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Exclusivity dilemma

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Richair
95 posts
<10
Message posted at 10/06/2013, 16:00:53 PM by Richair
I have been shooting stock since about 2009, went exclusive with Dreamstime when I reached 50 uploads. Up till then I was also uploading to other stock sites, but strange enough I made only a single sale with all other agencies (mind you, not the majors), while I had several with DT.
As I started shooting stock as a hobby (not as an income), I liked the idea of only having to submit to one site, and earning more per sale.

Fast forward to now, and am in doubt if I should continue this path. I recently started to "up the game", meaning uploading more and trying to increase quality.
My goal is to see if I can increase my stock income, and see how far I can push it without losing the fun factor.
So this brings me to the question of remaining exclusive with DT. I did some searching and the consensus in stock land seems to be that it is better to be non-exclusive and put your eggs in various baskets.
Of course, giving up exclusivity is something I wouldn't take lightly. I don't consider my portfolio to be that great (not fishing for compliments here, I just know my place...), and my main concern would be that I return to the situation I was in 2009: barely any sales on the other agencies, and reduced income from DT due to non-exclusivity.

Is there anyone here with some advice? Anyone who took the plunge and went non-exclusive again? How did you fare?
Canon EOS 6D, EOS 450D, Canon 24-105 F4L, , Canon 100-400L I...

Uploaded files:589 | Total Sales: 293
Murdock2013
487 posts
79
Message edited at 10/07/2013, 02:05:38 AM by Murdock2013
This is a dilemma I have been going through and probably many other Exclusives.
I have only been with DT and have found the forums and layout of DT very simple and easy to use.
Most of my port has fantastic positions in the search engines in the most relevant search. One being 1st out of nearly 15.000 images and the rest being on the first pages. This is one thing that worries me about dropping exclusivity that my images will drop of the radar.

But I can’t help thinking that with the increasing amount of sub sales that are appearing I might as well be non-exclusive. But then come along a couple of big credit sales that make me hesitant to leave. Also if these new 2.00 and 2.20 dollar subs take off this also benefits the non-exclusives.

DT to me is an addition which I never want to give up but at the same time I have this nagging feeling that I am missing out. It’s crazy really at our level as we are only talking about small amounts of money. We won’t starve whatever decision we make


Uploaded files:746 | Total Sales: 321
Miraclemoments
1207 posts
72
Message posted at 10/07/2013, 00:57:41 AM by Miraclemoments
The age old question....do what time allows is what I say. Is stock still going to be what you want it to be when your time uploading and keywording doubles or triples. Xclusivity does have it's advantages when it comes to those credit sales and the new subs plan. Think carefully and check your stats and decide whether the extra time is going to be reflected in possible sales elsewhere. I for one will stay exclusive for a while to come.
Canon 60D I AM A SIGMA AMBASSADOR Sigma 8-16 f4.5-5....

Uploaded files:776 | Total Sales: 397
Richair
95 posts
<10
Message posted at 10/07/2013, 02:22:43 AM by Richair
Regarding sub sales, the optimist in me hopes that for each sub sale I make I wouldn't have had a credit sale otherwise. The threshold to buy a photo on sub seems to me much lower. But I also share the frustration in seeing a large format being sold for next to nothing...

I recently read about someone sharing his revenue/sales across various agencies and DT was the third in the list. This gives me the idea that there COULD be much more to had when biting the bullet and going non-exclusive.
Mind you, this guy was in a different league and was also submitting to those agencies with stricter application criteria, so this comparison might be skewed.

Are there any examples of DT-ers who ditched their exclusivity but went back to exclusive after a while?
Canon EOS 6D, EOS 450D, Canon 24-105 F4L, , Canon 100-400L I...

Uploaded files:589 | Total Sales: 293
Murdock2013
487 posts
79
Message edited at 10/07/2013, 04:35:34 AM by Murdock2013
Michael do you know something about the new sub plans that benefits Exclusives that we don’t know? In a previous thread the general consensus was that the 20 cents difference favours Non-exclusives. Even Archilles mentioned the new sub plan may benefit more Non-exclusives.
I agree with all your other points of effort in uploading to multiple sites and if you have plenty of free time to this then it makes it easier.
Reading back on several other threads about this subject the people who have left exclusivity and submitted to 4 to 5 sites is that their revenue increased by 2 to 3 times the amount.


Uploaded files:746 | Total Sales: 321
Alvera
2655 posts
77
Message posted at 10/07/2013, 04:09:36 AM by Alvera
Of course the income on DT will be lower but the total amount will be bigger if you submit to more agencies. The big question is: do you have time to manage 4-5 more agencies with different rules even on key-wording? This can easy become a full day job (uploading, checking emails, resubmitting, message board chat, tax calculation etc).

