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Taking down my entire video portfolio, contributor royalties are ridiculous


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Hi community,

I was wondering whether anybody else deactivated their video sales (Contributor portal > [your name in the top right] > Account Settings > License Options (bottom right panel) > Video sales: NO), like I just did.

As I am seeing that most of my videos go monthly for 0.26-0.34$, to the point that people buy five of my videos in a row on the same day for the grand total of 1.70$ in royalties for me, I am concluding that it does no longer make any sense to sell videos on Shutterstock. I will keep my photos for the time being, without uploading the newer ones (I stopped uploading here in early 2019), up for sale and see how things change. But for videos, I would not be doing myself a favor given that I am selling each video for 20-100$ on other platforms (you name it) and if they are also available here then I would be hampering my good sales elsewhere.

Shutterstock gives us the possibility to suspend video sales altogether, via the setting I indicated above, without having to reupload the videos. If they change policy, I will reactivate video sales with a few clicks. Note that a Contributor Expert indicated that once you suspend video sales, they have to be suspended for at least 30 days, after which it's possible to reactivate them. You get a notification box saying the same when you go through the setting change as I indicated above.

Looking forward to your thoughts!

All the best 🤓

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51 minutes ago, wanderlust86 said:

I was wondering whether anybody else deactivated their video sales  🤓

Why would I?  I'm still averaging almost $25 per download and about $2000 per month in revenue.  Not as good as it once was but the entire stock industry is taking a down turn due to too many images and not enough demand.  All my hard work is already done so why would I give that income up now?

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11 hours ago, Doug Jensen said:

Why would I?  I'm still averaging almost $25 per download and about $2000 per month in revenue.  Not as good as it once was but the entire stock industry is taking a down turn due to too many images and not enough demand.  All my hard work is already done so why would I give that income up now?

Doug - who says you should take them down? It’s only a question of whether anybody else deactivated their video sales ..!?

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2 hours ago, oleschwander said:

Doug - who says you should take them down? It’s only a question of whether anybody else deactivated their video sales ..!?

I answered the OP's question with an explanation of WHY I have not deactivated my videos -- rather than just a simple yes or no.  That seems more useful to me,

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On 6/16/2021 at 12:26 AM, wanderlust86 said:

I would not be doing myself a favor given that I am selling each video for 20-100$ on other platforms (you name it) and if they are also available here then I would be hampering my good sales elsewhere.

Hi Doug,

You have a very nice professional portfolio, so that might be the reason your videos still average 25$ per download instead of being available for a few cents, I am not exactly sure what the policy here is regarding pricing (?)

Here above is the reason for my specific case (and I think more contributors here are experiencing something similar): I have my videos for sale elsewhere (Pond5, Adobe Stock, Getty, Dreamstime, StoryBlocks), they earn me 20-100$ there, so if I kept them here for 0.25$ I would have less sales elsewhere and lower revenues overall. As my videos are now only available elsewhere, people cannot be lured by the low price and if they want to buy they do on those other platforms, so each time a video sells it makes me more money.

Of course you might say, well, on Shutterstock sales are more frequent. To which I reply: of course, here I have 3-4x the number of sales that I have elsewhere (total of all other platforms mentioned above, combined), HOWEVER if just one video sells for just 25$ (my cut) elsewhere, that's as much revenue as 100 video sales for 0.25$ each on Shutterstock. So it's in my favor to bolster my sales off of Shutterstock, at least for videos (for now), given that I am not selling 100x more videos here to make up for the extra-low royalties, only 3-4x.

I have a portfolio of 500+ videos here that is now hidden for these specific reasons. I will see how it goes. Just on Pond5 I got around 400$ for selling 6 or 7 videos around March-April. Here that would have made me less than 2$.

I hope that explanation was clear enough and the math makes sense to you.

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Yeah, I totally get it.  Each of us is in a unique situation, so whatever one person chooses to do may not be the best choice for the next person.  Plus, I agree that it is not the total number of downloads or even the average income per download that matters.  Those are interesting metrics to look at, but ultimately they don't matter too much.  All that matters is the total income at the end of the month no matter how it is sliced up. I don't care if i get 1000 downloads for $2.00 each or ten downloads for $200 each.  The dollar amount deposited into my PayPal account is the same.

In my own case, I am long overdue for submitting more of my portfolio to Pond5 and Adobe so that I don't have so many of my eggs only in the Shutterstock basket.  But one reason I have not been in a hurry to do that is because I already do have some clips that are at both Adobe and Shutterstock (with identical metadata) and those clips sell much better at Shutterstock (measured by number of downloads and income). In fact, I have zero clips at Pond5 or Adobe that have outsold the same clips at Shutterstock.  Not one.  

So, although it's not a scientific analysis, clearly my clips earn more money for me at Shutterstock so I have no intention of turning off my existing clips or not submitting new ones.  That is my answer to the question you originally asked.  I don't suggest other people blindly do what I have done. Everyone needs to run their own numbers, as you have done, and come to their own conclusions.

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