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Adobe wants to use your photo free for 1 year in exchange for $5... thoughts?


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I believe that here lies a very crucial question about the raison d'être of microstock. There were these images that were talked about here. The images were really good. And because they were rea

Maybe, maybe not. One thing is pretty clear by now though, the more free images made available by others that are similar to the ones making you money now, the less likely you will be to sell your own

I went through the list and selected those photos which had never sold on Shutterstock. Until recently, AS was never a big seller for me so If I can make $5 for shots that haven't really been selling

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Other agencies joining in on the bandwagon. Below from SignElements (Ingram) I received recently:

“Dear contributor,

 
My name is XXXXX and I am the senior content editor here at Ingram Image. We have reached out to you with an exciting proposal as we work towards improving our platforms and offering our clients the best experience possible. We love the work that you contribute to our websites and would love to get you on board in making this possible.
 
We will soon be introducing a special offer to new and current clients which will allow them to download free “taster” images and would really benefit from having of your images available as part of this offer. This will not only bring significant drive to your portfolio but will also give you the opportunity to increase your royalties as the clients will be able to see links to more of your work when browsing through the free images selection. This link will lead them to the paid section of your work where they will be able to purchase higher quality images. We are aiming to provide around 20,000 free images in total so would use no more than 10% of your portfolio as we plan to showcase as many different styles of images as we can.
 
We believe this would be a great opportunity to share your work with thousands of new clients as well as current clients that perhaps have not had a chance to view your portfolio yet. Would you be willing to include a small portion of your images in this program?”

Thanks but no thanks in the case!

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Is this offer not better than peanut 10-12 cents Shutterstock offers for our images? We spend hundreds - if not thousands - on our equipment, keep on honing our skills, spend neck straining hours in front of our monitors for post-processing....... all this for 10 cents?

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4 hours ago, oleschwander said:

Funny how some of you keep on posting that you don’t want to opt in with your images that sell well ...!? Of course not - why should you ..? It’s a free choise - AS is not forcing you.

This thread is called "Adobe wants to use your photo free for 1 year in exchange for $5... thoughts?", so people are expressing their thoughts.

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2 hours ago, KishoreJ said:

Is this offer not better than peanut 10-12 cents Shutterstock offers for our images? We spend hundreds - if not thousands - on our equipment, keep on honing our skills, spend neck straining hours in front of our monitors for post-processing....... all this for 10 cents?

It's a different offer. You get pinuts at Shutterstock, but also sometimes more for a photo. On average, I still earn more at Shutterstock most of the time than Adobe. Although the difference becomes smaller and sometimes the earnings at Adobe are higher.
No one is thrilled about Shutterstock's June measures. There was the choice to stop with Shutterstock or continue anyway. Here we have a real choice.
The question is should we be excited about this? What will this do in the long run?
Better competition against the free providers, bringing more customers to Adobe? Or are the sales of our other photos declining due to these measures, etc.

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6 hours ago, Alexandre Rotenberg said:

Other agencies joining in on the bandwagon. Below from SignElements (Ingram) I received recently:

“Dear contributor,

 
My name is XXXXX and I am the senior content editor here at Ingram Image. We have reached out to you with an exciting proposal as we work towards improving our platforms and offering our clients the best experience possible. We love the work that you contribute to our websites and would love to get you on board in making this possible.
 
We will soon be introducing a special offer to new and current clients which will allow them to download free “taster” images and would really benefit from having of your images available as part of this offer. This will not only bring significant drive to your portfolio but will also give you the opportunity to increase your royalties as the clients will be able to see links to more of your work when browsing through the free images selection. This link will lead them to the paid section of your work where they will be able to purchase higher quality images. We are aiming to provide around 20,000 free images in total so would use no more than 10% of your portfolio as we plan to showcase as many different styles of images as we can.
 
We believe this would be a great opportunity to share your work with thousands of new clients as well as current clients that perhaps have not had a chance to view your portfolio yet. Would you be willing to include a small portion of your images in this program?”

Thanks but no thanks in the case!

