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Kate Shutterstock

New earnings structure for Contributors

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5 hours ago, MJD Graphics said:

I don't agree with what SS is now doing, especially the reset in January thing, but I think the 'old' model was unsustainable.

"Unsustainable" only because of the ongoing devaluation of creative content and this belief everyone should get everything for free. SS have said it's in response to the global market for creative content. But in pulling this crap and saying we are only worth breadcrumbs while they feast on our hard work, THEY ARE CONTRIBUTING to this ongoing devaluation of OUR content, and nobody should stand for it or try to justify their decision.

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I know Picfair is a whole different story, I only sold one picture there, but assume someone is making some money, since they're still there. I entered to check and found this:

"To support our photographers over the coming months, Picfair will be taking ZERO commission on all download and print sales until July 9th. This means all images on Picfair are now 20% more affordable for customers, while photographers will still receive the exact price they ask for. 

This will apply to all downloads and prints sold via Picfair-powered personal stores, and all downloads and prints sold via the Picfair marketplace.

We’ve always been committed to giving photographers the fairest deal possible, and want to do everything we can to help photographers across the globe continue to showcase their creativity during challenging times. "

 

Again, I know Picfair doesn´t compare with SS, but what a different way of dealing with contributors...

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I signed the petition and shared it with my 7,200+ followers on twitter since many are journalists and others are fellow stock photographers, using the #boycottshutterstock hashtag -  the hashtag suggestion came up near the top before I finished typing "boycott" so that's promising. I'm not sure if any of this will change shutterstock's mind but we will certainly fail if we don't even try. 

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Shutterstock is a publicly traded corporation.  Shareholder value is the most important thing.  How to increase the stock price?  Take some money from contributors and give it to shareholders.  lol

sstk.thumb.png.976e34cc8b2a6c19b11c606392c07efb.pngake some money from contributors and give it to shareholders.  lol

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I have never been on this forum for 6 years, this decision is frustrating. Being sold off for a handful of pennies will in no way motivate the community of contributors. Why do they not increase the price of subscriptions to their customers .... quality pays! I will not discuss the videos but what is certain is that in this niche they will make maximum savings especially when we see the threshold that must be reached to be 30% (our current level) .

I propose two modifications which it would be advisable to modify.
First go up from 10 to 20 cents for the minimum gain threshold for a sale as a priori we will earn more on certain sales.

Finally instead of starting at 15% gain on sales on January 1 ... as the goal is to better share the game between active contributors and those less active who benefited from their seniority, I suggest that the levels offered be continuously taking into account the level of sales over the last 12 months. It is unfair that a contributor who is productive and who brings benefits by his quality of work to SS goes back down to 15% on January 1st.

Here is my opinion ... I started microstocks on adobe 10 years ago, when I arrived the commissions had dropped, many people were complaining, they returned to their compensation plans two years ago, today their compensation plan motivates many more people. Personally I realize between 5 to 10 times more gains on adobe stock even if they do not yet take editorial content except the illustration ...

While we are there on the modifications, it may not be the place, but what a waste of time to have to reproduce each time for the same model a new authorization. I take photos with my son and each time I take a photo of him I have to make a new authorization, what a waste of time .... well the time I do not take it, my photos I offer them on adobe who only needs a single authorization .....!

I am only a small French contributor but at a time when everything is image in this world, it is not logical that we producers are the last wheels of the carriage.

To really respect us would be to take into account our remarks and not to throw out overnight an announcement like the one that was made when we are strongly impacted by this global health crisis ...

Our respect and recognition of those who made your wealth would be to respond to us collectively and above all to also go in our direction and not to impose in force without having concerted beforehand.

I wait until June 1, I will see the impact on my sales, if over a month I see that I earn less compared to sales made overall ... I will book my photos as before to Adobe Stock where I were exclusively before because they had the courage not to base their policy on the prices offered to their customers.

Without contributor, no more image banks. Besides, I will have to explain to me one day why some people accept free photos.

Good luck to all. Let's be strong together

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5 hours ago, AC Rider said:

I thought Shutterstock would be a good pension supplement when I retired, clearly I’d have been better investing in Shutterstock shares rather than investing in the database.

Me too 😞

 

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I think especially the „reset to zero“ in January where a 10 000 file portfolio is treated like one with 5 files, will lead to a massive switch to Adobe.

Shutterstock has 1.2 million contributors who all use Adobe products. Until now many have recommeded or themselves used Shutterstock plans, because Shutterstock has really been a hassle free and very reliable partner.

But the plan to hard cut decades of business relationship and go back to zero and the plan to do this every single year?

It will not just lead to a mass exodus of content, but the contributors themselves will switch their subscription plans to other companies.

And they will strongly recommend that other customers also move to Adobe or pond5 or simply any other company that does not do a hard reset every January.

Even istock/getty are not that cruel.

There is absolutely no reason for any contributor to recommend SS to customers, if their income gets brutally crashed every January.

Adobe just has to sit back and do nothing. Shutterstock will actively drive business and content towards them.

 

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3 minutes ago, Jasmin Awad said:

I think especially the „reset to zero“ in January where a 10 000 file portfolio is treated like one with 5 files, will lead to a massive switch to Adobe.

Shutterstock has 1.2 million contributors who all use Adobe products. Until now many have recommeded or themselves used Shutterstock plans, because Shutterstock has really been a hassle free and very reliable partner.

But the plan to hard cut decades of business relationship and go back to zero and the plan to do this every single year?

