iStockphoto still the number 1 site?

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laughingmango
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:51PM

@ cobalt - it's always been that way, even before microstock. the only difference between the old model of selling stock and the new model of selling stock is that in the past you really did have to be professional and know your craft to get into any agency and submit at least 100 images that showed proof you knew what you were dointg, whereas today all you have to do is memorize the answers to a very meaningless questionnaire and submit only three images for inspection then voila you are selling your images online.


i remember growing up there was a book by Ron Engh - How to sell and resell your photos. The only difference between then and now is that back then you had to be professional and really know what you were doing to make money, and work your arse off and market yourself.


today, you just set your super duper camera on P then put it into any program for workflow and hit "instant pro" feature and then you qualify to be selling your work - provided you actually do it as opposed to procrastinate as mentioned above.
stevecoleimages
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 an InspectorExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto VideographerMember has had a File Of The WeekAwarded to fabulous photographers with more than 100,000 downloadsMember has won a contest
Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:51PM
Cobalt - I'm going to cut & paste some of your words of wisdom in my notes, nuff said.
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 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloads
Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:32PM

Hah! And here I was thinking I was stealing from you and the talk you gave in Berlin wink


But a lot of it actually comes from the class I teach. The students are wonderful, very creative, very talented. But a little overoptimistic about their options in creative careers. And many even reject "all things commercial". My class is compulsary, so they have to listen to it all and one of their projects is typical "business stock". I still hope some will get back into stock later in their career, when they realize the world is not appreciating their genius and how difficult it is to deal with clients.


But they do say, they like the class. Or maybe they just hope they will get better grades if they say that, who knows. 

(Edited on 2012-11-16 17:37:28 by cobalt)
RichVintage
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Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:53PM
As long as my bottom line rises and iStock continues to market my photos to the proper clientele, then I am happy. It does not matter to me if they are the "#1" site, as they are the #1 site to me.
stacey_newman
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloads
Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:36PM
Posted By stevecoleimages:
Cobalt - I'm going to cut & paste some of your words of wisdom in my notes, nuff said. smile

was lucky enough to get a whole afternoon with Jasmin in Cologne. that was was wonderful. to reiterate Jasmin's comments, going into my sixth year on iStock, it's far more work than one might guess, and luckily that is why most new starry-eye shooters lose interest. frankly that is best for those of us who stick it out
pavelgr
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloads
Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:27PM
cobalt, thank you for sharing your experience with us! smile It is really inspiring and motivating.

(Edited on 2012-11-16 22:38:41 by pavelgr)
Willowpix
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:42AM
Posted By stacey_newman:

Posted By stevecoleimages:
Cobalt - I'm going to cut & paste some of your words of wisdom in my notes, nuff said. smile


was lucky enough to get a whole afternoon with Jasmin in Cologne. that was was wonderful. to reiterate Jasmin's comments, going into my sixth year on iStock, it's far more work than one might guess, and luckily that is why most new starry-eye shooters lose interest. frankly that is best for those of us who stick it out wink

Yup, turns out bleary-eyed is much more productive here!!
PhotoInc
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 1,249 Video downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto VideographerMember has had a File Of The Week
Posted Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:01AM
^^ I agree with you Cobalt....very well said!
funky-data
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 1,249 Video downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:41AM
Very well put Jasmin! Great advice.
aldomurillo
Member is a Black Diamond contributor and has more than 200,000 Photo downloadsExclusiveMember has had a submission accepted to the Designer Spotlight
Posted Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:12AM
Talking about earning money on iStock, I've found harder and harder to earn the same amount of $ every month over the last 3 years. There's more quality on iStock, more contributors, a different business model, and lots of new Microstock agencies out there.

I've been a exclusive contributor since the first day I could and I've seen several changes and decisions on iStock that have made me think twice the loyalty I have to iStock (and my exclusivity). 

Most of them have been against the motivation of the new contributors, first the removal of the punctum day, but specially the implementation of the Redeem Credit Targets and the royalty rate levels. 

When I started uploading to iStock I was doing it in my spare time, but after a year I was able to do it full time (thanks of the royalty levels we had and the exclusivity boost of the royalty rate) Now I think it's almost impossible to start from zero with a 15% royalty rate and live from iStock as a full time job.  