Incredible! Rethorical great, contentual rubbish!

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5 hours ago, Thijs de Graaf said:

It's a different offer. You get pinuts at Shutterstock, but also sometimes more for a photo. On average, I still earn more at Shutterstock most of the time than Adobe. Although the difference becomes smaller and sometimes the earnings at Adobe are higher.
No one is thrilled about Shutterstock's June measures. There was the choice to stop with Shutterstock or continue anyway. Here we have a real choice.
The question is should we be excited about this? What will this do in the long run?
Better competition against the free providers, bringing more customers to Adobe? Or are the sales of our other photos declining due to these measures, etc.

I like to analyze this kind of things.

What will this do:
It can make Adobe stock bigger, because people come after free content and stay for quality.
That allows Adobe to market their (your) commercial photos for the potential customers who are downloading the free photos.

In fact, this is exactly what shutterstock has been doing for years. If you go to Pixabay or some similar free photos service, you see everywhere Shutterstock ads. If you search in Pixabay "tree", you will get Shutterstock photos of trees, that often are better quality than those you see in Pixabay with the same search query.

Adobe has an effective way to analyze which kind of photos are good to move to the "free category" and which photos should stay in the paid category. Just to check the amount of downloads. I believe that they are not planning to continue this campaign for ever. Only until they have some number of free photos that they can use in their marketing, for example inside photoshop welcome screen. "we have over 2 million free photos for you to download for free" -kind of stuff -or until some unknown amount of money is spend for these free photos. 

In fact, I am thinking that THIS IS a marketing campaign. Their decicision probably was to give the money for their content creators and customers. Instead of giving it to some expensive, 3rd party marketing company.

Tho, I am not sure is this good or not for the content creators. Am not sure if even Adobe is sure about that. Of course their plan is to increase the amount of sales. If this fails, they lose probably more money than what the content creators are losing.

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7 hours ago, MrSorbias said:


Adobe has an effective way to analyze which kind of photos are good to move to the "free category" and which photos should stay in the paid category.

I disagree here.

Adobe has a horrible algorithm and completely fails to promote photos that are bestsellers on other agencies. So a lot of the photos they picked - (obviously not hand-picked as they said that from the images we nominate they will still make a final selection. So these images were selected based on some automated sale/view numbers alone) are regular sellers for me on other agency (and from what I read for many other contributors too) and doing the math, just a fraction of the photos they want to use for their free gallery will earn me way more within the next few years than what they are offering in total. All photos together will probably earn me more than what they are offering within just the 12 month-span they want to use them.

So, no, I don't think Adobe has an effective way to analyze which kind of photos are good to move to the free gallery, because this analyzes is based on an ineffective algorithm to begin with. Mat from Adobe explained in the MG forum that they want decent photos, but not our bestsellers - and that is, very obvious to me, where they have failed, because they based this selection on their numbers of sales and views and Adobe sales are absolutely not in line with sales on all other agencies.
Of course every agency has a different algorithm and some photos will perform better on one agency than on another. But usually for me, if I have a bestseller on one agency, it will be a photo that will perform well on all agencies. It might not be a bestseller on all of them (some agencies like Alamy don't even generate enough sales for me to even determine a "bestseller"), but at least sell regularly. Adobe is the "odd one out" where a photo that sells weekly on other agency will have zero sales.

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33 minutes ago, Firn said:

I disagree here.

Adobe has a horrible algorithm and completely fails to promote photos that are bestsellers on other agencies. So a lot of the photos they picked - (obviously not hand-picked as they said that from the images we nominate they will still make a final selection. So these images were selected based on some automated sale/view numbers alone) are regular sellers for me on other agency (and from what I read for many other contributors too) and doing the math, just a fraction of the photos they want to use for their free gallery will earn me way more within the next few years than what they are offering in total. All photos together will probably earn me more than what they are offering within just the 12 month-span they want to use them.

So, no, I don't think Adobe has an effective way to analyze which kind of photos are good to move to the free gallery, because this analyzes is based on an ineffective algorithm to begin with. Mat from Adobe explained in the MG forum that they want decent photos, but not our bestsellers - and that is, very obvious to me, where they have failed.

