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oleskalashnik

Crisis of Overproduction

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All of us can see the Overproduction of images that affected all of microstock sites. If you bake a hundred thousand pieces of bread to a hundred hungry mouths, they will eat a one thousand. But the rest will dry up. And we throw more and more new pieces on the top of a bread heap, and this pieces also drying without demand. 

If a company is interested not only in beautiful reports for shareholders and investors, then it will have to take urgent anti-crisis measures. 

I think that Shutterstock can to implement new regulatory mechanism: to move everything that has not been sold for 5 (4?) years... for recycling. To improve the huge image base just like that: disable unclaimed content and display it in a separate archive ('Outdated Warehouse'). It can be useful for those customers who like to delve inside obsolete things. 

At the same time Shutterstock can send to authors a proposal to make a trendy similar images of their old unclaimed content.

Also, this restructuring of image base will make a good impact to SEO and promotion of trendy themes. This is a really bold decision that will save the future of both the authors and the business of main image provider.

What do you think about it?

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7 minutes ago, oleskalashnik said:

What do you think about it?

My fear is that any image not in the main database that remains for sale will get drastically reduced or given away to the detriment of the owning contributor. Several agencies, like Dreamstime, already offer the option of offering up images for free if they don't sell.  That's just asking customers not to buy, but wait until an image is in the database long enough to get it even more cheaply or free.  

 

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6 minutes ago, oleskalashnik said:

I think that Shutterstock can to implement new regulatory mechanism: to move everything that has not been sold for 5 (4?) years...

I agree that there are too many photos on Shutterstock, but I think moving old photos is a really bad idea. I’ve been submitting since 2017 and images from that year sell here for the first time every month. Old seemingly unwanted editorial photos can suddenly sell well if something in the news makes them relevant.

A better idea would be to limit the number of photos new contributors can submit to an initial 50 a month with increases based on the amount of sales people get. ( New contributors with excellent large portfolios on other sites should be able to get permission to upload more than others.) Similar restrictions should immediately be placed on existing users.

There should also be immediate action taken to deal with the problem of the suggested keywords. Thanks to spammers the AI has been messed up and constantly suggests Bangkok and Chiang Mai for subjects which have nothing to do with Thailand.

 

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10 minutes ago, Ricoh Mirai User Club said:

A better idea would be to limit the number of photos new contributors can submit to an initial 50 a month with increases based on the amount of sales people get. ( New contributors with excellent large portfolios on other sites should be able to get permission to upload more than others.) Similar restrictions should immediately be placed on existing users.

 

I think this is a good idea.

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1 hour ago, oleskalashnik said:

I think that Shutterstock can to implement new regulatory mechanism: to move everything that has not been sold for 5 (4?) years... for recycling. To improve the huge image base just like that: disable unclaimed content and display it in a separate archive ('Outdated Warehouse'). It can be useful for those customers who like to delve inside obsolete things. 

What do you think about it?

Thanks for your input -- My thoughts about your proposal could be summarized with a name: "Vincent van Gogh" ---  Whereas i think that limiting the numbers of uploads for contributors  - one way or the other - is a good and reasonable approach --

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I would welcome an inbetween solution to this.

It is true that an image that has not sold ever might suddenly sell. But I also think that the database is full of photos from people who thought Shutterstock would mean huge easy and fast money, submitted 100+ snapshots that never sold, or even if one or two sold at some point, they never even made enough to reach minimum payout and they gave up again and do not even log in anymore.
So my suggestion would be that Shutterstock indeed deactivates/ removes from the search old photos that never sold, but gives active contributors an easy one-click option to enable the image again if that is what they want. Inactive users who have not logged in in years would not do this and this alone would probably reduce the database by some million images.

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4 hours ago, oleskalashnik said:

What do you think about it?

