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Gray Photo Online

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    Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

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  1. After watching this spectacle for the past few months I've decided to shut down my account on Shutterstock. I'm not doing business with a company that wants to stick their hand deeper into my pocket and then flip me the bird. At one point earlier this year, they were my top sales. From here on out, they're nothing to me so I could care less what happens here. Sad end to a promising partnership.
  2. The tides of business. From my view of the road, ShutterStock is looking like a dead horse. I shut off my sales in July to get a benchmark. Re-enabled them for August, only to earn doodley-squat, so I've shut them off again as of September. Everywhere else is earning pretty close to last year's levels, so one must know when the end is near and move on to better things.
  3. The beatings will continue until moral improves.
  4. New approach after watching SS sales being overtaken by previously 3rd tier stock sites. When I sell an image on one of the other stock agencies, I delete it from SS. It seems to be effective. My sales elsewhere have picked up, so I'm making up the difference and not letting a good shot go for 10 cents. My sales are actually up for year to date and that's with having shut off the portfolio on SS for the entire month of July. SS isn't the only horse in the barn, it's just the lamest.
  5. I wouldn't expect much of a response nor forum presence from SS on this matter. At this point everything is probably just noise to them. Prune SS from your workflow. You have to cut the dead flowers from the garden to get new ones to grow. Bitch mail, carping about it in the forums, petitions, it doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is how much their stockholders raise hell. The pandemic will affect all stock agencies. Some will figure out how to make it, others will make mistakes, some will bite the dust most likely. Photographers need to realize that this is a supply and demand business, so when supply exceeds demand, your images lose value. As long as photographers believe 10 cents per download is a good idea, the supply of 10 cent photos will stay high. I learned in business school many years ago, there is generally room in a market for two major players. Everyone else just kinda competes for scraps. Right now, from my view of the road, Adobe and Getty are doing a better job for contributors than SS. SS can have the scraps. I've seen people bitching about Getty too, but I sell about 3 times the number of photos on Getty than I ever did on Shutterstock and my average earnings per day is twice what I was making on SS before the profit skimming started. SS could be snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Their bean counters may figure it out sooner or later.
  6. Interesting, however, I'd like to know how you delete a single image from Shutterstock. I've yet to find a mechanism for deleting a single image once its been approved. Therefore, I've disabled all images from being sold. That's the only thing I find that works.
  7. I am on 9 different microstock agencies with the same basic catalog of images across all agencies. I've been selling stock photos since 2007. My sales have been steadily going up on Adobe for the past year.. As of July 1st, Adobe became my top earning stock sales site displacing Shutterstock and Getty/istock (now #2.) I don't have a gigantic catalog of images, roughly 4,000, but Adobe has sweetened the pot by providing me with a free subscription to Creative Cloud for being a "top contributor."
  8. Sales disabled here as of today. I was going to give it a little longer but after reading the other users responses and experiences, it seems as though SS is now a third world image provider and point of sales. What little I'll lose in sales here are already being made up elsewhere. From #1 to the dumpster in less than 2 months. I don't even list them on my web site now.
  9. You have little control over what other agencies do, but you have control over what you do. To me, you analyze the results. What isn't working goes away and finding something that does work gets added. I owned about 50 shares of Shutterstock stock, but I sold it. It wasn't earning money. I reinvested those dollars in a different stock that makes more money. Front end or back end, Shutterstock isn't looking like an earner for anyone right now.
  10. Well, at least you're putting your head to it. I won't debate the methodology. I'm a retired photographer and I use my stock catalog to supplement my income and I still generate photographs for that purpose. Make money doing what I love to do. It's fairly simple math to calculate receipts. It's also very simple to compare it with other similar ventures. When most are going in one direction and another takes a sudden turn for the worse, it could mean anything, but it most certainly took a turn for the worse. I have a cut-off, anything that performs under my metric, I stop investing in until it's back above my metric or we stop doing business with one another. It's about the machine to me. Squeaky parts get replaced. The machine will work just as well without it if I don't let it suck me dry. Good luck with yours. My advise from 40+ years of corporate and business experience, find a good metric that works for you and then stick to your method.