Yeah, I don't have any  "big data" to back up my opinions, so take it with grain of salt. I've done only very little sales in these websites after I started uploading not very long ago my photos into these services. Anyways, I will share my small background, to reveal little of how it's going on in this end of the cables. :)

In Shutterstock I've done in my whole life time only 4 sales... That means 0,40 $ in my Shutterstock balance.

In Adobe Stock I've sold 19 times, from which I have in my Adobe stock balance $18,53

Now, I've probably been lucky enough to make few better sales in Adobe -and thats why the better balance, but overall it seems that I sell more often there than what I do here.

So far it seems that the progress is very slow in both places and none of the same images are being sold in both services, but still this is slightly faster in Adobe. I don't know why and it's certainly possible that it might change in future. Maybe I just had a rough start?

Both, Adobe and Shutterstock are huge companies and I am sure they both work very hard to make their algorithms and user experiences as good as they possible can.

The userbase in both websites is completely different and the contributors are also not completely the same. Many of the same folks of course upload to both sites, but then there is different creators, which means that the sales of course cannot be the same in both sites.

So if I have a good selling image here of, let's say "space ship" that sends almost daily at least once. It can be that it doesn't sell in Adobe at all, because there might be someone who is completely focused on making space ship images. And so on.
 

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15 minutes ago, MrSorbias said:

Yeah, I don't have any  "big data" to back up my opinions, so take it with grain of salt. I've done only very little sales in these websites after I started uploading not very long ago my photos into these services. Anyways, I will share my small background, to reveal little of how it's going on in this end of the cables. :)

However, in Shutterstock I've done in my whole life time only 4 sales... That means 0,40 $ in my Shutterstock balance.

In Adobe Stock I've sold 19 times, from which I have in my Adobe stock balance $18,53

Now, I've probably been lucky enough to make few better sales in Adobe -and thats why the better balance, but overall it seems that I sell more often there than what I do here.

So far it seems that the progress is very slow in both places and none of the same images are being sold in both services, but still this is slightly faster in Adobe.

Both, Adobe and Shutterstock are huge companies and I am sure they both work very hard to make their algorithms and user experiences as good as they possible can.
 

Yes, I think you have too few sales to make a proper assessment here.
I had several thousand sales on these agencies just in 2021. I am not one of the "big fish" in microstock, but I think I have big enough numbers to see patterns and compare agencies. Adobe has a crappy algorithm. It's not just that I only sold like 1/4 of the images this year than on Shutterstock (because that's not an indication of how good the algorithm works, but can just as well depend on how many customers an agency has), it's more what kind of images sell. On Adobe most of my sales keep coming from some old photos that managed to make it at the top of the search for some keywords some time ago. New content gets ignored, no matter how good it is or how well it does on other agencies. From all the agencies I submit to, Adobe clearly has the poorest algorithm in regards to promoting new content to their customers.

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44 minutes ago, Firn said:

Yes, I think you have too few sales to make a proper assessment here.
I had several thousand sales on these agencies just in 2021. I am not one of the "big fish" in microstock, but I think I have big enough numbers to see patterns and compare agencies. Adobe has a crappy algorithm. It's not just that I only sold like 1/4 of the images this year than on Shutterstock, it's more what kind of images sell. On Adobe most of my sales keep coming from some old photos that managed to make it at the top of the search for some keywords some time ago. New content gets ignored, no matter how good it is or how well it does on other agencies. From all the agencies I submit to, Adobe clearly has the poorest algorithm in regards to promoting new content to their customers.

You might be completely right and you sertainly have more experience of this. I actually am thinking of that algorithm thing also. AS seem to weight more on the top 5 tags, which probably is making the diversity smaller in search queries. If I've not understood it wrong, Shutterstock makes all the tags equal in all images? It would mean, that you can find one image with some quite irrelevant tag and be surpriced. I think clients quite rarely are finding something really specific, so they might select just something that feels good and fits the mood.

