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3 hours ago, Phil Robinson said:

Have a look right at the bottom of the page (not 'joking' as such - it is there on the one I looked at. Good use of the phrase 'pulling my leg' from a non-native speaker though!)

Hmm.  Must be another place.  The one I'm thinking of has a forum identical to this one (accept it works).

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2 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

Hopefully I won't get pelted with red arrows for bringing this up. :unsure:

 

 I wonder if Alamy shouldn't consider setting up a "budget collection" of exclusive microstock-like images (RF, non-editorial).

Any thoughts on this?

 

Fear not red arrows John, it appears the tide is turning.

 

It is truly unfortunate that the falling sky hysteria regarding microstock over the last couple of years cut off many potential forum Microstock discussions that might have benefited some of the members that are considering submitting to microstock today. I think some of you who are going microstock, are flying blinder today than you would have been if there had been a free and open discussion. I would suggest that some of you future microstockers should buy Brazilnut's Ebook about microstock.

 

For instance, offering the same non exclusive Alamy RM image, as Microstock non exclusive RF at a different agency, may get you in trouble. RF is not RM and you should not be selling the same image as RF to one client and as RM to another client through a different agency. Maybe you should convert all of your Alamy non exclusive RM to Alamy non exclusive RF to bring things in line. Up to date cast iron model and property releases for commercial use are important, so you should sort out the editorial/commercial designation at all agencies as well. Also Microstock collections are curated collections, and many of your Alamy images could be rejected by your new tier 1 Microstock agency.

 

To answer John's question, no need to make a microstock collection a separate collection. I have no deep seated need to poke Alamy in the eye, so I can stay at Alamy and still go Alamy microstock. I can sell both exclusive to Alamy at microstock prices, and exclusive to Alamy stock at stock prices. Both types at a higher royalty rate and higher price point. Why go anywhere else?

 

I have no inside information about any unique special flavoured Alamy microstock, but that is the way I think things are going.

 

Alamy does have to increase today's number of low priced Alamy microstock sales considerably, in order to make it worthwhile for everyone.

 

I think this is the type of Microstock image John is talking about, Alamy needs more of them.

 

duckweed water lens bogmat mud-midget Araceae Lemna minor Gibbous Duckweed green aquatic wetland floating plant Stock Photo

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12 minutes ago, Bill Brooks said:

I think this is the type of Microstock image John is talking about, Alamy needs more of them.

 

duckweed water lens bogmat mud-midget Araceae Lemna minor Gibbous Duckweed green aquatic wetland floating plant Stock Photo

 

Yup, that's the type of image I have in mind. I enjoy capturing these as a break from editorial imagery (i.e. the kind that actually sells on Alamy). Unfortunately, the micros are overflowing with images like these, so I'd rather not ship mine off to a "tier 1" warehouse just yet, even though they tend to just sit on a shelf here (with a couple of exceptions). My thought is that Alamy might be able to use the "exclusive" factor to their advantage here. How best to accomplish this would be the question.

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9 hours ago, Bill Brooks said:

For instance, offering the same non exclusive Alamy RM image, as Microstock non exclusive RF at a different agency, may get you in trouble.

 

And yet nothing seems to stop Alamy selling RM images with licence terms that are effectively RF. :wacko:

 

At least there's now a non-exclusive filter it makes much easier to ensure images that are RF elsewhere can all be marked as RF on Alamy too, thereby complying with Alamy's contract.

 

Mark

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15 hours ago, David Pimborough said:

 

However if they have already been sold as RM on Alamy in the past I don't think you can change them to RF

 

Is that correct?

It's possible to change to RF from RM in the Image Manager (previous to IM I don't think it was possible). Is there something else, e.g. contractual that stops a contributor from doing it? I don't think there is and you could sell an image RM last week, then RF this week and back to RM next week.

 

Edited by Keith Douglas
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11 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Yup, that's the type of image I have in mind. I enjoy capturing these as a break from editorial imagery (i.e. the kind that actually sells on Alamy). Unfortunately, the micros are overflowing with images like these, so I'd rather not ship mine off to a "tier 1" warehouse just yet, even though they tend to just sit on a shelf here (with a couple of exceptions). My thought is that Alamy might be able to use the "exclusive" factor to their advantage here. How best to accomplish this would be the question.

