I’m going through my financials for this year and there is a very disturbing trend… Sales on Pond5 are slowly dying. My overall sales for this year are down from last year. Even worse, my August payout is the worst payout I’ve had since January of 2010. Now part of that can be attributed to the fact that I’ve pissed some people off at Pond5 and they’re messing with my sales. I’ve been really hard on them for not keeping promises and in a couple of cases, just out right lying. So of course, they’ve gone in an messed with the rankings of my stuff.
But, I hang out online with a group of other Microstock geeks, some of whom are the best sellers across the industry. And they too are reporting (privately) that their sales on Pond5 are down considerably.
It’s like the site is on auto-pilot while the folks from Pond5 are out on a very extended vacation. The only real update this year is that Pond5 now allows uploads of still images, something they promised us over a year ago. None of their other promised features have see the light of day, nor do they even talk about them any more. I’ve hinted at this before, but now I’m beginning to firmly believe Pond5 is for sale. That has to be the only reasonable explanation for no real updates in nearly 2 years, stopping nearly all conversation with contributors and allowing Shutterstock to stage a major comeback into a position of dominance after thoroughly crushing them (and the rest of the competition) a couple years ago.
We’ll see how things play out the rest of the year… traditionally sales begin to pick up the middle of August with September being one of the best sales months of the year. While I’m see that trend already on Shutterstock, Pond5 sales are still lackluster and I’m no longer hopeful.