We have just completed a large restructuring of how we save and display iStock data. It was a complex process many months in the making.
In this blog post we want to describe our motivation and teach you how to navigate our new displays!
Here’s why we restructured our iStock data
With the start of 2017, Getty completed their Unification project with the aim of having one single backend for their iStock and Getty files.
One aspect of Unification was that all iStock files would get a new Getty Images identification number (i.e. a new file ID). The old iStock IDs became secondary identification numbers and not relevant anymore.
Stock Performer continued living with the old iStock IDs but that required us to implement quite a few workarounds with a risk to the quality of our software.
Since iStock and Getty’s backend now work only with Getty IDs and we don’t know how long iStock IDs will be around, we decided to migrate all our data from the old iStock IDs to the new Getty Images IDs.
For the software engineers amongst you, you will know that changing your data’s primary key is not an easy operation!
Such a large change to our data opened up some opportunities to improve things. We decided to merge all our iStock data into one and stop splitting it into “iStock”, “iStock/Getty”, “iStock/PP” “and iStock/Subs”.
In the past, this split made sense. iStock used to publish sales data at different times. Credit sales were displayed in real-time. Subs, Partner Program and Getty sales were displayed monthly, but at different times. By mirroring this split in Stock Performer, it was easy to track each of these sales types.
But things have changed and iStock doesn’t publish data separately anymore. You now find all your sales together once a month. iStock’s sales reports are also much richer in terms of the data they share.
So splitting things into the above categories now seems arbitrary (one could ask “Why Subs and not Premium Access?”) and excluds a lot of the new categories which have appeared with Unification.
With our restructuring we now display all iStock data together and improved the display of iStock sales data!
Here’s a summary:
- iStock/Subs, iStock/PP and iStock/Getty have been removed
- We now display all your iStock sales in one place
- Historical sales evolution offer more options
- More RPD metrics available
- New aggregated “Reported” metric for better comparison with ESP
Let’s look at each of these in more detail.
iStock/Subs, iStock/PP and iStock/Getty have been removed
The split into iStock/Subs, iStock/Getty and iStock/PP has been removed throughout the system. Instead all sales are iStock sales:
- iStock/Subs sales now appear as “iStock Subscription” sales in the “Purchase Model” category.
- iStock/Getty sales now appear as “Getty” sales in the “Distribution Channel” category.
- iStock/PP sales now appear as “Partner Portal” sales in the “Distribution Channel” category.
We also introduced new types of sales thanks to the richer set of data contained in the monthly iStock sales reports.
The following is an example screenshot of Purchase Models from the monthly view:
Similarly, the new “Distribution Channel” category will reflect whether sales happened on iStock, Getty or on a Partner Portal. Here is an example screenshot from the monthly view:
We now display all your iStock sales in one place
Previously, you would see your iStock, iStock/Subs, iStock/Getty and iStock/PP sales always separately, either in the bottom chart of the “Overview” or any of the period views (Daily, Monthly, Yearly, All-time).
This had the disadvantage that you could never see how your complete iStock sales evolution was. You also couldn’t see how much money you made on one month, or one day. You had to pick your calculator and sum them up yourself.
That’s gone now. The new charts and metrics always display iStock all sales combined.
Historical sales evolution offer more options
In the past, we allowed you to view the historical evolution of your iStock, iStock/Subs, iStock/Getty and iStock/PP sales in the bottom chart of the “Overview”.
That has been removed and instead your evolutions are displayed in the Sales Breakdown areas. The nice thing is that we now offer more options. You don’t just see the evolution of your subscription or credit sales, but you can also see the evolution of your premium access sales, premium access time limited, RF Clip, Credit Pack and more.
To access the historical sales of any sales type, click on the bottom-most right symbol. Here is an example from the monthly view:
If you click on that symbol anywhere on Stock Performer, you should see something like this chart below. You can click on any of the checkboxes below to filter the evolution of specific sales. This new way of seeing sales evolution gives you many more options than the limited 4 available with our old data structures.
More RPD metrics available
Every type of iStock sale is accompanied by its average revenue per download (RPD). RPD is important because it let’s you identify which type of sales are priced highest.
You will have noticed that below our charts, you find the “RPD” option. When clicked, it will display the charts with their average RPD value.
You can see the RPD value of all the metrics we display. For example, you can see the RPDs by Distribution Channel to compare sales on iStock with sales on Getty. Or you might want to compare the RPDs between photo and video.
Here follows a screenshot which displays the various RPD values. This screenshot sample displays that video sales are much larger than photo sales, or that sales on Getty are the highest priced:
New aggregated “Reported” metric for better comparison with ESP
As we explained before, Stock Performer reports how much you sold per month and not how much you were paid out per month. Since ESP reports how much you were paid out, some of our users were confused by the difference in numbers between ESP and Stock Performer.
With our new aggregated sum of iStock sales, it is now very easy for us to publish both metrics! In our new Monthly View you will see how much you sold per month under “Revenue” and you will see how much you were paid out per month under “Reported”. It should look like this:
The “Reported” value should match your ESP payouts fairly accurately. Keep in mind that Stock Performer does not process Connect sales, so you might still see a difference between our “Reported” value and ESP payouts of a few cents or dollars.
This is a pretty long blog post, but it should provide all the important information as to why we restructured our data and what benefits that brings our customers. Please do ask us questions and we are more than happy to help!
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