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6 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

Can I just throw this blog post in for the "selling as microstock cuts your throat" point.  That argument has been actually studied and analysed and while there is no certainty all the evidence suggests that this is not that simple and that having the same image in multiple places is not anywhere near as damaging as some believe.

https://brutallyhonestmicrostock.com/2018/02/06/do-alamy-buyers-search-elsewhere-answers-from-alamy/

 

 

Interesting post. You've done some good research there.

 

We may be heading into the era of "quantum stock", where everything is everywhere at once and things are not nearly as simple as they seem. 🙃

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Posted (edited)

@OP, one thing I notice is that on your default page, you have a lot of photos of lone golfers, unreleased. Of course, that's OK for editorial use, but that's a subject of which there are very many released images, which are far more sellable, and of course are 'posed' for multiple attractiveness to and uses for buyers. I'd suggest (tentatively) that it might not be as worth your while making that sort of image, unless newsworthy: named (known or up-and-coming) players in a competition, or even practising.

 

For example, on Alamy alone, there are 5694 hits on 'one golfer' model released, and 1406 both model and property released.

Edited by Cryptoprocta

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Alamy is not dying, but second rate stock photography in quantity is dead.

 

I am having a good year. Sale numbers up about 20% and revenue up by the same amount over last year.

 

I will only become concerned if Alamy are unable to pay my monthly payments.

 

I think the quantity days are over, and quality agency exclusive RF or RF-editorial images the way to go. That does not mean that you cannot have more than one agency. Just do not put the same image on multiple agencies.

 

I think Alamy is well positioned. All they need to do is edit new submissions for photographic quality and near duplication, as well as technical quality. I think the Alamy collection needs a good purge. If Alamy photographers voluntarily purged the weak images from their collections, then their search position would be better, and their income higher.

 

Here is news from a long time stock photo professional commentator who is usually right.

 

2 Credits
Buy Full Article
Ad Agencies Turn Away From Stock To Assignments
By Jim Pickerell | 368 Words | Posted 5/27/2019 | Comments
As more and more consumer are turning to social media for information about the products and services they want to buy Ad agencies and brands are finding that they must up the quality of their offerings in order to get attention. According to Erik Radle, CEO of Dallas-based Miller Ad Agency, “People are finding out that the content has to just sing. It has to just dazzle. We’re spending a lot of time doing photo shoots because the days of stock photography being meaningful on social media are over. That just doesn’t cut it any more and will get you ignored.”

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, spiegel said:

 

With the three other agencies, with which one can earn money in the microstock area, my income has increased significantly in the same period,

 

how much are you earning altogether with the other agencies?

 

most of my portfolio is editorial, and I've gotten 50 sales since jan which is not great, but ok; i just feel i could do more sales if maybe some of the images were maybe more engaging with the audience, but that requires sitting at a location for far longer than i want to.   as for prices, most of the sales were double digits spread evenly like a bell curve, with one sale from nutella germany that was 2660.

Edited by sooth

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3 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Interesting post. You've done some good research there.

 

We may be heading into the era of "quantum stock", where everything is everywhere at once and things are not nearly as simple as they seem. 🙃

I didn't really do the research others did, I read it and shared it - no real work involved.

Please do not mention the Q word. Because I will start thinking about it. I may then get a micro flash of understanding which will cause my brain to run screaming over the horizon.  Either way, I will have to lie down in a dark room.

I have considered trying alcohol for this problem but cannot afford the amount it would require.  😈

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An indicator as to how Alamy is doing is the number of searches for pictures. The "All of Alamy" section of measures is understandable coy about the number of sales, zooms etc, but

it does divulge the number of pages seen over a time period. This will bear a very rough indicator of the interest customers are showing.

 

The number of pages for each month (20 lines per page) are:

 

Jul  10.9k

Aug 11.2k

Sep 11.0k

Oct 12.6k

Nov 11.3k

Dec   9.6k

Jan 12.3k

Feb 12.4k

Mar 12.6k

Apr 12.3k

May 12.4k

 

These are very rough figures and are only a very very  broad indicator of interest in ALAMY's portfolio. There are hints of an upward trend but of course there is no

way of knowing if the gradient is steeper or shallower than it could be.

 

The picture market is evolving and who knows what effect our political shenanigans are having, but those figures do not look like a company that is going the wrong way.

 

Alamy dying? I don't think so, but individual contributors could be more vulnerable to market forces than others.

 

G'night.

