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Commission change - James West comments

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36 minutes ago, Paul J said:

I have been using Alamy for just over two years now. With little success. I shoot a lot of Live News, but never use Alamy for that, I syndicate direct to the newspapers and news websites myself for 100% of the money. Alamy sell for a lot less than the standard reproduction rates due to subscription deals so make no sense whatsoever for me to use Alamy for that. 

 

I have uploaded 2500 of my live news images after the event for stock, which includes other photos that is not what I would call news photos. I made about £165 from Alamy this year, but £400 last year. That is what Alamy paid me, none of this $1000 of sales nonsense. Why do people keep quoting their sales? it is meaningless as lots of sales are via 3rd parties so you get 30%. Turnover aside, the 2500 images was a test to see how Alamy works for me, IT DOESN'T, poor sales of pennies. I had a quarter page image in The Times this year and was paid £4 !!!, normally £90 if that sale is made direct, admittedly as it was stock I wouldn't have made the sale without Alamy, but for £4, I don't care as the time it took to upload that set and keyword, wasn't worth the hassle. My sales have dipped over 50% in a year, yes its a small sample of my tens of thousands of images. I won't be uploading as a further 20% cut in my revenue from Alamy is a joke. I have spent the time to add 3000 images, so won't remove them. But Alamy has lost out on having my archive.

 

So whats 60% commission from zero images Alamy?  

 

 

 

 May I gently and politely point out that dozens of similar images do not lead to many sales.

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I wonder how many contributors have not yet heard about the commission cut. Big changes like that should only occur if a contributor explicitly accepted them. So an opt-in istead of an opt-out. That would make sure that nobody has missed the email for whatever reason. Mass mails like that can very easily be marked as spam by big email providers. If you send the same email to 100.000 Gmail accounts, it might be filtered out as spam, which even might be in Alamy's interest.

 

It shocks me that some of you do not show any solidarity towards new contributors. Some of you suggest that WE should get 50%, while new contributors should only get 40%. For me that sounds like a man saying that a woman should get less money for the same work.

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18 hours ago, JeffGreenberg said:

 

 

+1

Suggest win-win alternatives to 40/60 in emails to James@ & Alan@...

There are infinite possibilities & it need not be only one.

There can be combos.

For example, contrib gets 50/50 each month they submit 10%

greater new images than their 2017-2018 monthly average;

&-or 50/50 in 2019 until contrib reaches their 2018 total net, &

ONLY THEN a greater contribution towards 2019 upgrades;

2020 to be determined in late 2019...

 

 

I don't think this is the answer, if anything Alamy has too many images.

A bloated offering frustrates the customer and slows down the website. It was, in my opinion an error for Alamy to allow images offered to microstock sites on here as well.

The customer rightly says why should I pay dollars here when they are available for cents elsewhere, the problem then is they then look at all images the same way and want cheaper and cheaper prices.

I know this will be controversial, but my suggestion would be.

1. To ask all contributors, with for arguments sake over 2000 images, to voluntary cut 10% of their old non-selling images. Failing which Alamy cut the oldest 10%.

2. Remove all portfolios that haven't been added to, or had any sales in the last 2-3 years.

3. Freeze all uploads from contributors with over 1000-2000 images at the present level and then allow an increase based on sales, say your limit would increase by 5-10 images for every sale made.

This would cut out a lot of the dead wood as well as encouraging contributors  to be more selective, it would certainly discourage uploading umpteen similar's.

 

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28 minutes ago, BobD said:

 

 

I don't think this is the answer, if anything Alamy has too many images.

A bloated offering frustrates the customer and slows down the website. It was, in my opinion an error for Alamy to allow images offered to microstock sites on here as well.

The customer rightly says why should I pay dollars here when they are available for cents elsewhere, the problem then is they then look at all images the same way and want cheaper and cheaper prices.

I know this will be controversial, but my suggestion would be.

1. To ask all contributors, with for arguments sake over 2000 images, to voluntary cut 10% of their old non-selling images. Failing which Alamy cut the oldest 10%.

