HQ Update - August 23, 2012

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iStockHQ
Posted Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:14PM
New Way to Pay for iStockphoto Customers
This week we have an early peek for iStock contributors into some upcoming site news: soon iStock customers will be able to pay for file downloads directly with their credit card, without first having to purchase credits.

This is a major change to how iStockphoto works. Our goal is to make it easier for people to download files, particularly new visitors to the site. We're taking away a lot of the complexity and modernizing our purchasing process.

All files will now display a price in US Dollars (or your local currency) as well as the price in credits. Our customers will be able to pay the dollar price with their credit card without having to buy a credit pack. We will still offer credits for people who download files regularly.

We will have much more detailed information about the new process when it launches. For now we want to give contributors a heads-up about the changes, and provide you with some answers to the big questions we know you have:

How you get paid
You still get paid the same way: your current royalty percentage on each US Dollar spent downloading your files.

Redeemed Credits
You will still earn the same Redeemed Credits for your files whether they are paid for with credits or the new system.
All files priced in US dollars (or local currency) have exactly the same Credit value associated with them as the value of that file in Credits. So, you still get the same amount of Redeemed Credits however customers choose to pay. If someone downloads a 30 Credit file, you still get 30 Redeemed Credits — whether they use credits, or pay directly with their credit card in their local currency.

Reporting
All file downloads will be reported to you in a single column. We won't break out information about what payment method was used for a file because the outcome for you is the same. Currently you have a separate column that breaks out Subscription downloads. This information will now be folded into the overall downloads total.

Downtime
The launch will require several hours of downtime. As you can imagine, rebuilding our purchasing backend is a big undertaking. We will provide advance notice of the downtime window a few days in advance.

Anticipated Issues
Several features from the file close-up page need to be rebuilt as part of this process and will be unavailable immediately after launch. These include:
• Adding files to a lightbox directly from the file closeup page (adding files to lightboxes from a search results page will be unaffected)
• Image Zoom
• File rating (existing reviews and ratings will still be visible, and sort by rating will still work)
We will get those features added back in that order of priority.

Timeline
This new functionality will go live within the next few weeks.

Text in Illustrations
iStock will now accept illustrations that include text elements. Design elements are a big part of our collection and we want to free up our illustrators to incorporate words into their creations. So we're loosening what used to be some pretty tight restrictions. Here's what we're looking for:

• Banners, badges, and other design elements that include text
• Wordmarks: text-only treatments that convey a concept. (We will be picky about these — bring your 'A' game.)
• Holiday illustrations with captions. ('Merry Christmas', 'Happy Valentine's Day')
• Original text designs (letters made out of balloons, etc)
• Multiple languages — think beyond English.

Submission requirements
• You must have the necessary rights to any existing font that you include. By uploading, you are warranting that you either own all copyrights to the font or typeface that you have used or that you have licensed the font or typeface for commercial use. Do your homework. Find out which fonts permit commercial use and which ones don't.
• All existing fonts must be converted to outlines prior to submission.
• Text must be interesting and useful. Don't just fire up illustrator, type a word, and expect it to be accepted. We are looking for original and unique type treatments, not 'I Love You' in Times New Roman Bold (or, God forbid, Comic Sans).

This change is effective immediately: you can upload these files now. We've prepared a beginner's guide to using text at iStock here.

Illustration Upload Limits
We've raised the upload limits for vector artists:

Non-Exclusive Upload Limits
• Default was 18, now 25
• Bronze was 20, now 30
• Silver was 24, now 40
• Gold was 30, now 50
• Diamond was 38, now 60
• Black Diamond was 40, now 70

Exclusive Upload Limits
• Bronze was 60, now 75
• Silver was 90, now 100
• Gold was 120, now 130
• Diamond was 150, now 160
• Black Diamond was 200, now 225

Royalty Payout Timelines
As you know, we pay your royalties one week after you put in your payment request. You can see a calendar of the different request deadlines for 2012 here.

The payout process begins at 9 AM one week later. Please be aware that this is a process and it takes time: you won't receive your payout at exactly at 9 AM. Sometimes the process may take 24-48 hours to complete.

The time of your ticket closure does not reflect when your payment will drop.

We will always let you know if there are going to be delays in the process.

Creative Brief Emails
We've been very happy with our new Contributor Newsletter email format. It works so well we've decided to start sending you another monthly email, this time on creative topics. Watch for a monthly creative brief from iStock in your email inbox. The email will have a short description of the topic and link to two detailed pdf briefs: one creative and one editorial.