I've now been on both sides of this thing. I used to be buying these images for websites and now I am doing more of these images to be sold. Typically you need to download several example images or their tumbnails -and the client then selects one that they think is best which is then bought.

edit: I still add little bit into this. I believe that very big amount of AS users are searcing for design elements into their works. Many of them literally are searching photos inside Photoshop itself, to finish their projects- and the bought images might be only in very small role of the finished products.

That happens of course in Shutterstock also, but the focus of the clients might not be that much into the design elements, but instead finished works?

 

 

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On 6/8/2021 at 3:01 PM, balajisrinivasan said:

I opted in without batting an eyelid. If all my images are selected, that's 4 times more money than I've made on the site in 2 years.

Me too, I have 505 images eligible out of thousands and really hoping they do accept all of those as that would be a nice paycheck and buy the Sigma Sport Lens I am considering or be put aside for a new computer. Seeing as I am no longer working thanks to an early retirement (covid redundancies) and not eligible for my super for another 3 and half years or any government assistance as my husband works, I like to support my photography habit/expenses with any income I do generate.

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1 hour ago, MrSorbias said:

You might be completely right and you sertainly have more experience of this. I actually am thinking of that algorithm thing also. AS seem to weight more on the top 5 tags, which probably is making the diversity smaller in search queries. If I've not understood it wrong, Shutterstock makes all the tags equal in all images? It would mean, that you can find one image with some quite irrelevant tag and be surpriced. I think clients quite rarely are finding something really specific, so they might select just something that feels good and fits the mood.

I've now been on both sides of this thing. I used to be buying these images for websites and now I am doing more of these images to be sold. Typically you need to download several example images or their tumbnails -and the client then selects one that they think is best which is then bought.

Yes, Adobe weights the first keywords more, but I always make sure to sort my keywords for relevance. I think it's not just this that is causing the problem with new content: Shutterstock has this thing where they occasionally seem to put new content into the "most relevant" search tab as well for a short period of time which can give new content some boost. Adobe doesn't seem to do that. Also, Adobe limits the search results to 100 pages, This means that some photos in the Adobe database basically become not searchable at all as they will always just show you the 1000 newest image as well as the 1000 most relevant images of a keyword. If your image ranks 1001 with a keyword, it's basically "gone" from the database and can't be found and bought anymore. Not sure that's having a big effect, as I doubt customers will go through 100 pages of search results anyway. I think I once read that statistically 3 pages is the most they will look at.
They also do this really stupid thing where they restrict search results depending on where the buyer is located. Someone searching for a  keyword from a certain country will simply not be shown some images at all. I don't think any other agency does this. I suspect that other agencies might change the algorithm depending on the buyers location, but I don't know of any that completely hides images from certain customers.
I am not sure whether any of these is the reason why image sales are so different from other agencies, but whatever they are doing - at least for me it doesn't seem to work well anymore. And I say "anymore", because there was a time Adobe was actually doing well for me and expanding my portfolio would lead to more sales, like on all other agencies. But that has come to a complete stop by now. Maybe that's also why I am kind of bitter with Adobe - I had really high hopes for it to become one of the leading agencies and it looked very promising for a while. Sales/earnings were really good. But somewhere along the way they screwed up. There is almost no point in even submitting new content to Adobe as it doesn't result in more sales for me anymore.
But again, this is just my experience. Maybe whatever they did resulted in other contributors having more earnings and I am just collateral damage any my earnings not representative for the state of Adobe.

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On 6/8/2021 at 5:34 PM, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

Let's take a closer look at this topic.

1) There are 209 images selected from my portfolio that are eligible for the free section.
- None of these images has 0 downloads.
- The first 6 images together have over 300 downloads.
So it is not that images with 0 downloads are selected.

2) What is Adobe trying to do?
They write themselves that they are looking for a wide range of images for the free section to cover as many topics as possible.
I suspect that the point is not to have an enormous amount of free images, but to have a balanced, high quality and interesting variety of images.

