Jump to content

Recommended Posts

15 minutes ago, Brian Yarvin said:

 

Ian, I'll take a stab at your questions. They are important and almost never discussed.

 

What stops many of the production groups from contributing to old-school agencies are language and exclusivity. Shutterstock doesn't require you to keyword or even read a contract in English. Getty requires a heavily enforced exclusivity. A photographer in the Ukraine or Vietnam can join, upload, and keyword in their own language, and then upload to as many agencies as they can find. If one fails, they can just move to another. 

 

Your next point addresses a different question - where the majority of contributors live vs where the majority of payouts go. Photographers in certainly low-cost countries dominate earnings because they're shooting images that are used in much higher volumes. It's very true that holiday snapshots make up the majority of stock submissions, but they don't account for the majority of sales - lifestyle does that. And lifestyle shooting has moved from major markets like New York and London to low-cost centers like the Ukraine and Vietnam.

 

If I'm understanding the new Shutterstock rates correctly, these big producers will get an increase, not a cut. It's holiday snapshots crowd that takes the hit. 

 

 

 

I have images on Getty which are also on Alamy but admittedly they in Getty Editorial - the standard Getty Editorial contract is non exclusive. 

 

If what you say is true - and I expect that it is - then I completely understand why any contributor not living in a very low income country would decide not to contribute to Shutterstock given the way that they are being treated. Who needs to be treated like that? 

 

Actually, I have never understood why anybody in a country with a relatively high cost of living would have any economic incentive to do so. But I think it comes down to more than just money - though having said that nobody minds a few hundred bucks of spending money for a hobby - people like the gratification, the sense of purpose, the ego boost. So they get non-financial but meaningful rewards through participation. But because these people do not actually rely on the money there is a limit to how much self-humiliation they will take when pushed and pushed by a company that they start to regard as exploitative and greedy. The crowd can only be pushed so far. That is what appears to be happening.  Many have had enough.

 

Edited by geogphotos
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

I have images on Getty which are also on Alamy but admittedly in Editorial.

 

If what you say is true - and I expect that it is - then I completely understand why any contributor not living in a very low income country would decide not to contribute to Shutterstock given the way that they are being treated. Who needs to be treated like that? 

 

Actually, I have never understood why anybody in a country with a relatively high cost of living would have any economic incentive to do so. But I think it comes down to more than just money - though having said that nobody minds a fee hundred bucks of spending money for a hobby - people like the gratification, the sense of purpose, the ego boost. So they get non-financial but meaningful rewards through participation. But because these people do not actually rely on the money there is a ,init to how much self-humiliation they will take when pushed and pushed by a company that they start to regard as exploitative and greedy. The crowd can only be pushed so far. That is what appears to be happening.    

 

 

I think this is exactly what Shutterstock is thinking. They can get rid of the hobbyists and concentrate on their strongest contributors.

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Brian Yarvin said:

 

I think this is exactly what Shutterstock is thinking. They can get rid of the hobbyists and concentrate on their strongest contributors.

 

 

Who is going to be providing content other than Lifestyle? And won't this make subscriptions less appealing because there will not be the choice and variety?

 

I see Shutterstock images all over the internet being used for travel and illustrative articles. Losing content from the areas where the market is located seems a crazy thing to do. Surely you would want to keep these low earners in rich countries happy to carry on contributing because they provide content coverage that the person in Ukraine and Vietnam can't. And it will be the better contributors with other options who bale out, and those doing less well previously who now sniff an opportunity.

 

On one hand this seems like great news for Alamy even if very bad news for Alamy contributors.

 

Getty must be delighted.

Edited by geogphotos
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Who is going to provide non-lifestyle content? Why the top tier of whomever is already doing it. Non lifestyle subjects are so absurdly oversupplied that slashing the number of contributors will cut costs in a big way. It's really unlikely that many people would give up their subscriptions to Shutterstock because they can't get an exact match to their travel photo searches. I don't think there are any real non-photographer losers here. 

 

Of course, we really don't know. To a certain extent, we're all guessing. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Brian Yarvin said:

Who is going to provide non-lifestyle content? Why the top tier of whomever is already doing it. Non lifestyle subjects are so absurdly oversupplied that slashing the number of contributors will cut costs in a big way. It's really unlikely that many people would give up their subscriptions to Shutterstock because they can't get an exact match to their travel photo searches. I don't think there are any real non-photographer losers here. 

 

Of course, we really don't know. To a certain extent, we're all guessing. 

 

 

I misunderstood you.

 

I took it that you were saying that it was these people that SS wanted to rid themselves of when you said :

 

"They can get rid of the hobbyists and concentrate on their strongest contributors".

