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New earnings structure for Contributors


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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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2 hours ago, saiko3p said:

Massive refunds in January, total $320 less.

Yesterday I looked into "Earnings" and was unpleasantly surprised to found the "Adjustments" tab with many singles refunds, total for $320. Shutterstock, what's going on?? Colleagues, check the "Adjustments" tab, this is a massive robbery.

 

image.png.242bee843d8c03f871f9081b5bf95c39.png

this is an additional tax

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On 1/31/2021 at 1:41 PM, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

You will never get an answer, Michael. It is Shutterstock's secret and they will never let you know - that much is sure!

Actually, I have received another answer from SS. They assured  me they are working on this issue and, since it involves earnings payout, it will take a while longer. But I also advised them I had written the CEO, CFO and the Chair of the Audit Committee ( a recently formed corporate committee headed by the CFO of Kaiser). And I have actually written them. No, I am not holding my breath on this but I would like to see an audit performed of contributor payouts. Something is amiss. 

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17 minutes ago, Michael Warwick said:

Actually, I have received another answer from SS. They assured  me they are working on this issue and, since it involves earnings payout, it will take a while longer. But I also advised them I had written the CEO, CFO and the Chair of the Audit Committee ( a recently formed corporate committee headed by the CFO of Kaiser). And I have actually written them. No, I am not holding my breath on this but I would like to see an audit performed of contributor payouts. Something is amiss. 

Hello Michael,

some months ago - after the introduction of the new revenue structure - we have collected some numbers. Did you take a note of that thread?

At some point we realised that it didn't make sense to collect the data because the income is no longer traceable anyway. Nevertheless, I would like to thank Chy again for tabulating the data!

We didn't get a lot of data for level 3. But what you can see very clearly is that there were extremely low ODs even at level 5. And at level 4 there were ODs for 0.17 and 0.10.

I am sure that you will not get a comprehensible answer. Because it is not desired that the contributors can understand how shutterstock sets the prices for buyers. If they do give you an answer - whenever - that makes it understandable, hundreds or thousands of sellers - myself included - would be very grateful if you would report it to us.

But make sure you read the small print in the e-mail first! Because even if you should get a realistic answer, they will probably forbid you to publish it.

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On 2/4/2021 at 12:55 PM, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

Hello Michael,

some months ago - after the introduction of the new revenue structure - we have collected some numbers. Did you take a note of that thread?

At some point we realised that it didn't make sense to collect the data because the income is no longer traceable anyway. Nevertheless, I would like to thank Chy again for tabulating the data!

We didn't get a lot of data for level 3. But what you can see very clearly is that there were extremely low ODs even at level 5. And at level 4 there were ODs for 0.17 and 0.10.

I am sure that you will not get a comprehensible answer. Because it is not desired that the contributors can understand how shutterstock sets the prices for buyers. If they do give you an answer - whenever - that makes it understandable, hundreds or thousands of sellers - myself included - would be very grateful if you would report it to us.

But make sure you read the small print in the e-mail first! Because even if you should get a realistic answer, they will probably forbid you to publish it.

Thank you for that information. I doubt that I will get an understandable response from the CEO, CFO or the chair of the newly formed audit committee but I had to make the effort. The widely extreme earnings for OD sales has never happened to me before and certainly not before the new earnings structure. And yes, I am aware of the confidentiality statement in SS emails and, if I get a written response, I am curious how they would handle that. Since the chair of the audit committee is an outside member and recent addition the to Board (CFO from Kaiser) I am hoping that this results in some clarification. As they say, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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Shutterstock is an empty platform without content creators. That’s a fact! Shutterstock is more depending on content creators than content creators are depending on Shutterstock. I deleted my entire portfolio after the first 0.10 showed up. My portfolio on other sites is performing way better now. As long as you accept that 0.10, you basically declared that is the VALUE of your work! Therefore, there is no one else to blame but yourself! Therefore, no one else can fix it but you. We, collectively are the force who can push Shutterstock, or just leave that greedy bastards and move to another agencies. I’d be happy to see them sinking! Choice is yours, I’ve already made my move (among thousands).

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On 2/9/2021 at 12:01 AM, Ferenc Cegledi said:

Shutterstock is an empty platform without content creators. That’s a fact! Shutterstock is more depending on content creators than content creators are depending on Shutterstock. I deleted my entire portfolio after the first 0.10 showed up. My portfolio on other sites is performing way better now. As long as you accept that 0.10, you basically declared that is the VALUE of your work! Therefore, there is no one else to blame but yourself! Therefore, no one else can fix it but you. We, collectively are the force who can push Shutterstock, or just leave that greedy bastards and move to another agencies. I’d be happy to see them sinking! Choice is yours, I’ve already made my move (among thousands).

Unfortunately contributors are ok with new SS payment structure. As I can see after first boycott there are only steady SS portflolio growth. So SS are happy.

