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Very similar to me.  The only differences are that I have 462 fewer downloads than you.  Exactly the same figures as you, but the digits are ordered differently.  So, for me, the 0 comes first then th

So your wife is my only chance to overtake you in a piddly 385 years. Can I have her address?

Sales yes. 10c after 10c after 10c.  

Posted Images

I just made this status update on my FB page (with a complementary news article) just for info to anyone who might be interested:

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If you spent $1 million dollars every-single-day since the birth of Christ, you’d spend a total of $737,665,000,000. The US just passed a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill to boost their economy. That’s $1,900,000,000,000. The stimulus spending package is over 2.5 x $737,665,000,000. Which means you’d have to spend over $2.5 million dollars every-single-day for 2021 years just to get close to this amount. Let that sink in.

Now having just posted this made me think... let's hope some of this stimulus money makes it way back into increased spending on micro-stock content.

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4 hours ago, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

Hello Charles,

this is exactly where the problem lies. I did not ask shutterstock to offer images for $0.22.

I can understand that big customers with a huge image demand get discounts. That's the case with big buyers everywhere in business.

If someone buys 10,000 bottles of water, it might be possible to offer them for $0.22. But ask the producer of champagne if he will sell the bottle for $0.22 if you guarantee that 10,000 bottles will be purchased. You will never find this producer.

A supermarket cannot simply offer goods to the buyer at prices at which a supplier cannot produce. Thijs has already described this.
A customer who wants to spend only $0.22 can only get goods that can be produced at this price.

From my point of view, shutterstock should have offered an opt out. In my opinion, the image contributors should be allowed to choose whether their image material can be offered by shutterstock for less than - for example - $1,00. That's how it was with Dollar Photo Club back then. There was an opt out.

Then there would still be the possibility for large customers to buy for $0.22. But the choice would be limited.

Nobody is forcing you to sell your images for $0.22. You are free to walk away.

It is a commodity business; supply and demand. Run it through any of the competition models (e.g. Porter's five forces). Competitive power is with the buyer and not the supplier and that forces prices down.

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2 hours ago, Charles Lewis said:

Nobody is forcing you to sell your images for $0.22. You are free to walk away.

It is a commodity business; supply and demand. Run it through any of the competition models (e.g. Porter's five forces). Competitive power is with the buyer and not the supplier and that forces prices down.

I thought that with my example of the supermarkets I showed that the power of the supplier is also important. That is why there are provisions in Europe that sometimes a company may not take over another company because it would then become too powerful.
Google, Facebook, Windows, Amazon are often criticized in Europe for abusing their power.
So you do indeed have the enormous amount of photos that lower the price and some Stocksites, which have become so powerful and have a huge range that they can offer photos so cheaply that competitors have little chance.
Which makes it difficult for us to go to the competitive stock site for a better price. For they would sell less.
One possibility to earn more is to take much more photos, which increases the range even more.🙂

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30 minutes ago, Thijs de Graaf said:

I thought that with my example of the supermarkets I showed that the power of the supplier is also important. That is why there are provisions in Europe that sometimes a company may not take over another company because it would then become too powerful.
Google, Facebook, Windows, Amazon are often criticized in Europe for abusing their power.
So you do indeed have the enormous amount of photos that lower the price and some Stocksites, which have become so powerful and have a huge range that they can offer photos so cheaply that competitors have little chance.
Which makes it difficult for the providers to go there. One possibility is to take even more photos, which increases the range even more.

Stock photography is an industry where supply outstrips demand and where there are very few barriers to entry (all you need is a digital camera). That drives the competitive dynamic. 

Let's take your supermarket example for a moment. If I go to 10 supermarkets to buy a packet of breakfast cereal, chances are I will see 10 different prices for the same product. The supplier of that breakfast cereal will negotiate remuneration with each supermarket chain. If they don't like how much the supermarket is paying them, then they will decline to sell them the product.

Stock photography is no different. Many of us here submit the same photograph or video to multiple agencies, each one charging a different price and each one paying us different remuneration. If we don't like the price the agency is offering us then we are free to remove our photos and sell through someone else.

I sell through Shutterstock for the same reason a food company sells through Costco or Walmart. I get a lower price per photo at SS than I get through certain other agencies but I get much better volume. My industry and competitive analysis tells me that refusing to sell through SS will not make my photos more competitive or more desirable elsewhere. 

