month subs in StockXpert costs US$200, what would be equivalent to 40 high res images (at US$5 each), right?  So to any "frequent buyer", the subs model may look very interesting.  

In DT, where subs haven't really affected me much, images cost US$2, then the US$190 images are equivalent to 95 individual sales, so in this case we are talking about people who have a higher demand for images.  If one person goes to DT, only those with a very high demand would pick DT subs. In StockXpert, those with a more moderate demand might pick StockXpert subs.  

I'm pleased however that StockXpert has been able to attract people to buy at higher prices.  Maybe because they offer more sizes (so it may be cheaper in the end if one is not looking for a high res image), maybe it's because of the language options making things easier for non-English speaking buyers. I can only wish that subs buyers are not many.

I never registered with SS because I don't accept being paid so little, it doesn't matter of the high volumes.  I don't like it in CS either, whose sales are almost only subs (and given the regular prices for individual sales, it's no wonder). I don't like it in CanStockPhoto and 123RF, in which they are not the majority, yet they are significant. I can live with them in DT because they are occasional.  Maybe I'm an idiot, but I prefer to have just one sale earning US$2.50 than 10 sales earning 30c each.

StockXpert has been very rewarding to me, and the site I'm overall best satisfied.  I only hope subs won't kill it to me.  

Let's wait and see. Right now I'm only asking to have the Balance page corrected and be able to see what I sold the past days...

Regards,
Adelaide
« Last Edit: October 21, 2007, 08:12 by madelaide »

« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2007, 08:11 »
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Quote
If this trend continues, it may become a very good reason to go exclusive with IS.

With all of the goofy stuff and changes going on elsewhere this is looking more attractive. But what are chances of IS adding subscriptions at some point? They have the volume.

They are doing very well without it, and because of their large portion of exclusive photographers, they have a unique selling point. I would be surprised if they did it.

« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2007, 08:12 »
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Submitting minimum image sizes to agencies with subscription was a good idea. I might try that.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2007, 08:12 »
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But as a photographer, I may also decide in this case to upload only the lowest acceptable resolution as StockXpert and SS while keeping the highest resolution for IS?

I've seen at least a couple of people here mention that they only upload 2MP images to SS. But you can opt out at StockXpert. Wonder how much this will affect sales of those who do opt out?

« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2007, 08:14 »
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Quote
If this trend continues, it may become a very good reason to go exclusive with IS.

With all of the goofy stuff and changes going on elsewhere this is looking more attractive. But what are chances of IS adding subscriptions at some point? They have the volume.

They are doing very well without it, and because of their large portion of exclusive photographers, they have a unique selling point. I would be surprised if they did it.

And they get a very large chuck of the sales...

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2007, 08:15 »
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In DT, where subs haven't really affected me much, images cost US$2,...

I have vectors at DT. They sell for $4.00 as regular sales and $0.25 as subs. That's 16 times as much for the regular sale, or a discount of 93.75% for the subscription sale   :(

« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2007, 08:16 »
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Submitting minimum image sizes to agencies with subscription was a good idea. I might try that.
s

I do that with illustrations.  I don't upload a 36Mpix image to 123RF and CanStockPhoto.

I just never bothered downsizing photos.

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2007, 08:23 »
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Quote
If this trend continues, it may become a very good reason to go exclusive with IS.

With all of the goofy stuff and changes going on elsewhere this is looking more attractive. But what are chances of IS adding subscriptions at some point? They have the volume.

They are doing very well without it, and because of their large portion of exclusive photographers, they have a unique selling point. I would be surprised if they did it.

And they get a very large chuck of the sales...

Regards,
Adelaide

They have, and the more similar the other agencies become, the more important the exclusives will be for IS.

One thing I've learned from running my own business for many years is: I can't make all customers happy all the time. Sometimes, it's better to let a customer go, or even send him to a competitor who has a higher competence within a certain area. If I'm best in what I do, he'll come back when my services  are needed.

Nothing is gained, if keeping all those customers means reducing the profit to a point where there's hardly anything left.

« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2007, 08:25 »
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I don't think Fotolia has shown any indication of offering subscription sales anytime soon? Have heard nothing from Bigstockphoto either. So theres 3 of the big 6 not offering subscription sales.

« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2007, 08:28 »
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Submitting minimum image sizes to agencies with subscription was a good idea. I might try that.
s

I do that with illustrations.  I don't upload a 36Mpix image to 123RF and CanStockPhoto.

I just never bothered downsizing photos.

Regards,
Adelaide

It's easy to do as a batch job in Photoshop. "Fit image" in the File/Automate menu.

« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2007, 09:29 »
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I share Araminta's concern (in her first post)

His  ;D


 

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