Jump to content

Level 4 (30% royalty) video contributors will lose about $1,200/year with the new royalty reset system next year.


Recommended Posts

I find that being treated in this way by SS really curtailed my interest in creating new works for this industry. I do not rely on the income, and in fact saw a huge decrease after the cuts so it made sense for me to toss in the towel, since doing the same amount of work for a lower return made less sense (or cents lol) to me. Plus the fact that there was no reason for the cuts beyond simple greed by the agency. Not even lip-service about belt tightening or anything, even John O said if people don't like it, they should leave. That is why I took down my photos. But admittedly, I have a habit of reacting instead of waiting to see how things pan out long term.

I put a token amount (only a few thousand) up via a third party service in order to combine the paltry earnings amongst the low-earning agencies to get regular payouts, of which SS is now one (for me). Everyone will do what is in their best interests. Some do make it a business where the returns justify staying (that's just math). Others, like me, can afford to call it a day or make diminished returns elsewhere, or, innovate and make more money by capitalizing on areas where fresh work is in demand. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 69
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I did some calculation.  My RPD for video is about $23.  So, level 1 at 15% is $11.5 less than $23.  Level 1 is from 1--10 download.  $11.5 x 10 = $115.  Based on the same calculation, at level 2, 20%

When you aim the camera and press the shutter button, right? 😋 No, on second thought, I'd back up and say it really begins when you decide WHAT to shoot. It's a waste of time to shoot something t

Photo sales will be irrelevant from January. 95% of photo sales will bring in 10-14 cents a sale. There are hardly any other downloads now. For those who are happy with that then things will just cont

Posted Images

3 hours ago, PlopandShoot said:

I find that being treated in this way by SS really curtailed my interest in creating new works for this industry. I do not rely on the income, and in fact saw a huge decrease after the cuts so it made sense for me to toss in the towel, since doing the same amount of work for a lower return made less sense (or cents lol) to me. Plus the fact that there was no reason for the cuts beyond simple greed by the agency. Not even lip-service about belt tightening or anything, even John O said if people don't like it, they should leave. That is why I took down my photos. But admittedly, I have a habit of reacting instead of waiting to see how things pan out long term.

I put a token amount (only a few thousand) up via a third party service in order to combine the paltry earnings amongst the low-earning agencies to get regular payouts, of which SS is now one (for me). Everyone will do what is in their best interests. Some do make it a business where the returns justify staying (that's just math). Others, like me, can afford to call it a day or make diminished returns elsewhere, or, innovate and make more money by capitalizing on areas where fresh work is in demand. 

Please correct me immediately if what I am about to write is wrong: But aren't you one of those who offered images on free platforms? Have we not had this discussion? Perhaps I have the wrong memory of it.

In any case, part of the microstock problem is that many people feed the free databases with images - for whatever reason. There were also contributors who offered images in the free sections of agencies because they thought that would boost image sales. In my view, both have contributed to a considerable extent to the problem of price reduction. If I have misclassified you, I apologise now. But then it was other contributors who were partly responsible.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

Please correct me immediately if what I am about to write is wrong: But aren't you one of those who offered images on free platforms? Have we not had this discussion? Perhaps I have the wrong memory of it.

In any case, part of the microstock problem is that many people feed the free databases with images - for whatever reason. There were also contributors who offered images in the free sections of agencies because they thought that would boost image sales. In my view, both have contributed to a considerable extent to the problem of price reduction. If I have misclassified you, I apologise now. But then it was other contributors who were partly responsible.

 

I certainly did. I felt that the free platforms are not going away, and it would be irresponsible of me not to find out as much as I could about them. Besides which, putting up old photos that have never sold damaged me in no way at all. In the broader sense, I see little difference in a freebie or a 1cent sale from istock. Both have their place, and if there is an indirect benefit to me (and there is/was) then I don't see the issue.

If you are suggesting the SS lowered commissions because of free sites, I will respectfully disagree.