 

I think if you are going to do the microstock route, going all out and pushing the images to all the main microstock agencies would be the way to go. If you have the same image sat on 5 or 6 shelves, it's a bit like having 5 or 6 images on the one shelf.. so-to-speak. Of course, this requires a bit of time to upload the image everywhere. 

Edited by Matt Ashmore
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4 hours ago, Matt Ashmore said:

 

I think if you are going to do the microstock route, going all out and pushing the images to all the main microstock agencies would be the way to go. If you have the same image sat on 5 or 6 shelves, it's a bit like having 5 or 6 images on the one shelf.. so-to-speak. Of course, this requires a bit of time to upload the image everywhere. 

There are only really 3 or 4 MS agencies worth bothering with these days. The top 3 all make at least 10x the smaller agencies. They tend to be the ones that have the easiest submission systems as well.

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21 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

Hopefully I won't get pelted with red arrows for bringing this up. :unsure:

 

I'm not a fan of the microstock model for still images. However, with all the talk of contributors now submitting to micro agencies, I wonder if Alamy shouldn't consider setting up a "budget collection" of exclusive microstock-like images (RF, non-editorial). 

 

Any thoughts on this?

 

I don't think it is a good idea. They would risk cannibalising their Trad stock sales and over time be forced to sell everything at lower prices. You argue it should be for a different type of imagery but will that really happen in practice? 

 

I remember back in 2010 (I think) when a library called Veer (having renamed itself 'Veer' from a previously well known Trad library Jupiter images), decided to have both Trad pricing and microstock both appearing in the same search results. Things didn't end well for it. 

 

Edited by andremichel
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34 minutes ago, andremichel said:

 

I don't think it is a good idea. They would risk cannibalising their Trad stock sales and over time be forced to sell everything at lower prices. You argue it should be for a different type of imagery but will that really happen in practice? 

 

I remember back in 2010 (I think) when a library called Veer (having renamed itself 'Veer' from a previously well known Trad library Jupiter images), decided to have both Trad pricing and microstock both appearing in the same search results. Things didn't end well for it. 

 

 

Yes, cannibalization would definitely be a risk. It's a pity, though, that so many images are likely to just rot on the shelves at Alamy. I suppose that's good news for microstock agencies, though.

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2 hours ago, WPL said:

There are only really 3 or 4 MS agencies worth bothering with these days. The top 3 all make at least 10x the smaller agencies. They tend to be the ones that have the easiest submission systems as well.

 

The microstock world makes me dizzy. However, I do have a small collection of video clips at several micros, and what you say doesn't surprise me. The only place that my clips have sold is at a certain big "tier 1" microstock agency where the submission process is super easy.

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9 hours ago, David Pimborough said:

 

I don't know if its correct but I did say " I don't think you can change them to RF " which means I'm not sure.

 

I did look at the contract again but its not clear on that matter in that it doesn't seem to mention changing RM to RF after a sale.

 

 

 

I don't think it's unclear. If the contract doesn't mention any restrictions on changing from RM to RF after a sale (or vice versa) then there are no restrictions!  There might be all sorts of things that we think might or should be in the contract, but if they aren't in it then they aren't part of the contract.

 

It's very important to get these sort of details correct, particularly if it's used as a reason why contributors can't ever sell some of their RM images on other sites. 

 

 

 

Edited by Keith Douglas
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I had my first sale with 60% commission on Friday. Disappointingly it was an earlier sale that was refunded on Friday morning and then sold for a few more cents that same afternoon, only this time with the higher commission rate. 

C'est La Vie

 

Simon

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On 2/23/2019 at 05:58, Matt Ashmore said:

 

I think if you are going to do the microstock route, going all out and pushing the images to all the main microstock agencies would be the way to go. If you have the same image sat on 5 or 6 shelves, it's a bit like having 5 or 6 images on the one shelf.. so-to-speak. Of course, this requires a bit of time to upload the image everywhere. 

 

If you go microstock at 5 or 6 agencies you should track who has what image, under what conditions, at what commission %, by creating your own spreadsheet.

 

Each image will need to have your own unique image number, created by you, so you can do the tracking.

 

Microstock agencies are curated collections so you will have lots of rejects from your present non exclusive Alamy images when you submit them as Microstock. You need to track who you sent the image too, who rejected that image, who accepted that image, and under what conditions the image was accepted. The spreadsheet should include all Alamy images as well.

