Dissolve’s Knee-Jerk Reaction to VideoBlocks’ Pricing? July 3, 2015

So, if you’re a non-exclusive contributor to Dissolve, you may have noticed their recent announcement that they are “price matching” all non-exclusive clips on their site to be more in line with other sites, as if there’s a big discrepancy.

sales-head-downAs of this writing, my portfolio on Dissolve is priced at $79 for HD and $199 for 4K. While they haven’t blatantly come out and said it yet, I think they soon will be pricing HD clips at $49 for non-exclusive contributors who have clips on both Dissolve and VideoBlocks’ Marketplace.

If that’s the case, this can only be described as a knee-jerk panic reaction to VideoBlocks’ recent launch of their Marketplace.

Why is this lower price a problem among contributors? Because while the price for HD will be the same between the two agencies, the commission producers get is vastly different: 100% on VideoBlocks, and only 30% on Dissolve. So, Dissolve is choosing to match Videoblocks’ price, but not their commission percentage.

I can only assume they are fearful of customers opting to purchase from the lower-priced VideoBlocks library when the same clips are found at both agencies. However, there are a few flaws to this thinking.

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First, I sincerely believe that most buyers do not “shop around.” They have an agency or two they like, and tend to stick with them. Searching and researching clip prices across multiple agencies is time consuming. And when an editor is working on a deadline, or has a client breathing down their neck in the edit suite, buyers will find what they need from those agencies they are familiar with or already have accounts on.

And secondly (and more importantly), the VideoBlocks Marketplace is a PAID MEMBERSHIP site. Dissolve isn’t. So, even if a buyer happens to find the same clip on VideoBlocks for $30 cheaper than on Dissolve, will they want to pay a membership fee just for the privilege to save $30 if they’re not already a member of VideoBlocks? Probably not.

Think of it this way: it’s like seeing a TV at Wal-Mart for $499, and then seeing that same TV at Costco for $399.  But, you have to PAY a membership fee at Costco to buy that TV at the lower price.  If you’re already a Costco member, then you probably will by it there.  But if you’re not, you’ll likely return to Wal-Mart.

It just seems like an odd marketing move to arbitrarily choose the VideoBlocks’ Marketplace to be the library to match prices for non-exclusive clips. If that’s the case, why stop there? What if some users’ portfolios are included in VideoBlocks subscription library where downloads are essentially FREE? Will they place those users’ clips on Dissolve at $0? They’re already matching ShutterStock’s pricing. Isn’t that sufficient?

As more and more contributors join the ranks of the thousands of others already producing stock footage, prices will inevitably drop. I personally feel we’re beginning to witness prices slowly starting to creep in the downward direction. Please, Dissolve, don’t help escalate this process.

This isn’t a 1:1 comparison between VideoBlocks and Dissolve. Dissolve is treating it as if it is. Not being a paid membership site is Dissolve’s main strength against VideoBlocks. They are apparently forgetting that.

Dissolve should settle on one pricing model and stick with it. They need to be confident in their own business practices and not worry what other agencies are doing. Dissolve already had one round of price changes this month, probably also due to VideoBlocks. Only as recent as June, prices were $80 for HD and $300 for 4K. Just a few weeks ago they lowered prices to $79 and $199 respectively. Don’t confuse prospective buyers with another price alteration. You haven’t even given the $79 and $199 prices enough time to see if those prices would work.

And I think they would…if given a chance.

As of September, 2015, my portfolio on Dissolve has sadly been demoted to the new $49 price point for HD.


James Orlowski

James Orlowski is the owner of Orlowski Designs, LLC. He is an accomplished videographer and producer with nearly 20 years of video production.

A graduate from Penn State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Master’s Degree in Multimedia from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, he has years of experience shooting and selling stock footage on many of the major Internet-based microstock footage agencies.

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Orlowski Designs, LLC
4K Stock Footage and Media Production