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Commission change - James West comments

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5 minutes ago, JeffGreenberg said:

 

 

Brilliant.  Plan to do similar Feb 19.

You restricted three of four possible choices?

Which choice did you leave unrestricted & why?

I want to leave highest price possibilities unrestricted,

which I assume are commercial uses...?

It will cause big big drop in $$ since most my

licenses are editorial...

If too many others DON'T take action of some sort,

those holding out may have to decide how long...

It will be revealing if someone monitors who is NOT

restricting their images & NOT fighting 40/60...


You should not wait until February. Images may be ordered now and invoiced later. Alamy should also see right now that we do not accept 40%.

My approach is to only leave the cheapest licenses. If a license is sold for $200, the drop means $20 less for me.

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43 minutes ago, JeffGreenberg said:

 

 

Brilliant.  Plan to do similar Feb 19.

You restricted three of four possible choices?

Which choice did you leave unrestricted & why?

I want to leave highest price possibilities unrestricted,

which I assume are commercial uses...?

It will cause big big drop in $$ since most my

licenses are editorial...

If too many others DON'T take action of some sort,

those holding out may have to decide how long...

It will be revealing if someone monitors who is NOT

restricting their images & NOT fighting 40/60...

 

Where do you apply these restrictions? and can it be done to your entire port in one go?!? Cheers

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I would like to mention a few experiences of my wife’s great grandfather, who was a professional photographer in the late Victorian/ Edwardian era that all these years later still has relevance to Alamy’s predicament.  There is nothing new under the sun.

 

He trained as a photographer using the complex process of wet plates, and he had a portrait studio in Taunton, UK, when the dry plate was introduced in the early 1880s.  The dry plate was a huge advance (a bit like digital challenging film in recent years), and suddenly several people set up as photographers in the same street as Great Grandad, and it was a race to the bottom in terms of prices.  This resulted in him going out of business as a portrait photographer in 1891.  Fortunately, he found a niche when he became a photographer for the Royal Navy, and when the portrait market stabilised  in the early 1900s, he set up a portrait studio, this time competing on quality, not price.

 

I personally have seen  picture libraries enter the doldrums in the mid-1970s after a number of libraries were set up, leading established libraries to cut prices.  This led to one l library I submitted to cutting its commission to new contributors to 50%, whilst it remained at 60% for previous contributors. Incidentally,I noticed that niche libraries seemed to weather the threat from the new libraries better than the general libraries.

 

Photographic markets have been changing since my wife’s Great Grandfather’s time and photographers have been adapting to changes ever since (as I myself have since I started out as an industrial and architectural photographer in 1970).

 

If Alamy is to have any hope of surviving the race to the bottom that it is engaged in, it too, must adapt in a positive and constructive way.

1.  Alamy must improve quality by editing the existing collection, with major culling of dross and similars. I know that Alamy has a lot of pictures, but it has to find a way.

2.  Alamy’s idea of accepting any subject (providing it meets fixed technical criteria)  has given it an edge in some markets, but certain editing for content should take place there, too.

3.  It must look for niches, but not engage in hair-brained schemes that sell rights for a pittance.

4.  It must not take on any large collection that include lots of dross.   

5.  It must get off the treadmill and abandon the race to the bottom on prices.

 

And finally Alamy must find a way to continue giving photographers 50% of licence fees, and tighten up on licence abuse and infringements.  Otherwise, loss of trust will be terminal, and it will loose the quality contributions that would give Alamy any hope for the future.

Edited by Graham Morley
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1 hour ago, Duncan_Andison said:

 

Where do you apply these restrictions? and can it be done to your entire port in one go?!? Cheers

In AIM, under the Optional tab. You can only apply 3 out of 4 restrictions. Check a sample image at alamy.com afterwards to see how it looks.

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1 hour ago, Graham Morley said:

I personally have seen  picture libraries enter the doldrums in the mid-1970s after a number of libraries were set up, leading established libraries to cut prices.  This led to one l library I submitted to cutting its commission to new contributors to 50%, whilst it remained at 60% for previous contributors. Incidentally,I noticed that niche libraries seemed to weather the threat from the new libraries better than the general libraries.

