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Everything posted by riccarbi

  1. I'm not saying you can't make money on Alamy. To be honest, I have been pretty happy with Alamy, so far. I did some math and, currently, an hour spent to edit and keywording an image (not counting the time required for shooting that picture, something I do for other reasons than selling it) could pay me about $35 within ten years. In 2018, I sold 30 photos with a small port of 600 images (now it's a bit larger) with an average CTR of 1,15. I can't complain about that. Yet, apart from a $205 sale, I got a lot of low-value sales in 2018, and my average (gross) revenue per image sold dropped from $47 in 2017 to $33 in 2018. I don't have much information, admittedly, but, based on other contributors' experience, it seems that prices are quickly dropping in this market. Therefore my calculation on how much posting a photo on Alamy actually will pay me can be overestimated. If in the future it will drop under $10 per hour of work, publishing new images on Alamy (or on other online stock agencies) won't worth the effort, unfortunately.
  2. Great work, but...who cares? Am I the only one missing the point of working for days just to create a picture of a digital character which looks "almost exactly" like a real person? We have 7 billion people living on this planet, I don't see the need to create other ones by CGI, those actually existing are far more interesting...
  3. I totally agree. Let's be honest, who cares about 65,437 photos of the Big Ben, 76,740 of the Eiffel Tower, 641,177 of a cat, and 1,211,607 (!) pictures of a dog? That's not providing more choice to the customer, it's only making Alamy a messy place where it's hard (and will be progressively harder) to find what you are looking for...
  4. True, yet such a situation also depends on photographers uploading to Alamy a gazillion pictures - many of which were arguably not their best ones - just to have the largest port possible. That has caused an "oversupply" of pictures on Alamy which, as one could expect, is leading to lower prices, on average. Now Alamy has two possible strategies. On the one hand, they can go on increasing the number of photos as much as possible in order to compensate their dropping median value, with a view to secure their overall income (thus, reducing their difference from a Microstock agency) OR, on the other hand, they can focus more on artistic and technical quality, as well as on providing the clients with photos with original subjects, reducing the number of images available on Alamy, for example by tightening QC and artistic/creative standards. It looks like they are preferring the first scenario, which can be (possibly) acceptable for Alamy, but much less acceptable for us, because we'll reach a point in which the time spent for editing and keywording an image will be paid peanuts and not worth the effort, from an economic point of view.
  5. IMHO, the problem is not exclusivity or non-exclusivity, possibly it is not the commission rate either. The real problem is how badly the price-per-image-sold is constantly dropping, and that for a full-res RF picture I 'm now getting less than $17 net, on average. Usually, exclusivity is mandatory for major agencies (you know which I'm referring to) which represent professional photographers, have a tough and accurate image evaluation process, are hard to be accepted into, and (often) have low commission rates but high license fees. When James West spoke about "1st tier" agencies he cited two completely different agencies, a well-reputed (and often criticized) pro agency, and a micro-stock one; the only thing they have in common is that they sell photos and have an annual turnover higher than Alamy's. So, my question is: does Alamy want to be a pro agency with fewer photographers and higher prices or a "catch-all" microstock agency with half a billion photos one can buy for 5 dollars?
  6. As I've already said, I don't understand this move, from a microeconomics point of view. Nevertheless, I am quite happy with it since almost all my photos are already exclusive to Alamy. Furthermore, it will discourage those contributors who upload the same image to Alamy and to Microstock sites (an utterly irrational move, IMHO) to keep on doing so.
  7. Sorry guys, but this thing makes no sense at all. Think about it. James West said in the video that Alamy needs more money in order to fund some expansion plan involving new localized websites (or local offices, who knows) etc, etc. They need that money NOW, in order to implement such an expansion within a year or so. By reducing contributors' commissions they will be able to increase instantly Alamy's revenues by 20% (here we all discuss our revenue cut, but no one discusses the corresponding revenue increment for Alamy.). Do you really believe that the supposed revenue growth resulting in making some millions of images "exclusive" would compensate a 20% revenue increase for ALL images sold on Alamy? If, as a CEO of a company, I proposed such a swap to my stakeholders, I would be unemployed within a week.
