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55 minutes ago, Autumn Sky said:

I am fairly sure they will give you $$ if you close account, even if <100

 

 

Not according to discussions on their forum.

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Nice to read the thoughts, I had considered putting some content on Microstock but the rates were so low... we really do need to value our work as photographers.

I was starting to become disillusioned with stock agencies in general when seeing a move to subscription, a race to the bottom, as mentioned by a few people.

Strangely, May has been my best month on here and I've made 3 sales, possibly because people can't travel to take photos. Silver linings.

Stay strong and stay safe everyone!

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just switched off all my videos on SS .  Hope many others do the same, It must be breech of the  contract terms which are implied when you start to upload content. You should not by law  be able  to vary those terms by giving 3 days notice . USA law ????

Edited by Travelshots
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18 hours ago, Autumn Sky said:

I am fairly sure they will give you $$ if you close account, even if <100

 

 

I just read a post on another forum by someone who said that he closed his account at the dreamy place a few months ago with $65 owing, and they won't pay him.

 

There's a word for that kind of thing. It's the main reason I high-tailed it out of there.

 

 

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22 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

I just read a post on another forum by someone who said that he closed his account at the dreamy place a few months ago with $65 owing, and they won't pay him.

 

There's a word for that kind of thing. It's the main reason I high-tailed it out of there.

 

 


That is just so wrong. Tantamount to stealing. 

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48 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

I just read a post on another forum by someone who said that he closed his account at the dreamy place a few months ago with $65 owing, and they won't pay him.

 

There's a word for that kind of thing. It's the main reason I high-tailed it out of there.

 

 

If true indeed,  this is stealing.  No other word to describe it.

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31 minutes ago, Michael Ventura said:


That is just so wrong. Tantamount to stealing. 

 

That's the word I was thinking of. The policy is a real cash cow as many (perhaps most) never reach the $100 level.

 

 

 

Edited by John Mitchell
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John, this whole thing is just a picture of overall state in stock industry.   Companies at the end need to be profitable & it is harder and harder to do so.  So they look how to squeeze more revenue, and contributor cuts are one of the ways.  IS with fixed 15% compensation,  DT with strict 100$ payment threshold (even if you are closing account as it seems),  SS now with resetting everyone to ground zero on Jan 1, etc etc.   (Adobe might be fundamentally different because stock photography is not main revenue stream, so it can afford to be "unprofitable" as long as it promotes Photoshop, Lightroom etc as flagship products). 

 

Real problem in my view is that nobody is managing skyrocketing content increase.   Libraries should be lean and mean.  No 100s of photos that show the same thing.  No keyword spamming. Technically 100%.  No low sale potential content.  Clean up existing content -- anything older than 12 months with 0 sales -- out.  But instead they are now more and more reverting to AI QC.   DT QC is 100% AI now, even for editorial submissions.  They boost about "xxx millions of images in library" as it is a good thing.     One of reasons that Adobe is now best micro is that their QC is 100% human & it has standards.   I am really surprised someone intelligent enough does not recognize this.   Let everyone else climb the ladder with quantity;  I will climb it with quality.  

 

 

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12 hours ago, Autumn Sky said:

John, this whole thing is just a picture of overall state in stock industry.   Companies at the end need to be profitable & it is harder and harder to do so.  So they look how to squeeze more revenue, and contributor cuts are one of the ways.  IS with fixed 15% compensation,  DT with strict 100$ payment threshold (even if you are closing account as it seems),  SS now with resetting everyone to ground zero on Jan 1, etc etc.   (Adobe might be fundamentally different because stock photography is not main revenue stream, so it can afford to be "unprofitable" as long as it promotes Photoshop, Lightroom etc as flagship products). 

 

Real problem in my view is that nobody is managing skyrocketing content increase.   Libraries should be lean and mean.  No 100s of photos that show the same thing.  No keyword spamming. Technically 100%.  No low sale potential content.  Clean up existing content -- anything older than 12 months with 0 sales -- out.  But instead they are now more and more reverting to AI QC.   DT QC is 100% AI now, even for editorial submissions.  They boost about "xxx millions of images in library" as it is a good thing.     One of reasons that Adobe is now best micro is that their QC is 100% human & it has standards.   I am really surprised someone intelligent enough does not recognize this.   Let everyone else climb the ladder with quantity;  I will climb it with quality.  

 

 

 

Shutterstock is already very profitable.

In 2018 they had a turnover of $623 million and paid a special dividend to shareholders of $104 million.

The new structure is greed pure and simple.

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14 hours ago, Autumn Sky said:

Real problem in my view is that nobody is managing skyrocketing content increase.   Libraries should be lean and mean.  No 100s of photos that show the same thing.  No keyword spamming. Technically 100%.  No low sale potential content.  Clean up existing content -- anything older than 12 months with 0 sales -- out.  But instead they are now more and more reverting to AI QC.   DT QC is 100% AI now, even for editorial submissions.  They boost about "xxx millions of images in library" as it is a good thing.     One of reasons that Adobe is now best micro is that their QC is 100% human & it has standards.   I am really surprised someone intelligent enough does not recognize this.   Let everyone else climb the ladder with quantity;  I will climb it with quality.  