 

I understood that you were saying that the 'strongest contributors' are these Lifestyle people in Ukraine and Vietnam.  

 

I had thought that it was the top-tier contributors, the most successful ones on the higher percentages who are the very ones losing out on this change because they are re-set to zero each year. 

 

Anyway, thanks for the discussion I am going to drop out of it now.

Edited by geogphotos
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Brian Yarvin said:

 

Oh well ... I'll make Chuck laugh someday.

Brian,

 

Thanks and yes you did make me laugh.

R.E. my sense of humor:  My favorite movie

is 'Ruben, Ruben.'

 

Great  and darkly funny film.

 

Chuck

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

On one hand this seems like great news for Alamy even if very bad news for Alamy contributors.

 

Getty must be delighted.

 

I can't help but see the changes at SS as bad news for both us and Alamy as refugees will be arriving here in droves bringing with them countless redundant images that will further overwhelm the system (not to mention lowering prices).

 

 

Edited by John Mitchell
  • Upvote 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

I can't help but see the changes at SS as bad news for both us and Alamy as refugees will be arriving here in droves bringing with them countless redundant images that will further overwhelm the system.

 

 

 

 

If Alamy cared about redundant images they would have done something long ago about the millions and millions of low quality public domain pics it has in the collection.

 

All Alamy does is offer a huge, huge pile of images of pictures with some software 'fixes'. They will welcome millions more images with open arms.

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, BobD said:

 

This is true they will climb very quickly to the top level, however the vast majority of their sales will drop from 38c to 10c, so unless they have a separate deal with higher commission you have to wonder if paying models and travel to those good locations will be a viable proposition. 

 

Sorry but for the major contribs it will be a very short term dip. Those with 500 dls a day will double their percentage in one day - a week will add another level. True these are the minority but frankly they are the minority that most agencies are interested in.

 

MSG has some feedback from a few where they are already some way up the new greasy pole - I don't know how the top percentage compares to previous top sub royalty but I suspect the commission grab is aimed at the lower end of the payout scale - people like me who dipped a toe and came late to the party. 

 

When I mentioned locations, I meant offices/business premises. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

If Alamy cared about redundant images they would have done something long ago about the millions and millions of low quality public domain pics it has in the collection.

 

All Alamy does is offer a huge, huge pile of images of pictures with some software 'fixes'. They will welcome millions more images with open arms.

 

You're probably correct. However, I'd say it's more like a bottomless pit than a humongous pile at this point. Have to say that Alamy has done a very good job with it's technological "fixes" so far. I wonder, though, how long they will be able to deal adequately the deluge of new content. I wish them luck of course.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 04/06/2020 at 17:07, geogphotos said:

 

 

This is a laughable argument. 

 

I think the cost of living in Nicaragua is 1/3rd of what it would be in the US, and things like cameras outside perhaps SE Asia, are more expensive.  Ten cents doesn't spend like $10 even remotely in Nicaragua.  And a photographer has to have a way to upload images.  Absent a cooperative store or a reliable free town wifi in the park, that's problematic.   People who are farming in the countryside can live very cheaply, but they're not going to have internet.

 

I suspect most of the problem is people who like seeing their photos used, more than wanting to make a living from it.  People used to troll Flickr (and perhaps still do) looking for free photos that would pay in egoboo and "exposure." 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, MizBrown said:

 

I think the cost of living in Nicaragua is 1/3rd of what it would be in the US, and things like cameras outside perhaps SE Asia, are more expensive.  Ten cents doesn't spend like $10 even remotely in Nicaragua.  And a photographer has to have a way to upload images.  Absent a cooperative store or a reliable free town wifi in the park, that's problematic.   People who are farming in the countryside can live very cheaply, but they're not going to have internet.

 

I suspect most of the problem is people who like seeing their photos used, more than wanting to make a living from it.  People used to troll Flickr (and perhaps still do) looking for free photos that would pay in egoboo and "exposure." 

 

You are right. When I decided to get into stock, I researched as much as I could, but for everything I read, 10 times as much was left out. My first foray into it was iStock. Big mistake. I was there very little time because I kept researching, and discovered what MS was doing to long-time stock photographers. It didn’t set right with me so I closed my account and came to Alamy. Also a failed startup and the Photoshelter fiasco. 
But before I wised up I do remember the thrill I got when I had my first MS download. I thought it legitimized my work. I felt like running down my street and broadcasting it to my neighbors.

Little did I know. A lot of people went there and stuck. Never really thought about it other than they could brag to friends and neighbors about how many sales they were making. I realize that's not the motivation for everyone, but quite a few.