  11. I don't look at this month vs last month. I go more by this month this year vs the same month last year. In my case, I've added about 1,000 photos to my Stock catalog in the past year. For June of 2020 on Shutterstock, I've seen a 11.9% increase in photos sold over June 2019, but a 52.62% decrease in net income for June 2020 from Shutterstock. My Shutterstock average earning for June 2019 was $1.12 per image sold. My average earning for June 2020 is $0.47 per image sold. A significant drop in income in 2020 for roughly the same number of photos sold. My average income per image sold across all stock agencies for ytd 2020 is running about $0.76 per image sold (including Shutterstock) My Shutterstock return is significantly below my overall average this year and it is dragging my across the board results down. My best average price per image sold for June 2020 is from Adobe at $1.32 avg per image sold and remains very consistent from year to year in that regard there. I'm not going to disable my portfolio on Shutterstock, but I have decided to halt new content uploads to Shutterstock. Shutterstock has dropped below the profitable threshold for new content in my case. I also cancelled my plans to upload more video on Shutterstock, for the same reason. What's online now is what will be. I've earned a lot from the existing catalog and those images continue to sell. New content will be more profitable to me by not uploading to Shutterstock, as the other stock sites will not be competing with Shutterstock and my earnings per image sold is much better elsewhere. I'm considering pruning photos from Shutterstock to see if I get an increase in income elsewhere. I don't have solid data on how sales on one site compete with sales on another, but I'm about to find out. I'll collect data on Shutterstock's new skimming practice for July and August and then begin pruning the images from Shutterstock I feel will earn me more elsewhere. By halting new uploads to Shutterstock, I incur no additional costs working with Shutterstock. I calculate the cost of getting my photos and the costs of uploading and maintaining the catalogs on all agencies. Shutterstock has one of the better interfaces, so my costs for time spent managing my catalog is actually a little lower on Shutterstock (pennies per hour). Time is money, so if I cut out 4 hours of time a month from Shutterstock, I'm saving time which saves money. I can earn more flipping burgers for four hours a month than I can selling photos on Shutterstock. Saving time reduces my overhead, so it's something I always calculate in my business dealings. What's up here now has been accounted for and there is really no additional costs for me by leaving the portfolio online. Everything now is pure profit, so why cut the spigot off out of anger? I have over 4,000 images in my catalog and about 3,900 of those have been approved on Shutterstock. I've been selling stock photography since 2007 and have been on Shutterstock since early 2017. I don't know what level I was on Shutterstock before the June skimming started, but I am at level 3 currently. That's my experience.
  12. My numbers are in for June. No doubt about it, net income from here took a nose dive. Net income on the other stock agencies were up, so overall I'm up for the year to date and June results are good elsewhere, considering the global pandemic effect. Not going to disable my portfolio. I will be halting all new content uploads here though. The average return doesn't pay for the time it takes to upload them. Sorry Shutterstock. You screwed yourself in the process of screwing the contributors.
  13. Gee wiz. I was planning to increase my video capture this year. You know, add to the bottom line. It is looking like it isn't worth the effort uploading them here. A little food for thought. Everything I've uploaded over the past 3 years has done fairly well considering my subject matter and image count. That work is done. There's nothing more to do than let them sit and collect earnings, but in lieu of the new "profit skimming" payment structure, it's really of no benefit to me to add to the collection here. All work after the change reduces the amount of income on "new" work from my view of the road. I calculate my time and expenses for every shoot and that factors in to what I upload and how much return I have to see to make it worthwhile. Everything up to June 1st is paid for and accounted for. Everything after June 1st is fresh work and my return has been cut in half while my expenses and time have remained the same. This is it for now. I stop contributing and let what's already been done coast on in with what ever it earns. Free money from this point on. The new stuff will go to other agencies where I'm getting good sales and returns. I'll leave my catalog online until the sponge goes dry. No new material for you Shutterstock. You made it unprofitable for me to contribute material from this point on. Hope your shareholders don't mind. I'm sure Adobe's won't.
  14. I don't really base my business decisions on emotional responses aimed at "getting even" with the people I do business with. I'll draw some data, analyze the results and then act in my own best interest. I think SS has decided to take more of my earnings. I know why they are doing it. That's their decision. My decision is based on what I'm getting out of doing business with them, not what others are thinking. I consider time to be money, so if I'm spending X amount of time uploading to Shutterstock and I'm only getting Y amount of return for my effort, that Y value best be in the black or I don't do business here or anywhere else for that matter. Truthfully, as microstock websites are concerned, SS is still earning more money for me than some of the others. Some are so cumbersome to use that I've invested far more time using them than I'll ever recover in profit. Shutterstock is heading in that direction.
  15. My overall sales net income ytd across all stock agencies is currently up 4% from 2019 to date. Even with the pandemic, I'm still seeing good sales even though my uploads have slowed down a bit as I'm not as active these past three months. Shutterstock is the only platform that is underperforming at the moment with a slew of 10 cent commissions, and a few more at 12 cents since I moved up to level 3. Don't know where I was level wise before the pillage, but I'm pretty sure that I'm going to curtail sending new images up, as they'll do better elsewhere and I don't want to undercut them by giving them away here. At some point, I half way expect they'll charge us to sell our photos. You made 8 sales today, you owe us 12 cents per sale! Please update your credit card on file.
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