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You're missing the bigger picture here.

The problem is the switch to a fixed percentage allows them to further change without telling anyone.

Now payment is *directly* linked to the price the media is sold for.  If they decide to reduce the price of the media massively (like they've done for video) you'll earn a lot less whilst still earning the same "percentage".

Instead of selling something for $70 then can reduce it to $10 and you'll get a paycut corresponding to that.

THIS is the most dangerous of the changes, not the levels themselves but making everything based on a percentage of sale price.

 

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My small success story to share with fellow contributors here. At the end of October last year, I decided to open an online shop on et- si* and I guess you know why I need to do this since SS

Judging by the number of downloads this month I am hoping to reach Level 2 by the time I am 103.

Hiya fellow contributors I hope everyone is doing well and celebrating the windfalls from your micro-stock sales and the personal wealth and prosperity it brings you. For my year-to-date sa

Posted Images

I totally agree with that, but unfortunately that have something to do with competitivity and world market. There is little we can do about that and if SS is not competitive, we will lose customer at the end because they are going somewhere else. I think it's not new that people here win less and less over the year. The good old day (of 2012?) seems far away according to what I've been reading on this forum. It has to do with the higher number of contributor, the increase number of stock sites, the increase number of subscription and the decrease number of people paying for SOD and enhanced... Stock sites didn't do much to prevent free stock site and now you can find good quality image for free. The offer is less than on SS, Getty and AS but one day it wont be eventually, and this will be the end of it. How many blog or journal do you see using actually image from Instagram instead of stock? So many... Advertisement also uses influencer more and more and stock content less and less. The world is changing and SS try to adapt.

And I agree with you 100% that they rob us in the process!

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1 hour ago, stevemart said:

I have 18% more downloads in Jan 21 compared to Jan 20 but revenue is 59% less.

I must say that Jan '20 was higher in revenue than many other months of 2020 and the revenue drop in Jan21 compared to the average month in 2020 is nearer 35%.

for me Jan 2020 was one of the second lowest in the whole 2020 ... :( ... and compared to the average of other months, the numbers are evend more depressing ... closer to 70%... a real disaster

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13 hours ago, blvdone said:

Video level system is very unfair compared to photo levels.

Yes, completely agree. The video level structure is completely off. The jump from level 3 to 4 (where you finally reach the old 30% compensation again) is stupidly huge, and unattainable for most contributors.

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Cobbled together a bar graph... January could have been actually very good, if not for the level reset. As it is, it was a decent month, but would have looked more like April it it hadn't been for some large SODs.

406523873_ScreenShot2021-02-01at9_06_56AM.png.6564012608c6af4705d0c808678cf07c.png

 

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2 hours ago, Luisa Puccini said:

The effort I make no longer makes sense.

Ah, yes. The spectacular rewards. Last week, I drove for an hour to take some news-style pics of something I thought would be in demand. No response whatsoever from the  world out there. This morning, was finally compensated for my effort by a $0.10 sale. Which leaves me with only about minus $6.90 in fuel costs so far, who-hoo! But at least the adventure got me out of the house for the day.

Why do I keep doing it? Well, for one because I simply enjoy taking photos. But also because slow by slow, stuff does keep selling, and eventually, may actually pay for the effort put in. It's always that lure of passive income down the road.

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1 hour ago, Former_Poster said:

Now SS have updated their own graphs the full gruesome horror is available...

ss-video-own.png.b5a4f2d6a92c699756ce30a6fc24a915.png

ss-image-own.png.312f60c0432612c1eaa9b102b801f3ac.png

 

067.thumb.png.f24432c6cdb3716309f1f6261b785735.png

My first video sale of February.

I think this is SS way of saying they really really don't want or need any video contributors at all now.

 

I always think of those under a Dollar video sales as extra ones. They don't bother me too much, as long as I also get some regular sales. What hurts me way more are the video subscription packs that net us $2-5. Because those would have been clip pack sales of at least around $12-15 previously.

I hope things will get better for you.

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4 hours ago, Awana JF said:

I totally agree with that, but unfortunately that have something to do with competitivity and world market. There is little we can do about that and if SS is not competitive, we will lose customer at the end because they are going somewhere else. I think it's not new that people here win less and less over the year. The good old day (of 2012?) seems far away according to what I've been reading on this forum. It has to do with the higher number of contributor, the increase number of stock sites, the increase number of subscription and the decrease number of people paying for SOD and enhanced... Stock sites didn't do much to prevent free stock site and now you can find good quality image for free. The offer is less than on SS, Getty and AS but one day it wont be eventually, and this will be the end of it. How many blog or journal do you see using actually image from Instagram instead of stock? So many... Advertisement also uses influencer more and more and stock content less and less. The world is changing and SS try to adapt.

