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8 hours ago, Brian Yarvin said:

 

Chuck, it's the best I can do given the circumstances.

It was VERY funny... Chuck has poor sense of humour :)

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Posted (edited)

In response to the above but one post from Autumn Sky.

 

I think that it would be a great idea to leave microstock contributions to people in poorer countries who need the money - Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, central and South America. Perhaps broaden the campaign to include all low income people everywhere in the world and provide them with cell phones and cameras to help improve their incomes?

 

Of course, part of this campaign would involve putting pressure on those who don't need the money to give way for others more in need. 

 

If I'm following the argument correctly not only is microstock destroying the stock photography industry it is not doing enough to focus on economic development of the needy.

 

Shame.

Edited by geogphotos

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Autumn Sky said:

Not necessarily true. Cell phones with cameras are everywhere, and today everyone has one.  I've seen firsthand channels they use to get them into Nepal and what they cost. Ditto for Indonesia, and I won't even start about India etc.

 

Quality is naturally not good for Alamy, but is for micros. Some even have 'upload straight from mobile' and automatic keyword interface. Further Internet is everywhere and widely available.  So your cost is not more than cost of cheap cell phone.  People that live in the West in their bubbles don't generally understand what is the reality of life on this planet.   And this is why 10 cent a pop compensation works.

 

 

 

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.

Edited by Olivier Parent

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, geogphotos said:

<SNIP>

Of course, part of this campaign would involve putting pressure on those who don't need the money to give way for others more in need. 

<SNIP>

 

Well, that's proved a clear winner during the past few hundred thousand years! 😂 ☹️

Edited by losdemas
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42 minutes ago, losdemas said:

 

Well, that's proved a clear winner during the past few hundred thousand years! 😂 ☹️

 

I concede that there may be a few holes in my theory 😊

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I think there are a few completely missing what's been happening in micro by assuming that people with cell phones are snapping images for 10 cents.  There are masses of images being produced very month by stock production concerns that are based in countries where the average income and general costs are a fraction of what we deal with in USA/Western Europe.

 

For example, I've just checked a few Ukraine based producers who are shooting high-end business/lifestyle for micro (ports in the 10s of thousands) with multiple models and good locations. Fifteen or so years ago this would have been stock for Blend/Cultura/Image Source etc but now it's micro fodder (post Yuri).  They are not alone and are the new face of a lot of micro production.  They will suffer to some extent with the new royalty structure but are in a much better position to climb back to higher levels. If their port size can overcome the temporary blips, they will be doing business as usual.

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, GeoffK said:

I think there are a few completely missing what's been happening in micro by assuming that people with cell phones are snapping images for 10 cents.  There are masses of images being produced very month by stock production concerns that are based in countries where the average income and general costs are a fraction of what we deal with in USA/Western Europe.

 

For example, I've just checked a few Ukraine based producers who are shooting high-end business/lifestyle for micro (ports in the 10s of thousands) with multiple models and good locations. Fifteen or so years ago this would have been stock for Blend/Cultura/Image Source etc but now it's micro fodder (post Yuri).  They are not alone and are the new face of a lot of micro production.  They will suffer to some extent with the new royalty structure but are in a much better position to climb back to higher levels. If their port size can overcome the temporary blips, they will be doing business as usual.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can't blame them if the average income in Ukraine is only $1000 or so. Though what stops them contributing to non-micros?

 

And how does this relate to contributors in UK, USA, Canada, European Union etc who do not have low costs of living and low costs of production?

 

I don't see the linkage or why the justification of one relates to the other. Okay a lot of micro contributors live in poor countries and the  10 cent sales make a real difference, but not ALL micro contributors live, or even the majority, in these countries.

 

I don't see the Ukrainian based producers sending in pictures of their skiing holiday in Lake Louise or safari holiday in Kenya?

 

Surely this thread is all about  how many Shutterstock contributors are finally saying 'enough is enough' and that they are not prepared to be treated as slave labour.

Edited by geogphotos

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Posted (edited)

As always with humans, the very short-term benefits seem to outweigh the long-term consequences. After me, the flood… When so many photographers jumped on the microstock ship, I suspect they did not realise how fast the drop in price of the photographic image would affect them and how fast they would be replaced by other photographers having much lower production costs. This is really nothing specific to photography.

Edited by Olivier Parent

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1 hour ago, GeoffK said:

I think there are a few completely missing what's been happening in micro by assuming that people with cell phones are snapping images for 10 cents.  There are masses of images being produced very month by stock production concerns that are based in countries where the average income and general costs are a fraction of what we deal with in USA/Western Europe.

 

For example, I've just checked a few Ukraine based producers who are shooting high-end business/lifestyle for micro (ports in the 10s of thousands) with multiple models and good locations. Fifteen or so years ago this would have been stock for Blend/Cultura/Image Source etc but now it's micro fodder (post Yuri).  They are not alone and are the new face of a lot of micro production.  They will suffer to some extent with the new royalty structure but are in a much better position to climb back to higher levels. If their port size can overcome the temporary blips, they will be doing business as usual.

 

 

 

 

 

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. 

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1 hour ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

You can't blame them if the average income in Ukraine is only $1000 or so. Though what stops them contributing to non-micros?

 

And how does this relate to contributors in UK, USA, Canada, European Union etc who do not have low costs of living and low costs of production?

 

I don't see the linkage or why the justification of one relates to the other. Okay a lot of micro contributors live in poor countries and the  10 cent sales make a real difference, but not ALL micro contributors live, or even the majority, in these countries.

 

I don't see the Ukrainian based producers sending in pictures of their skiing holiday in Lake Louise or safari holiday in Kenya?

 

Surely this thread is all about  how many Shutterstock contributors are finally saying 'enough is enough' and that they are not prepared to be treated as slave labour.

 

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. 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Autumn Sky said:

It was VERY funny... Chuck has poor sense of humour :)

 

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

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Posted (edited)
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
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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.

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Posted (edited)
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
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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. 

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Posted (edited)
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

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Sorry about that! I've got to go too.

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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

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Posted (edited)
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
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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.

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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. 

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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.

 

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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." 

 

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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.

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Posted (edited)
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

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