+1 (Apart from deleting anything >12 months old without a sale as that's just too quick)

Automated cull of exact duplicates?

 

Mark

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1 hour ago, BobD said:

 

Shutterstock is already very profitable.

In 2018 they had a turnover of $623 million and paid a special dividend to shareholders of $104 million.

The new structure is greed pure and simple.

 

I'll be interested to see what happens to sales revenues from next week onward. At the moment I see it more as a "refocussing" of reward for the longer term. There will be winners and losers. I do think the commission rate reset on 1st Jan each year is a huge mistake though, it would be better to do a reset based on the last 12 months sales.

 

Mark

 

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15 hours ago, Autumn Sky said:

Libraries should be lean and mean.  No 100s of photos that show the same thing.  No keyword spamming. Technically 100%.  No low sale potential content.  Clean up existing content -- anything older than 12 months with 0 sales -- out.  But instead they are now more and more reverting to AI QC.   DT QC is 100% AI now, even for editorial submissions.  They boost about "xxx millions of images in library" as it is a good thing.     One of reasons that Adobe is now best micro is that their QC is 100% human & it has standards.   I am really surprised someone intelligent enough does not recognize this.   Let everyone else climb the ladder with quantity;  I will climb it with quality. 

 

I agree that Alamy should maybe invoke the excessive similars reason for rejecting photos more often.

 

One thing that sets Alamy apart from its competitors is that they only check technical quality, not content. This inevitably results in a lot of dross being uploaded, but also more unusual images that wouldn't be uploaded elsewhere. Hopefully the algorithms take care of the dross. If you reject content based on what you think might sell, you're second guessing a lot of potential and varied clients.And there's lots of agencies - how do you distinguish yourself from other agencies aside from on price and the race to the bottom?? You can't do it on price alone.

 

I totally disagree on removing content older than 12 months. This would remove most photos from most contributors portfolios. I continue to make regular sales from content older than 1 year.

 

Maybe Alamy will have to change their practices at some point if the market dictates it or photographers ever get organised (hah!)

Steve

Edited by Steve F
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2 hours ago, BobD said:

 

Shutterstock is already very profitable.

In 2018 they had a turnover of $623 million and paid a special dividend to shareholders of $104 million.

The new structure is greed pure and simple.

 

This all goes back to how much amateurs and professional photographers are prepared to work for - very little if stock is a hobby for them. Photography has never been so accessible to people before, which is great. But this means stock is inevitably open to all and sundry and will never go back to how it used to be.

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1 hour ago, Steve F said:

I totally disagree on removing content older than 12 months. This would remove most photos from most contributors portfolios. I continue to make regular sales from content older than 1 year.

 

Agreed. Many of my sales are of photos older than a year (sometimes 10-15 years old) and are first time sellers.

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5 hours ago, Michael Ventura said:

 

Agreed. Many of my sales are of photos older than a year (sometimes 10-15 years old) and are first time sellers.

 

Another +1 from me.  Just because it hasn't sold to date, doesn't mean it won't be - especially here.

 

Promoting images which sell consistently? Well, firstly those images don't need promoting and secondly, it just leads to a site where the customer sees the same old stuff again and again. it would remove the beauty and uniqueness of Alamy. If they have a USP, this is it!

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5 hours ago, Michael Ventura said:

 

Agreed. Many of my sales are of photos older than a year (sometimes 10-15 years old) and are first time sellers.

 

but since these would be probably more rare/valuable, wouldn't they warrant to be on specialised banks, at a premium?  in an ideal world.   So mainstream libraries deleting them, may be a bonus.  

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21 hours ago, Autumn Sky said:

 Clean up existing content -- anything older than 12 months with 0 sales -- out. 

 

 

Silly idea.  A sale dropped in for me on Friday for a pic which was uploaded in March 2018 - the first sale of that image...

Edited by Colblimp
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38 minutes ago, losdemas said:

 

Another +1 from me.  Just because it hasn't sold to date, doesn't mean it won't be - especially here.

 

Promoting images which sell consistently? Well, firstly those images don't need promoting and secondly, it just leads to a site where the customer sees the same old stuff again and again. it would remove the beauty and uniqueness of Alamy. If they have a USP, this is it!

 

Unfortunately, that was the unique USP at Alamy until, for reasons best known to themselves, they started to import complete collections from other agencies ....

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23 hours ago, Autumn Sky said:

Clean up existing content -- anything older than 12 months with 0 sales -- out.

I would consider that a breach of trust far worse than the commission cut. All the work already done for nothing. It would also cost me about 80% of my sales.