Just to give you a hint, I've been earning pretty much the same $ a month since 2009.  Back then I had 2,500 files and today I have 7,400 and I'm earning the same and the downloads per month are 30% down! My images today are better produced  but I haven't been able to rise the earnings or downloads significantly.

I've seeing a trend in iStock (and microstock in general)  that the sales per file are slowing and the prices are getting higher and soon they will settle somewhere between microstock prices and macrostock. 

Anyway what I wanted to say is that if you are thinking in exclusivity you should analyze the redeem credits and royalty rates.   

For instance, when you become exclusive on iStock you have a base royalty level of 25% if you would like to increase the rate this is what you will need to do:

25-30% = For 25% increase in your earnings you have to sell/produce 650% more
30-35% = For 16.6% increase in your earnings you have to sell/produce 320% more
35-40% = For 14.2% increase in your earnings you have to sell/produce 375% more
40-45% = For 12.5% increase in your earnings you have to sell/produce 933% more 

If you don't go exclusive you are going start with a really low 15% royalty rate, but you could upload to other sites, if you upload to other sites and you get the same $ as istock with a 15% royalty rate there's your 30% as istock without having to become exclusive and having to sell/produce 650% more first.

Of course the exclusivity on iStock have several advantages like having to upload only to 1 site, faster approval times, higher upload limits, better ranking on searches etc etc.

Anyway it's a tough decision, but if you are starting I guess that it's better to experiment now than later. 
Imgorthand
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:31AM
Quote:
"Just to give you a hint, I've been earning pretty much the same $ a month since 2009.  Back then I had 2,500 files and today I have 7,400 and I'm earning the same and the downloads per month are 30% down! My images today are better produced  but I haven't been able to rise the earnings or downloads significantly."

This is very discouraging sad
Thank you for your post

(Edited on 2012-11-23 03:31:45 by Imgorthand)
no_limit_pictures
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Posted Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:06AM
Jasmin, all what you have written is  very right.
Gewoldi
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloads
Posted Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:30AM

i gave up exclusivity about 1,5 years ago, because i saw no future for istock. And now have a look at the current problems. If you think iStock has a future, exculusivity may be a good chance. But if iStock is going down (and they do there best for it), you'll have nothing left but much work on other sites.


First rule: Put your keywords and description in the IPTC fields!
karenhermannCLOSED
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:52AM
Posted By Gewoldi:

i gave up exclusivity about 1,5 years ago, because i saw no future for istock. And now have a look at the current problems. If you think iStock has a future, exculusivity may be a good chance. But if iStock is going down (and they do there best for it), you'll have nothing left but much work on other sites.


Just curious -- serious question -- if you gave up exclusivity (and I can understand why, as the place has been on such a downhill slide with no signs of trying to stop it) -- why keep images here at all?  Non-exclusives receive such a pittance, with none of the (waning) benefits of exclusivity - I'm curious as to why one giving up the crown would keep them here at all.   
Gewoldi
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloads
Posted Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:33AM

@karenhermann: because when I compare iStock to others (I upload to more than 20), it is still a good site to sell pictures. But iStock is not the reliable partner it used to be. Maybe I could earn more now if i didn't quit my exclusivity. But when iStock is going down, I have many other agencies where I already sell my pictures. I will drop income by about 20% to 35%. You will drop 100%!


AND: It is more easy to move 500 pictures (i had about 500 when i quit exclusivity) than having 1000 or 10000....

(Edited on 2012-11-23 08:35:31 by Gewoldi)
sleddogtwo
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Posted Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:00AM
Very interesting posts, but who is Jasmine?
kelvinjay
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Posted Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:26AM
Jasmin is the first name of member Cobalt, whose comments earlier have been widely praised.
sleddogtwo
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:39AM
Thanks Kelvinjay! I was confused, saw the references to Cobalt, which were obvious, but I couldn't find any Jasmine.
picmov
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Posted Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:59PM
Yes. iStock is still number one. At least for me

(Edited on 2012-11-26 22:59:58 by picmov)
damircudic
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Posted Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:12AM

iStock has always been the only one, and number one for me. But I must admit I'm very sad what's happening with iStock now.
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