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Olivier Parent said:

 

First of all, I have to say that i have made about forty trips to something like twenty countries around the globe so I do not think I live in a bubble having absolutely no understanding of what is the reality of life on this planet…

Secondly, what you are talking about seems totally anecdotal to me and probably does not reflect the vast majority of SS contributors. Again, only my opinion, you obviously know a lot more than I do on the microstock subject.

No, I didn't mean you specifically re bubble. More as general comment. Even people that travel. Most buy commercial packages, get picked up on airport and get dropped of in tourist parts of town to their 4 or 5 stars hotels, eat in western oriented restaurants that exist everywhere, etc.  That's how Canadians travel to Cuba every spring for instance.  This is the bubble

 

You need to walk in slums, eat where they eat, talk to common everyday people & see how they live, not minority working in tourist establishments for tips. I have done that & please trust me I have broader picture than many. These are in most cases good people, just trying to make ends meet. So if they can help feeding their child with 10 cent stock sale, how can anyone blame them or say it is matter of choice.

 

When I go abroad I put various stuff I don't need in my huge backpack, things I'd throw away here or give to Salvation Army. Because if I gave that sweater or pair of pants to my Nepal guide, he'd not have to buy one & have more money to feed his family.  This is the reality of life in vast parts of this planet sadly.

 

 

 

Edited by Autumn Sky
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

 My first foray into it was iStock. Big mistake. I was there very little time because I kept researching, and discovered what MS was doing to long-time stock photographers. It didn’t set right with me so I closed my account and came to Alamy.

 

Betty, this is interesting, as I also started with IS.   While I totally share your perception, ironically IS  will now become 2nd best earning micro after Adobe.  Even with 15% compensation.  That is great picture of state of micro stock industry and overall downward spiral.

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Autumn Sky said:

 

You need to walk in slums, eat where they eat, talk to common everyday people & see how they live, not minority working in tourist establishments for tips. I have done that & please trust me I have broader picture than many. These are in most cases good people, just trying to make ends meet. So if they can help feeding their child with 10 cent stock sale, how can anyone blame them or say it is matter of choice.

 

 

How can anyone blame someone from getting off their a**e to make a few extra dollars to support their family.

It's the exploitation of them by the likes of shutterstock that I, and I'm sure others find objectionable.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, GeoffK said:

 

Sorry but for the major contribs it will be a very short term dip. Those with 500 dls a day will double their percentage in one day - a week will add another level. True these are the minority but frankly they are the minority that most agencies are interested in.

 

MSG has some feedback from a few where they are already some way up the new greasy pole - I don't know how the top percentage compares to previous top sub royalty but I suspect the commission grab is aimed at the lower end of the payout scale - people like me who dipped a toe and came late to the party. 

 

When I mentioned locations, I meant offices/business premises. 

 

What you say is true, the high performers will double their percentage in short order but that still doesn't change the fact that most package sales are producing 10c sales with a few reaching the giddy heights of 17c. These are far and away the majority of sales. Even the level 5 contributors are reporting these earnings. They may well increase their earnings with on demand, but these are a minority of sales.

I still maintain that unless they are making individual deals with the high earners (also very likely), these producers will take a hit along with everyone else on the majority of their sales throughout the year, the January reset makes no real difference to these people.

A lot of others will take months, if at all to reach the higher levels.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 31/05/2020 at 21:29, John Mitchell said:

 

This has become my approach, spend as little as possible. For instance, I only buy used lenses and do very little travelling. I'm also using free RAW processing software and an ancient version of PS Elements. I recently bought a refurbished DELL tower to replace my Windows 7 machine. It cost so little that I'm embarrassed to say the amount. Of course being cheap by nature helps a lot...

 

 

 

As we complain of those willing to take little or no money for their images being a big part of the downturn in stock, are we too not just as guilty when we use free software instead of paying for it?  There are people willing to give away their expertise and offer GNU software for anyone to use.

 

I am just as guilty.  I use free software to edit my videos.  Before I increased my OneDrive cloud and got Office 365  with it,  I used Open Office for all my spreadsheets and documents.  I use Wiztree to check on drive space and file hogs.  7zip instead of Winzip.  I use Opencart for the ecommerce platform for my website.  The list goes on.

 

If these companies or individuals did not offer these products for free, I would have to buy them.

 

Jill

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Jill Morgan said:

 

As we complain of those willing to take little or no money for their images being a big part of the downturn in stock, are we too not just as guilty when we use free software instead of paying for it?  There are people willing to give away their expertise and offer GNU software for anyone to use.

 

I am just as guilty.  I use free software to edit my videos.  Before I increased my OneDrive cloud and got Office 365  with it,  I used Open Office for all my spreadsheets and documents.  I use Wiztree to check on drive space and file hogs.  7zip instead of Winzip.  I use Opencart for the ecommerce platform for my website.  The list goes on.