2. Remove all portfolios that haven't been added to, or had any sales in the last 2-3 years.

3. Freeze all uploads from contributors with over 1000-2000 images at the present level and then allow an increase based on sales, say your limit would increase by 5-10 images for every sale made.

This would cut out a lot of the dead wood as well as encouraging contributors  to be more selective, it would certainly discourage uploading umpteen similar's.

 

 

Others have suggested something similar, but it won't happen as Alamy's whole USP is that you can find pretty much anything in its collection. Who's to say what will and what won't sell, at some point?

Alex

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48 minutes ago, BobD said:

 

 

I don't think this is the answer, if anything Alamy has too many images.

A bloated offering frustrates the customer and slows down the website. It was, in my opinion an error for Alamy to allow images offered to microstock sites on here as well.

The customer rightly says why should I pay dollars here when they are available for cents elsewhere, the problem then is they then look at all images the same way and want cheaper and cheaper prices.

I know this will be controversial, but my suggestion would be.

1. To ask all contributors, with for arguments sake over 2000 images, to voluntary cut 10% of their old non-selling images. Failing which Alamy cut the oldest 10%.

2. Remove all portfolios that haven't been added to, or had any sales in the last 2-3 years.

3. Freeze all uploads from contributors with over 1000-2000 images at the present level and then allow an increase based on sales, say your limit would increase by 5-10 images for every sale made.

This would cut out a lot of the dead wood as well as encouraging contributors  to be more selective, it would certainly discourage uploading umpteen similar's.

 

 

Sorry Bob.... but, NO !! Many contributors here were with Alamy years before you joined and went through the lengthy process of scanning negs and slides, hours retouching and submitting TIFF files on disc .... do you really expect contributors, myself included, to ditch 10% of those images, many of which still licence? Sure, they may not look as good as they would if processed using modern up to date software but culling these is not really the answer in my opinion.

Alamy used to have a USP of having a collection that contained images that, in the main, could not be found anywhere else ... that's what drew the clients. For reasons best known to Alamy, they ditched that USP and started to import collections from other agencies ... resulting in the clients seeing repeats of the same images that had already been seen on numerous other agencies ... thus Alamy joined the race to the bottom.

I think that if any culling needs to be done, it is the removal of these collections that have not even been through QC .... Alamy needs to start looking back at what made it so successful in the earlier years.... including offering a fair split of the fees obtained. Ditching PU would also be a good move !

Just my personal thoughts ....

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53 minutes ago, BobD said:

 

 

I don't think this is the answer, if anything Alamy has too many images.

A bloated offering frustrates the customer and slows down the website. It was, in my opinion an error for Alamy to allow images offered to microstock sites on here as well.

The customer rightly says why should I pay dollars here when they are available for cents elsewhere, the problem then is they then look at all images the same way and want cheaper and cheaper prices.

I know this will be controversial, but my suggestion would be.

1. To ask all contributors, with for arguments sake over 2000 images, to voluntary cut 10% of their old non-selling images. Failing which Alamy cut the oldest 10%.

2. Remove all portfolios that haven't been added to, or had any sales in the last 2-3 years.

3. Freeze all uploads from contributors with over 1000-2000 images at the present level and then allow an increase based on sales, say your limit would increase by 5-10 images for every sale made.

This would cut out a lot of the dead wood as well as encouraging contributors  to be more selective, it would certainly discourage uploading umpteen similar's.

 

Cutting old unselling images is never going to be the correct answer - todays old never sold image is tomorrows valuable historical reference in high demand (I work with a football academy - there is an outside chance one of the young men may at a future point appear in an FA televised round and do something spectacular - at which point my photos of him are going to be of major interest - note images not on here now because of no current interest)

Your number 2 has possibilities

Number 3 is not going to work either - you will find a significant amount of Alamys income comes from contributors with big ports - and from their new uploads.

However you have given me to think.

How about any sales from ports that  have not been updated for 2 years or more carry a 20% charge for storage.  Fees remain 50/50 but if you have not uploaded for 2 years it becomes 50 Alamy/20 storage (yes also Alamy)/30 contributor.