Or to put it another way, cornflakes taste the same whether you buy them from Walmart or the local corner shop.

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1 hour ago, Charles Lewis said:

Stock photography is an industry where supply outstrips demand and where there are very few barriers to entry (all you need is a digital camera). That drives the competitive dynamic. 

I sell through Shutterstock for the same reason a food company sells through Costco or Walmart. I get a lower price per photo at SS than I get through certain other agencies but I get much better volume. My industry and competitive analysis tells me that refusing to sell through SS will not make my photos more competitive or more desirable elsewhere. 

Or to put it another way, cornflakes taste the same whether you buy them from Walmart or the local corner shop.

Of course I agree.
For SS and IS it is not difficult to get their price below the competition because of better sales.
As soon as the competitors get closer to their price, they naturally lower again. We stay anyway, because we catch less but still more than with the others.
As soon as the competitors get closer to their price, they naturally lower again. We stay anyway, because we catch less but still more than with the others.
As soon as the competitors get closer to their price, they naturally lower again. We stay anyway, because we catch less but still more than with the others.
As soon as the competitors get closer ........🙂

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7 hours ago, Charles Lewis said:

Nobody is forcing you to sell your images for $0.22. You are free to walk away.

It is a commodity business; supply and demand. Run it through any of the competition models (e.g. Porter's five forces). Competitive power is with the buyer and not the supplier and that forces prices down.

No, you are right. Nobody forces me to sell on shutterstock.

I don't know your numbers. I see that our portfolios are the same size. But I don't know how high your losses would be if you would just delete your portfolio at shutterstock.

Shutterstock has been the agency I've had the most downloads with since I've been doing microstock, although that's been significantly less recently compared to the other agencies. The gap to the competition is melting away. Nevertheless, it is not an easy decision for me - as it is for so many other providers - to simply delete the portfolio at shutterstock. Even with the significantly lower income now compared to before, I would have to give up a few thousand dollars a year.

So from my personal point of view, I find your statement "You are free to walk away" a bit terse and superficial. And I know full well that many here have the same thoughts and problems as I do.

And for contributors who come from countries where the cost of living is dramatically lower than here in Central Europe, your statement is like a slap in the face. Because your answer would mean for them: Give up your annual income and move on. But they can't. And shutterstock knows that very well!

No, even those contributors are not forced to sell at shutterstock. But they also relied on shutterstock a long time ago. And are now abandoned.

 

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3 hours ago, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

No, you are right. Nobody forces me to sell on shutterstock.

I don't know your numbers. I see that our portfolios are the same size. But I don't know how high your losses would be if you would just delete your portfolio at shutterstock.

Shutterstock has been the agency I've had the most downloads with since I've been doing microstock, although that's been significantly less recently compared to the other agencies. The gap to the competition is melting away. Nevertheless, it is not an easy decision for me - as it is for so many other providers - to simply delete the portfolio at shutterstock. Even with the significantly lower income now compared to before, I would have to give up a few thousand dollars a year.

So from my personal point of view, I find your statement "You are free to walk away" a bit terse and superficial. And I know full well that many here have the same thoughts and problems as I do.

And for contributors who come from countries where the cost of living is dramatically lower than here in Central Europe, your statement is like a slap in the face. Because your answer would mean for them: Give up your annual income and move on. But they can't. And shutterstock knows that very well!

No, even those contributors are not forced to sell at shutterstock. But they also relied on shutterstock a long time ago. And are now abandoned.

 

It's not terse, superficial or a "slap in the face". It's just business reality. Industries come and industries go. The same is true for companies. The digital revolution transformed photography but it killed Kodak and all those smaller companies who developed our films. Nothing stays the same and nothing is guaranteed, so you have to review your options and decide which is best for you. Walking away is one of those options.

 

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Well, the only way that I can view SS and the reduced payment for licenses now is...all my work has been done in the past and for the <1K images I have, it has brought me $20K+. The $$($) keep rolling in each month and I make no effort. Haven't uploaded for 2 years nor will I in future (not for the present rewards due to insufficient incentive). Pity it's not growing like it used to but s**t happens. Not going to cut off my nose to spite my face either because I also recognise what everyone else experienced in microstock also appears to recognise is that this is a dying business (for contributors). Had the rewards kept pace with the 'glory' years (2012-2016), then I would, no doubt, have had confidence in the future and continued to provide new material...but rewards didn't continue and as a 'philosophical' person, I concluded that rewards no longer justified the effort/expense. Pity, it was good & fun whilst it lasted but now it's not a business for me....just a bit of monthly pocket money! Fortunately I still have my commissioned work ( a bit stressful) which often makes me realise why the 'freedom' of microstock is so poorly rewarded! 

