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Commission change - James West comments

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I've only been contributing for a few years but must admit that I am very disappointed in this draconian measure. A 20% cut is massive and will impact hugely (perhaps the logic was that it is better to do it all at once rather than 10% now and a further 10% in two years time? Get the pain over with in one go?).  However, I don't think it can reasonably be justified as purely a consequence of market/Brexit uncertainties.  It is a shame that it has been dressed-up as such! If it is, in part, due to market uncertainty over Brexit it should be explained that it is time limited and can be reversed if worse case scenarios do not materialise. The depressing logic behind the cut is that there will be further reductions in the future, if the economic situation demands. A very bleak prospect of a continuing downward spiral, and one that does nothing to maintain contributor loyalty to Alamy. If Alamy loses its contributor base then it shoots itself in the foot and further 'economies' are then more likely.

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30 minutes ago, Jansos said:

I've only been contributing for a few years but must admit that I am very disappointed in this draconian measure. A 20% cut is massive and will impact hugely (perhaps the logic was that it is better to do it all at once rather than 10% now and a further 10% in two years time? Get the pain over with in one go?).  However, I don't think it can reasonably be justified as purely a consequence of market/Brexit uncertainties.  It is a shame that it has been dressed-up as such! If it is, in part, due to market uncertainty over Brexit it should be explained that it is time limited and can be reversed if worse case scenarios do not materialise. The depressing logic behind the cut is that there will be further reductions in the future, if the economic situation demands. A very bleak prospect of a continuing downward spiral, and one that does nothing to maintain contributor loyalty to Alamy. If Alamy loses its contributor base then it shoots itself in the foot and further 'economies' are then more likely.

 

I agree. If Alamy go ahead with this cut then it's obvious Alamy views our commission as their Rainy Day money. Nice easy money for them. And saying it shouldn't happen again means nothing given they said that the last time. The trust has gone and I'm not sure they can recover it.

 

The prospect of further reductions from an untrustworthy agency, lower licence fees with low sales volume certainly means I will be looking to place work elsewhere now. T

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Looking around and spreading our pics is the only real option.

To cancel Alamy is, at least to me, no real choice. There are pics that are hard to sell somewhere else. But, adding couple of hundred RF to the Tier1 and test the feedback for a  year, as well as looking for specialized agencies and try if they accept - sure. Alamy may improve over time - Alamy has a lot of options to sell more, get rid of low-quality tons of duplicates, reject uploads with  spam keywording and absolute meaningless content. Long term, like in other business areas,  you either make money with volume or quality.

 

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3 minutes ago, Andreas said:

Looking around and spreading our pics is the only real option.

To cancel Alamy is, at least to me, no real choice. There are pics that are hard to sell somewhere else. But, adding couple of hundred RF to the Tier1 and test the feedback for a  year, as well as looking for specialized agencies and try if they accept - sure. Alamy may improve over time - Alamy has a lot of options to sell more, get rid of low-quality tons of duplicates, reject uploads with  spam keywording and absolute meaningless content. Long term, like in other business areas,  you either make money with volume or quality.

 

I agree.  Alamy makes a change in its agreement with me I change my methods and adapt.  My images are now being tried elsewhere - and I will see what happens where.

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On 12/7/2018 at 19:57, Zollikon said:

...and they fund it by reinvesting profit, issuing shares or getting a loan - because they are confident of their business plan.

I'm thinking Alamy's business plan includes giving profits away to a charity run by an Alamy principal. Would a lender have gone in for this?

 

Looking at SBL website I see the creation of Manything listed as one of the very few News items from the lab. Why? Was this done by SBL? Is it charity? I'm sure I'm in the minority here, but this charity business is a factor in my continuing with Alamy.

Edited by KevinS
Clarity

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2 minutes ago, KevinS said:

I'm thinking their business plan includes giving profits away to a charity run by an Alamy principal. Would a lender have gone in for this?

 

Looking at SBL website I see the creation of Manything listed as one of the very few News items from the lab. Why? Was this done by SBL? Is it charity? I'm sure I'm in the minority here, but this charity business is a factor in my continuing with Alamy.

 

Manything was James Wests baby/idea for a new unrelated business. That does not seem to have taken off either.

 

Allan

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

 

Manything was James Wests baby/idea for a new unrelated business. That does not seem to have taken off either.

 

Allan

 

 

Unrelated?, maybe. But Manything owes Alamy a substantial amount of money. Money that could otherwise be used within Alamy. Can't be because it's loaned out. I found it odd that  Manything was announced on the SBL site.  

Edited by KevinS
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1 minute ago, KevinS said:

Unrelated?, maybe. But Manything owes Alamy a substantial amount of money. Money that would otherwise be used within Alamy. Can't be because it's loaned out. I found it odd that  Manything was announced on the SBL site.  

 

Ah! Sorry yes I knew that but did not mention it as I thought everyone knew. I meant that Manything was not related to Alamys photo licensing business. (Apart from it owing Alamy money).

 

Allan

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

 

Ah! Sorry yes I knew that but did not mention it as I thought everyone knew. I meant that Manything was not related to Alamys photo licensing business. (Apart from it owing Alamy money).

 

Allan

 

 

My point being that I don't know how all these entities are intertwined.

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6 minutes ago, KevinS said:

My point being that I don't know how all these entities are intertwined.

 

I don't think any of us know that.

 

Despite Alamys claims they are not open but very secretive about some things.

