Jump to content
Kate Shutterstock

New earnings structure for Contributors

Recommended Posts

I haven‘t uploaded since the announcement and turned of both photo and video at different times to send a message of discontent like thousands of others.

However, I make my own decisions. I have activated video to collect my own data. I will also do the same for photos.

There is no hurry, I believe the market will sort itself out.

There are contributors with large editorial or walk around ports that seem to be doing fine. So maybe that is the direction SS wants to go, a few „stock factory“ contributors that supply high quality content in large volume and lots of amateur or editorial shooters, that upload everything from their mobile phone.

Probably the stock factories are unaffected by the changes anyway, because they can negotiate their own rate cards.

So maybe that is the grand plan, who knows? Attract millions of new contributors with mobile phones? That literally document the world around them as a live stream?

The part timers, that invest time and or money in their production will gradually drift to other places like Adobe. Or maybe send their content to exclusive agencies. Perhaps we will see a rise of smaller, boutique production houses again.

In the end, the money will always decide. Producers will only upload the type of content that makes them money.

And January with the reset will be interesting. But maybe by then SS will change the rate card to a rolling 12 month average, so that amateur and pros do not start out at the same level. People that work hard and really achieve the 40%, should not drop to 15% on January 1st. It does not make for a very happy New Year. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the number of 10 and 12cent subs I've been getting, it seems to me that SS have been selling those mega cheap 750 image packs to everybody for the last few....years? :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/26/2020 at 11:30 AM, Kate Shutterstock said:

In an email that is going out today, we are announcing that we will be updating the earnings structure that determines how much you get paid when customers license your work. We are making this adjustment in order to reflect changes in the market for creative content, help to create fair opportunities for all our contributors, and reward performance with greater earnings potential. 

Starting on June 1st, 2020, your earnings for each license will be based on your Image Level or your Video Level.  

earnings-for-images-forum.png.89c1b679a14834960f019668d0f028d0.png

earnings-for-videos-forum.png.803eddaf31ab4c904b5d8d660bc0495a.png

On June 1, you will be placed in an Image Level and a Video Level based on your download count so far in 2020. The email you receive today will let you know which levels you are in as of this morning. 

How does it work?

  • These new levels are based on the number of times your content is licensed rather than your lifetime earnings. 
  • All contributors reset to level 1 for both images and videos every year on January 1st.
  • There are separate levels for images and for videos, and you graduate through them independently based on your download count in each category.

 

 

So when are we getting those greater earning potentials for contributors? i see them as shareholders, but not as contributor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/1/2020 at 3:46 PM, Rocky Grimes said:

Although Shutterstock has changed its business model to the detriment of the contributors I don’t agree with your skepticism or believe they are blatantly and illegally selling our photos behind our backs.

My support here is that I disabled all of my contributions on Shutterstock as everyone should do if they support the effort here.   Why are you still selling on Shutterstock?

And, I ask you, for the second time, the same question you asked me; “So, how do you even know that Shutterstock is not selling your images without any pay to you?”   Well?   My answer is that they are not. What say you?

no but there is incentive to delay timing to minimize payouts.  Many people are reporting higher level of EL in early June, when they would have been on lower % than before, so where is the audit, and why can't they share this information.  Same as how conversion of currency is calculated.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, this really shows how much SS cares about its contributors, especially when they refuse a perfectly good photo for some BS reason like "out of focus' when the photo is focused perfectly. Basically they are telling you that your photo isn't even worth a dime. Adios Shutterstock! You can keep your Dime. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Our new compensation model is designed to reward content creators for producing quality work that is fresh, relevant and in demand by our customers.

First found in recent files for "vector"

image.thumb.png.6d212ea8261f9b670847b77914c313c4.png

uhmmmmmm  yes 100% fresh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Roberto Castillo said:

First found in recent files for "vector"

image.thumb.png.6d212ea8261f9b670847b77914c313c4.png

uhmmmmmm  yes 100% fresh

If you translate from russian those signs you will surprise even more :))) The first in the second raw is "Nobody told that it will be easy" the fourth says "bitch with colored hair" the third is even more surprising

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But how can you disable your portfolio when they came up with this shit: "You have changed your settings too many times today. Please try again later. "

How the f@#k is this even legal?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Upon reviewing my earnings last month, assuming  like for like in terms of the number of downloads  compared to previous months, they held up well. I am small beer but enjoy the challenge etc. There were lots of pathetic 10c payments but an unusual number of 50c $15-20 downloads. Was this just a quirky month or is this to be expected because of the new earnings structure. I just dont know but I hate to think what it will be like come January when I revert to level 1 with everyone else. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am on my new path. I've ditched every agency and I am putting my stuff up for free and paid through my website (farbled.com). :) I figure ten cents is practically free, so why not? Maybe people will but my books when they visit. 

