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If you haven't heard, it's all kicked off over at Shutterstock.

 

They've announced a new earnings structure, which can be seen here: https://www.shutterstock.com/blog/contributor-earnings-update

To say it has gone down badly is the understatement of the century. Your percentage of earnings is now calculated on the number of downloads you have in a calendar year. It then gets worse. At the beginning of each and every year thereafter, ALL contributors are 'reset' to the lowest level of earnings, which is 15%. It's believed that your images will now sell for as little as 10 cents.

 

After Alamy got acquired by the PA Media Group recently, let's just hope something similar doesn't happen here. But alas, I think it will only be a matter of time when changes will be made here.

 

 

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What is the current commission?

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, Contemporary Dave said:

. It then gets worse. At the beginning of each and every year thereafter, ALL contributors are 'reset' to the lowest level of earnings, which is 15%. It's believed that your images will now sell for as little as 10 cents.

 

 

What do they sell for now - 12 cents?

Edited by geogphotos
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My experiment over there is about to come to an end.

Actually my commission on sales this month has ranged from 25c to $60 and I will get a payout of $140 this month with just over a 1000 images which is more than I have received from Alamy for well over a year.

My 3 sales on Alamy so far this month have earned me $13.53 nett and I have not had a sale cleared for 3 months. When I did have a sale to take me over the $50 it was refunded a couple of days later.

This whole business has become the modern equivalent of a Victorian sweat shop. 

However I will not be exploited by anyone.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, BobD said:

My experiment over there is about to come to an end.

Actually my commission on sales this month has ranged from 25c to $60 and I will get a payout of $140 this month with just over a 1000 images which is more than I have received from Alamy for well over a year.

My 3 sales on Alamy so far this month have earned me $13.53 nett and I have not had a sale cleared for 3 months. When I did have a sale to take me over the $50 it was refunded a couple of days later.

This whole business has become the modern equivalent of a Victorian sweat shop. 

However I will not be exploited by anyone.

 

I need clearing of another $14 to get paid this month. Clearing is so slow. What is the idea of uploading if sales don't clear.

Edited by Niels Quist
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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Niels Quist said:

 

I need clearing of another $14 to get paid this month. Clearing is so slow. What is the idea of uploading if sales don't clear.

 

Indeed. How many sales will never clear because companies going out of business in the current situation and Alamy's lax attitude to collection.

Alamy seriously need to look at pay to download, the same as any digital asset sales.

 

Edited by BobD
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2 minutes ago, BobD said:

 

Indeed. How many sales will never clear because companies going out of business in the current situation and Alamy's lax attitude to collection.

Alamy seriously need to look at pay to download, the same as any digital asset sales.

 

It's annoying to an extent. Depends how much you rely on the income. I think I seem to remember someone mentioning before that the generous time to pay terms might enable Alamy to charge higher fees. Just a thought.

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Posted (edited)

I've always thought it as rather illogical  to sign up for and accept micro fees, then to complain about what the industry is coming to, and how Alamy's fees are also terrible etc.

 

Or do you think it is all down to supernatural forces?

 

What did Shutterstock contributors think that the company is like?

Edited by geogphotos
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2 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

I've always thought it as rather illogical  to sign up for and accept micro fees, then to complain about what the industry is coming to, and how Alamy's fees are also terrible etc.

 

Supporting a business model which helps destroy stock photography pricing? Then it can hardly come as a shock that stock photography pricing gets destroyed? Isn't that exactly what you have signed up for?

 

Or do you think it is down to supernatural forces?

 

With no criticism intended or implied; I thought that you had changed your mind a while back and now submit to (at least one) MS?

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1 minute ago, geogphotos said:

I've always thought it as rather illogical  to sign up for and accept micro fees, then to complain about what the industry is coming to, and how Alamy's fees are also terrible etc.

 

Supporting a business model which helps destroy stock photography pricing? Then it can hardly come as a shock that stock photography pricing gets destroyed? Isn't that exactly what you have signed up for?

 

Or do you think it is down to supernatural forces?

 

 

Ian, up to last year I completely agreed with you and refused to sell on MS. It was Alamy's last commission cut and drastically falling prices that conversely convinced me to give it a try.

Once I had a few hundred images up my income per image was consistently higher there than here. I produce very few images nowadays and just exploiting what I have to the greatest extent. 

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I thought we were not allowed to discuss other agencies on here!

 

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12 minutes ago, Steve F said:

It's annoying to an extent. Depends how much you rely on the income. I think I seem to remember someone mentioning before that the generous time to pay terms might enable Alamy to charge higher fees. Just a thought.

 

 

Steve, I do not rely on the income at all but did run my own business for over 40 years until retirement. If I had run it the way Alamy runs theirs, I would have gone skint in very short order.

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4 minutes ago, vpics said:

I thought we were not allowed to discuss other agencies on here!

 

We're not, but rules seem to have pretty much gone by the board since UK lockdown. Other agencies (+ st****mo) have been mentioned many times here without redress.

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1 hour ago, spacecadet said:

What is the current commission?

 It varies, but it ranges from 25 cents to $1.80 for me.

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As far as I'm concerned the emergence of Unsplash, Pixabay etc has further added to the pressure on Microstock. The billions of views and free downloads there show the extent to which some outlets couldn't care less what photo they use as long as its free. To be fair some of the material on Unsplash is good so God knows why photographers put it up there. I believe some use it as a showcase. SS are making a mistake though, we are now so swamped with photos that only top quality or rare material has a real future. What's going on over at SS and on Twitter today is unreal.I can understand that many photographers see these new rates as a step too far, 10 cents for a photo that took hours to get to the website? Hopefully enough contributors will delete their collections and teach them a lesson.

