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New earnings structure for Contributors


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The stock image/video market has become over glutted with content... more substandard amateur submissions now than the superior quality content which was once dominated by the pros. Simple math of supply & demand. A little history... prior to digital,  we used to get $200 for a single medium format color negative or color transparency image represented by reputable film stock agencies (including Getty)... $400 to $800 for 30 second film to tape video clips. But those days are history. When imagery went digital, all the stock agencies including SS & IS initially were very, very picky and choosey about digital standards and the acceptance of quality content from contributors. But that is history also. Now with unlimited cloud storage glutted with images and every person in the world having a cell phone, they'll take any image they can get and give away for free... including cell phone images from grade schoolers. I for one do not want the wear and tear on my pro gear for nickel & dime image sales. After 25 years of stock sales and watching the industry deteriorate into the substandard cesspool of garbage mediocrity, I am no longer willing to participate n this losing proposition. Life is way to short and my remaining time on earth way too valuable.

I wish all the best to my fellow creative stock SS contributors from around the globe.

Centrill

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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 adjust

This is just a joke. 10 years with SS and now I'll be getting 20% commission on my footage clips??? No lifetime sales tier, just what you sold last year/this year.... To get to the curr

This space will be updated to address frequently asked questions.  My email shows different counts for videos than are shown above. Which is correct? Apologies. The email to video contributo

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4 hours ago, Ints Vikmanis said:

It looks like all disabled videos are not really disabled because they are accessible through Google searches and allowed to be added to a shopping cart. One can only imagine what other distribution means they allow for these videos.

Here's what contributor support had to say when I contacted them:

"Since, your contents licensing feature has been turned off your contents are only visible but cannot be purchased. Also, as per our Contributor terms of service, Content removed or opted out of licensing by a contributor may accrue additional royalties for up to 90 days following its removal or opt-out. This occurs when Shutterstock upgrades licenses to certain customers that previously downloaded "comp" versions of the removed Content before such Content was removed or opted-out."

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I checked with admin and they insist that these instances are only "comp" versions of the files, that they are not for sale. I too tried to purchase a file, but without a buyer's account, it was impossible to check. In any case, I reactivated my portfolio and started deleting the files one by one from the catalogue manager.

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On 10/15/2020 at 7:34 PM, Ints Vikmanis said:

Hi,

I entered the link and was forwarded to shutterstock. There I was able to put the video into the shopping cart, but I couldn't buy it. I received this message when I wanted to pay - see screenshot on the top left:

"The file is no longer available. Please remove the file from your shopping cart and try again."

I hope this information helps you all.

 

Screenshot.jpg

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Hello fellow photographers and videographers, some thoughts as follows.

First, so sorry to see ss made the 0.10 decision. The agency has been a very good agency till spring this year. If they had chosen to cut the sub. fees 10% or 20%, everyone would understand it. But 2 or 3 or 4 times - it is like to reduce your salary 2-4 times.. try to survive.

Someone earlier in this thread used an expression "a race to the bottom at its purest" - too many people eating from one pot. You may have something, but you may not get close at all. Is this the price we all are paying now? I mean everyones ability to take photos with whatever they have in their hand - a pro camera, amateur camera or a smartphone. -- At the other hand, the more active contributors, there better ss can market themselves as a big agency with massive amount of images.

I believe it was not easy to predict the long time meaning of a decision as bold as this. Former CEO Jon Oringer perhaps thinks the ss will go down long term, thus selling the stock bit by bit. Sorry to see Jon go though, it seems he really liked what he did here at SS - built the whole company and we, the photographers, could benefit from it a lot: SS team made the good marketing work and was able to sell the images, meanwhile was able to pay a fair fees for contributors.

Now six months later, it is still impossible to predict whether the value of SS stock will stay, or rise or fall. Having read some of this thread with great interest (as the payout structure is one of the very principal aspects of microstock) it seems many new contributors have joined ss and everybody is looking to make good money here. As long as there are new people joining, the image supply will not be a problem, therefore it is possible to serve the growing numbers to shareholders.

As with the idea in general - to sell your work at 0.10 - I think this is devalues photographers hard work. I understand that if your image is downloaded ten times you can make a whole dollar; or ten dollars with one hundred downloads. But you cannot hope that all of your images will sell tens or hundreds of times (though some will of course, do). I also think some on demand sales will not compensate the "regular/usual" 0.10 sales. Resetting the image levels at the beginning of each year doesn't make it all look better.

With that said, I think it is almost impossible to get back the money invested to get the images - vs what it pays here at SS. Quite a lot of time it takes to process/keyword/upload an image, and quite a deep pocket you must have to afford a proper camera with pro level F/2.8-s and primes. Being able to make both ends meet long term is questionable, from a contributors point of view.

As a small contributor, I would even say a hobbyist, it doesn't affect my life that much when I close my account at SS, nor cares SS if a few hundred photos are gone. But what about people who make living out if it? Who have heavily invested in their high-tech equipment and spending hours every day for editing/keywording?