 

 

I can point to, but won't name, a well-established stock agency based in Europe that has apparently gone down the drain because it slashed prices and allowed other agencies to dump their collections on them. From all accounts, contributors who used to see good returns have now all-but given up on them. Sounds like a cautionary tale to me.

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1 hour ago, KevinS said:

In AIM, under the Optional tab. You can only apply 3 out of 4 restrictions. Check a sample image at alamy.com afterwards to see how it looks.

 

Thanks.... they are all greyed out for me, can't select any of them?!?

 

Edit. Just realised they must be RM. 

Edited by Duncan_Andison

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Cutting commissions for photographers is one route. Another avenue would consist in increasing fees for buyers. I would much prefer to see Alamy move in that direction. 

 

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10 minutes ago, klod said:

Cutting commissions for photographers is one route. Another avenue would consist in increasing fees for buyers. I would much prefer to see Alamy move in that direction. 

 

They can only move in that direction if they cut out large numbers of similar images that are available for less on other sites.  Which is has of course been strongly suggested they do.

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11 hours ago, Stan Pritchard said:

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

 

It was a small sample to see what kind of thing sold. I have over 100k images, but wasn't going to upload them all,  just selected ones. Not any more, waste of time. 

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3 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

They can only move in that direction if they cut out large numbers of similar images that are available for less on other sites.  Which is has of course been strongly suggested they do.

I doubt corporate buyers spend much time - if any at all - searching for a cheaper image.  And if they do, that they will easilly find it.  I regularly do reverse image lookups. Obviously, some companies have their entire database excluded from specific search engines. Test for yourself, you'll see.  And Alamy can use in its sales pitch to buyers that it pays photographers fair commissions and promotes an equitable business model, not the cheapest.

 

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39 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

They can only move in that direction if they cut out large numbers of similar images that are available for less on other sites.  Which is has of course been strongly suggested they do.

 

I think that contributors bear some responsibility here as well. Many have put their Alamy images on sites that pay much less (e.g. microstock), thereby potentially undermining both Alamy and themselves.

 

Just sayin'...

Edited by John Mitchell
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Is Alamy still making those charitable contributions that they've bragged about in the past?

If so, what percentage of the operating budget does that entail?

about-alamy-our-philosophy.pdf

Edited by DCSmith

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https://www.alamy.com/customer/help/affiliate-program.aspx

So Alamy offers an affiliate program  - "Our affiliate commission is the best in the stock photo industry..." "Some of our top affiliates earn more than $4,500 a month". AffiIiates do nothing other than supply a link and if affiliates can make that much while we the suppliers are shafted, something is not right with this picture. Is this where our proposed 20% cut is going? 

 

Do we get a percentage if someone wanders off our portfolio page and buys someone elses image via the all Alamy search box, I think not but in such a case we are providing the same service as an affiliate. Alamy straighten up your act and at least continue to reward your supplier photographers with a ''just' commission. Prove that you do indeed give commissions that are industry best. 50 50 is as fair as it gets.

Edited by Chexy
paragraph added for visual clarity
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29 minutes ago, DCSmith said:

Is Alamy still making those charitable contributions that they've bragged about in the past?

If so, what percentage of the operating budget does that entail?

about-alamy-our-philosophy.pdf

 

Sorry if I'm being repetitive, but this really irks me. I've looked into this and found that SBL (the lab on the first floor of Alamy) gets the bulk of it's funding from Alamy. There are other initiatives in education that also likely have paid staff. The staff of these "charities" may have families to sustain. I'm sure the scientists and educators are competent in their fields and do their jobs well, but the bulk of the funding comes from Alamy. Alamy gives their profit over to these organizations. It may be possible to change this arrangement, but that would be a long, slow change as employees and families depend on their jobs.