If you are unable to get the image on any microstock site, then you would have the information to make that image exclusive to Alamy to get 20% more money if sold.

Some of you have characterized some of your Alamy images as "crap". It is unlikely that a truly "crap" image would be accepted on a microstock site.

 

There are mergers, and acquisitions in microstock agencies so you should keep an up to date list of where the image is, otherwise over time you loose track of your collection.

For instance Jupiterimages was acquired by a tier1 agency. Was your Jupiterimages image moved over to Tier1 or was it rejected by the Tier1 agency? Tier1 agency has two commission levels, so if it was accepted at Tier1, at what commission level?

 

Micro stockers on many sites should do some management of their collections, and they should set that up now, before they get too deep into it.

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40 minutes ago, Bill Brooks said:

 

If you go microstock at 5 or 6 agencies you should track who has what image, under what conditions, at what commission %, by creating your own spreadsheet.

 

Each image will need to have your own unique image number, created by you, so you can do the tracking.

 

Microstock agencies are curated collections so you will have lots of rejects from your present non exclusive Alamy images when you submit them as Microstock. You need to track who you sent the image too, who rejected that image, who accepted that image, and under what conditions the image was accepted. The spreadsheet should include all Alamy images as well.

If you are unable to get the image on any microstock site, then you would have the information to make that image exclusive to Alamy to get 20% more money if sold.

Some of you have characterized some of your Alamy images as "crap". It is unlikely that a truly "crap" image would be accepted on a microstock site.

 

There are mergers, and acquisitions in microstock agencies so you should keep an up to date list of where the image is, otherwise over time you loose track of your collection.

For instance Jupiterimages was acquired by a tier1 agency. Was your Jupiterimages image moved over to Tier1 or was it rejected by the Tier1 agency? Tier1 agency has two commission levels, so if it was accepted at Tier1, at what commission level?

 

Micro stockers on many sites should do some management of their collections, and they should set that up now, before they get too deep into it.

 

. . . and . . . while considering the safeguards Bill outlines above when considering microstock, consider also that the complaints here about what Alamy does or does not do regarding inappropriate personal use licenses pales into the background when the "Thieves Thread Update" elsewhere is read . . . just use your favourite search engine and look up "thieves thread update" . . . it'll take your breath away.

 

DD

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20 hours ago, Simon Evans said:

I had my first sale with 60% commission on Friday. Disappointingly it was an earlier sale that was refunded on Friday morning and then sold for a few more cents that same afternoon, only this time with the higher commission rate. 

C'est La Vie

 

Simon

In a pig's eye should that suffer the higher commission. Complain.

Edited by spacecadet
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On 22/02/2019 at 11:22, Allan Bell said:

As far as 50% goes there is a slight change.

When the price totalled odd pennies the contributor used to get the odd penny.

Now it seems that alamy get the odd penny.

 

I am not quibbling about this just that it is an interesting point.

 

Allan

 

 

I noticed that I had a sale last week grossing $9.02 of which I got $4.50, which is more than 'the odd penny' (not even 50%)

Smacks a bit of desperation.

Edited by Cryptoprocta
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On 24/2/2019 at 16:27, Bill Brooks said:

 

If you go microstock at 5 or 6 agencies you should track who has what image, under what conditions, at what commission %, by creating your own spreadsheet.

 

 

There is an easier way. There is a software called Microstockr that does everything you need to keep track of sales across websites. I use it, it's not perfect but it's a good way to understand sales.

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28 minutes ago, kay said:

Mmmm, that is weird.  I've just checked back. 

 

I see now that out of my reported sales since the commission change, 2 aren't as expected.    One for $101.48 has been split $50.75 and $50.73, and another for $9.02 split $4.52/$4.50 - both in alamy's favour.   I can't imagine this is an intentional thing, but it is strange that something that seems so straightforward is sometimes being miscalculated.

 

I will send an email querying it

I’ve got some of those too. In fact of the 25 sales reported so far this month, two were in my favour (amounting to 0.02) and the rest in Alamy’s favour (amounting to 0.24).

 

it would perhaps be difficult to do, but they could accumulate all the extra pennies when things cannot be split evenly and divide them up equally once they have mounted up. I might look at all of my sales and see what the difference is.

