Front Page Blog: 2008: A Year in Review and a Look Ahead

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kkthompson
Member is a contributor and has less than 250 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsMember has been inducted into the iStockphoto Hall of Fame.
Posted Tue Dec 9, 2008 12:00PM
2008 really has been an interesting, trying, and amazingly successful year. iStock had a tough summer as we migrated to a new, larger data center, upgraded to PHP5, and installed a brand-new high performance search engine. We managed to pull it off with limited interruptions, and we thank our development and IT teams for working hard on it. For those of you who did experience hiccups, we appreciate your patience. The site is performing better than it ever has with far more traffic than we could ever have supported only a short year ago.

New Pricing
In the past, our pricing has been the same, across the board, on every file. The exception was the Dollar Bin, which we introduced a few years ago as a kind of last chance station before a file left the collection altogether.

Our collection has really come into its own, and this one-size-fits-all approach no longer works. More importantly, our community has strong needs from several directions: Artists need more for the jaw-dropping work they do, and buyers need better deals during this vicious economic uncertainty. So we're making changes at both ends of the scale.

The 'Dollar Bin' is getting remodeled (and probably a new name). First of all, there are going to be a lot more files in there: we're envisioning 200,000 to start (up from about 5,000 right now). The images in this new value collection will now be priced by size, like everything else, but at much lower rates: 1 credit for an extra-small and topping out at 7 credits for a XXXL. These files will no longer be automatically deactivated after 30 days. The new Dollar Bin should be ready in early spring.

pricebar_dollar_q109

Now let's look at the top end. iStock's collection is not only the best microstock collection on the planet, but it's on par with most traditional agencies at this point -- that's why our top photographers contribute to the elite Getty Images collection. Customers tell us that they're willing to pay more for top-quality images, especially those where much effort has obviously gone into the production of the shoot. So we want to reward the photographers who are really pushing the envelope. In May we will release a premiere collection of our best, exclusive content. The prices will be:

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We'll start tagging content in January for inclusion into this collection. Exclusives will have the ability to nominate their files they'd like to see included. And again, we'll be looking to put about 200,000 images in the collection by the end of the second quarter.

More details on our two new collections for both customers and contributors will come in the next months.

The standard collection will undergo a price change on Wednesday, January 7th:

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New Size!
You probably noticed that the new prices include XXXL files. This is a brand new category for files bigger than 5600 x 3700. All files uploaded after after mid-January will automatically be generated at the new sizes. Files from the back catalogue that fit the new size will be regenerated as time permits.

Vectors & Flash
Vectors are staying at the same price. We are, however, reevaluating certain files, which may move up or down in the structure. We are also (finally!) introducing a Flash landing page in the New Year. Flash files will have two new price points, to match the Vector pricing.

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Video
Video continues to grow at a terrific rate. We are now up over 140,000 clips, selling at a mind-bending rate. We are adjusting the credit levels for the two HD formats that we offer. Smaller sizes will remain the same.

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Audio
Audio is coming soon! Based on feedback from our contributors, we're making some adjustments to the lowest price level. We'll also soon announce a little surprise for certain potential contributors who weren't eligible due to being members of PRO organizations.

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Pay-as-you-go credit packages
Credit packs will receive a change in pricing, as will the way we price foreign currencies. Right now foreign currencies are dynamically priced every day. While this provides some stability for photographers and iStock, it makes our customers crazy. With the volatility of currencies, prices were changing day by day, even when rounded to the nearest whole, making it difficult for our foreign friends to know how much a package was going to cost from one day to the next. We will now set currency prices on the 1st of each month. We will reserve the right to update the prices mid-month on extreme fluctuations.

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You can see the complete 2009 pricing schedule here.

Site Changes -- File Close-up page
A few months ago you may remember we posted some mock-ups of coming changes to the file close-up page. We've been hard at work on that project ever since. Now, after a lot of focus group and beta testing, we're just about ready to launch this new streamlined page. You will see it live in the next 5 days.

We'd like to announce one more thing we're incredibly proud of. Like everyone else these days, we've had to tighten our belts around here. No cent is spent without good reason and no expenditure approved without a thorough analysis. But one thing that has continued to rise is the amount we pay our photographers. iStock now pays its contributors -- are you sitting down for this? -- almost $1.1 million dollars per WEEK in royalties. That amount only continues to grow -- something we're thrilled with in these rough economic times. We hope that all of our contributors continue to see more in the new year.

Now go have a happy holidays.