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

Please correct me immediately if what I am about to write is wrong: But aren't you one of those who offered images on free platforms? Have we not had this discussion? Perhaps I have the wrong memory of it.

In any case, part of the microstock problem is that many people feed the free databases with images - for whatever reason. There were also contributors who offered images in the free sections of agencies because they thought that would boost image sales. In my view, both have contributed to a considerable extent to the problem of price reduction. If I have misclassified you, I apologise now. But then it was other contributors who were partly responsible.

 

Further, if you swap out "free" with "micro" this is almost word for word the same argument the trads made when istock jumped into the photo market and started MS down this long road. :) 

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

I certainly did. I felt that the free platforms are not going away, and it would be irresponsible of me not to find out as much as I could about them. Besides which, putting up old photos that have never sold damaged me in no way at all. In the broader sense, I see little difference in a freebie or a 1cent sale from istock. Both have their place, and if there is an indirect benefit to me (and there is/was) then I don't see the issue.

If you are suggesting the SS lowered commissions because of free sites, I will respectfully disagree.

And I respectfully disagree with you. Free platforms have been a disaster for the industry and lower contributor share is SS's reaction to the threat.

It's not just that freebie sites have facilitated a race downwards in terms of payment for work it is also the fact that they contain an immense amount of below par photos. To make it worse these photos meet a need for outlets that are cash-strapped though well-off organisations and individuals also mercilessly use them. I recently looked at book covers used from such platforms and couldn't believe how bad, non-descript and dull they were. There are of course some good photos available there.

To give you another instance: I have one line of photo which sells fairly well on another platform, not that I have earned a great deal from the line but it's better than nothing and small steady revenue. On one of these infamous freebie websites some time back I found one photo on the same theme downloaded thousands and thousands of times. Most interestingly the young photographer has now since deleted the file. My suspicion is that he has cottoned to the fact that he was doing untold damage or that he could earn decent money with his photo.Either way the damage is done. 

Of course there are people who say they believe in sharing or get attention from having a platform for their work. However they are spreading the idea that photos are to be shared first and foremost thus undermining the chances of a daily photographer to earn a living. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the idea of giving away photos the consequence has been a massive hit for photographers.

More significantly these photos are in dodgy legal territory. You are right that putting up photos of yours that never sold damaged you in no way at all but the existence of such photos damages other photographers and their chances of selling similar material. Photography cannot and should not only be about selling but giving them away for commercial purposes is a counterproductive move.Do you mind me asking if you still have them available for free?

To your final point: the so-called trads were correct.

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, PlopandShoot said:

I certainly did. I felt that the free platforms are not going away, and it would be irresponsible of me not to find out as much as I could about them. Besides which, putting up old photos that have never sold damaged me in no way at all. In the broader sense, I see little difference in a freebie or a 1cent sale from istock. Both have their place, and if there is an indirect benefit to me (and there is/was) then I don't see the issue.

If you are suggesting the SS lowered commissions because of free sites, I will respectfully disagree.

For me, there is still a significant difference. From the buyer's point of view, it plays a serious psychological role whether an image is free of charge or whether he obtains images from an agency where images cost money. And the images there are not for 1 cent - from buyers point of view.

The fact that istock pays the contributors only 1 cent is another matter and is undisputedly a huge mess - in this respect, of course, I agree with you completely.

Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

The fact that istock pays the contributors only 1 cent is another matter and is undisputedly a huge mess - in this respect, of course, I agree with you completely.

My average sale on iStock isn't 1cent it's 47cents (large sample) for 2020.

Not too far off a dropping average on here at SS of 60cents for 2020. 

average RPD.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Alexandre Rotenberg said:

My average sale on iStock isn't 1cent it's 47cents (large sample) for 2020.

Not too far off a dropping average on here at SS of 60cents for 2020. 

average RPD.JPG

Hello Alex,

I guess it's similar for me. I will have a closer look at my stats tomorrow.