Unlike shutterstock, Adobe makes the money not from stock media, but from selling subscriptions to their software products. They want to make these products more interesting to attract even more customers.

3) Problems I see with this offer
The images that are included in the free section may be used and modified by Adobe itself for templates and so on. These templates and modified images may continue to be distributed and used for free by Adobe even if the images are removed from the free section after one year. They thus become sort of public domain. And there will be no further payment for this.

I believe that it is exactly these templates and the continued use of the images that Adobe is concerned about. Why would a customer who subscribed anyway want to look in the free section? After all, he has already paid. 

Moreover, we are hollowing out our own business model with something like this. It is becoming increasingly clear in the minds of buyers that good images don't have to cost anything.

I assume that a maximum of a handful of my pictures would be selected – if at all. That would bring me then maximally €25, -. Maybe even only €5,- or €10,-. But if now the pictures are selected, which already had 25 or 50 or nearly 100 downloads, I miss the possible income for one year. Just one sold extended license would bring me more money than €25,-.

For me, this is not an option. I will not release my images in any case!

 

"The first 6 images together have over 300 downloads" that seems unusual to me none the ones adobe has selected from mine have sold more than 6 times, any that have sold more than 6 have not been selected.

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1 minute ago, Merrillie Redden said:

"The first 6 images together have over 300 downloads" that seems unusual to me none the ones adobe has selected from mine have sold more than 6 times, any that have sold more than 6 have not been selected.

Mat from Adobe explained on the MG forum that they don't select images that received more than 4 downloads in the past 12 months. So an image with over 300 downloads might be selected if it sold that much before, but not in the past 12 months.

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14 minutes ago, Firn said:

Yes, Adobe weights the first keywords more, but I always make sure to sot my keywords for relevance. I think it's not just this that is causing the problem with new content: Shutterstock has this thing where they occasionally seem to put new content into the "most relevant" search tab as well for a short period of time which can give new content some boost. Adobe doesn't seem to do that. Also, Adobe limits the search results to 100 pages, which other stock agencies don't do. This basically means that some photos in the Adobe database basically become not searchable at all as they will always just show you the 1000 newest image as well as the 1000 most relevant images of a keyword. If your image ranks 1001 with a keyword, it's basically "gone" from the database and can't be found and bought anymore. They also do this really stupid thing where they restrict search results depending on where the buyer is located. Someone searching for a  keyword from a certain country will simply not be shown some images at all. I don't think any other agency does this. I am not sure whether any of these is the reason why image sales are so different from other agencies, but whatever they are doing - at least for me it doesn't seem to work well anymore. And I say "anymore", because there was a time Adobe was actually doing well for me and expanding my portfolio would lead to more sales. But that has come to a complete stop by now. There is almost no point in even submitting new content to Adobe as it doesn't result in more sales for me anymore.

Yeah, the clients really need to put some very specific search words to be able to find some images. I was able to find your image with bulldog in bee suit with keywords "Bulldog bee". Tho. I am not sure if anyone would be searching anything that specific. They are probably just using keyword "bulldog", which will give so much content that they will probably never find your image if it's not happened to be in the first page or of some topic that has only very little photos.

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33 minutes ago, Merrillie Redden said:

"The first 6 images together have over 300 downloads" that seems unusual to me none the ones adobe has selected from mine have sold more than 6 times, any that have sold more than 6 have not been selected.

In another forum yesterday a successful microstock veteran wrote that from his portfolio 9000 images would be eligible. And there are images that had over 400 downloads, but have not sold recently because the algorithm has made them invisible. 
By the way, this is one of the biggest differences between shutterstock and AS. With shutterstock, a very successful image remains visible for many years. It can reach huge download volumes. With AS, this is no longer possible. In fotolia times, that was still the case there.

Ioannis Kounadeas, for example, had a lot of images with over 5000 downloads - at fotolia alone. That would not have been possible at AS at any time.