Edited by spacecadet
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23 hours ago, Autumn Sky said:

John, this whole thing is just a picture of overall state in stock industry.   Companies at the end need to be profitable & it is harder and harder to do so.  So they look how to squeeze more revenue, and contributor cuts are one of the ways.  IS with fixed 15% compensation,  DT with strict 100$ payment threshold (even if you are closing account as it seems),  SS now with resetting everyone to ground zero on Jan 1, etc etc.   (Adobe might be fundamentally different because stock photography is not main revenue stream, so it can afford to be "unprofitable" as long as it promotes Photoshop, Lightroom etc as flagship products). 

 

Real problem in my view is that nobody is managing skyrocketing content increase.   Libraries should be lean and mean.  No 100s of photos that show the same thing.  No keyword spamming. Technically 100%.  No low sale potential content.  Clean up existing content -- anything older than 12 months with 0 sales -- out.  But instead they are now more and more reverting to AI QC.   DT QC is 100% AI now, even for editorial submissions.  They boost about "xxx millions of images in library" as it is a good thing.     One of reasons that Adobe is now best micro is that their QC is 100% human & it has standards.   I am really surprised someone intelligent enough does not recognize this.   Let everyone else climb the ladder with quantity;  I will climb it with quality.  

 

 

 

I sometimes have an image that has been gathering dust for years suddenly license.  However, I do agree that agencies are now over-stuffed, but volume and crowdsourcing rule the roost now. I contributed to a small editorial stock agency for many years. Unfortunately, they couldn't compete when the online big guys came along, and they had to close. I miss them, but the fact is that I now make many more sales than I used to, even if prices are lower, and it's certainly much easier to submit images and get them on the market quickly.  Microstock is another story, though. The business model seems to be built on quicksand. I don't see how it's sustainable. I get dizzy just thinking about it.

 

Bored Over It GIF by jjjjjohn

Edited by John Mitchell
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Yes.  And problem is not easy to solve, mainly because of years and years of dumping of sub-par content  (I am talking micros).   I firmly believe 12 month and out if no sale is the right approach.  If contributor believes image is good and has potential,  they can always re-submit.  But now it would go through  strict QC rules - and not AI approval, now more and more gaining speed.  This is how you clean up.  

 

Then you can also start charging more, and give more to contributors as well.  Because you sell quality and one gets what he pays for

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34 minutes ago, Autumn Sky said:

I firmly believe 12 month and out if no sale is the right approach.  If contributor believes image is good and has potential,  they can always re-submit.  But now it would go through  strict QC rules - and not AI approval, now more and more gaining speed.  This is how you clean up.  

 

That might be an approach for MS (where sales can occur within days of upload) but it really doesn't work for Alamy where sales take longer and there are valuable "depths" to their collection including "archive" and unique imagery.

 

How about an alternative approach to start "optimising" Alamy's portfolio"?

 

Alamy do a sweep to identify any contributors with portfolios over 1,000 images*, but with a sales rate below 1 sale/1,000 images/year*. Those contributors are emailed, to alert them to the low performance of their portfolio and to inform them that any of their images which haven't been sold, downloaded or zoomed are going to be deleted in 30 days time and suggesting that they may want to download a copy of their metadata and then upload a more tightly edited selection of their images which they think might sell more frequently, whilst paying close attention to post processing, keywords and captions.

 

*Obviously depending on the results, sweeps could be repeated with tighter success criteria.

 

Just a thought.... FX<Runs for cover>

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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Mark, agreed -- there are different ways one can address the problem, and Alamy is different from micros.  But this thread started with "Meanwhile at Shutterstock" and ever declining compensations in micros so I was referring mostly to that.  

 

Another way to look at this -- agencies promote content in different ways.  From rotating pattern  (your port gets up front for few days then gets knocked back to end of queue, regardless of quality or # of sales),  to promoting content with more sales, to promoting fresh content, etc.   So you can have great image that never gets a chance because of bad timing;  now it is sinking lower and lower in the swamp and it will never be discovered.   But if deleted / resubmitted,  it will get fresh start.

 

This is huge problem & main reason why compensation is sinking across the board (including Alamy).   Yet nobody seems to be interested to address core issue behind the problem.

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36 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

 

That might be an approach for MS (where sales can occur within days of upload) but it really doesn't work for Alamy where sales take longer and there are valuable "depths" to their collection including "archive" and unique imagery.

 

How about an alternative approach to start "optimising" Alamy's portfolio"?

 

Alamy do a sweep to identify any contributors with portfolios over 1,000 images*, but with a sales rate below 1 sale/1,000 images/year*. Those contributors are emailed, to alert them to the low performance of their portfolio and to inform them that any of their images which haven't been sold, downloaded or zoomed are going to be deleted in 30 days time and suggesting that they may want to download a copy of their metadata and then upload a more tightly edited selection of their images which they think might sell more frequently, whilst paying close attention to post processing, keywords and captions.

 

*Obviously depending on the results, sweeps could be repeated with tighter success criteria.

 

Just a thought.... FX<Runs for cover>

 

Mark

 

How about purging all of the collections imported from other agencies that have those same images on multiple agencies and instead promote the exclusive images that individual contributors have here  and nowhere else .... 

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