Come all well into the New Year and stay healthy - that's the most important thing!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well as I said, we disagree. And before I get completely tarred and feathered, let me tell you that I agree with some of the points made, but yelling into the wind about it accomplishes nothing. So..

My argument is that if they are here to stay, should we not find ways to make them work for us? Most of the agencies have partnerships with the freebie sites, and offer free photos as well. I do believe that regardless of personal opinion, they are here to stay (in fact, they were here first before micro sites, istock is an example of a freebie site that later monetized, Flickr comes to mind as well). If I get eyeballs on some of my work, and then they follow to better versions on my stock website, is that not a win? It is also easily tracked through analytics. This is literally no different than what Shutterstock and other agencies do in the same places.

Failing that, how many decent shooters (and there are many there) have you personally induced to try out microstock and make some money, rather than give away their work for free? I have some hard numbers about that for myself and for some others as well.

Finally, I am also a consumer/buyer. I have sussed out many artists who have photos on freesites and followed them to paid sites to see their expanded portfolios. 

No one owes us a living. And with unlimited supply, people will give away their work if they choose, they don't have an obligation to others making money for similar work. That is a simple fact of life. We don't have to like it, but we are forced to accept it. I just happen to think the responsible thing to do is make an informed decision about how I work within or without it. 

*I do not believe for a second that SS's response re: free sites is anything other than an excuse. Their financials bear that out. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

One last point I will make. I have been working in micro since 2005, as a contributor, reviewer, buyer, and blogger. I am an okay (stock) photographer. I know my way around this industry fairly well. As far as micro goes, my success is due to volume and consistency rather than wild talent like some of the people here and I can honestly say, I do not feel threatened by the freebie sites in the least when it comes to actual product. There are many better photographers, better ideas and themes, but in the main, they are one-offs instead of bodies of work that a buyer can visit and revisit to find suitable product that maintains a level of consistency. I believe that serious consumers of stock photography find the free offerings too small, too open to legal issues (model releases comes to mind), and too difficult to source what they need in a timely manner.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Alexandre Rotenberg said:

My average sale on iStock isn't 1cent it's 47cents (large sample) for 2020.

Not too far off a dropping average on here at SS of 60cents for 2020. 

average RPD.JPG

I don't believe P&S was noting an average, but here's some basic information, the minimum on iStock is 2 cents. The connect money isn't a sale, it's more of a view, but still those are often $.0036 or about 1/3rd of a cent. I've seen lower and some higher.

Is anyone willing to admit that all of this problem isn't only the new commission structure but also a world pandemic? Bad time to announce a change, when people need the income more than ever. But part of the downturn is the same reasoning. The market is down.

By the way, I just droped in to post this number. It's not 1 anymore:

New Year Countdown - New York Time

0
days
11
hours
31
minutes
20
 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, HodagMedia said:

I don't believe P&S was noting an average, but here's some basic information, the minimum on iStock is 2 cents. The connect money isn't a sale, it's more of a view, but still those are often $.0036 or about 1/3rd of a cent. I've seen lower and some higher.

No, not an average, and results vary as they always do. At the end of the day my point stands, if someone is trying to convince me that giving away a non-seller for free is so much worse than pursuing a 2 cent sale, well, not much left to argue about. :)

With unlimited supply, scarcity and quality of work, along with ease of discovery, is what will get the sales. Freebie offerings do not have all of those at any one time, in my opinion. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, PlopandShoot said:

No, not an average, and results vary as they always do. At the end of the day my point stands, if someone is trying to convince me that giving away a non-seller for free is so much worse than pursuing a 2 cent sale, well, not much left to argue about. :)

With unlimited supply, scarcity and quality of work, along with ease of discovery, is what will get the sales. Freebie offerings do not have all of those at any one time, in my opinion. 

The free image once given away has zero value (other than some mickey mouse exposure), whereas any images for sale have the potential for much larger than 2cents. 

Those stupid micro sales on iStock do annoy me but I've had many sales on there for $60+

2 cents or 10 cents is the same...all pennystock

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Alexandre Rotenberg said:

The free image once given away has zero value (other than some mickey mouse exposure), whereas any images for sale have the potential for much larger than 2cents. 

