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"Ask James" is back. Your next chance to ask the CEO a question. Deadline 23rd Sept.

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He's back. It's the second installment of our "Ask James" feature, where you get the chance to ask the big boss at Alamy anything you like. If your question hasn't been asked before and isn't about the meaning of life then chances are it will get answered. James West will be answering your questions via a video recording direct from Alamy HQ. We'll be recording it week commencing 23rd September which means you've got 7 days to get your questions over to us.


 


Be sure to check the previous installment to make sure your question hasn't already been asked and then fire away in this thread below or via the blogvia email, or via twitter using the hashtag #AskJames.


 


If you've got Alamy specific questions then that's great, but why not use this opportunity to ask about other areas of our industry? Where does James think things are going? What are the best ways to maximise sales potential of your photography? What's on trend right now? You really can ask him anything but try and keep it within the subject of photography - he might be able to answer questions on the origins of the universe but we're not sure how reliable his answers may be. The one rule to remember is that you have a limit of one question only.


 


We're looking forward to seeing what comes in and can't wait to get James under the spotlight again!


 


Cheers


 


James A


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I'd like to ask James why Alamy has lost the Huffington Post contract, which produced a great deal of editorial volume sales over the last year but which are now obviously absent from sales reports.

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I'd ask why we can't have accurate reporting of when an image is downloaded by a client to use. Not necessarily to be paid straight away but to know when an image has been used rather than waiting (hoping) they report the use.

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Guest

Mr. West,

 

Several years back the contributor percentage was reduced in order to support the creation of the New York office. In the last Q&A you indicated that the NY office was doing quite well. This is very good news, mission accomplushed. It's been several years, is NY self-supporting? If so will you returm the percentage to contributors? If so, when? If not, why not?

 

thank you.

Edited by Guest

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Why have I bought to attention to Alamy (with proof) of a photo sale made last year, yet Alamy seem unable to report and pay me for it. Even though I spotted it online, I still can't get a reasonable answer from Alamy.  How many others slip through the gaps? Why is this happening when it's your job and what you get 50% commission for?

Edited by long journey
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I have encountered some technical issues with the site where batches of images, once gone live, wont zoom and comes back with an error. This needs Member Services to resolve. It seems it is a  wide spread issues from talk on the forums. Is this being actively investigated for a fix? 

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Dear James!

 

As Alamy is a British company why can't all monetary units be in GB Pounds instead of dollars?

 

Yours, John Keates

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Why is Alamy so reluctant to advise contributors what the client is willing to pay should I remove the restrictions placed by me on my images. A pig in a poke springs to mind.

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Dear James,

Can you please explain why contributors cannot be paid the commision they have earned at the end of each month.

I read recently that Alamy has paid out over £135 million in commision to date.

Can you now afford to pay contributors monthly without the need of a threshold !

 

I saw in your last video that you were in favour of doing this.

Many thanks

Adrian

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In the U.S., it appears that the majority of images associated with news sites are attributed to Shutterstock or iStock (aside from AP and Reuters).  What specifically is Alamy doing to market and increase sales in the United States?

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Dear James,

Can you please explain why contributors cannot be paid the commision they have earned at the end of each month.

I read recently that Alamy has paid out over £135 million in commision to date.

Can you now afford to pay contributors monthly without the need of a threshold !

 

I saw in your last video that you were in favour of doing this.

Many thanks

Adrian

 

Dear James, to second this and start adding further contributor frustration to it.

 

You addressed the payment threshold in your last series of Q&A. This along with many other things were given answers. However, what I find frustrating is that no timescales are given and therefore it is easier for them to be forgotten about.

 

Payment threshold - answered and agreed to get it lowered. Follow-up question..WHEN?

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First, I'd like to congratulate Jame and Alamy for the impressive milestone of 40 million images.

 

My question for James, has Alamy's revenue growth kept in pace with image growth in the last a few years?

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Will you look at the strange arrangement you have with UK Newspapers whereby a single license sale entitles the newspaper group concerned to use the image in connection with the story in All editions in all forms within publications in that Group - in both print and Online. Both the Mail and the Guardian make good use of this facility, and I'm sure that your people are aware that the Trinity Mirror group includes two Daily papers, three Sunday papers and just about ONE HUNDRED Local and Regional Newspapers......do you know if other suppliers provide such generous terms.

 

We all know that it is a tough old world out there and that the Managing Editors are a predatory bunch but some of the terms and conditions which you are agreeing to are breathtaking.

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Again about the newspaper scheme. Is it regarded as a success or is there any acceptance that it is flawed? If flawed, can it be changed for the better without alienating the papers who have signed up and are presumably delighted with what they are currently getting for their money?

Edited by Phil Robinson

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Which steps have been taken to make the "self billing" (for the major newspapers) more waterproof after all these years and numerous complaints of the photographers?
Apparently there are still a lot of images that slip through the net ..... or as the newspapers call it "forgotten" to report. We - the photographers - trace and report the "forgotten" images but that's not supposed to be our task.
 
Cheers,
Philippe

"forgotten" to report? If you walk out of a shop without paying for something it's called shoplifting. 'Forgotten' is too lenient a word.

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Which steps have been taken to make the "self billing" (for the major newspapers) more waterproof after all these years and numerous complaints of the photographers?
Apparently there are still a lot of images that slip through the net ..... or as the newspapers call it "forgotten" to report. We - the photographers - trace and report the "forgotten" images but that's not supposed to be our task.
 
Cheers,
Philippe

"forgotten" to report? If you walk out of a shop without paying for something it's called shoplifting. 'Forgotten' is too lenient a word.

 

If a newspaper doesn't self bill a usage they are failing to pay VAT due. If they were getting reported for tax evasion maybe it would focus their minds.

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Thanks for all your questions - the deadline has now passed and we will be recording the answers this week. Keep your eyes peeled for the video response soon!

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There are some good comments in the blog from photographers.

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Jeff and losdemas-- I don't know if it you applies to you, but at first I couldn't hear the volume either. My speaker volume was at max, and then I noticed the video itself had another volume control which I was then able to amplify and listen to just fine.

 

Questions about the ($ or pounds )135 million in sales to photographers to date, Anybody have an idea what that is yearly by the year? It would be nice to compute contributor sales commissions per image per time on the average each year. Would it be a fair guess that each Alamy image generates about $1 per year gross in sales on average?

 

And another neat thing to know is what percentage of the total collection are repeat licenses vs new licenses. I am wondering if a certain select core of  images make most of the sales on a regular basis, while the great majority of the rest mostly sit idle.

 

Nice and encouraging interview, by the way. Makes me want to get out there and take some great shots. The ultimate trick is getting those shots but keeping it all cost effectivem which is becoming more and more of a challenge.

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Video blog received LOUD AND CLEAR, with earplugs in and volume up

Edited by long journey

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Didn't James' video essentially admit that the experiment has failed? Doubling the number of images sold at half the price is not progress. When Alamy slashed our percentage we were assured that increased sales would more than make up for lost revenue. That clearly hasn't happened so can we have our 'investment' back please?

 

Always nice to get an update from the CEO but it might have been better if the promises James made in the previous video update had been delivered before now. The reduced payout threshhold is long overdue and, whilst the reason for this might be "long and boring", I'd still like to hear it.

 

(The shoddy sound production is not a great advert for anyone wishing to license video from Alamy's collection - sort it out please.)

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