7/25/2008

Down The Drain?

One of the first sites I was with was iStock. Over my 18 months at microstock, it has been a strong overall performer, generally #2. BUT... for a while it was growing great, even challenged to be my top site a few months. Then it seemed to reverse, and lately has been drifting closer towards #3. Dumping monthly sales data into a spreadsheet confirms my perception.

This graph shows $/month, with a 6th order polynomial trendline for reference. Pretty ugly. But why? Well, not to be paranoid, but they've been putting a big push towards getting contributors to become exclusive, to submit only to them. Part of that push includes things like limiting uploads from non-exclusives, different review process for exclusives, and skewing their search engines to show images from exclusives first, giving them more visability.

I'll continue to work with them, they still perform well for me. And I'd still recommend them to anyone looking at microstock (though not with as much enthusiasm). But the tone of the business relationship has certainly changed.

1 comment:

steve gibson - microstockinsider said...

I'm seeing similar, I've been submitting for many years (late 2003), I had thought that it was because many of the images in my original portfolio were from a 2.1 and then and 3.4mp cameras which i guess were not showing up as much (despite the yellow flames). I also noted that the income picked up (a little) when i started submitting again after taking a 6 month break from uploading to istock. It's hard to compare this type of stuff, but over the past year the feedback from other microstockers I have seen on various forums and sites makes me fairly certain that istock had dropped off number 1 when it comes to photographer income