Edited by Sally
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1 hour ago, Sally said:

I’ve got some of those too. In fact of the 25 sales reported so far this month, two were in my favour (amounting to 0.02) and the rest in Alamy’s favour (amounting to 0.24).

 

it would perhaps be difficult to do, but they could accumulate all the extra pennies when things cannot be split evenly and divide them up equally once they have mounted up. I might look at all of my sales and see what the difference is.

Not difficult at all

Alamy, you fixed it a couple of years ago giving us the stray cent. Please fix it again.

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4 minutes ago, David Pimborough said:

 

Actually the easiet thing for Alamy to do is just divide by  two and any fractions of a cent would merely accumulate in the contributor's

balance.  Much like a number of Microstock agencies do such as FT/Ade and the numbers agency

 

In order for these rounding errors to occur it would have to be written in to the software, as normal accounting

packages round up or down to the nearest penny but never 2 pennies.

 

 

As far as I know, prior to last Thursday, the rounding of odd numbers was always in our favour. They must have chosen to change that to their favour with the increase in their commission, as the change seemed to happen on that date.

 

The 2p in their benefit on even numbered gross prices is a mystery. But I only have one of these since the change, the rest were all odd-numbered grosses, so I can't see if it's universal. Others with more exclusive sales could no doubt check and report back.

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34 minutes ago, kay said:

 

 

Sorry, I maybe wasn't as clear as I could have been.   The odd cents I suppose have to go one way or the other (mine all went Alamy's way) but the two I was referring to $101.48 and $9.02 were like Lynne said earlier - not an odd cent that couldn't be split, but a round amount that could have been split exactly in half, and for some strange reason wasn't.  

 

$101.48 should have been $50.74 each, not $50.75 and $50.73 etc - that's what's really puzzling me.  I'm struggling to think of any reason why they've been split the way they have???

 

 

No, you were very clear and I have two in which the difference in Alamy’s favour is 2 cents as well. This all needs fixing!

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Timing is everything, and the timing for wide placement of the non exclusive image was 10 years ago. It is too late to have the same non exclusive RF image at 5 stock agencies. The future is exclusive images. 

 

Stock image exclusivity is the future of the industry, because all different agency collections are starting to look the same. Looking the same as your competition is a problem stock agencies need to solve. Prices will never rise if clients can buy the same non exclusive image from many different agencies.

 

All stock agencies should encourage image exclusivity by offering photographers a better deal for exclusive images. This better deal could be higher commission rate, better position in the search order, quicker selection process, refusing new images offered on a non exclusive basis, etc.

 

This does not mean that photographers would have to be photographer exclusive to one agency, only image exclusive to one agency.

 

For instance you could photograph the local city skyline exclusively for one agency on Monday, and photograph the same skyline exclusively for a second agency on Tuesday, and on to the other 5 days remaining in the week. This would allow you to save money on travel, save time keywording and captioning, and service 7 agencies on an image exclusive basis.

 

If you are starting out on none exclusive multiple agencies you may want to consider leaving your present images exclusive to Alamy for an extra 20%. You could build and future proof your new agency collection with newly shot images exclusive to each agency. If image exclusive to Alamy for your present collection is not possible, then you might start to think about RPI (Return Per Image) at each of your agencies. You could then consolidate your present collection between fewer agencies for a better deal. 
 

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3 hours ago, Bill Brooks said:

Timing is everything, and the timing for wide placement of the non exclusive image was 10 years ago. It is too late to have the same non exclusive RF image at 5 stock agencies. The future is exclusive images. 

 

 

 

I think you're correct about this, Bill.

 

Personally, I'm not sure what the future will bring, but a move towards more image-exclusivity for all types of images might help save agencies (and us) from eating each other alive, which is what is happening right now. There seems to be no other way out of the mess that has been created. I think that agencies might also have to rethink their extensive distribution and supply networks if they want to retain some uniqueness and stay afloat.

Edited by John Mitchell
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Even with all those distributors and sub distributors out there, it surprises me how much some images sell at one outlet and not the other, and vice versa.

This is likely because customers tend to want all the images they might need in one place.  Who wants to run around to boutiques all over town, when the department store has most of what you need?  I also don't know what the future holds, but as a contributor, exclusivity has never made much sense to me.  Spreading the eggs in at least a few baskets seems more sensible.

Edited by Reimar
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