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An email from iStock made it's way to my inbox tonight and is just another example of the problems plaguing the stock industry. 

 

It starts off as follows...

 

Lower prices
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Sometimes change is good. 50% of our imagery costs 50% less than it used to – like an amazing sale that doesn't end. Plus, our customers save 25% on average when they buy with credits. That's 100% fantastic.

 

At times like this I'm glad I'm not a contributor to iStock.  It's all rather depressing isn't it?

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An email from iStock made it's way to my inbox tonight and is just another example of the problems plaguing the stock industry.

 

It starts off as follows...

 

 

Lower prices

en_images_spacer.gif

Sometimes change is good. 50% of our imagery costs 50% less than it used to – like an amazing sale that doesn't end. Plus, our customers save 25% on average when they buy with credits. That's 100% fantastic.

At times like this I'm glad I'm not a contributor to iStock. It's all rather depressing isn't it?

Didn't this originally happen a while back now? Quite sure they announced that end of June beginning of July. They are just advertising changes that have already taken place.

Edited by Duncan_Andison
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Those folks are currently lapping the opposition in the race to the bottom. Still, I'm working through getting my back catologue up there before here because it will make much more money. Sad but true...

Edited by woody
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Getty sold about $850 million per year. Shutterstock sold nothing when it was formed in 2006, but will sell about $500 million this year by selling cheap.

 

Shutterstock's lower priced sales are having a negative effect on the entire industry, but especially Getty. Shutterstock did not increase industry gross sales. It took market share away from other libraries and forced them to lower prices.

 

This is a price war between Getty and Shutterstock. The rest of us are collateral damage.

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Those folks are currently lapping the opposition in the race to the bottom. Still, I'm working through getting my back catologue up there before here because it will make much more money. Sad but true...

 

iStock specifically, or one of the other stock sites?  Do you post all the same images to Alamy and the other stock site?  So far I'm exclusive to Alamy but question whether I should begin posting elsewhere?

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surely it would be ridiculous to post the same images on Alamy and one of the micro sites? Its one thing blaming the sites in question for the demise of the industry but the full responsibility doesn't stop there, the people who supply them are also responsible.

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surely it would be ridiculous to post the same images on Alamy and one of the micro sites? Its one thing blaming the sites in question for the demise of the industry but the full responsibility doesn't stop there, the people who supply them are also responsible.

 

It does seems like it would undercut one's own portfolio on Alamy but others have said they post to multiple sites with the same images.  So far I've held off doing so but I've collected quite a few images that I haven't submitted to Alamy, similars that aren't as good as those submitted on Alamy.  I've considered posting these "lesser images" elsewhere to see how they do.  I'd be interested in the advice of more experienced contributors.

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surely it would be ridiculous to post the same images on Alamy and one of the micro sites? Its one thing blaming the sites in question for the demise of the industry but the full responsibility doesn't stop there, the people who supply them are also responsible.

It does seems like it would undercut one's own portfolio on Alamy but others have said they post to multiple sites with the same images.  So far I've held off doing so but I've collected quite a few images that I haven't submitted to Alamy, similars that aren't as good as those submitted on Alamy.  I've considered posting these "lesser images" elsewhere to see how they do.  I'd be interested in the advice of more experienced contributors.

Personally, I wouldn't post the same or similar images on micro sites. They have already been flooded with editorial photos that shouldn't have been placed there in the first place IMO. Putting your "lesser images" or even some of your Alamy images on other non-micro sites shouldn't be a problem, though. Most contributors probably do this in varying degrees, and Alamy spreads images around, of course, through its distributors.

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surely it would be ridiculous to post the same images on Alamy and one of the micro sites? Its one thing blaming the sites in question for the demise of the industry but the full responsibility doesn't stop there, the people who supply them are also responsible.

 

Correct. I submit to micros but I shoot specific images for them. I do also upload them here as a catch all but I do not submit my main images to the micros, that wouldn't make sense. 

 

I have a specific type of image that I send to them that don't seem to do really well here but do over there. Anything that is unusual, hard to get, not easily replicated stays as RM and comes here or my other RM agencies. It's better to think of them as two separate and different portfolios, one for one type of customer, and one for another. You wouldn't find a pair of Versace jeans in Poundland.... and if you do, you are likely to take back the pair from the designer shop for a refund and buy a few pairs at a £1 a go :-)

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If you started on micros, for example, but now also contribute here, there might not much of a downside to submitting RF photos already on micros to A.

But I don’t like being in competition with myself, and I value knowing the agency source of my photos when I see them used online. So, as far as agencies go, I split my images between here & another non-micro agency.

When you enter/remain in a business relationship with a company/person, you’re saying their practices are acceptable enough to you, and you’re okay with being associated with them. Years ago, one of my goals was to join a particular big macro site, but their actions, as time went on, made it clear how little they value contributors' rights or interests. So that goal’s gone.

And I find that reaching out to, working with, direct clients is a good way to spend  time & effort.

 

surely it would be ridiculous to post the same images on Alamy and one of the micro sites? Its one thing blaming the sites in question for the demise of the industry but the full responsibility doesn't stop there, the people who supply them are also responsible.

It does seems like it would undercut one's own portfolio on Alamy but others have said they post to multiple sites with the same images.  So far I've held off doing so but I've collected quite a few images that I haven't submitted to Alamy, similars that aren't as good as those submitted on Alamy.  I've considered posting these "lesser images" elsewhere to see how they do.  I'd be interested in the advice of more experienced contributors.

Edited by ann
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Those folks are currently lapping the opposition in the race to the bottom. Still, I'm working through getting my back catologue up there before here because it will make much more money. Sad but true...

 

iStock specifically, or one of the other stock sites?  Do you post all the same images to Alamy and the other stock site?  So far I'm exclusive to Alamy but question whether I should begin posting elsewhere?

 

That comment is fairly specific to IS.  The MS agencies vary a bit in their treatment of contributors and these guys are probably the worst - others, regardless of whether one likes "selling images for pennies", have been very professional and actually generate reasonable returns because of the volumes.  For a variety of reasons, not least that I don't think my images are a particularly good fit here and will never have the port size needed to be visible, my MS earnings, poor as they are, will always be orders of magnitude higher than here.  If you do want to dip your toe in the water be prepared for tiny returns per sale and tougher QC.

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I had a nice license today - not Alamy or any other stock library. Received a call on my mobile and the new client was requesting a quote for a six images for a local real estate brochure plus web use for three months. We settled on $900 (no commission too!) and I uploaded the images. It took just 30 minutes (after searching my hard drives for the images)and sending them via You Send It. According to my StatCounter, they found my site via Googling the beach suburb of Sydney they were interested in and found my website. I do have a high ranking Google having 12 million hits in ten years and hopefully this will lead to more work (one lives in hope).

 

Sheila

Edited by Sheila Smart
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