Some of you know that we've been testing prices this summer - there were several threads posted in the past. We're happy to announce we're getting closer to a good resolution and consequently several changes are officially being rolled out as we speak. Though they may not look that significant, they are tailored for both designers and contributors alike. We remain focused on generating better revenue for contributors but we do our best to increase revenue by volume rather than pricing. So these changes are designed with the above in mind.
Starting today, we will transfer to level 0 all the files that haven't received any downloads AND are older than 6 months. As you know, the previous method allowed 2 years for these files. That time span seems to be too long especially as we receive more and more images. There will be almost 25% more files submitted in October as compared to October 2011 while the volume of the content accepted will be significantly higher (almost 40% more!). This means the AR increased, the content is better and we expect it to collect downloads in a shorter period of time (hence stay at level 1 or go UP quicker). The files that are not that good have a chance for 6 months and then will be transferred to level 0. This applies to the existent files as well, because we took historical data into account.
We have also decided to increase royalties for level 0 images from 20% to 25% for all downloads (promo or not) so nobody feels their earnings will be affected due to this change (images being transferred from level 1 to 0).
Also, we will gradually release a promo, aimed only for new buyers initially. The low sizes will be discounted, especially for the high level files. Larger sizes will have similar pricing. The promo is active only during the first 24 hours after registration and allows new customers to get familiar with the quality of our content. We have found that many value-oriented designers are afraid to try us out. One frequent problem is that they aim a popular file that could be perceived as too expensive. Once they use the site a little bit more, they see there is quality in lower levels too and download accordingly (popular or newer files).
Though the price in credits will be reduced, we expect a high increase in downloads (as high as 50% more) hence the discount will be compensated by volume. For now this promo awards only new buyers and expires after 24 hours. Of course, we will continue to monitor customer behavior, adjusting our offer based on their experience.
And now that we've started, stay tuned... There are a few more nice things to come soon! :)
Raising the level 0 percentage to 25% is a good move. Still a long way to go until we get back to the flat 50% for non-exclusive files we once had, but that's sure somewhere within the "more nice things to come", isn't it?
My overall RDP got lower with the change is subscription program and this will lower it even more. Although not relevant for the total revenue, I hope to see a slight increase to subscription royalties at least for high level files.
I am not sure how many "value-oriented designers" will like seeing prices for certain files tripling 24 hours after they join. By offering this introductory promo, they may feel that prices have drastically jumped very suddenly. Will these 24 hour promo prices be clearly marked as available for 24 hours only with the regular prices shown alongside? Seeing the regular price might help it feel like more of a value.
I also wonder how many "value-oriented designers" would simply re-register with a new account every time new images are needed. This is surely against the terms and conditions, but to get a deal some people/groups would do this. Cross checking for unique email addresses and/or credit card numbers would not ensure uniqueness. Another perceived bonus of trying to register anew each time is to receive the referral bonus for the new "registrant".
The price drop for some of these files is huge. We'll see how this plays out, but I expect to see complaints about unexpected low payments in the near future.
It is nice to see the level 0 files going back to a higher commission rate, but for first sales on files older than six months and less than two years old, the actual amount of money made on the sale will still be lower than in the past. I liked seeing non-selling files older than 2 years get the search bump, but they are again going to be lost amongst the noise of newer files.
The promo will be clearly marked of course, before and after sign-up. As for cloned accounts, we can easily detect them. Can't be worse than a few years ago when we were awarding free credits with each account, isn't it? ;) But thanks for the comment, you make a good point.
Decreasing prices is never a good thing, its a sign that the market is paying less for our images, otherwise DT wouldn´t be doing that.
But I support DT on this, I think the change is less impactating, level 0 for not so old images, even though I think 6 months is a little bit too much, but I think you surely did your homework and know what you are doing.
