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Commission change - James West comments

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4 minutes ago, BobPhoto said:

It is interesting to see how people here see themself, mostly as suppliers. For me, I see me as a customer of the agencies I work with. They provide me a service that is to license my images and are paid by taking a commission. I don't expect to pay 30 usd to stay at Hilton and I dont expect to pay 250 usd to stay at the local crappy motel. I am also with the bigger tier 1 agency that most people hate here who pay me 25% on average. I am very happy to be with them as they provide me great service, i.e. selling a lot of my images. That's why they can propose such low commission levels. Pushing the argument to the extreme, I would not mind an agency to take 99% of sales value if they generate 5 millions of sales a year!


The service is selling your photos. So a 50% commission is fair in any case. If they sell more photos than other agencies, their revenue will also grow, even if the 50% are fixed.

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14 minutes ago, Skyscraperfan said:


The service is selling your photos. So a 50% commission is fair in any case. If they sell more photos than other agencies, their revenue will also grow, even if the 50% are fixed.

Sorry but you make no sense as you just said before that what is important for you is to get your images published, even for free, and now you say nothing under 50% is fair... There is no "objective fairness", for me it is fair that agency bring me enough money each month whatever the commission rate. I don't know if it was you who made the example about people refusing free money if the other one get more, actually in economic theory, this is an example of irrational thinking and a deviation of "homo economicus"...

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20 minutes ago, Bill Brooks said:

 

Bring them to their knees

 

Bill

Check it out !!! https://www.alamy.com/portfolio/billbrooks/favourites.html
 

Quote

Ah that'll teach them!

 

 

What are you proposing Wim, Bill? Just accept this 20% cut and take our medicine? As a first step until I decide whether to quit or not I've removed exclusivity for all my images. I'll decide what else to do in good time. I never joined the distributor scheme because I didn't like the split and I couldn't trust distributors to report honestly like I did with Alamy. Now Alamy have trashed the trust I had in them. Maybe it shows I'm not a good judge of character, I dunno, but I'm still angry and disappointed nevertheless.

Edited by Sultanpepa

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27 minutes ago, Skyscraperfan said:


The service is selling your photos. So a 50% commission is fair in any case. If they sell more photos than other agencies, their revenue will also grow, even if the 50% are fixed.

What if, to sell more photos, they have to double the number of "sales people" they have as employees?  Their wage bill would increase massively so while the gross from sales grows the net decreases - possibly into the red.

I think we need to possibly rethink this idea that "selling photos" is a cheap, easy as falling off your chair wheeze, with the "nasty" agencies screwing the "innocent hard working" photographers. 

If selling photographs was a cheap and easy wheeze there would be no need for agencies and everyone would have quit the agencies to sell their own work many moons ago - certain when the last commission reduction was introduced.  Maybe some people tried it - I don't know, - I do know few, if any, succeeded.   The standard crack when talking about selling photographs is that it "eats up the time when pictures could be being taken".  If we are going to be realistic we have to accept that actually, yes, selling the photos does require work - quite time intensive work - and work that the majority of photographers are simply not willing to engage in.

So you come back to @BobPhoto : point - how much are we willing to pay for this work to be done for us?  Is Alamy good value for service at 50/50?  Will they provide a 60/40 quality service?  Do the agencies that only pay 20% provide 80% value service?  The answer will be different for everyone - some will be totally money focused and looking for the best income - others will rate other things higher than money.  Alamy may or may not provide them - it may provide them at 50/50 but not at 60/40.

Edited by Starsphinx

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Just watched the infamous video. Why does it look like there is Don Vito Corleone sitting behind that cheap wood wall at the back of James West?

"I'll Make You an Offer You Can't Refuse. Cut your contributors' commission by 20% by Christmas or I'll bury you in cement".


"I'll make that because we want to go 1st tier! See my graph, last time we've cut contributors' commission to pay our brand new NY office their (aggregate) profits skyrocketed! We are sooo poor, we donate all to charity to the point I'll only eat canned beans for Christmas!" All b...its.
Either they are planning something they don't want (or don't have the guts) to confess (such as selling the company to some big name or the like) or they simply want to make more money at our expense...

Edited by riccarbi
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46 minutes ago, Skyscraperfan said:


Because on the most expensive use Alamy will benefit the most from the commission cut.

