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Photography by Adri

Have your earnings increased, decreased, or about stayed the same since the payment cut?

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Down about 40-50% in June and July. I have gotten more $5 and up sales (big deal), but that doesn't match the majority of .10 to .12 cent sales. I stopped uploading for 2 months until recently when I became curious whether their approval process is any better. It isn't.

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June has been really bad, my earning in July was 10% of what I made in July 2019, and August is looking as bad as June and July... I don't want to blame the new payment structure it could be just a coincidence or I could still blame the virus considering that 80% of my pictures are from south america and all south america is still in lockdown... who knows! Anyway  I haven't uploaded anything since the change... I'm really more focused on other sites where I see a chance of improvement,  unfortunately at the moment I would be very surprised to see any improvement in here... finger crossed.

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8 hours ago, Kirk Fisher said:

Down about 40-50% in June and July. I have gotten more $5 and up sales (big deal), but that doesn't match the majority of .10 to .12 cent sales. I stopped uploading for 2 months until recently when I became curious whether their approval process is any better. It isn't.

: ). I tried a few uploads recently for the same reason! to test it. it's brutal!! (the same old: you submit, AI rejects, you submit again and with some "luck"  a human may accept it game)  which is good in a sense, that if contributors leaving or switching off their ports won't kill the site, this approval process will certainly do the trick. 

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26 minutes ago, NigelSpiers said:

Hi,

Shutterstock have gone from 1st earner to 6th best earner for my photos.

It looks like they are on the way out.

when major (!) shareholders sell their shares hand over fist, it's never a good sign. (bad) experience tought me that much. but usually by the time the little guy finds out that the big fish dumped his/ her shares, it's way too late. partly for that reason I haven't touched the stockmarket for over a decade.

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Attached the facts as an image.

A few more remarks:

  • My numbers are generally bad at the moment - not only at shutterstock. Maybe it's the virus.
  • Even according to the old earnings structure July and August would be extremely bad.
  • I haven't uploaded anything to shutterstock since the end of May. Maybe this is also noticeable. However, I have uploaded new images to other agencies, and still the income is bad there, too.
  • I have deleted some images from shutterstock.
  • July 2020 was my worst July since 2011. July at AS was not good either but I had 27% more income there.
  • August is on it's way to my worst month ever at shutterstock. Maybe at AS as well. Only 13% more than here. Desaster!

Einnahmen_06_08.jpg

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Around 20% loss against old payment structure. 0,10 DLs suck. Have stopped uploading on May 25th and am considering to delete my port in January when the loss will be around 40%. I’m currently on lvl 4. other outlets are outperforming SS by far since June.

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I think part of the problem is that it is almost impossible to sort out the impact of the earnings change against other factors.  Several of the graphs above show incomes dropping before the change - everyone seems to be reporting a disasterous August.

General incomes were flatlining anyway due to the "accept anything and get the biggest library" policy.  Which has it appears been dropped.

The virus is going to have had an initial impact.

The absolutely huge recession due to the virus is going to have an even bigger impact and we may be only just starting to feel that - especially in the developed countries where governments are still supporting sigificant percentages of the population and providing business support.  When that stops - and it will - bloodbath is not going to be adequate.  Businesses will be going bust, unemployment will go through the roof and as a knock on budgets for spending on images are going to shrink or disappear - whether it is the business cutting back on advertising or the individual blogger no longer affording their once a week image purchase.

I would stick my neck out and say even if rates had not be changed we would still be seeing drops in income

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27 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

I would stick my neck out and say even if rates had not be changed we would still be seeing drops in income

Yes, but with the old rates, we would have seen a drop in income proportional to the drop in downloads.

Now it's a double whammy where I need about 50-100 percent more downloads to make the same money I did earlier and the downloads are dwindling. So it's far more catastrophic than it would have been earlier.

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33 minutes ago, balajisrinivasan said:

Yes, but with the old rates, we would have seen a drop in income proportional to the drop in downloads.

Now it's a double whammy where I need about 50-100 percent more downloads to make the same money I did earlier and the downloads are dwindling. So it's far more catastrophic than it would have been earlier.

Exactly...

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51 minutes ago, balajisrinivasan said:

Yes, but with the old rates, we would have seen a drop in income proportional to the drop in downloads.

Now it's a double whammy where I need about 50-100 percent more downloads to make the same money I did earlier and the downloads are dwindling. So it's far more catastrophic than it would have been earlier.

I have been reading people talking about income drops despite downloads remaining stable since I joined 18 months ago.  "I am still getting this number of downloads but it now takes me 2 months to reach payout"

There are multiple reasons why income is dropping.  For me the best way to do a comparison is to take a monthly average download price each month.  My June average was indeed the worst ever.  My July average was in the top third and I would have been happy with it under the old payments.  However 2 months is not a large enough data set.  At the moment August is looking to be on the low end again (as well as dire sales numbers full stop) but we are only half way through.  If after 6 months my average download price is staying around the same level they were before then I have not lost out (not gained either).  If my income has dropped in that time I will know it is because of other factors because the front end pricing has not changed. 

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On 8/12/2020 at 9:47 PM, VALAMO Studio said:

Stadi on snadi, mut silti kiva mesta. Kiitos! 😃

Paljasjalkasena taytyy sanoa et Stadi on kyl buli, ja varmaan viel kasvanu niin paljon viimenakemalta (~20v) et varmaan oisin siel aika hukassa 😮 Ainakin sen mukaan mita lapset laittaa kuvia silloin talloin...

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5 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

I think part of the problem is that it is almost impossible to sort out the impact of the earnings change against other factors.
 

I don't think it's impossible.  I think it's easy to 'sort out the impact of the earnings change against other factors'.