 

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I tend to agree with Bill (above). It's quantity that is dying, which is why I don't think that microstock is sustainable. The lower-tier MS agencies are already sinking into the quicksand under their own weight. Out of desperation, MS agencies are trying to undercut each other out of existence -- and there's a limit on how low they can go -- while all offering the same images, as most people continue to submit identical images to multiple agencies. It's all a little bit insane IMO.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

Can I just throw this blog post in for the "selling as microstock cuts your throat" point.  That argument has been actually studied and analysed and while there is no certainty all the evidence suggests that this is not that simple and that having the same image in multiple places is not anywhere near as damaging as some believe.

https://brutallyhonestmicrostock.com/2018/02/06/do-alamy-buyers-search-elsewhere-answers-from-alamy/

 

 

I did the research, interviewed James and published the blog post - thanks for the mention.

 

This article is already a few months old and would like to do publish a follow-up. There is certainly much to discuss and obviously interested parties. 

 

I'm increasingly convinced that buyers do not search around that much. The evidence I have is that, even though fees at Alamy are on average 10x higher than what I receive from micros...the same image can, has and will be licensed on Alamy for 10x less than on micros on certain situations - this defies any logic but I have many examples. This strongly suggests that there are many others factors at play than merely pricing points, as discussed. .

 

I would like to also analyse the correlation between zooms here and sales there on same day / following days. Last time round, I found almost no links. Yea yea, not all zooms are recorded and stuff but I have to work with the data available. 

 

To be continued.... 

 

Edited by Brasilnut
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

I didn't really do the research others did, I read it and shared it - no real work involved.

Please do not mention the Q word. Because I will start thinking about it. I may then get a micro flash of understanding which will cause my brain to run screaming over the horizon.  Either way, I will have to lie down in a dark room.

I have considered trying alcohol for this problem but cannot afford the amount it would require.  😈

 

Sorry, I had you confused with Mr. Brasilnut. His website is very good. Because of it, I now have a much better understanding of the enemy. I've even fed the MS monster some images to see what all the fuss is about.  So far, I've made almost enough for a celebratory cup of coffee. 😏

Edited by John Mitchell

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4 hours ago, Brasilnut said:

 

I did the research, interviewed James and published the blog post - thanks for the mention.

 

This article is already a few months old and would like to do publish a follow-up. There is certainly much to discuss and obviously interested parties. 

 

I'm increasingly convinced that buyers do not search around that much. The evidence I have is that, even though fees at Alamy are on average 10x higher than what I receive from micros...the same image can, has and will be licensed on Alamy for 10x less than on micros on certain situations - this defies any logic but I have many examples. This strongly suggests that there are many others factors at play than merely pricing points, as discussed. .

 

I would like to also analyse the correlation between zooms here and sales there on same day / following days. Last time round, I found almost no links. Yea yea, not all zooms are recorded and stuff but I have to work with the data available. 

 

To be continued.... 

 

 

James raises some interesting points, especially in light of the qualifications he very carefully adds. None of them to me contradict the essesce of Bill Brooks' observations above.

 

I do however think you have misapplied James' advice regarding your (rightly from what you've shown) identified as premium images--if not exclusive at Alamy then I'd be looking at exclusive at other what I consider "premium" agencies. A rejection from Stocksy is hardly what one should consider a final and universally accepted arbitration after all :)

 

DD

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8 hours ago, Bill Brooks said:

Alamy is not dying, but second rate stock photography in quantity is dead.

 

I am having a good year. Sale numbers up about 20% and revenue up by the same amount over last year.

 

I will only become concerned if Alamy are unable to pay my monthly payments.

 

I think the quantity days are over, and quality agency exclusive RF or RF-editorial images the way to go. That does not mean that you cannot have more than one agency. Just do not put the same image on multiple agencies.

 

I think Alamy is well positioned. All they need to do is edit new submissions for photographic quality and near duplication, as well as technical quality. I think the Alamy collection needs a good purge. If Alamy photographers voluntarily purged the weak images from their collections, then their search position would be better, and their income higher.

 

Here is news from a long time stock photo professional commentator who is usually right.

 

2 Credits
Buy Full Article
Ad Agencies Turn Away From Stock To Assignments
By Jim Pickerell | 368 Words | Posted 5/27/2019 | Comments
As more and more consumer are turning to social media for information about the products and services they want to buy Ad agencies and brands are finding that they must up the quality of their offerings in order to get attention. According to Erik Radle, CEO of Dallas-based Miller Ad Agency, “People are finding out that the content has to just sing. It has to just dazzle. We’re spending a lot of time doing photo shoots because the days of stock photography being meaningful on social media are over. That just doesn’t cut it any more and will get you ignored.”

 

I do agree second rate stock photography in quantity is dead, or at the very least in the process of dying.