  8. Maybe because my professional profile is similar to his, but I deem MilesbeforeIsleep comment the best one, by far. I also add my point of view, as a non-professional photographer who is running a totally different business (I run an architectural practice, and I also publish a web magazine of art and design). How much selling photos through Alamy is, and will be, a good business? In 2018, I got (to date) about $ 0,66 net per image in my port. Being quite optimistic and hoping the commercial life o a photo on Alamy is about 10 years, that means that, in 2018, I was hoping to get $ 6.6 net per image, overall. Now, how much time is required to develop, check, upload and keyword a single photo? In my case about 20 minutes on average ( I don't take into account the time I spent to shoot that photo since I did it for different reasons than selling it on Alamy). So, I will supposedly get slightly less than $20 per hour of work. Not very exciting, but not that bad, after all. Now, I have to evaluate if, after the commission change, this situation will still be economically convenient for me. A 20% reduction means my revenue per hour will drop to $16, hmmm. Furthermore, my revenue per image dropped from $ 10 in 2017 to $ 6.6 in 2018. Therefore, the average price-per-photo trend is declining and, extrapolating it, in 2019 I will possibly get less than $4.5 per image in my port and less than $13 per hour of work, and possibly much less in the following years. That's no good. What I should do? Arguably, to stop upload new photos, and leaving those already in my port where they currently are. Furthermore, I could investigate monetization strategies different from Alamy, such as selling most of my photos directly through my websites or advertising them straight to the thousands of potential buyers I have in my mailing list.
  9. My average net revenue per image sold went down from $47 in 2017 to $28 in 2018 (so far). This was mostly due to a number of PU sales (due to their subject, I am pretty sure they were NOT really PU). Just wondering how low the PU average net revenue will be when the commission is reduced to 40%, probably less than $4 ....>:(
  10. The problem if not they made a commission cut in itself. The problem is that they made such a cut for pretty naive reasons such as "we want you to fund our own growth, but you'll have no control on it whatsoever", as well as that they broke the 50/50 psychological barrier. When they reduced commissions from 60% to 50% many complained but it still seemed a reasonably fair commission (we split the money in two, half for you and half for us). Now they'are saying that THEIR work is more valuable than OURS. And that's perceived by many as unfair and vaguely insulting.
  11. In my entire life, I have never seen a company financing its future growth by cutting its suppliers' revenues, there are many other more orthodox ways to do that. When I was attending my University's Micro and Micro Economy course they made clear you cut suppliers' and workers' revenues, fees and salaries when you want to maximize your profits or minimize your losses.
  12. Did they push picture number too far trying to reach that "Tier 1" James West seems to care so much about, perhaps? My problem with Alamy is that I still haven't understood, to date, if their plan is to compete with professional agencies or with Shutter...k; they look like they are neither fish nor fowl; I fear many customers have the same opinion. Furthermore, I deem the introduction of that infamous "green label" you activate by putting a gazillion of barely-related or unrelated keywords in AIM a pretty stupid move, especially from a customer's point of view. Fewer pictures of a higher technical and artistic quality, a clearer subject search engine, a much tougher QC; that's what Alamy really needs to get the "Tier 1" level; not more images at lower prices. You can't compete on price with microstock agencies fed by people who are happy to get 20 cents for a picture taken with a $100 smartphone at a family picnic, period.
  13. Why do you folks don't realize that this is a desperate move on Alamy's side? There is something utterly rotten behind that apparently totally stupid thing, I'm pretty sure about it. I guess I see what will happen. 99% of those who are now complaining so much and swearing they'll abandon Alamy in days will change their mind by tomorrow morning. They'll think "Oh well, that's bad, really bad. I am aware they're making fun of me. They are robbing my money, BUT....hey, I already have uploaded all those many pictures on Alamy, it took me so much time to navigate in my old folders to sort out all the images I deemed commercially interesting, to clean that damn high-ISO noise in Lightroom, do some crop in Photoshop in order to center the main subject, to keyword all that stuff properly. If I remove them as I swear I'll do I'll get no money. If I leave them there and get even a penny a month, it's still better than nothing..." You (I) all know that's truly stupid, but (apart from trying to move all of a sudden all our port to some "apparently more honest" different agency possibly giving us a 33% commission (you know what I am talking about...), that's what we'll actually do possibly, probably, arguably. Personally, I'm trying to think about how to escape from this mental trap.
  14. Just watched the infamous video. Why does it look like there is Don Vito Corleone sitting behind that cheap wood wall at the back of James West? "I'll Make You an Offer You Can't Refuse. Cut your contributors' commission by 20% by Christmas or I'll bury you in cement". "I'll make that because we want to go 1st tier! See my graph, last time we've cut contributors' commission to pay our brand new NY office their (aggregate) profits skyrocketed! We are sooo poor, we donate all to charity to the point I'll only eat canned beans for Christmas!" All b...its. Either they are planning something they don't want (or don't have the guts) to confess (such as selling the company to some big name or the like) or they simply want to make more money at our expense...