Creative Research Survey
The Getty Images Creative Research team is conducting a survey into the different ways various countries are visually represented. We wanted to throw it out to you, the iStock contributor community, to get your input. Please help us out and take a few minutes to answer these questions.
Lobo
This user has the power to wield the BanHammer, a weapon forged in the fires of hell for that get-off-my-planet quality you can't get anywhere else. You betta reckonize.Forum Moderator
Posted Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:47PM
Reserved
CraigNeilMcCausland
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:55PM
Great!! Seems like an an easier process to purchase images.
theasis
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 1,249 Video downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 125 Audio downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:56PM
Posted By iStockHQ:
New Way to Pay for iStockphoto Customers
...soon iStock customers will be able to pay for file downloads directly with their credit card, without first having to purchase credits.

Sounds good.
Is "soon" likely to be within a week? Within a month? This year?
traveler1116
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 125 Audio downloadsExclusive
Posted Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:57PM
Any update on the Redeemed Credits levels for 2012?  They were supposed to be released in January.

(Edited on 2012-08-23 15:02:52 by traveler1116)
edfuentesg
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:01PM
well this is some good news, 
jonathansloane
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:01PM
I like it. Very good improvement.
adamkaz
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 1,249 Video downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto IllustratorExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:02PM
Good news.
swilmor
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloads
Posted Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:02PM
Anything that makes it easier and quicker for buyers to pay is a good thing. Thanks!
cobalt
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloads
Posted Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:04PM
Sounds great!
JPecha
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:05PM
Won't this be opening the floodgates to massive credit card fraud? I think so.
crispyicon
Member is a contributor and has less than 250 Photo downloadsMember is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Illustration downloadsExclusive iStockphoto Illustrator
Posted Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:07PM
As an Exclusive Illustrator, I'm loving all of those changes! But, 2012 RCs levels please? The suspense is killing me!
Susan_Stewart
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Illustrator
Posted Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:10PM
If the credit card security is properly implemented and the necessary changes to the site mentioned can be put into place without breaking a whole lot of stuff (and I'm not very confident on either, give past history) it sounds like a good idea. And text for illustrators rocks!
charmedesign
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 1,249 Video downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto IllustratorExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:11PM
Slightly worried this opens the gates to more fraud, having previously had earnings withdrawn from me following fraudulent purchases......
theasis
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 1,249 Video downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 125 Audio downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:11PM
Posted By iStockHQ:
Our goal is to make it easier for people to download files, particularly new visitors to the site.

Will people still have to create an istock account and log in to make a purchase, or will people be able to now buy a file without logging in? If the latter, will that affect their ability to request a refund?

Edit for spelling

(Edited on 2012-08-23 15:12:11 by theasis)
slobo
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 125 - 1,249 Audio downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Audio Artist
Posted Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:11PM
I am sure direct buy will be more expensive which in turn results in more money for us. So, yeah, I like it!
blackwaterimages
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 125 Audio downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusive
Posted Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:11PM
Since this introduces potentially a huge number of credit card uses, what steps have been taken to mitigate the chances of fraudulent use? Its an on-going problem as is, and this increase in what might be "drive by" purchases seems like a potential hazard. Or maybe there's something I'm overlooking?
jhorrocks
Member is a Black Diamond contributor and has more than 200,000 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Illustrator
Posted Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:15PM
Posted By JPecha:
Won't this be opening the floodgates to massive credit card fraud? I think so.



Actually, seems to me like it would be the opposite.  Fraudsters can probably get away with more by buying a huge credit bundle with one credit card transaction, then go to town on downloading.  The new purchase method would be an individual credit card transaction for each photo purchase, with would be more cumbersome.


ETA: ..unless you consider the idea of a shopping cart, in which case it doesn't really matter which way they get a bundle of photos. If it's gonna happen, it'll happen either way.

(Edited on 2012-08-23 15:24:35 by jhorrocks)
bortonia
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsMember is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto IllustratorThis user has the power to wield the BanHammer, a weapon forged in the fires of hell for that get-off-my-planet quality you can't get anywhere else. You betta reckonize.
Posted Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:17PM
The link to the illustration discussion didn't make it into the original post, but you can find it here
MoreISO
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 1,249 Video downloadsExclusive
Posted Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:19PM
Sounds really good.


Let's see if the "few weeks" of this case are similar to the "few weeks" of the E+ on Getty...
This thread has been locked.
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