 

If these companies or individuals did not offer these products for free, I would have to buy them.

 

Jill

 

I get your point, but I don't usually have a lot of guilt about using "free" software. For instance, the free software Capture One Express for Sony that I've been using recently for RAW processing resulted from a partnership between Sony and Phase One. The former is a very rich company, so I don't really feel too bad about taking advantage of the offer, especially since I've invested quite a bit in Sony equipment (there is no free lunch). Also, the processing software is actually a form of advertising for the two companies. In fact, I'm giving them free advertising right now. 😀

 

P.S.  Can you not contribute money to the developers of some of the software that you like? I believe that you can contribute to the Open Office project. BTW, what does "GNU" stand for? UPDATE: Just found it.

Edited by John Mitchell
Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, BobD said:

 

How can anyone blame someone from getting off their a**e to make a few extra dollars to support their family.

It's the exploitation of them by the likes of shutterstock that I, and I'm sure others find objectionable.

Yes.  I won't disagree with this.   But it is 'business' & practices that have been present in one form or the other since dawn of humanity

You could also then start blasting Apple for making iPhones in China. Or .... list goes on.  That's just how it is in this world.  SS analyzed micro market and figured they can get away with it without hurting the business.   End of story   

 

(I still think they slashed it too much not to feel any pain, but I might be wrong. We'll see)

Edited by Autumn Sky
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

 

 

P.S.  Can you not contribute money to the developers of some of the software that you like? I believe that you can to the Open Office project. BTW, what does "GNU" stand for?

 

You can donate, but how many do?  And it is still offered for free, undercutting those trying to make a living at it.  And are the bigger companies undercutting the smaller ones by giving their products for free?  Is Sony harming smaller companies by cutting them out in the price war for image software.  

 

I'm sure most of us have some form of free software on our computers and have thought nothing about using it.  Thankful that someone is doing it for free just because they like to code.  My son is a programmer and resents those that offer up free software, same as we the photographer resent those that don't care if they get paid very little or nothing for their images.

 

It's everywhere.

 

According to Wiki:  GNU is a recursive acronym for "GNU's Not Unix!", chosen because GNU's design is Unix-like, but differs from Unix by being free software and containing no Unix code. The GNU project includes an operating system kernel, GNU Hurd, which was the original focus of the Free Software Foundation (FSF).

 

Jill

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Jill Morgan said:

 

You can donate, but how many do?  And it is still offered for free, undercutting those trying to make a living at it.  And are the bigger companies undercutting the smaller ones by giving their products for free?  Is Sony harming smaller companies by cutting them out in the price war for image software.  

 

I'm sure most of us have some form of free software on our computers and have thought nothing about using it.  Thankful that someone is doing it for free just because they like to code.  My son is a programmer and resents those that offer up free software, same as we the photographer resent those that don't care if they get paid very little or nothing for their images.

 

It's everywhere.

 

According to Wiki:  GNU is a recursive acronym for "GNU's Not Unix!", chosen because GNU's design is Unix-like, but differs from Unix by being free software and containing no Unix code. The GNU project includes an operating system kernel, GNU Hurd, which was the original focus of the Free Software Foundation (FSF).

 

Jill

 

Have to admit that I haven't been a big donator. You raise some interesting points, especially about undercutting. There are definitely parallels with stock photography. The MS agency being discussed in this thread comes to mind. They are undercutting when there really isn't anything left to cut.

 

That said, undercutting and thereby putting others in financial jeopardy is built into our economic system. Even the "sharing economy" practices it --  Uber puts taxi drivers out of work,  Airbnb undercuts hotels, etc.

Edited by John Mitchell
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that the business plan of some of these free software outfits is to build up a large user base, establish themselves as a 'must have' technology and then get bought by one of the big players. 

 

I can't remember the name of the company ( might have been Dutch?)  that created the RAW processor system that Adobe bought to build Lightroom. They promised to always be free to the user and that was how they built their name from start-up to Adobe buy-out. There is nothing like free to build up users. Now how do we make use of that idea??

Edited by geogphotos
Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

I think that the business plan of some of these free software outfits is to build up a large user base, establish themselves as a 'must have' technology and then get bought by one of the big players.

 

With much "free" software It's pretty widely understood that - "when you don't pay for a product - you are the product".   

 

Under the covers data mining and selling is rampant.   Our personal and internet data is a gold mine that's worth a lot of $$ in aggregate.   Recently exposed example was Avast's free antivirus s/w:

https://www.techworm.net/2020/01/avast-free-antivirus-track-sold-user-data.html

 

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.