The photo database is well filled because there is a constantly increasing number of new pictures, not because it is clogged with old unsaleable photos. 
Restrictions on the contributor side I generally reject. However, the QM system of SS should be significantly improved. 
This starts with the review process, here a consistency on a uniform level would have a braking effect.  The current procedure, in which pictures are first rejected and then accepted identically submitted, promotes the flood of pictures. 
The second point is the intelligence of the search engine. Without going into detail, there is still a lot to improve for the IT department of SS. 

 

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3 hours ago, Ricoh Mirai User Club said:

I agree that there are too many photos on Shutterstock, but I think moving old photos is a really bad idea. I’ve been submitting since 2017 and images from that year sell here for the first time every month. Old seemingly unwanted editorial photos can suddenly sell well if something in the news makes them relevant.

A better idea would be to limit the number of photos new contributors can submit to an initial 50 a month with increases based on the amount of sales people get. ( New contributors with excellent large portfolios on other sites should be able to get permission to upload more than others.) Similar restrictions should immediately be placed on existing users.

 

 

Really? as a newbie I am trying to build my portfolio as quickly as possible so to achieve a regular income. But I agree there is a huge amount of rubbish on the site.

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1 hour ago, Firn said:

So my suggestion would be that Shutterstock indeed deactivates/ removes from the search old photos that never sold, but gives active contributors an easy one-click option to enable the image again if that is what they want. Inactive users who have not logged in in years would not do this and this alone would probably reduce the database by some million images.

Smart.

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1 hour ago, oleskalashnik said:
3 hours ago, Firn said:

So my suggestion would be that Shutterstock indeed deactivates/ removes from the search old photos that never sold, but gives active contributors an easy one-click option to enable the image again if that is what they want. Inactive users who have not logged in in years would not do this and this alone would probably reduce the database by some million images.

Smart.

+10000

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5 hours ago, Ricoh Mirai User Club said:

A better idea would be to limit the number of photos new contributors can submit to an initial 50 a month with increases based on the amount of sales people get. ( New contributors with excellent large portfolios on other sites should be able to get permission to upload more than others.) Similar restrictions should immediately be placed on existing users.

As a newbie like Philip, I don't think it's such a good idea.

3 hours ago, Firn said:

It is true that an image that has not sold ever might suddenly sell. But I also think that the database is full of photos from people who thought Shutterstock would mean huge easy and fast money, submitted 100+ snapshots that never sold, or even if one or two sold at some point, they never even made enough to reach minimum payout and they gave up again and do not even log in anymore.
So my suggestion would be that Shutterstock indeed deactivates/ removes from the search old photos that never sold, but gives active contributors an easy one-click option to enable the image again if that is what they want. Inactive users who have not logged in in years would not do this and this alone would probably reduce the database by some million images.

I think this is the best idea and the easiest to implement. Many of the lower quality photos will disappear. For buyers, that might be a reason to choose Shutterstock when they read this. You could also choose that as a photographer you can only restore a certain percentage of the photos if there are more than 500 photos, for example.
I understood that some stock sites paid extra for the photos to people who supplied photos to only one stock site. I can't find that anywhere anymore. Will it be too difficult to control?
Sites like Stocksubmitter make it very easy to distribute the photos to the various stock sites and the numbers of photos increase enormously.

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2 hours ago, Alexandre Rotenberg said:

Why would they want to show their shareholders they have less pics? It’s just about KPIs and metrics. 

If I am a shareholder let's say in a gold producing mining company and management keeps buying additional reserves (on my money as a shareholder) which resulting reserves won't be put in production for another 5 to 10 years (and even then at enormous cost), further more they process ore body that is very poor, has little gold content and produces very little gold and income to run the mine, I will try to get rid of my shares as fast as possible. I care little how much reserves they may have if I don't get a penny of dividend! I much prefer if they produce gold and pay dividend and drive up the stock price by being profitable! similarly, if there is demand only for a 100,000 image per month (just thru in some number), I could not care less as a shareholder if the company has 300 million (85% of it useless, that never sold and never will) images! show me the money!! that's it is all about. and as for me as a contributor, I would happily give up half of my photos if that would result my downloads improving by 50%! pretty simple really. massive oversupply doesn't help anybody. and the reduction/ cleaning/ fine-tuning could be spinned in some advertising (?) explaining that at the end the result will leave buyers with a much more pleasant and productive search experience.      