 

Allan

 

 

Edited by Allan Bell
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1 hour ago, KevinS said:

Unrelated?, maybe. But Manything owes Alamy a substantial amount of money. Money that could otherwise be used within Alamy. Can't be because it's loaned out.

So we're paying for James West's entrepreneurial failure.

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So back to the old "how to raise money for your business" models of applying for loans etc - and the models of "how to survive a downturn in your business" models of stop contributing to charity etc we now have another one that applies to both of recovering outstanding loans and debts owed to them.

So Alamy - as you are cutting your fees to suppliers by 20% can we be assured that you have fully stopped donating money to charities, have recovered all outstanding loans and debts owed to you, and you still have cash flow problems, hence the cut to suppliers.  If you have not stopped donating to charities and still have outstanding loans and debts owed to you can you please sort these before you start cutting your fees to your suppliers.

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1 minute ago, Starsphinx said:

So Alamy - as you are cutting your fees to suppliers by 20% can we be assured that you have fully stopped donating money to charities,

They're not 'donating to charities' - effectively the vast majority of the profits from Alamy support their own family 'charity', the Fischer Family Trust.

That's Alamy's reason for existing.

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Just now, Cryptoprocta said:

They're not 'donating to charities' - effectively the vast majority of the profits from Alamy support their own family 'charity', the Fischer Family Trust.

That's Alamy's reason for existing.

How would a bank or money lender see it if approached for a loan?

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6 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

So back to the old "how to raise money for your business" models of applying for loans etc - and the models of "how to survive a downturn in your business" models of stop contributing to charity etc we now have another one that applies to both of recovering outstanding loans and debts owed to them.

So Alamy - as you are cutting your fees to suppliers by 20% can we be assured that you have fully stopped donating money to charities, have recovered all outstanding loans and debts owed to you, and you still have cash flow problems, hence the cut to suppliers.  If you have not stopped donating to charities and still have outstanding loans and debts owed to you can you please sort these before you start cutting your fees to your suppliers.

Alamy doesn't have "cash flow problems"- where did that come from?

The reason given for the cut is to fund future growth.

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1 minute ago, Starsphinx said:

How would a bank or money lender see it if approached for a loan?

Have no idea, but that scenario is pretty much moot.

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1 minute ago, Starsphinx said:

How would a bank or money lender see it if approached for a loan?

This is perhaps why ALAMY doesn't borrow money---they can't, as they have no convertible assets, present or future.  If all profits move into charity,  contributors are their only source for 'loans'--albeit loans which need not be payed back.

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36 minutes ago, Cryptoprocta said:

So we're paying for James West's entrepreneurial failure.

Possibly. I'm looking about the internet to try and understand. Seems charity means something different in the UK vs US. SBL is a Community Interest Company, with the most recent news item on their website being four years old. Besides medical, Fischer Family Trust is active in education.  In America, ordinary education isn't a charity, but it is the recipient of lots of grant money, mostly from the federal government. One thing I've gleaned from looking about, each entity has staff, probably paid. 

Edited by KevinS

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If they think that they can grow in future ans the banks think so too, they could easily get a loan. The interest rates are at record lows, getting money was never as easy as today.

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1 minute ago, MilesbeforeIsleep said:

This is perhaps why ALAMY doesn't borrow money---they can't, as they have no convertible assets, present or future.  If all profits move into charity,  contributors are their only source for 'loans'--albeit loans which need not be payed back.

Of course it has. The image collection is an asset. So is its IP. It has a good trading record.

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1 minute ago, spacecadet said:

Alamy doesn't have "cash flow problems"- where did that come from?

The reason given for the cut is to fund future growth.

It comes from the whole Alamy claiming to be ethical and promising in the past not to cut fees etc.
So either Alamy is ethical and is up the creak and has cash flow problems it is covering up by talking about growth in order not to advertise its weakness or Alamy is not ethical and is deliberately and is knowingly screwing us.
Now I am not withdrawing my admittedly pitiful port on the basis of the former - that the company has financial issues it believes can be overcome - but that does call into question what else is the company doing besides hurting its suppliers.

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Alamy doesn't have "cash flow problems"- where did that come from?

The reason given for the cut is to fund future growth.

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.

Edited by riccarbi
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On 12/4/2018 at 18:59, Alamy said:

- Significantly reducing Alamy's operational costs (to put it in context - 2018 to 2019 will represent the biggest cost reduction we have ever attempted)

  spacecadet said: 

Alamy doesn't have "cash flow problems"- where did that come from?

The reason given for the cut is to fund future growth.

 

James is looking ahead to the near future in his message starting this thread. I think going for the biggest cost reduction ever is a sign that he thinks the cash flow is going to decline. Plus he said just that.

Edited by KevinS

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16 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Of course it has. The image collection is an asset. So is its IP. It has a good trading record.

 

That "asset" is not theirs to sell, or for a bank to seize should it need on the back of a lone. The collection belongs to the contributors who loaned their images to Alamy to be able to run their business and give the contributors a fair return on the back of that premise.

 

Don't forget we still own the copyright and intellectual property in the images whatever Alamy thinks or may try to take by way of contractural gobbledygook.

 

Allan

 

 

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27 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

It comes from the whole Alamy claiming to be ethical and promising in the past not to cut fees etc.

Did they actually promise that? If so, where? After all, they've cut our share at least twice in their history that I know of (only one of these since I started).

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