October 2010 Sales Report

October was a very welcome month with mostly higher sales across the board.  Pond5 led with a new “Best Month Ever” in both number of clips sold and sales dollars.  The only real bummer was the whole iSyndica thing… especially when it came time to gather the data for this months report.  Ugh!

October 2010
Agency Clips Sold Portfolio Size
Pond5 103 (+37) 1127 (+22)
RevoStock 5 (+1) 321 (+0)
ShutterStock 8 (+4) 159 (+9)
ClipCanvas 3 (+3) 308 (+77)
MediaStock 0 (+0) 78 (+0)
Can Stock 0 (-1) 48 (+2)
iStock 2 (+2) 17 (+0)
Fotolia 0 4 (+0)

Until a couple of weeks ago, Pond5 would manually process of all sales.  Which means sometimes several days would go by before we would know how things were going.  Finally, they heard our cry and automated the process.  So at 4:00am Eastern Time an automated script is executed to process new sales and send out the emails.  It is SOOOO much nicer to get those daily emails now.  One important note, sales are delayed.  Which means, if I buy one of your video clips today, it will not show up on tomorrow’s sales report.  Pond5 waits 2 to 3 days for the transaction to actually clear before it can be posted.  This is a measure to catch fraud and prevent refunds.  In all the years I’ve been with Pond5, I’ve never had a refund (that I know of)… I wish I could say the same for RevoStock or ShutterStock.  Getting that refund notice is a major downer.

I did manage to get about 50 new clips uploaded to Pond5, but I’ve been slow in the keyword process so only 22 new clips made it online last month.  Of course, it’s not helping that Pond5 is a week or more behind in processing clips.  But that’s to be expected as they are seeing a major rush of new artists from the whole iStock fiasco.  They also had some major FTP problems last month that took a little time to get worked out.  But, the great news is that sales skyrocketed there last month.  I hit a new BME in both number of clips sold (I sold 100+ clips in one month there for the first time) and in dollars.  I’ve said it before and it bares repeating… Pond5 knows how to sell footage.

Due to weather and car problems, I stayed home a little more than I would have liked last month and so I took that as an opportunity to get more clips uploaded to ClipCanvas.  Two my of my 3 sales this last month were from the new uploads, so I think it’s working.  ClipCanvas lowered their commission from 60% to 50% and that kicked in this last month.  I’m not happy about it because they really don’t do enough to earn 50% of my sales, but it’s still better than ShutterStock, iStock, etc…  To add insult to injury, this last week they started charging artists a payment processing fee.  So when a customer buys one of my clips, I have to pay the PayPal fee charged to ClipCanvas out of my commission.  Add to that, when I get paid by ClipCanvas, I also have to pay the PayPal transfer fee and a conversion fee from Euros to Dollars so that 50% commission is now actually around 40%.  So Clipcanvas isn’t looking as good as it used to.  They still have major issues with their artist interface and when I asked when those new features they told me about were going to get implemented, I was told sales were low and they can’t afford to do any more development right now… Of course, that does not include the development necessary to charge me for their transaction fees.  I wonder if they’re gonna start charging storage fees for my clips or charge me a percentage of the rent for their office space next…

I just missed payout at ShutterStock last month for a couple of dollars, but this month SS came roaring back with almost a new BME.  Like Pond5, they are very behind in footage reviews right now (about two weeks) but image reviews are moving pretty quickly (around 24 hours).  I had a couple of sales on iStock which was a nice surprise given how small my portfolio is there.  And I had +1 sales in October at Revostock, but it was still a very slow month.  I didn’t get anything uploaded, but with winter coming I’m planning on doing a lot of uploading to Revo over the next few months.  Hopefully that will start sparking more sales there.

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