As I see, big contributors go for non-exclusivity, the small one like me or you are still happy for the $.20 per approved image and some other advantages.

If you ask me, the changes from DT marketing policy from the last 2 years was not in my benefits, my income stay at the same level. Of course, maybe I am wrong and I am guilty by not uploading quality stuff or increasing the number of uploaded file. Who know?!

What I said above is about MY portfolio only, nobody can say if this apply to others too.
Nikon. 4x4 car for wildlife adventures. Inkscape for vectors...

Uploaded files:3920 | Total Sales: 4468
Murdock2013
487 posts
79
Message posted at 10/07/2013, 04:26:10 AM by Murdock2013
I think you summed it up before Alvera in another thread. We are just lazy and the big guns on here have people to upload for them... Plus the people like myself who have only been with DT are worried about leaving their comfort zone. There is also another factor the pictures we have on here are not guaranteed to be accepted by another agency.. there is also a flip side our rejected images here may be acceptable to other agencies who have a different clientele. And yes the upload bonus is certainly a welcome bonus.


Uploaded files:746 | Total Sales: 321
Richair
95 posts
<10
Message posted at 10/07/2013, 06:31:35 AM by Richair
I concur that the difference in uploading/keywording procedures can be a a pain in the neck, remembering from the beginning when I was non-exclusive. I figured I could come a long way by putting keywords in the metadata, but still this wouldn't automate it all the way.

One thing on the other hand, and this may sound silly, is that I have more time uploading than shooting. On a typical evening (after work) I find myself much rather crashing on the couch with my laptop (and the mrs...) uploading stuff than shooting new material. Shooting gets done in the weekend (when well rested and full of inspiration...).

Canon EOS 6D, EOS 450D, Canon 24-105 F4L, , Canon 100-400L I...

Uploaded files:589 | Total Sales: 293
Miraclemoments
1207 posts
72
Message posted at 10/07/2013, 07:41:26 AM by Miraclemoments

Originally posted by Murdock2013:
Quoted Message: Michael do you know something about the new sub plans that benefits Exclusives that we don’t know? In a previous thread the general consensus was that the 20 cents difference favours Non-exclusives. Even Archilles mentioned the new sub plan may benefit more Non-exclusives. I agree with all your other points of effort in uploading to multiple sites and if you have plenty of free time to this then it makes it easier.Reading back on several other threads about this subject the people who have left exclusivity and submitted to 4 to 5 sites is that their revenue increased by 2 to 3 times the amount.


Murdock all I know currently is that $2 is better than 42 cents. I have had a mass of these 42 cent sales which would have been nice if they were $2. Plus any new files that you go online you get your 20 cents bonus for...so $2.20 for a new file on a sub sale.

The longer you stay non exclusive and keep uploading the bigger the job to upload and submit all your files that are here to another site. As mentioned you have the acceptance/rejection issues. Personally I wish I could go to all the other sites....currently I just don't have time with kids, my day job and just having a life. To me it is a hobby that supplements for the kids birthday gifts, christmas gifts and my wife's lost wedding ring....long story :-)
Canon 60D I AM A SIGMA AMBASSADOR Sigma 8-16 f4.5-5....

Uploaded files:776 | Total Sales: 397
Luvemak
345 posts
74
Message posted at 10/07/2013, 07:42:20 AM by Luvemak
Same here. Although I just went exclusive a few months ago, I'm already asking myself that question. I love getting that upload bonus, and there certainly does seem to be improved searched placement...starting to appear on first page or few, et cetera. However, I keep wondering if it would be better to pull back the exclusivity (after the set time) and start submitting to all of the sites that I pulled from again. Especially when I'm growing my portfolio at a good rate and starting to do some illustrations. Keywording isn't a problem for me since I do it all in Lightroom or Photoshop and then upload using Filezilla. SUPER easy!

I'd love to hear from more people who have gone "unexclusive" and what happened to their revenue.
Canon 5d Mark II; Canon EF 17-105 4.0; Canon 60d; Canon EF...

Uploaded files:757 | Total Sales: 285
Heywoody
594 posts
69
Message posted at 10/07/2013, 07:58:16 AM by Heywoody
I make about 3 times more than I would as exclusive. For someone to leave exclusivity there would be a fairly substantial drop for a while, likely to be shocked by the low RPD and depends on where images are placed - different sites have different (not necessarily higher) standards and there is one "must have" site to make it worthwhile.
Vue 7, Daz 3, Wings 3D and the odd photo.