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4 minutes ago, Martyn said:

 

Sorry Bob.... but, NO !! Many contributors here were with Alamy years before you joined and went through the lengthy process of scanning negs and slides, hours retouching and submitting TIFF files on disc .... do you really expect contributors, myself included, to ditch 10% of those images, many of which still licence? Sure, they may not look as good as they would if processed using modern up to date software but culling these is not really the answer in my opinion.

Alamy used to have a USP of having a collection that contained images that, in the main, could not be found anywhere else ... that's what drew the clients. For reasons best known to Alamy, they ditched that USP and started to import collections from other agencies ... resulting in the clients seeing repeats of the same images that had already been seen on numerous other agencies ... thus Alamy joined the race to the bottom.

I think that if any culling needs to be done, it is the removal of these collections that have not even been through QC .... Alamy needs to start looking back at what made it so successful in the earlier years.... including offering a fair split of the fees obtained. Ditching PU would also be a good move !

Just my personal thoughts ....

You have my vote.  One of the reasons I only uploaded to Alamy was the "not available elsewhere" bit - with the drop to 60/40 I have uploaded elsewhere.

If Alamy want to go 60/40 for images available elsewhere and 50/50 for ones only available here,  and made a huge effort to make most of their stuff only available her, while tightening up massively on PU and NU abuses (mentioned elsewhere change the default from personal use)I would be cool with that.

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The 888 images I have online so far are already a result of strict filtering on my side. I do not need to upload 30 images of the same building, as only the two or three best of them will have a chance of being sold anyway. Without the filtering on my side, I would have between 5000 and 10000 photos online, but those would probably not generate more sales.

If I unsterstand the CTR right, it hurts your CTR if a client zooms your image, but later buys another one. So if you have ten similar photos, the client might zoom all ten of them and buy a maximum of 1. That's not good for your CTR.

By the way, for those of your with tons of images it might be a good idea to have more than one pseudonym. If you upload you best photos under a pseudonym, your other not so good or repetitive images will not hurt the CTR of that pseudonym. That might increase your overall sales.

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2 hours ago, Skyscraperfan said:

It shocks me that some of you do not show any solidarity towards new contributors. Some of you suggest that WE should get 50%, while new contributors should only get 40%. For me that sounds like a man saying that a woman should get less money for the same work.

It’s nothing to do with that type of issue.  There is a good case for those who joined earlier should be kept on the terms applicable when they joined, while newcomers make the decision to sign up (or not) on the terms currently on offer. 

 

That at is what happens with Stockimo (an Alamy company). Early bird contributors who signed up before 31 December 2014 are on one commission rate, those who signed up later on another (lower rate).  In fact, there are three tiers of commission rates on Stockimo: the best rates are reserved for those who are members of both platforms, Alamy and Stockimo.  I see no inherent problem or unfairness in maintaining terms for existing contibutors but revising terms for those who choose to join after a change has been announced.

 

Graham

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9 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

Cutting old unselling images is never going to be the correct answer - todays old never sold image is tomorrows valuable historical reference in high demand (I work with a football academy - there is an outside chance one of the young men may at a future point appear in an FA televised round and do something spectacular - at which point my photos of him are going to be of major interest - note images not on here now because of no current interest)

Your number 2 has possibilities

Number 3 is not going to work either - you will find a significant amount of Alamys income comes from contributors with big ports - and from their new uploads.

However you have given me to think.

How about any sales from ports that  have not been updated for 2 years or more carry a 20% charge for storage.  Fees remain 50/50 but if you have not uploaded for 2 years it becomes 50 Alamy/20 storage (yes also Alamy)/30 contributor.


There already is the "Alamy Rank" that does the job of putting images, that do not sell well, lower down in the search results.

Recent uploads are not so important, as some of my best selling images are from a journey I did in 2007. So people should not be forced to do new uploads. Otherwise they will just delete photos and upload them again to save the fees.

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4 minutes ago, Graham said:

It’s nothing to do with that type of issue.  There is a good case for those who joined earlier should be kept on the terms applicable when they joined, while newcomers make the decision to sign up (or not) on the terms currently on offer. 

