In my post first blog post I talked about some of the reasons why I am a Symzio member and what that means. In this post I will discuss some of the deeper, more pressing reasons to use the Symbiostock plugin for WordPress, and become a Symzio member, or to buy your images from Symzio members.
First of all there is the tendency for microstock agencies to push the “more is better” mentality. They seem to think that if they brag that they have 25 million images vs. someone else’s 5 million then that makes them better. BS! It just means they have more, nothing else. And in fact the criteria used for acceptance has greatly diminished. For example, in it’s push to get more and more images ShutterStock has changed their member acceptance criteria from needing 7 out of 10 images accepted to just needing 1. Now on the surface that might seem fine, after all they just need to maintain the same standards and screen more images just as well. Not happening. They are quick scanning images at a furious rate. Review times went from several weeks to several days in a short time. How did they do that and maintain quality? Well, among other things it seems they are using computer screening. I do a lot of images with selective focus, which draws the attention to the subject in the image. I also use selective lighting for the same purpose. Now a lot of my images get rejected for “too much of image is out of focus” or “too much of image is dark; improper lighting” … and they are probably never seen by a human, or just batch accepted based on their computer scanning.
What else does this mass push for bigger and bigger libraries of images mean? Well, at $.20-$.25 for subscription images it already takes massive sales to get any money. Now they are increasing the volume available to such an extent that contributors who have massive amounts of images and have always made good money are seeing huge reductions in volume of sales because their images are such a small part of the whole. And could this big push effect these mega-corporations in any other way than just increasing their sales? They have already cut the royalties to a bare minimum, so what else could they do to squeeze more money out of the photographers? Well, since they have a $100 minimum payout, how long do you think it will take most new users to accumulate that much in sales at $.25 per sale? Months? Not likely, more like years, decades, or maybe never. And guess who keeps all that money until they get to that level, if ever? Yup, the mega-corporations.
Symzio allows photographers to keep between 70% and 100% of the sales, depending on where the sale originated, and they get 10% commission if a customer goes to their site first and then buys someone else’s simage. And except for needing a web host, there is no cost involved! Check it out! It is in the early stages but growing, and mega-corporations won’t pay enough to make it worth the time to post images if you don’t already have a massive library uploaded to them. This may take time to pay off, but you will at least make percentages that are fair and reasonable. And even at the $1.99 minimum price the artist gets a reasonable take. Even on a referral (s)he gets almost as much as a sale on their own image at the big guy’s websites.