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Commission change - James West comments

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5 hours ago, riccarbi said:

 

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.

 

Red part - whether ones likes it or not that statement is wildly inaccurate. Those agencies are being fed by the entire range of photographers, from brand new amateurs to seasoned pros, using smartphones like you say to top end equipment, being one-man bands, smaller collectives to massive "factories". It is not amateur hour in microstock anymore. Just wanted to clarify.

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4 minutes ago, Martin Carlsson said:

 

Red part - whether ones likes it or not that statement is wildly inaccurate. Those agencies are being fed by the entire range of photographers, from brand new amateurs to seasoned pros, using smartphones like you say to top end equipment, being one-man bands, smaller collectives to massive "factories". It is not amateur hour in microstock anymore. Just wanted to clarify.

I agree, in my experience the microstock agents I use all have far more stringent QC than here so there is nothing wrong with the quality if images they sell.

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22 minutes ago, JeffGreenberg said:

EPUK oh EPUK, where art thou EPUK?

(fatalists, take note)

 

http://www.epuk.org/news/alamy-concedes-to-epuk-campaign

 

Very interesting reading. Thank you Jeff.

 

Allan

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Brian1947 said:

Had a book sale come in this morning but no publisher info included. Anyone else ?

2 on Monday - no publisher info.  Both RM.

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20 minutes ago, Martin Carlsson said:

 

Red part - whether ones likes it or not that statement is wildly inaccurate. Those agencies are being fed by the entire range of photographers, from brand new amateurs to seasoned pros, using smartphones like you say to top end equipment, being one-man bands, smaller collectives to massive "factories". It is not amateur hour in microstock anymore. Just wanted to clarify.

Historically, at least for the top two micros, until a couple of years ago, quality was super high, they inspected to pixel perfection, far higher than Alamy did for image quality.

Admittedly, both are now accepting just about anything, though the most successful contributors are still producing super-high-quality images.

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5 hours ago, Marb said:

I am starting to stop caring now that sales are sparse, (this month being dire so far) and the % is cut. I have also stopped going through my keywords here as it's time wasted.

On the positive side, -20% of 0 is ... 0.

 

Yeah, I'm hacked off too, but having been through all this sh*t with iS/G, all I can do is laugh or cry, and better to laugh and find other things to do with my time.

Edited by Cryptoprocta
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On 12/6/2018 at 11:38, Starsphinx said:


I do not tend to do the removal of logos etc but mark things as editorial - I would imagine your plane would be fine under editorial rules.  Try searching their stuff for military aircraft and you will see what I mean - those images definitely have not been fully stripped.
 

Thanks Estelle, my RF images are with a library that sells well known software. They do not accept editorial images hence the fact that I have had to clone out logos and so on. It seems odd to look at aircraft on the site which are all white or have most of their colour scheme removed. For an aviation sort of geek like me they all look odd as when have you ever been to an airport and seen an all white aircraft! I would show you an example but there is a watermark across the image! At least with the library you mentioned, albeit discretely, they do licence images for editorial use. Perhaps I should give them a go, at least I won't have to do any cloning! 

David

 

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2 hours ago, Allan Bell said:

 

WOW! I bet that was an error on Alamy's part.

 

Allan

 

 

No.  I received four sales like that in November (different titles).  For some reason they seem to have changed their practice on what they're revealing. 

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It’s the appearance of greed that gets to me. Why not be satisfied with $25 million a year in revenue? Why must you demand constant growth from your company? If the only way to increase your revenue is to squeeze us individual photographers, maybe its time to stand back and look at becoming more efficient rather than putting the burden of your growth on us.

 

If the price for a higher annual revenue comes at the sacrifice of your partners (us photographers), maybe Alamy has reached its growth limit.

 

Never ending growth is unsustainable for any system.

 

Please consider the big picture (no pun intended!).

 

Eric

Edited by Ericg
grammar
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2 hours ago, JeffGreenberg said:

EPUK oh EPUK, where art thou EPUK?

(fatalists, take note)

 

http://www.epuk.org/news/alamy-concedes-to-epuk-campaign

I never realised the contributors got to keep 87% when Alamy first started. For an agent that sounds a fair cut. 