We have a saying for that: cutting off your nose to spite your face. Forgoing revenue just to deprive Alamy of it.

I don't get that at all.

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12 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

We have a saying for that: cutting off your nose to spite your face. Forgoing revenue just to deprive Alamy of it.

I don't get that at all.

 

To be fair it's no different to removing images altogether. At least this way he/she can reverse the situation quickly if he/she wants to. No?

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36 minutes ago, Sultanpepa said:

What are you proposing Wim, Bill? Just accept this 20% cut and take our medicine? As a first step until I decide whether to quit or not I've removed exclusivity for all my images. I'll decide what else to do in good time. I never joined the distributor scheme because I didn't like the split and I couldn't trust distributors to report honestly like I did with Alamy. Now Alamy have trashed the trust I had in them. Maybe it shows I'm not a good judge of character, I dunno, but I'm still angry and disappointed nevertheless.

 

It's simple: everybody who stays in, say 99.98% will increase their portfolio and increase their uploading pace on top of that.

This year on average 106,243 images have been added each day including Saturdays and Sundays. *)

So how much impact will all of this have?

 

wim

*) 157803824 today's count; 121999893 on Jan 3rd.

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Skyscraperfan: Why are stock images so much different from any other digital assets like e-books or apps? 

 

M.Chapman: I assume because it's so much easier and quicker to take a photo, add some keywords and upload it than it is to write an eBook or write an app?

 

22 hours ago, Skyscraperfan said:


The may be true for ONE photo, but while an author needs only one book and an app developer only needs one app to generate a lot of money, a photographer needs quite a lot of photos.

The photographers who quickly take a photo and upload it to Alamy are a major problem. If you take photography seriously, you should invest some effort both in taking the photo and optimizing it with software of your choice.

 

The difference is that Alamy probably has thousands of contributors who have submitted very few images. The barrier for entry is far, far lower than writing an App or a Book. These thousands of contributors compete (en masse) with individual contributors who have larger portfolios.

 

Mark

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Think stock agencies should apply some entry restrictions.

 

Something along the lines of, for example:

library of no less than 1000 images to start

All photos in library reviewed

Uploading less than X minimum photos per moth over a X period of months results in reduction of commission until X minimum is met again.

All photos accurately keyworded

 

And possibly dozens of other things.

 

Most people would not have the motivation and would give up.

 

Hell, it's exactly why I have not even tried starting to get in with the dedicated wildlife agencies yet - not doing so on less than 1000 images, but may wait for 2000. I probably have enough, but need to process and keyword them.

 

But no agency should ever get more than the photographer.

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12 minutes ago, wiskerke said:

 

It's simple: everybody who stays in, say 99.98% will increase their portfolio and increase their uploading pace on top of that.

This year on average 106,243 images have been added each day including Saturdays and Sundays. *)

So how much impact will all of this have?

 

wim

*) 157803824 today's count; 121999893 on Jan 3rd.

 

Sorry, but my incentive, if I read you correctly, is to stay, redouble my efforts and hope there's enough time before the next cut to get back to where I was? Seriously?

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26 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

These thousands of contributors compete (en masse) with individual contributors who have larger portfolios.

 

Mark

 

I've always wondered why there wasn't a hierarchical commission for those with more in the pot. Newbies start with a lower rate - then, the more you upload and show a commitment for, the better the terms. My impression is that those who never build a sizeable collection aren't ever going to be making quality work worthy of better rewards.

 

So I would like to know at what number of pictures reached will Alamy take your call about a different contract.

Edited by Richard Baker

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7 minutes ago, chris_rabe said:

Think stock agencies should apply some entry restrictions.

Alamy is fast filling up with lots of similars, mediocre photos, etc. Some search results are depressing to look at. If there were entry restrictions, more pages would look like your pages here due to self-editing. Very nice port!

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14 minutes ago, KevinS said:

Alamy is fast filling up with lots of similars, mediocre photos, etc. Some search results are depressing to look at. If there were entry restrictions, more pages would look like your pages here due to self-editing. Very nice port!

 

Well actually, if alamy had such restrictions in place, I would still be months from even applying 😁

 

But I'd be ok with that. 

 

And thanks, even though there are some images there I'm surprised got through. 