It will not just lead to a mass exodus of content, but the contributors themselves will switch their subscription plans to other companies.

And they will strongly recommend that other customers also move to Adobe or pond5 or simply any other company that does not do a hard reset every January.

Even istock/getty are not that cruel.

There is absolutely no reason for any contributor to recommend SS to customers, if their income gets brutally crashed every January.

Adobe just has to sit back and do nothing. Shutterstock will actively drive business and content towards them.

 

Hope you are right, same thing happened after we where gettyfied, Adobe people might get inspired and do the same . All of them are competing for the same dollars ...

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Adobe needs us as customers, the income from stock is just a nice little add on and not significant compared to the money they make from us licensing their products.

Our relationship with them is symbiotic, at least for now.

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I did some calculations to estimate contributor earnings loss based on number of monthly downloads. Since you know your monthly downloads, you can check how much you are affected by this change. Here's a link to analysis: https://xpiksapp.com/blog/2020/new-shutterstock-earnings-breakdown/ and there's also a link to Jupyter notebook in the blogpost if you want to verify/change the calculations.

Currently if you have around 100 monthly video downloads, you will loose around 2.5% of earnings for the whole year. But if you have only 20 video downloads per month, you will loose as much as 19% in total earnings. You can check more numbers in the blog

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12 minutes ago, Jasmin Awad said:

Adobe just has to sit back and do nothing. Shutterstock will actively drive business and content towards them.

Graphic design studio I work for has already switched from SS to Adobe after I told my boss about the current situation. People even at high positions in the creative business do not tolerate stuff like that. We got a small raise during the pandemic at the studio, our boss makes some extra efforts to provide us with more projects. And then he heard from me that SS does the absolute opposite to its authors. Imagine his feelings towards this corporation.

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1 minute ago, samoyloff said:

Graphic design studio I work for has already switched from SS to Adobe after I told my boss about the current situation. People even at high positions in the creative business do not tolerate stuff like that. We got a small raise during the pandemic at the studio, our boss makes some extra efforts to provide us with more projects. And then he heard from me that SS does the absolute opposite to its authors. Imagine his feelings towards this corporation.

really hope that you boss is a very very BIG BOSS :)

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Adobe even offers successful contributors a yearly bonus where you get lightroom or even the entire creative suite for free for a year.

Completly different and supportive attitude towards creatives.

The hard reset every January is not just a move against contributors, but one against the creative user community and media creators who are Shutterstock customers.

It just makes no sense. 

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2 minutes ago, Ammit Jack said:

really hope that you boss is a very very BIG BOSS :)

It's a big US design studio founded back in 2001. So yeah, he's not a small boss, definitely.

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In my opinion, resetting to level 1 is not the worst. Differentiation of payments by more than 100% is the worst thing. It cannot be that they would pay 2.5 times more for the same sale than in the first!
Yes, someone has less popular content and takes up more space on the servers, but perhaps buyers come for this rare content. Otherwise, it was necessary to limit the stock of 100 photos and 100 videos to the most popular ones and to shovel money, but everyone understands that then there will be no clients.

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5 hours ago, Fernando Rodrigues said:

The right way to define the % structure in a yearly basis is to check at the end of the year how many downloads that contributor sold and apply the % of the next year according to that. Not reset it. Just update is based on the previews year downloads amount. Its a fair solution for both parts.

Doesnt need to be a genious to understand this.

The problem is that your suggestion invokes the concept of "fair." My impression is that is not something SS is willing to consider.

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5 minutes ago, samoyloff said:

Graphic design studio I work for has already switched from SS to Adobe after I told my boss about the current situation. People even at high positions in the creative business do not tolerate stuff like that. We got a small raise during the pandemic at the studio, our boss makes some extra efforts to provide us with more projects. And then he heard from me that SS does the absolute opposite to its authors. Imagine his feelings towards this corporation.

To do such a brutal switch in the middle of a pandemic, probably hoping that artists simply cannot afford to pull their content in protest is a special kind of cruel.

I think a lot of companies will move to other suppliers when they hear about this.

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There is some other agencies with royalties like that, around 0.10 cents. But they actually sell your images, and final income from them can compete with shutterstock's, even they don't have even 1/10 of my portfolio. So, if Shutterstock lowered royalties for contributors, it has to give more traffic, so there COULD actually be some benefits for contributors. But as I can see, there is no such thing. Shutterstock sell bad, especially new content. It's only value was with higher royalties. 

I don't know what happen next, and it's sad that Shutterstock didn't bother to give exact numbers of royalties. They have full data about it, but still what we can do is only wait until 31st June to see overall monthly income. And I don't think Shutter even care about boycott, about contributors like me. We are just collateral damage, that's all. They will still have big stock studios with tons of great content, with no intention to destroy their business with boycotts and everything. 

This all situation made me completely change my priorities. I have build my whole career and future plans with agencies like Shutterstock, I have worked on my professional skills, and turns out I bet on a wrong horse. It was a mistake, and in a long term relationship it didn't worked out, I have to choose other area to use my skills - because my total income only decreasing with time, not otherwise, no matter if the quality of my content is better and better. Although there is Adobe Stock, which is still great and its getting better, but no one can give a word that the same thing won't happen there in several years. Its just market, just very changeable life. 

But anyway, I'm really grateful to Shutterstock for several years of partnership and for possibility to learn and have money in the same time, possibility to make a living with this money. I won't boycott and turn off my portfolio, it doesn't make any sense, but I will change my whole plans and may be even a profession in a year. 

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