About the promotion, I enthusiastically aprove the idea, DT should always have some sort of promotion, they are great! They can attract the kind of buyers you want to focus on, in this case, the focus is on new buyers, for example, and they are time framed, so you can extinguish them at any moment, differently than increasing or decreasing license prices, in which case the market will always be apprehensive and we might loose customers.
So, thumbs up for the promotion, neutral thumb for the new level 0´s. I didnt check, but I think the other levels pricing didn´t change, did they?
Now, another observation that became much more relevant after this level 0 change. DT should address the fact that the images take too long to be indexed and visible by the search engine, if they are going to be only for 6 months as level 1´s, they need to be up and running right away, not weeks after being uploaded.
And, last but not least, newer images should show up in the first page, in the past, many of my just approved images were sold imediately, now, not anymore, you have to click on the latest button, than latest additions, nobody does that. They are uploaded and stays weeks hidden from everybody before even showing up on the search engine.
You could also promote them in the social media, if there is so much new content coming every day, DT should take advantage of that and expose it as a competitive advantage against other competitors attracting buyers.
Lastly, if we now have level 0, we could have a level 6 for those images with more than 50 downloads. This way, I wouldnt be so sad when I get a sub on a level 5 image...
I hope this suggestions might be useful, thank you very much, cheers and a have a great day!
Sounds like the contributor is paying for experiments again. Luckily all my files are in level 0. Not sure why people are so happy when clearly you get less per download and the offer to the buyers comes out of your commission.
This sounds like a good compromise. Of course I would always like to see prices going up, but that isn't necessarily realistic. I very much appreciate Dreamstime's consideration in raising commission rates for Level 0 images to compensate for the 6 month time period. Once again, the needs of the buyers are being balanced out with the needs of the contributors :)
Dreamstime continues to have the highest RPD of any micro site I submit to. So a promotion to bring in more customers and increase volume sounds good to me.
As I understand it, it is only files with no sales that will be moved to level 0 after 6 months? Or will this also apply to files that have sold, but not in the last 6 months? Can someone clarify for me? Thanks!
Quoted Message: We have also decided to increase royalties for level 0 images from 20% to 25% for all downloads (promo or not) so nobody feels their earnings will be affected due to this change (images being transferred from level 1 to 0).
I'm not sure I follow, earnings will still be less for an image transferred to level zero after 6 months. The royalty jump is 25%. The maximum reduction in credits is 66%. For a maximum size Level 1 file you would earn 88% of what a Level 1 used to pay in earnings. For an XSmall it will be 42% of what the level 1 used to pay. Less if within the promotional period of 24h. We aren't talking huge dollars amount here, of course, but I do think earnings will be affected by the shift to level 0. If that leads to sales due to lower prices that can help make up for it, of course.
I would say it is difficult to comment on this change. At first glance it seems like it would take a LOT more volume to make up the price drop. We have no idea how many buyers make a one time credit purchase versus becoming repeat buyers. A company with multiple employees could inadvertently take advantage of this policy over and over :)
I'm glad you keep us in the loop and explain your reasoning behind the changes, but there are so many variables at play that it is hard to get excited about pricing changes any more... I hope it works - anything that moves people from subs to credits is positive for contributors, in my mind.
@LisaFX - I think the capitalized AND in the description is intended to convey that we are talking about files that have no sales AND are older than six months, rather than files that have simply not sold in 6 months (ie a level 2 file).
Quoted Message: Lastly, if we now have level 0, we could have a level 6 for those images with more than 50 downloads. This way, I wouldnt be so sad when I get a sub on a level 5 image...
I honestly think there are already too many levels and too many file-sizes.
For levels, I would go for maximum 4: discounted (first level, something like level 0); normal (second level); high-quality (third level, for images achieving a certain limit of downloads) and outstanding (4th level, for images achieving a certain number of downloads in a certain amount of time - therfore, temporary by nature).
This has got to be the most convoluted and opaque pricing and commission structure in the business, not helped by changing it every 5 minutes. It must be a huge turn off for buyers - there must be airlines out there looking on in awe.