Well anyway I enjoy taking photos a lot, but I also like the idea that good photos are valued, which is certainly not a case anymore here at ss. Thus taking the photos out of here, like many colleagues have done already. I think the turning point for SS will be when the speed of deleting the images exceeds the speed of new content uploaded - but will it every happen?

So, good luck everyone and hopefully there will be better days again here at SS and microstock in general, one fine day.

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On 10/18/2020 at 10:15 AM, bright said:

Hello fellow photographers and videographers, some thoughts as follows.

First, so sorry to see ss made the 0.10 decision. The agency has been a very good agency till spring this year. If they had chosen to cut the sub. fees 10% or 20%, everyone would understand it. But 2 or 3 or 4 times - it is like to reduce your salary 2-4 times.. try to survive.

Someone earlier in this thread used an expression "a race to the bottom at its purest" - too many people eating from one pot. You may have something, but you may not get close at all. Is this the price we all are paying now? I mean everyones ability to take photos with whatever they have in their hand - a pro camera, amateur camera or a smartphone. -- At the other hand, the more active contributors, there better ss can market themselves as a big agency with massive amount of images.

I believe it was not easy to predict the long time meaning of a decision as bold as this. Former CEO Jon Oringer perhaps thinks the ss will go down long term, thus selling the stock bit by bit. Sorry to see Jon go though, it seems he really liked what he did here at SS - built the whole company and we, the photographers, could benefit from it a lot: SS team made the good marketing work and was able to sell the images, meanwhile was able to pay a fair fees for contributors.

Now six months later, it is still impossible to predict whether the value of SS stock will stay, or rise or fall. Having read some of this thread with great interest (as the payout structure is one of the very principal aspects of microstock) it seems many new contributors have joined ss and everybody is looking to make good money here. As long as there are new people joining, the image supply will not be a problem, therefore it is possible to serve the growing numbers to shareholders.

As with the idea in general - to sell your work at 0.10 - I think this is devalues photographers hard work. I understand that if your image is downloaded ten times you can make a whole dollar; or ten dollars with one hundred downloads. But you cannot hope that all of your images will sell tens or hundreds of times (though some will of course, do). I also think some on demand sales will not compensate the "regular/usual" 0.10 sales. Resetting the image levels at the beginning of each year doesn't make it all look better.

With that said, I think it is almost impossible to get back the money invested to get the images - vs what it pays here at SS. Quite a lot of time it takes to process/keyword/upload an image, and quite a deep pocket you must have to afford a proper camera with pro level F/2.8-s and primes. Being able to make both ends meet long term is questionable, from a contributors point of view.

As a small contributor, I would even say a hobbyist, it doesn't affect my life that much when I close my account at SS, nor cares SS if a few hundred photos are gone. But what about people who make living out if it? Who have heavily invested in their high-tech equipment and spending hours every day for editing/keywording?

Well anyway I enjoy taking photos a lot, but I also like the idea that good photos are valued, which is certainly not a case anymore here at ss. Thus taking the photos out of here, like many colleagues have done already. I think the turning point for SS will be when the speed of deleting the images exceeds the speed of new content uploaded - but will it every happen?

So, good luck everyone and hopefully there will be better days again here at SS and microstock in general, one fine day.

I am a full time photographer, and was one of the first few thousand contributors with SS. I made pretty good money with them for a while. However, when they made this greedy and short-sighted decision, I immediately took down all my photos and videos. It hurt to do it, but I will not sell my content through any agency that values its contributors that little. Part of staying in business is to pivot to something else when the times change. That's what I've had to do.

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What do you think would happened if most of the contributors had disabled their portfolios in June? SS would have lost their leadership position in the microstock business very quickly, and the business of the contributors would have been saved. But SS took the risk, and they won because the contributors let them. And now SS is counting their extra money and, I'm sure, they're very proud of themselves. Moreover, it's only the beginning because the other microstocks seeing that it had worked for SS will do the same.
Of course, the bad guys are those who are robbing, not those who are being robbed. But let's be honest, contributors could save the situation by disabling their portfolios all at once, but they didn't do it. Then what is the difference between humbly letting SS walk all over our work and letting SS doing that but "shouting" at the same time that it's unfair? Well, there is some tiny difference: those who "shout" at least do not cover the dirty trick of SS with a silence. It won't help much, but if people want to "shout," let them "shout." Looks like it's the only right of the robbed people.

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15 minutes ago, R. de Bruijn_Photography said:

See my monthly earnings. They used to be always more than hundred dollars a month. From June they are always under a hundred dollars. And on level 4! In January I will start again from level 1. Shutterstock: give me an honest answer about this. But Shutterstock never replies.... silence. So rude!

713935250_MonthlyShutterstockearnings.thumb.png.cd67690065dfac235a0498585a108bee.png

Wow and numbers are dropping, noticed the same thing, more sales but hard to reach a payout.

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