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10 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Tough to argue with this. However, don't know about you, but my best sales are still to print publications, or at least ones that are both print and electronic. Print ain't dead yet IMO. Who knows, it might even make a comeback. Perhaps the 'digital natives' will eventually tire of their ephemeral screens and start longing for something solid that they can actually hold onto for awhile. I tutor high school students in my other job, and most of them miss having real textbooks. Problem is that schools are often too cheap to buy them these days.

I agree the best sales are still print, John. Problem is, there are fewer of them compared to even 6 years ago. When I look at my sales report, most of them are low value. I need to have amnesia every time I remember thinking a $60 sale was mediocre compared to the rest I had.

Ahhh, those days are gone.

I used to buy paperback novels like they were candy. At around $8-$9 a pop, churning through at least 8-10 a month, they added up. Now I have a kindle. I belong to Bookbub, which send me 5 or 6 books a day in my genre. Many are free for download. Some are $.99, some $1.99. Rarely, (couple of times a year) I pay $8 or $9 for one. It’s been 2 months since I downloaded anything that wasn’t free.

Hitting writers and publishers in the pocketbook?

You bet.

Betty

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6 minutes ago, andremichel said:

I never realised the contributors got to keep 87% when Alamy first started. For an agent that sounds a fair cut. 


Wasn't there a fee in return for every photo you upload?

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7 hours ago, Skyscraperfan said:

Newspapers printed on paper may be in decline, but online they make a lot of money and need tons of images for their news articles and for their social media. For a printed newspaper they only need a license for one day because with yesterday's newspaper you wrap the fish, but online those news articles exist for much longer. I think the standard is at least five years. So they need a lot of images and buy licenses for many years instead of one day. So there should be a market for good photos. A good photo is important in today's "attention economy".

PS: One thing I really do not care about is what James West wore in his video. Would you really have more confidence or trust in him if he wore a custom tailored suit and a tie? Tim Cook or Mark Zuckerberg would only wear a suit if they are invited to the White House or attend a funeral. I generally do not trust people with suits and ties. A funny coincidence is that when I watched that video I wore almost the same pullover as James with quite the same colour.

 

What's a tie? Is it something you use to strangle yourself with? :)

 

P.S. The biggest crooks always wear suits and ties.

 

 

Edited by John Mitchell
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16 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

I agree the best sales are still print, John. Problem is, there are fewer of them compared to even 6 years ago. When I look at my sales report, most of them are low value. I need to have amnesia every time I remember thinking a $60 sale was mediocre compared to the rest I had.

Ahhh, those days are gone.

I used to buy paperback novels like they were candy. At around $8-$9 a pop, churning through at least 8-10 a month, they added up. Now I have a kindle. I belong to Bookbub, which send me 5 or 6 books a day in my genre. Many are free for download. Some are $.99, some $1.99. Rarely, (couple of times a year) I pay $8 or $9 for one. It’s been 2 months since I downloaded anything that wasn’t free.

Hitting writers and publishers in the pocketbook?

You bet.

Betty

 

There's a distinct difference. Their direct market is far larger than ours. 

 

They sell to many, many individuals. 

 

Our photos may be purchased by multiple sources, but far fewer potential points of sale. 

 

Plus, we don't know what the split is there for commission. 

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20 minutes ago, Skyscraperfan said:


Wasn't there a fee in return for every photo you upload?

I very much doubt it but it's long before my time.

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6 minutes ago, andremichel said:

I very much doubt it but it's long before my time.

There was. It's before mine too but James mentioned it in the vid and I recall it in the legacy commission table.

Here's an old page

https://www.alamy.com/stock-photography-faqs-why-alamy.asp

Optional $1.20/image/year in exchange for a higher commission. Far more than I, and many, earn even now.

Edited by spacecadet

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18 minutes ago, Julie Edwards said:

The BPPA (British Press Photographers Association) have now responded with an open letter.... A measured and well thought out response 

 

 

https://thebppa.com/an-open-letter-to-alamy-ceo-james-west/

 

 

Wow!  Wasn't expecting a response from the BPPA - good!