And I agree with you 100% that they rob us in the process!

I wonder how brands like Mercedes, Audi or BMW, for example, could survive in the global market without permanently offering buyers the cars at prices at which they could not even produce them.

They didn't even lower prices when e.g. Dacia launched cars for a fraction of the cost. On the contrary. They still successively increased the prices because they could be sure that the cars can still be sold. And are sold in masses.

 

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31 minutes ago, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

They still successively increased the prices

So as professional photographer for wedding or those kind of photograph for making personal book (PF) and stuff like that^^ I paid more than 2000$ for my wedding and the guy had such a long waiting list that he should be just fine! My sister had the same photographer few years before me and the price were much lower^^

Did another shooting for my wife and I: 500$ for 6 pictures after a huge negotiation (the shooting was free^^)

I don't think SS is comparable to a luxury item... 

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1 hour ago, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

I wonder how brands like Mercedes, Audi or BMW, for example, could survive in the global market without permanently offering buyers the cars at prices at which they could not even produce them.

They didn't even lower prices when e.g. Dacia launched cars for a fraction of the cost. On the contrary. They still successively increased the prices because they could be sure that the cars can still be sold. And are sold in masses.

 

Because car buyers tend to stick with the same brand of car. They trust the car, they are familiar with the garage they use for maintaining their car so that is a completely different world. It's the same with many different products : why do Apple users stay with Apple when they can get a PC for a much lower price.

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Awana,

this has nothing to do with luxury. This is branding. In a global market. It's a path that Shutterstock could have taken - building a brand whose products are worth their price and still get bought. It works. There are endless examples of this with sales in the millions around the globe.

But Shutterstock has chosen a different path. Mass. Cheap mass. To achieve this, they also lowered the quality criteria for accepting images a while ago.

But even the biggest cheap discounters I know (Aldi, Lidl,...) don't sell their goods below the price they buy them for. Personally, I don't know a single company that does that on a permanent basis (if I'm wrong and there are any examples – please let me know). And which then also loads the consequences of the wrong action onto the backs of the contributors.

And, to be clear: the cheap discounters are also tough as nails when it comes to paying suppliers. But: they have a limited, fixed product range. And every supplier can be quite sure: Even if he earns little for each sale, he can be quite sure that he is guaranteed to have a lot of sales. That is the essential difference to the discounter Shutterstock.

 

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13 minutes ago, MJD Graphics said:

Because car buyers tend to stick with the same brand of car. They trust the car, they are familiar with the garage they use for maintaining their car so that is a completely different world. It's the same with many different products : why do Apple users stay with Apple when they can get a PC for a much lower price.

MJD,

it's largely the same with microstock. People buy from an agency because they know it, they know how to find the images and videos, because everything is familiar, because payment always follows the same pattern, and so on.

Do you think the other microstock agencies would still exist if all buyers wanted to save a few more cents? And it's not more than a few cents.

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10 hours ago, Luisa Puccini said:

I'm thinking about giving up on uploading. The effort I make no longer makes sense.

Yep! For me it already started in 2018 on SS when existing images started losing their place on the first pages and new work disappeared into the abyss without a single sale...that's when I stopped uploading because the beast no longer deserves feeding. Any revenues that now come in are the result of no extra effort on my part as my effort is no longer rewarding to me.

Believe me, I do begrudge those 'higher echelons' their unearned dollars because it's my work they're earning from...but not sufficient to cut off my nose to spite my face (and withdraw my entire port).......just no mo effort where there's no more reward!

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19 minutes ago, stevemart said:

.just no mo effort where there's no more reward!

This morning I looked at the January income on my computer, I couldn't believe my eyes that 30 dollars is missing mysteriously from the income compared to yesterday when I looked on my phone app. When I looked at the phone app again, it flashes the real income in milliseconds then revert back to the new earning (-30 dollars).

Never happened before but true that to what you said. 🙁

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4 hours ago, chyworks said:

This morning I looked at the January income on my computer, I couldn't believe my eyes that 30 dollars is missing mysteriously from the income compared to yesterday when I looked on my phone app. When I looked at the phone app again, it flashes the real income in milliseconds then revert back to the new earning (-30 dollars).

Never happened before but true that to what you said. 🙁

I lost 200 dollars in January 

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Disaster. Competition. Corona. New levels. Disaster. Not worth to invest time into stock footage. Better money from real stock investments ...

If you invest into stock shares, every one are treated as same in dividends, payouts, etc. If company goes up, your share goes up, if it goes down, you go down to with your investment. Here only top noch contributors gain something. Other are dust makers ... clips making dust on HDDs of agencies and are only for a number that agecy can say: oh, we have millions of clips you might like. Yea, sure! First three, four pages of similar subjects sell, everything else is as it does not exist.

Bleak!

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