Screen Shot 2021-02-11 at 09.11.41.png

Source: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Sx80IDLCr0-1_ie1a17Rtm4m9fgUwglaxHdyNy2lDCc/htmlview?fbclid=IwAR30BmNy63U-_eFV6Bx7fciXMxWRqRZlGtS9jSKs-uUKp-GxV64qOGDpa1E#

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6 hours ago, Ints Vikmanis said:

Unfortunately contributors are ok with new SS payment structure. As I can see after first boycott there are only steady SS portflolio growth. So SS are happy.

Screen Shot 2021-02-11 at 09.11.41.png

Source: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Sx80IDLCr0-1_ie1a17Rtm4m9fgUwglaxHdyNy2lDCc/htmlview?fbclid=IwAR30BmNy63U-_eFV6Bx7fciXMxWRqRZlGtS9jSKs-uUKp-GxV64qOGDpa1E#

And a YoY revenue growth of nearly 0. So there goes your RPI.

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On 2/11/2021 at 9:14 AM, Ints Vikmanis said:

Unfortunately contributors are ok with new SS payment structure. As I can see after first boycott there are only steady SS portflolio growth. So SS are happy.

Screen Shot 2021-02-11 at 09.11.41.png

Source: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Sx80IDLCr0-1_ie1a17Rtm4m9fgUwglaxHdyNy2lDCc/htmlview?fbclid=IwAR30BmNy63U-_eFV6Bx7fciXMxWRqRZlGtS9jSKs-uUKp-GxV64qOGDpa1E#

From the chart we can calculate that the quantity of newly uploaded content since June 2020 is approximately 30 million. That means 4 million new uploads every month despite the robbery taking place. Yes, SS are happy and people no longer believe in collective effort to achieve something.

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On 2/4/2021 at 12:55 PM, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

Hello Michael,

some months ago - after the introduction of the new revenue structure - we have collected some numbers. Did you take a note of that thread?

At some point we realised that it didn't make sense to collect the data because the income is no longer traceable anyway. Nevertheless, I would like to thank Chy again for tabulating the data!

We didn't get a lot of data for level 3. But what you can see very clearly is that there were extremely low ODs even at level 5. And at level 4 there were ODs for 0.17 and 0.10.

I am sure that you will not get a comprehensible answer. Because it is not desired that the contributors can understand how shutterstock sets the prices for buyers. If they do give you an answer - whenever - that makes it understandable, hundreds or thousands of sellers - myself included - would be very grateful if you would report it to us.

But make sure you read the small print in the e-mail first! Because even if you should get a realistic answer, they will probably forbid you to publish it.

Here is the link to the New Subscription Plans...https://www.shutterstock.com/pricing

I confirmed with SS online chat that On Demand Plans are completely separate from Subscription Plans. The lowest cost On Demand plan cost $9.16/image which equates to $2.75 (Level 4 @ 30%) for the contributor. So, if SS has categorized the sale correctly as an On Demand sale, then there is no way we would earn 14 or 17 cents for an On Demand sale. And if their computer system as erred and has misidentified the sale, we, contributors, should be very concerned.

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On 2/4/2021 at 12:25 PM, Michael Warwick said:

Actually, I have received another answer from SS. They assured  me they are working on this issue and, since it involves earnings payout, it will take a while longer. But I also advised them I had written the CEO, CFO and the Chair of the Audit Committee ( a recently formed corporate committee headed by the CFO of Kaiser). And I have actually written them. No, I am not holding my breath on this but I would like to see an audit performed of contributor payouts. Something is amiss. 

I continue to receive messages from SS and they continue to provide in consistent information. 

Here is the link to the New Subscription Plans...https://www.shutterstock.com/pricing

I confirmed with SS online chat that On Demand Plans are completely separate from Subscription Plans. The lowest cost On Demand plan cost $9.16/image which equates to $2.75 (Level 4 @ 30%) for the contributor. So, if SS has categorized the sale correctly as an On Demand sale, then there is no way we would earn 14 or 17 cents for an On Demand sale. And if their computer system as erred and has misidentified the sale, we, contributors, should be very concerned.

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26 minutes ago, Michael Warwick said:

Here is the link to the New Subscription Plans...https://www.shutterstock.com/pricing

I confirmed with SS online chat that On Demand Plans are completely separate from Subscription Plans. The lowest cost On Demand plan cost $9.16/image which equates to $2.75 (Level 4 @ 30%) for the contributor. So, if SS has categorized the sale correctly as an On Demand sale, then there is no way we would earn 14 or 17 cents for an On Demand sale. And if their computer system as erred and has misidentified the sale, we, contributors, should be very concerned.