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30 minutes ago, andremichel said:

I very much doubt it but it's long before my time.

In the video, James says there was.

Edited by KevinS
Mark beat me to it

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Was a time when an image commanded a decent price. Sadly, with the price race to the bottom, that's history. Reducing commission will have minimal affect. I stopped uploading a while back because the return on investment in time and equipment wasn't worth it anymore. Here is a typical sale:

 

Country: Worldwide
Usage: Commercial electronic
Media: Website, app and social media
Industry sector: Entertainment & Leisure
Image Size: Any size
Start: 01 September 2018
End: 01 September 2023
Single placement and design, duration in perpetuity.

 

The reason for low prices given is the financial crash, austerity, and aunt Fanny's moods. The truth is, publishers have the money and they want photos. If you have one, they will pay for it (I know because when they've come to me direct I have managed to negotiate x100 the price on Alamy and NO commission when researchers said they had a low budget!). Is a publisher going to pay a freelance £750--£1250 to take the image or £250 for your image on Alamy? Is a publisher going to pay £250 when they can pay £2.50p? Doesn't need a genius to answer £2.50p.

 

I recently uploaded images to Adobe Stock. One, they were clueless about copyright, so rejected a number of images after they were keyworded saying I had infringed intellectual property (being a photographer, I had done NO such thing -- they don't even know about the freedom of panorama clause, let alone more obscure clauses).

 

Images started to sell even though I'd only got about 40 past quality control. Sadly, prices were around the £0.15p mark. Erm, not going to throw my images away, so pulled my collection....Am seriously contemplating pulling my collection from Alamy. If we all threatened to do it, wonder what Alamy would do to keep us on board.

 

Shangara.

$ 5.05

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52 minutes ago, Julie Edwards said:

The BPPA (British Press Photographers Association) have now responded with an open letter.... A measured and well thought out response 

 

 

https://thebppa.com/an-open-letter-to-alamy-ceo-james-west/

 

 

 

Alamy set a precedence when it previously reduced the commission in order to fund its USA office. There was similar outrage then. Majority of us didn't benefit one cent! I doubt if Alamy will change its mind. More likely, in a few years time it will drop the commission yet again. 

 

Shangara.

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1 hour ago, Colblimp said:

Wow!  Wasn't expecting a response from the BPPA - good!

 

we do our best ;-) 

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1 hour ago, Julie Edwards said:

The BPPA (British Press Photographers Association) have now responded with an open letter.... A measured and well thought out response 

 

 

https://thebppa.com/an-open-letter-to-alamy-ceo-james-west/

 

 

 

Thanks for posting. I feel the pressure is mounting on Alamy....

 

I watched Jame West's video again and I didn't notice a word of apology anywhere. :( He also stated that he hoped that future investments would (within a few years) mean that the total revenue paid to contributors would be back to today's levels, as if this would make everything alright. Has James been so pre-occupied at ManyThing that he's forgotten how many extra contributors and images Alamy is taking on every month? If he'd said that he hoped the future investments would mean average net return / image / year would recover to the same levels as today (because images would be licensed more often, or for higher fees) that would perhaps help justify the cut in commission. But that wasn't what he said. I'm beginning to wonder if he might be surprised by the strength of the negative reaction to the cut in commission as he just didn't seem to get what's important to his contributors in that rambling video. Weird...

 

Mark

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1 hour ago, spacecadet said:

There was. It's before mine too but James mentioned it in the vid and I recall it in the legacy commission table.

Here's an old page

https://www.alamy.com/stock-photography-faqs-why-alamy.asp

Optional $1.20/image/year in exchange for a higher commission. Far more than I, and many, earn even now.

When Alamy attempted to introduce submission and storage fees (not optional), I notified them that I didn't accept the new terms and wanted all my images removed before they became liable for any fees. I suspect that 90% of all contributors at the time did the same, as Alamy backed down and offered the choice of red, green or blue plans instead. Perhaps those of us who were around at the time owe the rest of you an apology: we could have followed through and killed Alamy off before it grew large enough to start exploiting contributors. Sorry.

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