*yes this is a plug. maybe they will finally delete my account like I've repeatedly asked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Billy333 said:

If you translate from russian those signs you will surprise even more :))) The first in the second raw is "Nobody told that it will be easy" the fourth says "bitch with colored hair" the third is even more surprising

If you know Russian, so almost everything you gave here as an example is just a jokes, some of them from  old classic Russian comedies. I think in any culture, in any movie you can find some rude jokes, no? So take it easy, nothing wrong with it:-))

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/2/2020 at 1:03 PM, Andreas Prott said:

I am 100% sure that Shutterstock did a complete restatement of last years payouts with the new scheme and came up with a huge profit when even Level 5 sellers struggle to keep their earnings. But they surely won't share.

Andreas,

 

here are my facts and figures - that I have already posted in another thread:

June is over and I have calculated - for the period from June 03 to 30***.

subs:
- 152 downloads for 0.10
- 313 downloads for ø 0,29
- total: 465 downloads for ø 0,23
- subs according to old model: 0.38
- Loss: 39%.

ODs
- 36 downloads for ø 3.16
- ODs according to old model: 2.85
- Profit: 11%.

Compared to the old model, I have a combined loss of 22% for these two license types. 

The above-average Enhanced and SOD revenues make up for this. Before I would have got 30%, now it is 35%.

This results in a total loss for this month incl. Enhanced and SODs from June 3rd: minus 6%.

***I left out 01. and 02. June, because the numbers there were not clear yet. On 01. June the old system was still used and on 02. June the subs were wrongly calculated as SODs.

This means for me as a level 5 contributor: My losses will level off at approx. 15% in an average month even though I've reached a higher level. I do not have the high Enhanced and SODs regularly. If I add the time I need to reach level 5 again in the new year, the losses will be significantly higher. I assume that there are also losses with level 6 contributors. If I pretend that I am level 6 and calculate 40% for me with the Enhanced and SODs, I get exactly 0% compared to the old system. If I include the ODs in the calculation, it might have been a plus of 2% to 4% - but that cannot be calculated reliably.

Another Level 5 contributor has shown his figures elsewhere:
Compared to May he's down 27% and compared to April it's down 47%, although he had slightly more downloads in June than in the two previous months. Based on almost 500 downloads.

A third Level 5 contributor has a plus of 8%. However, if he deducted a very high SOD, it would have been a minus of 15%. Based on just over 1000 downloads.

Conclusion: Shutterstock has calculated well - for themselves and the shareholders. The "higher revenue potential" is and remains a marketing phrase that has nothing to do with reality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone,

I have tried to ask this question to Support but haven't had a reply which addresses the question.  I'm trying to find out if it is possible to opt out of subscription sales. I can't find a way to do this on the site so I have had to completely deactivate my portfolio to prevent any further subscription licenses being granted for the woefully inadequate remuneration now being offered. It seems bizarre that Shutterstock clearly has the capability to sell work at sensible prices but now seems intent on devaluing the products, which is obviously stupid and ultimately unsustainable.  What I'm trying to establish is if there a way to continue sell work on this platform for sensible prices (i.e. excluding all underpriced monthly subscription sales) . If so, how? and if not, why not? 

I'm quite happy to sell my work elsewhere but I put a lot of work into uploading stock here it seems a shame to remove it all permanently but how many people are going to pay sensible prices anywhere if they can get the same images for nuppence?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Wilm, great to see you here again! 

And thank you for the info.

I read a few days ago that the 34 cents video clips do not mean the customer gets the 4k file, it is a limited use within a design.

So I turned videos back on, later photos. But that lead to my account being disabled.

Turning off was ok, turning back on was not.

Anyway, we will see what happens, I think in a few weeks or months, latest after the exodus after the January reset, maybe they will consider talking to the contributors again and looking for a solution that allows a longterm win win for all sides, including the producers.

I will keep following here, while I upload elsewhere. 

The demand for photos, but even more for videos is very strong, there is so much content missing on all marketplaces.

If the rumours that Adobe is considering an exclusive option are true, a lot of content will just stay there. Artists just want a reliable work environment. SS provided that for many years and many people only uploaded here, even though the content is non exclusive.

But I guess SS is focussing on the mix of stock factories combined with newbie amateur content. It probably gives them the best returns. 

And those who do stock as a hobby with their smartphones, will probably not mind the January reset, they will just see it as fun kind of computer game, I suppose.

Maybe they are right, who knows? Perhaps exploring the world mostly for editorial or simple walk around photos and then upload high volume without processing is indeed the most economical thing to do. No investment in time, equipment, training needed.