 

That at is what happens with Stockimo (an Alamy company). Early bird contributors who signed up before 31 December 2014 are on one commission rate, those who signed up later on another (lower rate).  In fact, there are three tiers of commission rates on Stockimo: the best rates are reserved for those who are members of both platforms, Alamy and Stockimo.  I see no inherent problem or unfairness in maintaining terms for existing contibutors but revising terms for those who choose to join after a change has been announced.

 

Graham


The system you suggest is used in major companies and leads to many conflicts there. Different workers do the same job and are paid differently, because they are not employed by the company directly, but by subcontractors. Over the years more and more normal paid jobs vanish and all new workers get the new low paid deal. The company tries all it can do to get rid of the old expensive workers and replace them with new cheap ones. That even happened to airline pilots with six figure salaries per year and for that reason pilots went on strike several times.

I want to be able to recommend Alamy to other photographers among my friends, who are interested in making some money in stock photography.

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28 minutes ago, Martyn said:

 

Sorry Bob.... but, NO !! Many contributors here were with Alamy years before you joined and went through the lengthy process of scanning negs and slides, hours retouching and submitting TIFF files on disc .... do you really expect contributors, myself included, to ditch 10% of those images, many of which still licence? Sure, they may not look as good as they would if processed using modern up to date software but culling these is not really the answer in my opinion.

Alamy used to have a USP of having a collection that contained images that, in the main, could not be found anywhere else ... that's what drew the clients. For reasons best known to Alamy, they ditched that USP and started to import collections from other agencies ... resulting in the clients seeing repeats of the same images that had already been seen on numerous other agencies ... thus Alamy joined the race to the bottom.

I think that if any culling needs to be done, it is the removal of these collections that have not even been through QC .... Alamy needs to start looking back at what made it so successful in the earlier years.... including offering a fair split of the fees obtained. Ditching PU would also be a good move !

Just my personal thoughts ....

 

I have actually been here since 2008, with a short break when the commission was last reduced, which is why my profile says 2015.

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20 hours ago, JeffGreenberg said:

Alternatives to 40/60.

My alternatives.  Your alternatives.  His.  Hers.

What most important is to email them to Decision-Makers James@ & Alan@

Make sure they know which one(s) you prefer..

 

I have already e-mailed James twice.

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Is it really necessary to have all those stupid red arrows for which is after all just my opinion. 

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2 minutes ago, BobD said:

 

I have actually been here since 2008, with a short break when the commission was last reduced, which is why my profile says 2015.

 Fair enough ! Then you remember the effort it used to take to grow our portfolios with Alamy ! It is up to us to cull if we think it is needed, not to have it enforced upon us arbitrarily !

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Just now, Martyn said:

 Fair enough ! Then you remember the effort it used to take to grow our portfolios with Alamy ! It is up to us to cull if we think it is needed, not to have it enforced upon us arbitrarily !

 

I do understand but I am sure we all have some images we could delete. That is only one part of the suggestion in any case.

 

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36 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:



Number 3 is not going to work either - you will find a significant amount of Alamys income comes from contributors with big ports - and from their new uploads.

 

 

Ah but those with large ports also have large sale, so for example a contributor with 5 sales a month could upload 50 images where as a contributor with a 100 sales a month could upload 1000

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36 minutes ago, BobD said:

Is it really necessary to have all those stupid red arrows for which is after all just my opinion. 

No.  Not at all.

Personally I never use red (unless someone claims something outrageous all politicians are wonderful) - I use green when I like what is said and hearts to acknowledge what is said

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OK I did consider starting another thread to ask a poll question but decided it would probably cause more hassle especially if it set up unreasonable expectations.

Something that has come up repeatedly since the cut in fees has been announced is the idea of paying more for exclusive images - however, there seems a reasonable number of people who are not totally convinced by it.

So my question is how much commission would you need to be keeping from Alamy on exclusive images to accept the 60/40 split on non exclusive images?  50/50?  40/60? 30/70? 25/75?

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4 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

OK I did consider starting another thread to ask a poll question but decided it would probably cause more hassle especially if it set up unreasonable expectations.