  15. Today, I thank God I have uploaded to Alamy less than a thousand pictures from my 10-year-old over-20K-image port ... A company so desperate to spit so stupidly on the face on its most valuable asset, its contributors, and at the same time not able to understand how "iconic" the 50/50 ratio, which had made up so much of its stunning success in the last 15 years actually is, simply doesn't deserve my efforts, precious time, and hard work anymore. I suspect you are just a dead man (barely) walking.... Sorry, Alamy but that's what you really look like, now.
  16. Usually, a company cuts its workers' salaries and collaborators' fees when things start to go really, really bad; not just when its profits plateau. A 20% revenue cut is really bad, too bad for me. For the time being, I'll stop uploading new images, untick all "only available on Alamy", exclude all images for "personal use", change all from royalty-free to RM whenever possible, and apply much tougher restrictions. I'll also start to move a part of my portfolio to other agencies, and most of the "bottom line" pictures to microstock sites. I'll also pay more attention to direct sales through my website. It's really a pity, I trusted Alamy, and used to deem it a serious and fair company and business partner. I was wrong, my mistake...
  17. Surge? Sure! Depending on what you consider what a surge would look alike. To date, in 2018, I have more than doubled my sales, compared to 2017's. Unfortunately, the corresponding revenue is about the same, with a lot of fake "personal use" sales with microstock-like prices of $9 or so. More than a surge, I need some highly experimental surgery on my Alamy's port to keep it barely profitable in 2019...
  18. Most of my images are marked as Exclusive to Alamy. I guess the main advantage is that this way a potential buyer will be aware that he won't be able to buy "that" specific photo elsewhere (and specifically not from an MS website). About a potential ranking advantage,... I have no idea; though, it could make sense and be absolutely reasonable for Alamy to give a boost to those pictures that are exclusive to them, IMHO.
  19. That's an interesting point, Obviously, I was talking about logged-in users. But, along with being an amateur photographer, I am also a publisher and I know how I personally look for an image with a specific subject on the Internet. I have two choices: To visit each of the three or four stock photo sites I use more frequently one by one and make a search for a number of specific terms OR To make an advanced search on Google images for those specific terms, restricting the results to those stock photo websites. If I find what I'm looking for, I log in and (possibly) buy the picture. Not to mention that the second option is less accurate but much quicker. So, Google actually is a source of (recorded) clicks and zooms on Alamy, at least in my case.
  20. It makes no difference, directly. Yet, if you click on that picture in Google's image SERP, Google redirects the user to Alamy; therefore, it drives traffic to an Alamy page with a lot of internal links to your profile, similar images, tags, and so on and, consequently, it increases views and, possibly, zooms and purchases.
  21. My guess is that such a drop is possibly related to Google, not Alamy. Doing a search for "Alamy" + "keyword" in Google images, today gives me much less pictures than in the past; furthermore, most of them are totally unrelated to the subject.
  22. Of course, they can. I did it many times and, apart from the problem of cutting and pasting keywords, it works like a charm. Just open the Alamy dashboard in Chrome and tick "desktop site". Obviously, you should use a good smartphone with a reasonably large display (in my case, I use a 5.5'' Sony Xperia C4), and a fast Wi-Fi connection
  23. I'd like to link my photos on Alamy from a web magazine's articles to specific folders/pages so that those seeing such pictures could possibly buy them in a quite straightforward way. Is there such an option as letting you organize your photos in folders / thematic sections on Alamy, as far as you know?
  24. Not really, I am very quick in revising my photos, it takes about a couple minutes each. But, as usual, I was invited at a two-days private press preview by the Venice Biennale (that's why I have those particular photos), so I couldn't get back to my office before two full days, and AFAIK two days are longer than 24 hours: therefore, it was pretty impossible to me to send such images as News, and this did not depend from my supposed "lazyness" in revising them at all, as you kindly insinuate. Yet, no problem at all; i've just sold ten of those photos to the client directly. Of course I won't make them as "Available only on Alamy", since I am not a liar. PS. My international agency, as you call it, is an architectural one; I'm not a full-time photographer, as I guess many others here on the Alamy forum. That's why, as I already said, I use Alamy: it saves me time, and it provides me a good visibility, as well as other services at a very reasonable cost. Furthermore, I don't think to give my honest opinion ("I guess Alamy could provide a better service and increase its (and ours) revenues by renting someone outside UK to do the QC process in the weekends or UK holidays") is "complaining about Alamy" as you are saying. Maybe, YOU are complaining about it by suggesting that it would be better for people to sell their photos directly and not through Alamy (something I don't agree with at all; as I said, I deem that of Alamy a very valuable service).
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