What the Crestock Acquisition Means to Contributing Artists

Posted Thursday, 1 July 2010 by Steve Pigeon in News
In a separate notice, we advised you that the assets of Crestock were acquired by Masterfile Corporation, a Canadian stock photo agency on July 1, 2010. Here is some additional information of interest to photographers and illustrators contributing images to Crestock...

To Crestock's Contributing Artists:

In a separate notice, we advised you that the assets of Crestock were acquired by Masterfile Corporation, a Canadian stock photo agency on July 1, 2010.

Here is some additional information of interest to photographers and illustrators contributing images to Crestock:

Masterfile is headquartered in Toronto with a European headquarters in Dusseldorf, sales offices in London, Milan & Paris and agents in over 100 other countries. The company is big enough to compete with the giants, but small enough to be responsive to all its stakeholders. There are 80 employees in Toronto and 24 in Europe. The Toronto office sells directly into the USA - in fact, only 10% of Masterfile's global sales are to Canadian clients.

The new Crestock Corporation. Crestock's founder, Geir Are Jensen in Norway, will continue to work with the company as a senior advisor. Gudmund Aarseth, in Scotland, who has been responsible for day-to-day operations since late 2009, will also continue with the business. He will transition back to his preferred role as a website design consultant for Crestock. We plan to add a number of people to the organization in the coming year to improve service levels and bring more global microstock experience to the company. Steve Pigeon, Masterfile's president and founder (that's me) will oversee the transition. Of course, we will be drawing on Masterfile's management experience and some pretty talented staff to help build a better Crestock.

What's in it for you?

  1. Payouts. The first order of business will be to get all unpaid royalties (a.k.a. "commissions") paid to artists who have previously requested payouts. This process will be completed within two weeks. You can rest assured that payments will be regular and timely from now on.
  2. Image backlog. Crestock currently has a considerable backlog of new images in the editing queue. We will get that cleared within two months. In the meantime, we are adding experienced image inspectors and editors to our team to handle larger volumes - so we will welcome your new image submissions and will move them through the process quickly.
  3. Quick Response Time. Over the past year, Crestock operated with reduced staff which restricted their ability to respond to questions and problems. Effective immediately, you can expect a response to your e-mail inquiries within 24 hours (weekends not included).

What else can you expect to see from Crestock?

Advertising and promotion. Look for a lot more media buzz as we work with our ad agency and marketing staff to build Crestock's sales aggressively.

Globalization. We will expand Crestock into a multi-language, multiple currency business in the course of the coming year, in line with the capabilities of Masterfile.

Legal improvements. We have updated the general legal terms on the website, added a membership agreement and replaced the content upload agreement and the image licensing terms and conditions granted to clients for our mutual protection. We have also added new model and property releases to the site for your convenience (and legal protection).

The new Artist Image Upload Agreement is a fairly lengthy document compared to Crestock's old one, but it spells out exactly how we are going to work together and clearly defines your rights and ours. In my considerable experience at Masterfile, I've learned that good contracts make good friends. You will be required to read and accept the new agreement before you can upload any new images to Crestock but you can still request and receive a payout without approving the new agreement.

Crestock went through a rough patch over the past year and we appreciate that you hung in there with them. We think you'll see a considerable improvement under Masterfile's guidance, but talk is cheap: ultimately, your continued relationship with Crestock will depend solely on our ability to do a good job for you.

And that's our goal: We're going to give this company our best shot... so you can give us yours!

Steve Pigeon, President
Crestock Corporation
3 Concorde Gate, 4th Floor
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M3C 3N7

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By Bill Brooks on Friday, 2 July 2010 7:18 PM
Regular payouts = very good
By clearviewstock on Sunday, 4 July 2010 2:45 AM
sounds great.

Will we see a commission increase to bring it more in line with other agencies? (especially the subscriptions)
By stevepigeon on Monday, 5 July 2010 2:16 PM
No plan to revise the commission rate at this juncture. However, I will say that our subscription rate is pretty much industry standard when compared to the major players in subscription.

Steve Pigeon, President - Crestock Corporation
By Tim on Monday, 5 July 2010 10:41 PM
Are we still going to see 99% arbitrary rejections on submitted content?
By David on Thursday, 22 July 2010 3:29 PM
I guess the accusation means everything its worth having :)
By Guest on Saturday, 18 September 2010 10:33 AM
Hello Steve,

what about excluding vectors and XXL files from subscriptions? You can always provide smaller sizes for subscribers. Vectors are too editable to be given away for 0.25 cents.

I suggest you also start a premium subscription where you pay contributors 3 times more for vectors and a bit better for XXL files.

Pricing for vector images and subscriptions
By stevepigeon on Tuesday, 21 September 2010 4:41 PM
In response to the "guest" query on Sep 18, we are reviewing all the pricing on Crestock and, among other things, have determined to increase the price for vector files. This should take effect within a few weeks as we are making a number of changes to the website.

Additionally, we are looking at subscriptions both in terms of the prices charged to clients and the royalties paid to contributors.

Steve Pigeon, Chariman - Crestock Corporation, Toronto
By Egorius on Thursday, 23 September 2010 8:08 PM
Well, from 250 images in other stock (I know it is tiny amount), Crestock approved only 5. Would you like continue invent any reason to reject or other staff will check images...
Editing Policy
By stevepigeon on Friday, 24 September 2010 4:30 PM
In response to yesterday's question from Egorius, our policies on pricing and royalty payments have nothing to do with our editing policy. We will continue to maintain a high standard.

Steve Pigeon, Chairman - Crestock Corporation, Toronto

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