Hello Michael,

from my point of view, it can only be explained by the special remunerations negotiated individually between Shutterstock and large business partners, into which we are not given any insight. Therefore, it is all completely non-transparent anyway.

https://www.shutterstock.com/de/business?int_cid=7013Z000002vZGP&int_source=core&int_medium=website&int_campaign=core-pricing-page-v2&int_content=enterprise-learn-more

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1 hour ago, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

Hello Michael,

from my point of view, it can only be explained by the special remunerations negotiated individually between Shutterstock and large business partners, into which we are not given any insight. Therefore, it is all completely non-transparent anyway.

https://www.shutterstock.com/de/business?int_cid=7013Z000002vZGP&int_source=core&int_medium=website&int_campaign=core-pricing-page-v2&int_content=enterprise-learn-more

I would agree with that but then SS would have an accounting issue with labeling a sale as On Demand at a subscription price. If it is truly an On Demand sale then it does not fit into their pricing plan model and would seem to create an accounting problem. Giving special pricing to large customers complicates the issue. which no one at SS wants to disclose.

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1 hour ago, Michael Warwick said:

I would agree with that but then SS would have an accounting issue with labeling a sale as On Demand at a subscription price. If it is truly an On Demand sale then it does not fit into their pricing plan model and would seem to create an accounting problem. Giving special pricing to large customers complicates the issue. which no one at SS wants to disclose.

Exactly, Michael, nobody wants to disclose that.

That's exactly what we tried to do when we started to understand the remuneration of subscriptions and ondemands for the different new levels. We soon stopped because there was simply no pattern at all that matched the prices on the Shutterstock website.

There were the remunerations where the differences were cents - we were sure that this was related to the exchange rate of the country where the provider is registered. All other price differences, from extremely high to extremely low, are so different from the remuneration model that Shutterstock publicly states that there is no other explanation than that there are individually created offers for vast numbers of buyers.

Therefore, for better or worse, we are at the mercy of Shutterstock, forced to believe that they are compensating us correctly and will never be able to prove otherwise. Which - perhaps precisely for that reason - is not desirable.

I just had a look.

Until the introduction of the new revenue structure, the OD allowances were always the same. There was $2.85, in exceptional cases $1.24. Nothing else. With the SODs it was never comprehensible - they ranged from $0.38 to $120 and more - with every conceivable gradation.

Today, there is no longer a single remuneration that can be derived in any way. Subs, ODs, Enhanced, SODs - everything is no longer traceable or verifiable.

This is now true for all stock agencies. All revenue is completely non-transparent, no API revenue is communicated or is comprehensible. That is microstock today.

 

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1 hour ago, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

I don't really understand what the problem with accounting is.

They agree with a customer on a package price of 20, 1000, 1800, 3200, 750 or 10000 US dollars for 25, 100, 150, 300, 50 or 5000 ODs (all just examples). And we get the share that we are entitled to according to our level.

Agree! But we know that does not happen. I hope to get a response from Alfonse Jefferies who is the chair of the newly formed Audit Committee. He is a new Board member from Kaiser where he is the CFO.

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Having looked at the sales of recent months, I distributed the stocks according to the degree of profitability:
1. Adobe-stock
2. Depositphotos
3. Shutterstock
I understand that what SS has done is very beneficial for them, but in the long term, it threatens to reduce new uploads. And together with the sending system (I no upload send the EPS-10 to the SS, due to restrictions), plans for the future of the resource become incomprehensible.

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I have to wonder whether what SS has done will be beneficial to them in the long run. They may be getting the uploads from contributors but are they the quality uploads they used to get from the pro contributors and 'factories' with great shots and model releases completed?

I don't do people so it's not my consideration but if I did, I would certainly think twice before uploading anything 'expensive to produce' here when other sites pay more.

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On 2/16/2021 at 3:04 PM, Michael Warwick said:

Agree! But we know that does not happen. I hope to get a response from Alfonse Jefferies who is the chair of the newly formed Audit Committee. He is a new Board member from Kaiser where he is the CFO.

I heard back from SS and I was told that "special" discounted pricing is offered to select customers where they can buy images On Demand for Subscription prices and maybe even less. I still do not understand why these sales are categorized as On Demand when, more appropriately, they are Subscription sales if what I am being told is correct. So select customers are being given huge discounts and, I suspect, some select photographers are being given special payouts. I still do not know how they would do their accounting for these sales since the published On Demand sales is >10 times than the special discounted price. And we will probably never know.

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42 minutes ago, Michael Warwick said:

I heard back from SS and I was told that "special" discounted pricing is offered to select customers where they can buy images On Demand for Subscription prices and maybe even less. I still do not understand why these sales are categorized as On Demand when, more appropriately, they are Subscription sales if what I am being told is correct. So select customers are being given huge discounts and, I suspect, some select photographers are being given special payouts. I still do not know how they would do their accounting for these sales since the published On Demand sales is >10 times than the special discounted price. And we will probably never know.

Thanks Michael, a job well done, it confirms what I have always thought. It may explain why the glitches are occurring at the moment in payments(the slot machines are not calibrated yet).

regards,

f.

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