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5 minutes ago, Chexy said:

https://www.alamy.com/customer/help/affiliate-program.aspx

So Alamy offers an affiliate program  - "Our affiliate commission is the best in the stock photo industry..." "Some of our top affiliates earn more than $4,500 a month". AffiIiates do nothing other than supply a link and if affiliates can make that much while we the suppliers are shafted, something is not right with this picture. Is this where our proposed 20% cut is going? 

 

Does Alamy really need affiliates? And if so why should they get the best commission in the industry? Do we get a percentage if someone wanders off our portfolio page and buys someone elses image via the all Alamy search box, I think not but in such a case we are providing the same service as an affiliate. Alamy straighten up your act and at least continue to reward your supplier photographers with a ''just' commission. Prove that you do indeed give commissions that are industry best. 50 50 is as fair as it gets.

To make things worse, Alamy quietly changed the terms for affiliate sales a few months after implementation, from paying the contributor 50% to paying the contributor 38.5%. I saw that as the camel's nose under the tent and tried to draw attention to it at the time. It was just me and the crickets. Now this.

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5 minutes ago, KevinS said:

 

Sorry if I'm being repetitive, but this really irks me. I've looked into this and found that SBL (the lab on the first floor of Alamy) gets the bulk of it's funding from Alamy. There are other initiatives in education that also likely have paid staff. The staff of these "charities" may have families to sustain. I'm sure the scientists and educators are competent in their fields and do their jobs well, but the bulk of the funding comes from Alamy. Alamy gives their profit over to these organizations. It may be possible to change this arrangement, but that would be a long, slow change as employees and families depend on their jobs.

 Really?
Then make the charitable contribution optional. Let each contributor decide if they want a percentage of their sales going to the charity.

Does anyone know how much the executives running the charity get in compensation?

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1 minute ago, DCSmith said:

Does anyone know how much the executives running the charity get in compensation?

One of those people might be Mike Fischer, James' uncle, who provided the start-up money for Alamy. No idea how much he's paid by any charity (non-profit company, really?).

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9 minutes ago, JeffGreenberg said:

 

 

Meaning top affiliates licensing $45K/mo gross???!!
Who and How???

Is there way to find them -- Google "Alamy affiliate"?  Other?

Jeff,

$4500./month didn't seem like a plausible number when I first read it. They get 20% of any sale that results from the link on their site. Don't have to be connected to photography to be an affiliate. Any website with a lot of traffic would do. I put a link on my humble website (to profit from you lot), but removed it when the contributors share dropped below 50%.

Edited by KevinS

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22 minutes ago, KevinS said:

One of those people might be Mike Fischer, James' uncle, who provided the start-up money for Alamy. No idea how much he's paid by any charity (non-profit company, really?).



Sounds suspiciously like a possible money laundering scheme.

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27 minutes ago, DCSmith said:

Then make the charitable contribution optional. Let each contributor decide if they want a percentage of their sales going to the charity.

Unfortunately, Alamy was originally set up to give away a substantial portion of it's profits. The contributor gets a percentage of a sale, the rest is Alamy's. After expenses, Alamy may have a profit, of which a substantial portion goes to "charity". That includes companies started by Mr. Fischer, lamps to folks who need them, 100% of sales made by students, wildlife conservation, history museum, others. 

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Deleted; double post

Edited by KevinS

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DCSmith,

Not saying the scheme is anything but legal. Tax reduction may be reason. Anyone can read these posts.

 

If I leave Alamy, this will be the main reason.

Edited by KevinS

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57 minutes ago, KevinS said:

Jeff,

$4500./month didn't seem like a plausible number when I first read it. They get 20% of any sale that results from the link on their site. Don't have to be connected to photography to be an affiliate. Any website with a lot of traffic would do. I put a link on my humble website (to profit from you lot), but removed it when the contributors share dropped below 50%.

The affiliate sales page has recently changed (sorry Jeff!) and now reads 10%. The Alamy Commission Table in the contract still says 20%. Which is it Alamy?

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After reading this page I think a couple of you have really gone a bit too far. You are contributors, what business is it of yours if Alamy funds charities, none of you own or manage Alamy. If you don't like contributing to Alamy then just stop doing so but smearing them with such comments is too much. 

 

 

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