Something that has come up repeatedly since the cut in fees has been announced is the idea of paying more for exclusive images - however, there seems a reasonable number of people who are not totally convinced by it.

So my question is how much commission would you need to be keeping from Alamy on exclusive images to accept the 60/40 split on non exclusive images?  50/50?  40/60? 30/70? 25/75?

 

I'd be happy to stick with 50/50, with my images exclusive to Alamy (and my own website, of course)

Alex

 

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8 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

OK I did consider starting another thread to ask a poll question but decided it would probably cause more hassle especially if it set up unreasonable expectations.

Something that has come up repeatedly since the cut in fees has been announced is the idea of paying more for exclusive images - however, there seems a reasonable number of people who are not totally convinced by it.

So my question is how much commission would you need to be keeping from Alamy on exclusive images to accept the 60/40 split on non exclusive images?  50/50?  40/60? 30/70? 25/75?

 

I am only prepared to accept 50/50. For that I will leave my images exclusive. I think it would be unrealistic to expect more.

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In the rush to the bottom on pricing does it really matter if we are paid 40% or 50%? We are missing the boat, in order to be successful In an era when editorial turnover has shrunk massively how can Alamy command higher pricing that will benefit all? I've stated before the quality route seems like the only option.

 

To that end I had proposed in an earlier comment the creation of  "Alamy Prime", limited to say 25-50 million images, that commands higher pricing. Images to be included in this segment will be selected by us individually, reflecting our best technical and key worded images, that meet new higher standards and are edited for correct keywords by Alamy. Additionally a new CTR algorithm for "AP" be created that takes into account rarity, the rarer the image, the more you can command for it. The reality is if you can find a similar the image at the Tier 1 agencies it’s going to be difficult to license the image for anything above today's pricing. If Alamy can present images that few others are creating, either by subject or the way it was shot they will have a market mostly to themselves and the leverage to command the fees that go along with the scarcity. Those contributors who upload dozens, hundreds of similars will soon find that "AP" is not their selling platform.

 

Of course, Alamy is constantly highlighting great and unique work on their website, but are prices commiserate? Is the sales team negotiating higher prices for that work or is all lumped together in the bargain bin?

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Dear Alamy,

 

Regarding your proposed changes to the terms of my contract...

 

 

45565623284_cd0843041d_o.png

 

I await your further response.

 

Yours,

 

A.N. Contributor

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4 hours ago, Martyn said:

 

Sorry Bob.... but, NO !! Many contributors here were with Alamy years before you joined and went through the lengthy process of scanning negs and slides, hours retouching and submitting TIFF files on disc .... do you really expect contributors, myself included, to ditch 10% of those images, many of which still licence? Sure, they may not look as good as they would if processed using modern up to date software but culling these is not really the answer in my opinion.

Alamy used to have a USP of having a collection that contained images that, in the main, could not be found anywhere else ... that's what drew the clients. For reasons best known to Alamy, they ditched that USP and started to import collections from other agencies ... resulting in the clients seeing repeats of the same images that had already been seen on numerous other agencies ... thus Alamy joined the race to the bottom.

I think that if any culling needs to be done, it is the removal of these collections that have not even been through QC .... Alamy needs to start looking back at what made it so successful in the earlier years.... including offering a fair split of the fees obtained. Ditching PU would also be a good move !

Just my personal thoughts ....

 

I agree. Alamy should never have let its collection be flooded with generic images from other agencies. Sucking up to microstock was also a really bad idea. These mistakes have caused Alamy to lose sight of what made them different -- i.e. their by-in-large unique collection and fair treatment of photographers. Alamy needs to get back to its roots. Hopefully it's not too late...

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1 hour ago, hotbrightsky said:

Dear Alamy,

 

Regarding your proposed changes to the terms of my contract...

 

 

45565623284_cd0843041d_o.png

 

I await your further response.

 

Yours,

 

A.N. Contributor


Interesting. That means that consumer goods is not included in any of those standard packages. Does that mean that licenses for consumer goods are more expensive?

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