The iStock team

(Edited on 2009-01-06 15:53:19 by alibrace)
SensorSpot
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto IllustratorMember has won a contest
Posted Tue Dec 9, 2008 12:01PM
Woohhooooooo!
nuno
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto IllustratorMember has had a submission accepted to the Designer SpotlightMember has had a File Of The WeekEl Platano de Oro Loco - Member has won between 7 and 9 Steel Cage matchesMember has won a contest
Posted Tue Dec 9, 2008 12:02PM
*jaw drops*
Sirimo
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveMember has had a submission accepted to the Designer SpotlightMask of the Diablo Azul - Member has won between 1 and 3 Steel Cage matchesMember has had a File Of The Week.Member is an iStockphoto Steel Cage Judge.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.
Posted Tue Dec 9, 2008 12:02PM
Awesome news... happy holidays to all
shaunl
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 125 Audio downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsMember is an InspectorExclusiveMember has had a File Of The WeekAwarded to fabulous photographers with more than 100,000 downloads
Posted Tue Dec 9, 2008 12:02PM
Heck yes!
anouchka
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 downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Tue Dec 9, 2008 12:03PM
Great news, thank you
hammondoviCLOSED
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 downloadsMember has had a submission accepted to the Designer SpotlightMember has had a File Of The WeekThis member has lost their last cage match. Consider this the black eye the bully gave you after school by the bike racks.
Posted Tue Dec 9, 2008 12:04PM

Whooohoooo!!


iStockPremiere!


 
maodesign
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsMember is an InspectorExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto IllustratorMember has had a File Of The Week
Posted Tue Dec 9, 2008 12:04PM
Amazing and fatastic news. I can't wait to see that all   Guys and Girls form HQ. You rock !!!
knape
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is an InspectorExclusiveMember has had a File Of The WeekMember has won a contest
Posted Tue Dec 9, 2008 12:05PM
GREAT NEWS! Its gonna be cool!
caracterdesign
Member is a Black Diamond contributor and has more than 200,000 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsMember is an InspectorExclusiveMember has had a Design Of The WeekMember has had a File Of The WeekAwarded to fabulous photographers with more than 100,000 downloads
Posted Tue Dec 9, 2008 12:06PM
Fantastic news again!
Lobo
Mask of the Diablo Azul - Member has won between 1 and 3 Steel Cage matchesThis 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 Tue Dec 9, 2008 12:06PM

They won't go for the 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 bin, I already tried it around here.


 

(Edited on 2008-12-09 12:06:48 by Lobo)
Bike_Maverick
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Illustrator
Posted Tue Dec 9, 2008 12:06PM
Holy cow!!!
attatorCLOSED
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 Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Flash downloadsExclusive iStockphoto Flash ArtistExclusive iStockphoto VideographerMember has had a File Of The Week
Posted Tue Dec 9, 2008 12:07PM
!
LLMillerMediaCLOSED
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsMember is a Gold contributor and has 5,000 - 12,499 Audio downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Audio ArtistThis member has lost their last cage match. Consider this the black eye the bully gave you after school by the bike racks.Member has had a File Of The Week.
Posted Tue Dec 9, 2008 12:08PM
Excellent
EricVega
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 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsMember is an InspectorExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto VideographerMember has had a submission accepted to the Designer SpotlightMember has had a File Of The WeekAwarded to fabulous photographers with more than 100,000 downloadsMember has had a File Of The Week.
Posted Tue Dec 9, 2008 12:08PM
Just awesome! iS ROCKS!!!!!
Bike_Maverick
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Illustrator
Posted Tue Dec 9, 2008 12:09PM
From now on the official definition of "total coolness" should be = "Istock".
PrairieArtProject
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloads
Posted Tue Dec 9, 2008 12:09PM
I'm waiting for someone to run the numbers and tell me if I'm happy
swalls
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 125 Audio downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Illustration downloadsMember is an InspectorExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto IllustratorMember has had a submission accepted to the Designer Spotlight
Posted Tue Dec 9, 2008 12:09PM
Wow, wow, wow!! Awesome stuff coming up. Thank you iStock!
strathroy
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Tue Dec 9, 2008 12:09PM
Who will be the first to find fault with this new pricing structure?
THEPALMER
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveMember has had a File Of The WeekMember has won a contestAwarded to fabulous photographers with more than 100,000 downloads
Posted Tue Dec 9, 2008 12:09PM
Top end awesomeness  !!! thanks
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