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1 hour ago, Istvan Balogh said:

If I am a shareholder let's say in a gold producing mining company and management keeps buying additional reserves (on my money as a shareholder) which resulting reserves won't be put in production for another 5 to 10 years (and even then at enormous cost), further more they process ore body that is very poor, has little gold content and produces very little gold and income to run the mine, I will try to get rid of my shares as fast as possible. I care little how much reserves they may have if I don't get a penny of dividend! I much prefer if they produce gold and pay dividend and drive up the stock price by being profitable! similarly, if there is demand only for a 100,000 image per month (just thru in some number), I could not care less as a shareholder if the company has 300 million (85% of it useless, that never sold and never will) images! show me the money!! that's it is all about. and as for me as a contributor, I would happily give up half of my photos if that would result my downloads improving by 50%! pretty simple really. massive oversupply doesn't help anybody. and the reduction/ cleaning/ fine-tuning could be spinned in some advertising (?) explaining that at the end the result will leave buyers with a much more pleasant and productive search experience.      

The problem being that "never will" is impossible to say and giving up half your photos would not result in your downloads increasing by 50%

People have photos in the ports that are unsold for years - then do sell.  Even when said images do not fill the contributor with confidence in the first place.  If half of your port does not sell (general figures suggest it is more than this for the average contributor) removing them does not result in the others selling more - in fact it makes no difference whatsover.

Your comparison misses one very very big thing - it is not costing SS management or shareholders to "keep adding more reserves".  Sure if SS paid say 5c for every image it accepted then taking on and keeping the ones that dont sell would be a problem.  But they do not pay.  If a shop keeper could fill his shop with stock without paying for it before he sells it he would keep a much wider range of items.  As long as stock companies can continue to gather images without paying the producers anything unless and until an image sells there is little financial motivation to stop doing so.

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Sorry Starsphinx,  I disagree with you assumptions on several fronts. Without going into every single one (and I honestly don't wish to argue here) here are a few: your assumed shopkeeper would pay dearly for doubling, trippleing...etc his stocks in his store!! by having to provide extra storage space, shelves, security, insurance, workers to load those shelves, lighting, cooling (heating), strategy to find the extra stock, should some buyer walk in and ask for odd things...). Most people assume that digital storage space, downloading, uploading, costs nothing! Not so! Reviewers cost nothing! Not so! Shall I go on? And I didn't say that if I deleted half of my photos, logically my downloads would double! I fully realize that it doesn't work that way!! It was just a wild supposition or more of an "example" for arguments' sake.

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7 hours ago, Firn said:

I would welcome an inbetween solution to this.

It is true that an image that has not sold ever might suddenly sell. But I also think that the database is full of photos from people who thought Shutterstock would mean huge easy and fast money, submitted 100+ snapshots that never sold, or even if one or two sold at some point, they never even made enough to reach minimum payout and they gave up again and do not even log in anymore.
So my suggestion would be that Shutterstock indeed deactivates/ removes from the search old photos that never sold, but gives active contributors an easy one-click option to enable the image again if that is what they want. Inactive users who have not logged in in years would not do this and this alone would probably reduce the database by some million images.

Other sites, as mentioned, give the submitters the option of putting photos out there for free. I'm not sure I'd want photos deleted or offered for free automatically if they haven't sold in _x_ amount of time. I've had photos that went a year or more before being sold (or between sales). On the other hand, if someone hasn't logged in for a some length of time (probably a better indication of someone is still active than time since last upload as some might go months without uploading due to illness/other work/taking time to improve their skill set/etc), deactivating them with a way of turning them back on, as you suggest, might be a way of cleaning up clutter.