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9 minutes ago, griangraf said:

As far as I'm concerned the emergence of Unsplash, Pixabay etc has further added to the pressure on Microstock. The billions of views and free downloads there show the extent to which some outlets couldn't care less what photo they use as long as its free. To be fair some of the material on Unsplash is good so God knows why photographers put it up there. I believe some use it as a showcase. SS are making a mistake though, we are now so swamped with photos that only top quality or rare material has a real future. What's going on over at SS and on Twitter today is unreal.I can understand that many photographers see these new rates as a step too far, 10 cents for a photo that took hours to get to the website? Hopefully enough contributors will delete their collections and teach them a lesson.

 

 

It's funny, I was reading someones blog the other day and he said his top earning site last month was a free website.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, losdemas said:

 

With no criticism intended or implied; I thought that you had changed your mind a while back and now submit to (at least one) MS?

 

 

No but I can understand why people do - out of frustration - but I do not submit to any micros myself.

 

However, when I look at my statement from XXXXX Images, which is supposed to sell images for $$$, I see row upon row of sales for cents not dollars. 

 

Some of my 'sales' there for £00.01  

 

That is what we have come to.

 

Shutterstock say that they have to because XXXXX Images is doing so, and XXXX Images say that the market forces them to do the same. Which is why I see Alamy as stuck in the middle of a price war. 

 

All I am saying is that anybody who 'willing' accepts low fees - and I include myself now because of XXXX Images - really should complain about what Alamy gets for us. I genuinely think that Alamy is trying its best. 

 

And nobody should be surprised at Shutterstock - the only way for them to increase profits is to squeeze the contributor - just as Alamy has done.

 

 

Edited by geogphotos
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, BobD said:

My experiment over there is about to come to an end.

Actually my commission on sales this month has ranged from 25c to $60 and I will get a payout of $140 this month with just over a 1000 images which is more than I have received from Alamy for well over a year.

My 3 sales on Alamy so far this month have earned me $13.53 nett and I have not had a sale cleared for 3 months. When I did have a sale to take me over the $50 it was refunded a couple of days later.

This whole business has become the modern equivalent of a Victorian sweat shop. 

However I will not be exploited by anyone.

 

I too have a very small --  video clips and about 100 images---- experiment "over there" as well. With this new announcement, I want out ASAP. Problem is that I'm a few bucks short of the minimum payout threshold, which at few cents a sale could now take a long time to reach. Do you know if they keep your earnings if you close your account?

Edited by John Mitchell

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John.

I think I read somewhere that they payout if you close your account but you had better verify this before doing so.

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6 minutes ago, BobD said:

John.

I think I read somewhere that they payout if you close your account but you had better verify this before doing so.

 

Thanks. I just had a peek at their forum, and this topic is being discussed. 

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The reset at the start of each year is a real kicker. But the end result may not be as bad as one might think from the anguish on their forum. Contributors don't actually know what the average licence fee at SS is (SS don't disclose this), hence they don't yet know what X% of this unknown value is. It's a case of wait and see methinks. I think I might end up better off.

 

Mark

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

The reset at the start of each year is a real kicker. But the end result may not be as bad as one might think from the anguish on their forum. Contributors don't actually know what the average licence fee at SS is (SS don't disclose this), hence they don't yet know what X% of this unknown value is. It's a case of wait and see methinks. I think I might end up better off.

 

Mark

 

 

I suspect that will be the purpose. When the micros started they celebrated 'heroes' - individuals who were huge success stories and could be used to draw in tens of thousands of others.

 

Now it makes more sense to be 'fair'. And as your comment hints rewarding newbies and the less successful always wins support. We see it every time Alamy changes the system and anybody who comments that it harms longer standing contributors is accused of being arrogant and elitist. Its just the pattern of these things. 

 

No more heroes any more. Just the crowd now.

Edited by geogphotos

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17 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

The reset at the start of each year is a real kicker. But the end result may not be as bad as one might think from the anguish on their forum. Contributors don't actually know what the average licence fee at SS is (SS don't disclose this), hence they don't yet know what X% of this unknown value is. It's a case of wait and see methinks. I think I might end up better off.

 

Mark

 

The reset at the beginning of each year has to be the most exploitative (and disrespectful) policy that I've ever heard of.

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Posted (edited)

Just to say that when there is a micro-stock thread I am always delighted to get red arrows. It means that I have said something that has made an impact. 

 

Do keep them coming. I know how you like to defend your lovely, loyal micro-stock companies from any critical discussion.

Edited by geogphotos
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I don't make a living at photography, so prices don't affect me as much as those that count on it to pay the mortgage.

 

I haven't really submitted a lot in the last couple of years. I still make sales, the odd one for a decent sum (decent for now anyway), but there is a lot of work in getting the images right.  I added Affinity Photo to my set of Affinity software so now have it all.  With the 50% discount I figured the time may have come to stop renting Photoshop.  As much as I love PS and have become very proficient at it, coughing up $120US every year isn't making much sense anymore.  I don't want to rent my software, I want to own it.  Using this down time to get myself proficient in the Affinity catalogue of software.  It's tough to give up something you can work with instinctively, but economically, it isn't making sense for me.  And this is regarding my regular business, not the photo sideline.

 

I have about 50 images on micro and over 5 years have amassed the princely sum of $34.  God knows when I will make enough to get a payout.  But don't want to add more, so will just leave those to chug along.

 

As an image buyer, I usually pay more as I buy commercial licenses so don't get the .15 cent images.  But I do shop around.  Commercial fees can vary greatly for the same image from site to site.  And I usually find an image I want on all the micros as most contributors to micros seem to contribute to them all.  There are images I would have paid more for simply because the image was so good and I knew I could make more money from it than others.  Photographers have to start valuing their work.

 

The simply flood of images has made supply way much higher than demand.

 

Jill

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