 

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I am currently in Vienna for a week. Prior to this announcement I calculated based on current RPI per year , it would take 4.5 years for the trip to pay for itself. The reality however is that each year RPI falls significantly so more likely to be more like 9 years before hitting break even. Given these unprofitable figures, this is my first photo trip for over a year.

 

Alamy's bombshell instantly wacked my RPI from 28p net to 22.4p. it now looks unlikely this trip or any future trip will ever pay for itself unless I can make substantial money at other libraries.

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9 minutes ago, JeffGreenberg said:

 

 

If willing, how does one get daily specific count?

It's at the top left of the homepage.

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5 hours ago, Skyscraperfan said:

 

Removal makes you lose all that leverage. If many people remove their images, Alamy knows that they probably will not even come back if the 50/50 split is reinstalled, because it simply is too much work to prepare all those photos again. It is easier to ristrict them to personal use. That shows Alamy that we still have some good will to continue once 50/50 is back. The worst that can happen is that you delete your photos now and next week Alamy says "Okay, we go back to 50/50!". After reuploading the photos it would take ages until they get back their former image ranks.

 

Better to restrict every use except 'Consumer goods' I suggest, since we all know the problems associated with 'Personal use'. If Alamy ever licenses my images for consumer goods they're welcome to share in the vast riches! Won't happen.

 

There really shouldn't be too much work involved in re-uploading your collection to Alamy, or any other agency, unless you've done all your keywording online...

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3 minutes ago, hotbrightsky said:

 

 

 

There really shouldn't be too much work involved in re-uploading your collection to Alamy, or any other agency, unless you've done all your keywording online...

 

While there is almost certainly a better way to do it than I am using it might not be a lot of work but it is as boring and repetitive as hell.

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On 12/5/2018 at 14:48, JeffGreenberg said:

 

 

FYI: Freelancers in US may face laws restricting united actions...

 

Do restrictions kick in next system refresh?

Can they all be undone at any point after system refresh?

Are some April-only actions?

 

I believe Restriction changes should kick in each time the search engine is re-indexed. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

 

I don't see any reason why changes can't be reversed. There is no warning to this effect.

 

The chances of being prosecuted by the US government are minimal I suggest.

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3 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

While there is almost certainly a better way to do it than I am using it might not be a lot of work but it is as boring and repetitive as hell.

 

Agreed. Deleting images should be a last resort and the effect is delayed. Adding usage restrictions to the point that images become virtually unsaleable might be a more proportionate response. I'm withdrawing (the products of) my labour, not resigning at this point.

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On 05/12/2018 at 14:41, hotbrightsky said:

To protest Alamy's decision I suggest we each:

  1. Select all images in Image Manager.
  2. Set all Restrictions under Optional menu.

And if that sounds too dramatic, simply use the 'Newest 500 passed' selection filter.

 

As soon as Alamy reverses their position, or somehow manages to justify it, I'll be happy to revert these changes.

 

Until then let's hope that potential buyers find themselves just as frustrated as we are.

 

If the real reason for the commission cut is because Alamy has started to loose money, then this will hardly help matters....

 

Mark

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Just now, hotbrightsky said:

 

Agreed. Deleting images should be a last resort and the effect is delayed. Adding usage restrictions to the point that images become virtually unsaleable might be a more proportionate response. I'm withdrawing (the products of) my labour, not resigning at this point.

To be honest I am leaving my images here as they are - I do not have enough for any restrictions to impact anyone except me.  What I am doing is taking them to other agencies - which is a lot of copying and pasting.

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Just now, M.Chapman said:

 

If the real reason for the commission cut is because Alamy has started to loose money, then this will hardly help matters....

 

Mark

If Alamy has started to lose money we are screwed anyway.

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5 hours ago, Joseph Clemson said:

As a general point I'm thinking that the grass is not likely to be much greener wherever the disaffected contributors go,  especially those like myself with a generalist soft editorial collection.

 

Actually, I'd say the grass is likely to be a lot browner for 'soft generalists' like us at most other places, which is why I'll be stayin' put for the time being.

 

Not at all happy with the upcoming commission reduction, but if Alamy can expand its global reach as planned, it could actually improve our income in the long run. I don't care if Alamy becomes a "Tier 1", but I would love to see them gain a better foothold in North America. All this remains to be seen, of course.

 

I know, I know, I'm beginning to exhibit symptoms of classic cyclical forum psychology (CFP). :)

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