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Very bad start of the month with just 4 downloads, each for 0.10$. February was one of the best months ever. I had a single download for 22.11$. I also received second ever payment crossing 35$ threshold. 

I have a small portfolio. After bad news of June, I stopped uploading. I explored few other sites but none of them made a good start. I even opted out of some while I am continuing on a few ones. AS is also not seeing any downloads recently. Pulled out of DT and IS. No downloads on DT and dismal rates on IS despite of hard works are main reasons to unsubscribe. IS had some good downloads but the rates were not even puny 0.10 which made me pull out.

I am sticking with SS and AS. SS is still one of the highest earners with few potential sales despite the eye watering sales figures. Coming from third world, the amount is too small even to fund commuting fares to shoot photos. If there are regular per month sales around 100$ for around 500 photos portfolio, I wouldn't mind staying and contributing occasionally. This amount would roughly afford a small lens or few photography gear in a year. That would be a good side income for a hobbyist like me to fund this expensive hobby.

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11 minutes ago, Gaurav Aryal said:

If there are regular per month sales around 100$ for around 500 photos portfolio, I wouldn't mind staying and contributing occasionally. This amount would roughly afford a small lens or few photography gear in a year. That would be a good side income for a hobbyist like me to fund this expensive hobby.

100$ on a 500 photo port is practically impossible nowadays. You have a lot of great pictures but they're in a highly saturated genre of landscape/nature photography where you have a LOT of competition.

I shoot mountains, travel and people and a majority of my sales are of images with people. The camera or lens doesn't matter. In fact, my highest value sale was taken with a Samsung phone. So I would advise you not to spend a single cent on this hobby and work with what you already have.

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1 hour ago, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

Does anyone have an explanation for this?

In the last 6 days I have received 6 SOD compensation for my bestseller. For always exactly $0.60 and always without proof of location of the buyer. That's a weird coincidence, isn't it?

 

Screenshot.jpg

No, sorry. No explanation. I'll bet that if you look at the map, you'll see that image sold on the east coast of the US (around NYC? or maybe my geography is off!). Last year when I was still in Tier 3 I had multiple sales of one image at that US east coast site and always for $0.60. One day it sold 21X at $0.60/sale. In January  (Tier #1) it was selling for $0.30 and now I'm in Tier #2, I get $0.50. Before the end of the month I should be back to my old Tier #3 and will, no doubt, be getting the ole $0.60 again. Dunno why it keeps selling in one location and always for the same amount to the same? customer but it sho beats 10 cents subs!

This was in July 2020:

 

NickPic113 2021-03-12, 18_14_05.jpg

NickPic114 2021-03-12, 18_20_33A.jpg

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On the map today I see a download of the image in Moscow. It is also traceable in the revenue ($ 0.10). In addition to this sale, I had two more of this image today for $0.60 each. Both without naming the location and both are not visible on the map.
An image was also bought on that spot the US West Coast on your map , Steve, but that was a different one.

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On 3/10/2021 at 6:11 PM, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

March Level 4 RPD = $ 0,446.

It is incredibly miserable!!!

Level 2, RPD = 0.49. but 95% of downloads are the 10 cent ones. pretty annoying. what can I tell you. but volume started to pick up a bit toward the end of February.
another thing, and sorry, "slightly" off topic : ). but am I mistaken, almost as if I had read somewhere in the forum that over at AS if you sell enough there, they give you free use of Lightroom or Photoshop (for some period)?
 or I was dreaming (again)? wouldn't be the first time : ). thanks for any insight on this one.

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3 minutes ago, Blue Corner Studio said:

but am I mistaken, almost as if I had read somewhere in the forum that over at AS if you sell enough there, they give you free use of Lightroom or Photoshop (for some period)?
 or I was dreaming (again)? wouldn't be the first time : ). thanks for any insight on this one.

Adobe gave out free annual subscriptions to Photoshop, Lightroom and other apps to contributors who sold over 150 images in 2020. The year before, they gave it to people who uploaded 300 images. Not sure what the criteria is for this year.

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