Lifestyle model shoots for the stock factories, iphone uploads for everyone else.

The most enthusiastic commenters here were high volume producers with huge editorial ports over 100 000 images.

So, we will see. For now this is like a new company with a very, very different approach to the stock market. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
After June end,
  1. if its possible, for the contributors who have online their shutterstock portolio to give statistics about earnings June against May 2020.
2. You will continue for one month more or are you going to disable your account?
   
I am curious what really happening with colleagues that remains and i am trying to predict the future of microstosk . Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My income is so small that it’s ridiculous to speak. I was on level 1 until June, now level 1 on video and hardly exceeded level 2 on photos. 
Unfortunately, I had hardware flaws. I also began to take up photography last year.
Unfortunately, for me, nothing has changed for the better or for the worse, since all this is close to zero.
I morally support the protests.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/3/2020 at 8:51 AM, Roberto Castillo said:

First found in recent files for "vector"

image.thumb.png.6d212ea8261f9b670847b77914c313c4.png

uhmmmmmm  yes 100% fresh

Oh my gods, this is hilarious, the last two cards with text can be translated like "mother-f...er" and "b..ch with died hair", whaaaaat:)))))))))))))))))))))))

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Ian Tragen said:

I have tried to ask this question to Support but haven't had a reply which addresses the question.  I'm trying to find out if it is possible to opt out of subscription sales.

No, not possible. If it was, we all would.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

14 hours ago, kostasgr said:
After June end,
  1. if its possible, for the contributors who have online their shutterstock portolio to give statistics about earnings June against May 2020.
2. You will continue for one month more or are you going to disable your account?
 

Comparing June to May or any other previous month is not going to give you the real answer. But some of us actually compared June 2020 to what June 2020 would have been like under the old earnings structure. My loss was 29.3%

I am keeping my port up to see how things evolve from here, but have lost incentive to create new content.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, kostasgr said:
After June end,
  1. if its possible, for the contributors who have online their shutterstock portolio to give statistics about earnings June against May 2020.
2. You will continue for one month more or are you going to disable your account?
   
I am curious what really happening with colleagues that remains and i am trying to predict the future of microstosk . Thank you!

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Gray Photo Online said:

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.

Gray Photo Online,

In my case I would come to completely wrong conclusions if I were to calculate like this. After all, monthly income can vary greatly - whether according to the old or the new income system.

In my case, I took in 26.7% more in June 2020 than in June 2019, with almost the same portfolio size. But that gives a completely wrong picture.

In order to know what effects the new system will have, you need to know how high your roaylties were under the old system. I have already compared some figures in this regard, as you can read in my last post ^^^above.

Now to the special revenues, like SODs and Enhanced. I used to get 30% share, now it's 35%.

I had two Enhanced for 70,75 US$ in June 2020. So in order to compare, I have to find out what the buyer paid.

70.75 x 100 / 35 = US$ 202.14 > that is waht the buyer has paid.

Under the old system, I would only have got 30%. That means: 202.14 x 0.3 = 60.64 US $

My profit through the new system is 10.11 US$.

I had two good SODs that gave more than the Enhanced. There I also have a profit.

But: The loss in subscriptions is so high that I cannot compensate it with the higher revenues of ODs, Enhanced and SODs.

In a nutshell: Without the revenue model change, my revenue would have been 32.7% higher in June 2020 than in June 2019. So, it's just the 26.7% I mentioned above. I have lost 6% due to the new system. So I must not be blinded by the fact that June 2020 was much better than June 2019. The less income I will have from big licenses like Enhanced or SODs, the bigger these losses will be because of those masses of badly paid subscriptions.

Doug Jensen had written in another thread:

"For the most part, June was an ordinary month.  I earned $3385 from 106 downloads making my average $31.93
June 2019 was $2967 from 82 downloads, making my average $36.18.
So the average commission was down 13%, but my overall earnings were up +16%.  However, I have more clips in my portfolio now than I did a year ago, so it is tempting to call it a decrease in sales. it all depends on how you want to look at it.  But ultimately, I've got $3385 more in my pocket on June 30 than I had on June 1."

I don't know his levels, so I can't make a reasonable calculation - only a guess. But I am absolutely sure that he would have earned at least US$3600 or more in July 2020 with the old compensation model. His overall earnings might have been up +22% or more. So even he - with a high contributor level as well - has losses compared to the old model, even if the numbers look very good at first glance. And even a contributor who earns shutterstock at least US$ 65,000 a year in profit will be downgraded to level 1 from the first of January. For whatever reason. We have not been given a reason for this.

Once again: There can be no question of a higher revenue potential. It simply doesn't exist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...