Before the earnings change it took 140 subs @ 25 cents each (lowest level) to reach a $35 payout.  Now it takes 350 (at 10 cents each).  This is a clear drop in income in the first place gifted to the contributors solely by Shutterstock. 

I think the top income rate used to be 38 cents a sub.  That would take 92 sub downloads to reach a $35 payout.  It would now take 350 (at 10 cents each).

Subs can be at a higher rate but that is much rarer than the 10-15 cents that has become the norm.

When you then factor in that all downloads are fewer because of all the obvious factors in the world at the moment, including ODs, the situation is disastrous.  ODs used to make this worthwhile but now when I get them they are lower than the $1.88 they used to be.  For me, considerably lower (because of the earnings change) and now rare.

It is quite clear to my mind that Sstock's profiteering has only benefitted Sstock and that contributors have been left high and dry.  It's just the lottery situation now of hoping that now and again you might get a big S/OD or EL. 

A very sad situation and personally I feel betrayed.  Considering this is just a hobby to me I am not at all surprised to see the level of anger shown on the forum regarding these changes from contributors whose lifestyle was deeply affected by this.

 

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21 minutes ago, Studio 2 said:

A very sad situation and personally I feel betrayed.  Considering this is just a hobby to me I am not at all surprised to see the level of anger shown on the forum regarding these changes from contributors whose lifestyle was deeply affected by this.

 

Yeah, with every passing day, I have more understanding for contributors who deleted ports and quit in anger. The last two months have been absolutely brutal. August is even worse. And that's not because of covid, that's because of the new rates. I'm selling the same number of images I used to but make 40 percent less money. Two and a half months is a big enough data set for me to see that the future here doesn't augur well.

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7 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

The absolutely huge recession due to the virus is going to have an even bigger impact and we may be only just starting to feel that - especially in the developed countries where governments are still supporting sigificant percentages of the population and providing business support.  When that stops - and it will - bloodbath is not going to be adequate.  Businesses will be going bust, unemployment will go through the roof and as a knock on budgets for spending on images are going to shrink or disappear - whether it is the business cutting back on advertising or the individual blogger no longer affording their once a week image purchase.

I tend to agree with you - and feel like this month might not be an anomaly but the beginning of the inevitable. It will be brutal but not unexpected. 

Screenshot_20200814-191852.jpg

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15 hours ago, Studio 2 said:

I don't think it's impossible.  I think it's easy to 'sort out the impact of the earnings change against other factors'.

Before the earnings change it took 140 subs @ 25 cents each (lowest level) to reach a $35 payout.  Now it takes 350 (at 10 cents each).  This is a clear drop in income in the first place gifted to the contributors solely by Shutterstock. 

I think the top income rate used to be 38 cents a sub.  That would take 92 sub downloads to reach a $35 payout.  It would now take 350 (at 10 cents each).

Subs can be at a higher rate but that is much rarer than the 10-15 cents that has become the norm.

When you then factor in that all downloads are fewer because of all the obvious factors in the world at the moment, including ODs, the situation is disastrous.  ODs used to make this worthwhile but now when I get them they are lower than the $1.88 they used to be.  For me, considerably lower (because of the earnings change) and now rare.

It is quite clear to my mind that Sstock's profiteering has only benefitted Sstock and that contributors have been left high and dry.  It's just the lottery situation now of hoping that now and again you might get a big S/OD or EL. 

A very sad situation and personally I feel betrayed.  Considering this is just a hobby to me I am not at all surprised to see the level of anger shown on the forum regarding these changes from contributors whose lifestyle was deeply affected by this.

 

It does not matter if the subs at higher prices are rarer it depends on the average.  If enough higher subs are included to make the average the same as it was in the old system then there is no loss.

Before if I had a month of all subs my average was 25c - now if I have a month all subs the average could be (in theory) anywhere between 10 and whatever the maximum is.  So far I have had one month with a really bad average and one with an average considerably above my over all average.  That is not enough data.

However much we feel we know what the result of a change is going to be it is a mistake to declare it as a result until the actual data is in.  

 

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2 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

It does not matter if the subs at higher prices are rarer it depends on the average.  If enough higher subs are included to make the average the same as it was in the old system then there is no loss.
 

There is also chance and probability to take into account. 

There is a greater probability now that our earnings will be lower because of the change.  This is being evidenced by what others are posting on these forums and will be reinforced each January.

There is also much more chance involved in what we receive at the end of the month now.  In the scenario you describe above it's just luck if you make the same as before from one month to the next.  In the previous payment scenario it was guaranteed each month that you would earn the same amount for each sub and there was much more constancy with OD payments too.

It matters to me even if it doesn't matter to you, although I respect your view.

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6 hours ago, Studio 2 said:

There is also chance and probability to take into account. 

There is a greater probability now that our earnings will be lower because of the change.  This is being evidenced by what others are posting on these forums and will be reinforced each January.

There is also much more chance involved in what we receive at the end of the month now.  In the scenario you describe above it's just luck if you make the same as before from one month to the next.  In the previous payment scenario it was guaranteed each month that you would earn the same amount for each sub and there was much more constancy with OD payments too.

It matters to me even if it doesn't matter to you, although I respect your view.

It was luck whether my monthly average was 25c or 50c - it is still luck as to whether my average is either of those figures or higher ones or lower ones. 

Right now I do not have enough data to calculate probability - and neither does anyone else.  SS will no doubt claim their researchs have indicated that the probability of averages has not changed.  Just about everyone else is claiming the probability of high averages has lessened and the one of low averages has increased.  At the moment we do not have the data to say who is right.  By January we will have more data. By January 2022 there will be enough data to answer the question for most people.

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