I've also seen sites that give a limit to the number of photos one can upload in a week, depending on the % approved (the higher the % images/videos approved, the more you can upload in a week. I think the max is 7,000.... I think you'd have to be doing it full time or a company with several photographers to get that high in a week).

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I think there are certain broad subjects that are oversupplied and the reason that happens is because shutterstock tells people that's what they need to be shooting in order to sell. So you have a million similars of millenials hanging out in a cafe with their laptops, another 10 million Christmas/Diwali pictures, "candid" lifestyle portraits etc. One of the subjects on the shot list this month is, I kid you not, "flowers in bloom". As if, the 28 million images on the database weren't enough. And I fully expect another 10 million random flower shots to be added by the end of February.

As for the restrictions on new contributors, I don't think they are the problem. Many would be discouraged with SS's eccentric review system anyway and take it slow for the first few months. It's some of the old contributors/image factories (Africa Studio anybody?) who clog the database with tens of thousands of images every week that SS needs to take care of. But they won't. Because when these people supply 1 million images and 20,000 of them sell, SS probably believes oversupply is a good thing too.

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The worst thing because of this overproduction problem is that too many good images doesn't get noticed by customers. The whole photo pool could be divided in several more categories depending upon the photo popularity, for example:

1) Bestsellers (photos with 10+ downloads)

2) Runner-ups (photos with 1-10 downloads)

3) Unsold (photos with 0 downloads)

It could be useful for the client as well - I bet many would like to buy a fresh, previously unused image for greater originality, and there would be many customers who would search through this "Unsold" category thus more good photos would have a chance to get discovered...

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Here is an answer! Go out and start photo shooting stuff or create something new! Stop sitting around on this forum and complaining about sales or not gaining enough, instead of wasting time at that create something new, learn something new, or capture something better and/or new. If you believe the lent in your pocket will make your dollars then you are surely mistaking. Create whatever, photo shoot whatever or create a footage of whatever. Stop thinking what you have is not going anywhere. Perhaps it is you that is not going anywhere. If you stay with the same ideals and mindset you will be left in the dirt by others who are moving on to something better and will topple your work in the end. So be the bigger dog and do something instead of wasting time. Even though my sales of this month are not at where I would like them to be but at least I made 60 sales so far this month. Time to start pulling out the drawing board and turn ideas in profit! 

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9 minutes ago, Aaron of L.A. Photography said:

Here is an answer! Go out and start photo shooting stuff or create something new! Stop sitting around on this forum and complaining about sales or not gaining enough, instead of wasting time at that create something new, learn something new, or capture something better and/or new. If you believe the lent in your pocket will make your dollars then you are surely mistaking. Create whatever, photo shoot whatever or create a footage of whatever. Stop thinking what you have is not going anywhere. Perhaps it is you that is not going anywhere. If you stay with the same ideals and mindset you will be left in the dirt by others who are moving on to something better and will topple your work in the end. So be the bigger dog and do something instead of wasting time. Even though my sales of this month are not at where I would like them to be but at least I made 60 sales so far this month. Time to start pulling out the drawing board and turn ideas in profit! 

With 10 000 photos in your portfolio you made only 60 sales this month?? OMG, then the things are even worse than I thought  

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3 minutes ago, Ikars said:

With 10 000 photos in your portfolio you made only 60 sales this month?? OMG, then the things are even worse than I thought  

He uploaded those 10k images in four month, so I don't think it is bad, at all. Time is an important factor too.

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2 minutes ago, Ikars said:

With 10 000 photos in your portfolio you made only 60 sales this month?? OMG, then the things are even worse than I thought  

200 last month, and 300 the month before. The month started at out slow. I made a $80.00 sale this month, mostly subs but a few SOD. Last month was way better and the month before. I have not hit tier 2 yet but I am nearly there. 

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2 minutes ago, Aaron of L.A. Photography said:

200 last month, and 300 the month before. The month started at out slow. I made a $80.00 sale this month, mostly subs but a few SOD. Last month was way better and the month before. I have not hit tier 2 yet but I am nearly there. 

OK, that sounds better

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