Those stupid micro sales on iStock do annoy me but I've had many sales on there for $60+

2 cents or 10 cents is the same...all pennystock

You still don't get it, I am not defending them per se, I am trying to find ways to work within an industry that isn't going to change simply because I complain about it. And as stated, a photo with no sales (and in my case is 15 years old) didn't have much value to begin with. Didn't you once say something about shelf-life of a stock image being very short? If it wasn't you then I apologize. So, what then is your answer to the free sites beyond complaining about them?

Deriding "Mickey mouse exposure" is a rich statement coming from you Alex, and beneath you. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, PlopandShoot said:

You still don't get it, I am not defending them per se, I am trying to find ways to work within an industry that isn't going to change simply because I complain about it. And as stated, a photo with no sales (and in my case is 15 years old) didn't have much value to begin with. Didn't you once say something about shelf-life of a stock image being very short? If it wasn't you then I apologize. So, what then is your answer to the free sites beyond complaining about them?

Deriding "Mickey mouse exposure" is a rich statement coming from you Alex, and beneath you. 

I agree. 15 years with no sales is pretty much game over. In those cases, it can be worth it to deactivate and resubmit to the same agency as maybe a buyer sees in the "fresh" section or whatever they call it now.

I've written a lot about images and shelf-lives. All images have shelf-life, some shorter than others...fashion for instance but then can be reinvigorated as vintage. It depends on the subject-matter.

I'm well-aware of free sites and their dangers, but also their potential. 10 years from now the value of our assets will be even more diminished and we may even have to pay for the "privilege" to upload images to some agencies...i'm not kidding you!

I have read of some cases of some contributors making quite a bit of cash from donations at sites such as Pexels and Unsplash and being offered commissioned work. Need to dig deeper as it could be fake news from these places spinning the "benefits".

I do have a disdain for the free sites but need to also see them as an opportunity for us, so I do agree that we need to find a way to work with them. How at the moment, I don't know exactly. Some pretty good photographers contributing there and would be great to bring them on board to the micros...their forums are active...dialogue...

In many cases the contributor just doesn't know how to upload to multiple agencies.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

I see this debate about freebies as just another illustration of the advantages of putting one's efforts into footage.  Photos are too abundant, too easy for anyone to shoot, too easy to be shared online, and too easy for anyone to right-click and take whatever they want after a photo has been posted someplace.  On the other hand, 4K footage, and even HD footage, is not quite so easy to store, deliver, preview, steal, etc.    That may change some day, especially if there are more sites like Story Blocks, but right now, I think it is still a seller's market for footage.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Alex, good response and yes, many images have shelf lives that make them obsolete or, in some cases very rare if those places have changed. For me, my niche stuff (minerals) is pretty timeless and the only issue is quality as tech advances. :)

I agree with you about the state of the industry. However for me, I see it being one of oversaturation and an inflated sense of worth for a lot of the photo assets out there. Just because its for sale doesn't make it valuable in my opinion. 

The people who will survive and thrive in micro are the same ones that are still going strong in traditional stock, the innovators, the business people, and the talented ones who simply do the work and the research and reap the rewards of that (shout out to Annie here). 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I mentioned over on MSG that the future advances that I see could be along the lines of Stocksy. A co-op where 6 or more complimentary niche shooters can build a smaller, boutique agency or collection. I think niche is what will be successful going forward. The biggest drawback to such a huge collection here (IMHO) is the curation and inability of finding that perfect image. 

Creating a shared site is fairly easy, its the marketing that would be the challenge, as always. But for niches, it could be very doable. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, Alexandre Rotenberg said:

I have read of some cases of some contributors making quite a bit of cash from donations at sites such as Pexels and Unsplash and being offered commissioned work. Need to dig deeper as it could be fake news from these places spinning the "benefits".

This is exactly what everyone is on me about for checking out free sites and what they do. :)

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...