 

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12 minutes ago, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

In another forum yesterday a successful microstock veteran wrote that from his portfolio 9000 images would be eligible. And there are images that had over 400 downloads, but have not sold recently because the algorithm has made them invisible. 
By the way, this is one of the biggest differences between shutterstock and AS. With shutterstock, a very successful image remains visible for many years. It can reach huge download volumes. With AS, this is no longer possible. In fotolia times, that was still the case there.

Ioannis Kounadeas, for example, had a lot of images with over 5000 downloads - at fotolia alone. That would not have been possible at AS at any time.

 

When I was designing websites, it was a big joke in our office that so many websites are having the same images. When seeing all kind of company websites, I started recognizing some stock photos constantly being used. For example, if it was some sort of a helpdesk website, it always had that same lady with headphones etc. I am sure the person who took that photo, was really happy about the situation, but yeah...

So, we for sure tried to find images that were at least little less repetitive to not fall into that category of "conveyor belt" design.

Of course for some microstock creators that was very nice thing, becase so many bought the same images from them, probably tens of thousands of times, but for overall internet experience it was bad.

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13 minutes ago, MrSorbias said:

When I was designing websites, it was a big joke in our office that so many websites are having the same images. When seeing all kind of company websites, I started recognizing some stock photos constantly being used. For example, if it was some sort of a helpdesk website, it always had that same lady with headphones etc. I am sure the person who took that photo, was really happy about the situation, but yeah...

So, we for sure tried to find images that were at least little less repetitive to not fall into that category of "conveyor belt" design.

Of course for some microstock creators that was very nice thing, becase so many bought the same images from them, probably tens of thousands of times, but for overall internet experience it was bad.

I am very sure I know which photo you are talking about. I still have it right in front of my eyes! What I do not remember is whether the photo (lady with Headset) was of Yuri Arcurs and therefore perhaps a small part of his success story.

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On 6/9/2021 at 11:42 AM, Whiteaster said:

Romi49's first ~500  images are not vectors, could it be that the one selected is a simple .jpg illustration?

220_F_160753580_PRpIgl57wn5XcOaty80HfXWvDFqPJoKZ.jpgè vero! ho controllato..

Dimensione
2480 x 1748
Formato
jpg
Data caricamento
19 giugno 2017
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48 minutes ago, romi49 said:

220_F_160753580_PRpIgl57wn5XcOaty80HfXWvDFqPJoKZ.jpgè vero! ho controllato..

Dimensione
2480 x 1748
Formato
jpg
Data caricamento
19 giugno 2017

Certo che è vero!

I didn't mean to check on you, I remember admiring your art when you came. I also admired your insistence when you started learning to draw vectors.
I envied you because I was not determined enough to learn.

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6 hours ago, Firn said:

Mat from Adobe explained on the MG forum that they don't select images that received more than 4 downloads in the past 12 months. So an image with over 300 downloads might be selected if it sold that much before, but not in the past 12 months.

In other words, they changed the algorithm so much that a previously well selling image got literally almost no sales in a year, and thus could be placed in the "not a good seller" category, and into the "free image eligible" pool.

 

What does THAT tell you? (You as everyone in here, not Firn specifically)

 

So, they essentially killed the sales of great images to sneak them into the free images and then they make an offer that's supposed to look good to the contributor, because "look, your image is not selling anyway, might as well give it away".

 

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15 minutes ago, Sari ONeal said:

In other words, they changed the algorithm so much that a previously well selling image got literally almost no sales in a year, and thus could be placed in the "not a good seller" category, and into the "free image eligible" pool.

 

What does THAT tell you? (You as everyone in here, not Firn specifically)

 

So, they essentially killed the sales of great images to sneak them into the free images and then they make an offer that's supposed to look good to the contributor, because "look, your image is not selling anyway, might as well give it away".

 

I know this is unpopular opinion among contributors, but they might have "killed" some images, because the images become too popular. It doesn't look good for anyone, if veryone buys the same images and then we have thousands of exactly similar websites, book covers, magazines and articles.

Also the clients probably feel of being cheated if they find out that they actually cannot very easily find original content. Being someone who was buying these, I for real would have wanted to avoid buying something that everyone else already bought thousands of times.

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