Uploaded files:570 | Total Sales: 1064
Pulsar124
190 posts
<10
Message posted at 10/07/2013, 09:13:51 AM by Pulsar124
As we are talking about a small compliment to our day job incomes, so it should be fine either way - we don't have too much to loose. I had a "quit exclusivity itch" some time ago, also saw posts where people made more money by going non-exclusive (perhaps by a factor of 2x or so), but my strong suspicion is this is a path of diminishing returns - significantly more work (and mostly non-fun work - keywording etc.), for not proportionally as large increase in income.

I think the best way to fight this "itch" is to come up with new and creative ideas for stock photos here in DT - this is much more fun than extra keywording for your old photos.
Canon 50D, Canon 135mm f2.0L, Canon 70-200mm f4L, Sigma 1...

Uploaded files:107 | Total Sales: 319
Debramillet
268 posts
68
Message posted at 10/07/2013, 09:17:42 AM by Debramillet
Agree 100% with everything Heywoody just said. I just wanted to add that at first it seems like a lot of work juggling different agencies but ewventually you'll get a system down, and I don't bother reading the other boards and such, only dt, and the low earners I upload to only once a week when I have files lined up, the top earners I send things right when there done. Best wishes whatever you decide


Uploaded files:977 | Total Sales: 1384
Alvera
2655 posts
77
Message posted at 10/07/2013, 09:20:20 AM by Alvera

Originally posted by Luvemak:
Quoted Message: !I`d love to hear from more people who have gone "unexclusive" and what happened to their revenue.


This is a very well kept secret. No one who leaved exclusivity return alive to tell the story... :-) )
Nikon. 4x4 car for wildlife adventures. Inkscape for vectors...

Uploaded files:3920 | Total Sales: 4468
Heywoody
594 posts
69
Message posted at 10/07/2013, 09:49:31 AM by Heywoody

Originally posted by Alvera:
Quoted Message: This is a very well kept secret. No one who leaved exclusivity return alive to tell the story... :-) )


I think some do return to the fold.

@pulsar, as debra says, IPTC and ftp take the pain away from uploading (mostly). I agree with you about the monetary value end of things but I think the biggest danger is becoming "institutionalised" and focusing on "stock images" instead of just images and then the hobby really is just low paid work (perfectly fine if that's what you like or are making a few hundred bucks a week).
Vue 7, Daz 3, Wings 3D and the odd photo.

Uploaded files:570 | Total Sales: 1064
Cvandyke
9 posts
Message posted at 10/07/2013, 09:58:05 AM by Cvandyke
Hi Richair-- I, too, went exclusive with DT since my first 50 uploads. However, as of this month, I am no longer exclusive. Since Oct. 1, I have 4 sub and 2 credit sales--not as good as before, but my pics are still being seen. On the other hand, I had my first sale on Fine Art America the first day that I posted. I have not yet signed up with the other ******** agencies as I have been too busy shooting fall foliage... only time will tell if it was a good decision or not. But... I need the freedom to use my photos in other endeavors. Best of luck to you whatever you decide.
Canon 5D MarkII, Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L, ...

Uploaded files:994 | Total Sales: 856
Luvemak
345 posts
74
Message posted at 10/07/2013, 13:05:21 PM by Luvemak
Heywoody, is that one "must have" site the one that makes uploading photos the most difficult because of their extensive keywording system? LOL I had just got accepted there prior to going exclusive...made the decision hard. Makes me still wonder about going back to being NE to get a chunk of the action at that site!!!
Canon 5d Mark II; Canon EF 17-105 4.0; Canon 60d; Canon EF...

Uploaded files:757 | Total Sales: 285
Luvemak
345 posts
74
Message posted at 10/07/2013, 13:06:43 PM by Luvemak
Also curious if those that do well on many sites split exclusive images amongst those sites. Does keeping images exclusive balance out the search placement issue?

Canon 5d Mark II; Canon EF 17-105 4.0; Canon 60d; Canon EF...

Uploaded files:757 | Total Sales: 285
Red
1684 posts
Message posted at 10/07/2013, 14:27:25 PM by Red
Not all sites accept exclusive images, you will have to check each one to see if they offer that option.


Uploaded files:227 | Total Sales: 1573
Luvemak
345 posts
74
Message posted at 10/07/2013, 14:37:25 PM by Luvemak
True Red...I've never actually had any exclusive images on other sites...only DT. Just wondering if the search placement on DT would be just as good with exclusive images versus complete exclusivity???
Canon 5d Mark II; Canon EF 17-105 4.0; Canon 60d; Canon EF...

Uploaded files:757 | Total Sales: 285
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