Jim Pickerell's quote about content that sings and dazzles is reflected here (and elsewhere) in the portfolios of those who experience high volume licensing of their images IMO. As Bill states, on a more granular level a contributor's search positions would be better, and it's a fair prediction their income would be higher. We can't all produce images that always sing of course, but for me I know I can remove some that seriously don't.

 

Yes, high quality images do often attract minuscule fees, but dross rarely if ever attracts seriously good fees. And high quality is over time going to trump better dross as far as search results here go. I seriously believe my own position will improve here over time as I begin to think more about trying to include images that may stand out a bit from the crowd, and remove from my portfolio images that seriously don't :).

 

Or I could change nothing and just blame Alamy.

 

DD

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22 hours ago, IanDavidson said:

Alamy is in rude health.  One only has to look either at a UK newspaper or the pictures sold threads.   I have sold well over sixty newspaper sales so far this year.  I read of contributors making thousands of dollars and some of my friends make a tidy sum from Alamy sales. 

 

As I have often said, the experience of any one contributor is just statistical “noise”. There are, as I understand it, over seventeen thousand contributors with thousands of photos being added every day.  

 

We all have dry periods, moaning about it in the hope of attracting attention is meaningless and attacking Alamy on the basis of one contributor’s experience is highly counterproductive. 

 

None of us are forced to use Alamy, you “pays your money and you makes your choice.”

 

 

 

couldn't agree more

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10 hours ago, sooth said:

how much are you earning altogether with the other agencies?

 

I am a  amateur and working on a full-time job which has nothing to do with fotos.

So I cannot give much time to sell, that is why it comes to only between 200-300$/month.

However, because of the QC, I have about 1000 more pictures in my PF at the MS agencies. 

Not much money, but really a nice coffee 😊

 

5 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

I've even fed the MS monster some images to see what all the fuss is about.  So far, I've made almost enough for a celebratory cup of coffee.

 

------

Alamy is far from the big three, but still better than the agencies behind it. That's why I'm going to continue uploading here, where there are basically 2 strategies for this:


On the one hand, I could, with a lot of effort, try to adapt to the strange way of ranking the search algorhitmus. So throw out "scrap", KWs, optimize, etc.. So far I've only done this half-heartedly and probably that's one reason for my bad result. However, I have considerable doubts whether this effort would really be worthwhile in view of Alamy's small size. 


On the other hand, I could treat Alamy like the weak MS agencies beyond the Big Three. So upload, click 10 Supertags and you're done. I think I'll take this simple strategy, which requires no real effort, for now. I can't lose anything. 

 

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

 

 

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9 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Sorry, I had you confused with Mr. Brasilnut. His website is very good. Because of it, I now have a much better understanding of the enemy. I've even fed the MS monster some images to see what all the fuss is about.  So far, I've made almost enough for a celebratory cup of coffee. 😏

 

It's human nature to be fearful of what we don't understand! Glad we're having this discussion. RM old-timers on here used to be very dismissive of microstock and entertained no such open discussion, even referring to such agencies as "cancer".  

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6 hours ago, dustydingo said:

I do however think you have misapplied James' advice regarding your (rightly from what you've shown) identified as premium images--if not exclusive at Alamy then I'd be looking at exclusive at other what I consider "premium" agencies. A rejection from Stocksy is hardly what one should consider a final and universally accepted arbitration after all :)

 

DD

 

Post is 1 year old. 

 

Stocksy, in hindsight, wasn't / isn't a good fit for me...I'm not a lifestyle photographer and probably never will be. I do travel, so decided to dedicate my "premium" images to Robert Harding and having some success. RH have a large collection on Alamy, so think it's OK to mention them on here with no fear of censorship. 

 

I think we're moving towards more of a "death of RM" than "midstock vs microstock". I see no more benefits in having images as RM/exclusive for the most part and I'm sure that many buyers feel the same way in terms of wanting a more simplified way of sourcing. 

 

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6 hours ago, Brasilnut said:

 

Post is 1 year old. 

 

Stocksy, in hindsight, wasn't / isn't a good fit for me...I'm not a lifestyle photographer and probably never will be. I do travel, so decided to dedicate my "premium" images to Robert Harding and having some success. RH have a large collection on Alamy, so think it's OK to mention them on here with no fear of censorship. 

 

I think we're moving towards more of a "death of RM" than "midstock vs microstock". I see no more benefits in having images as RM/exclusive for the most part and I'm sure that many buyers feel the same way in terms of wanting a more simplified way of sourcing. 

 

 

I'd say that traditional RM is already dead here insofar as Alamy has invented their own flexible, hybrid licensing models which they continue to call RM for lack of a new name. When I set an image as RM, as is usually the case, I expect that Alamy will create customized licenses for any buyers that might come along. This is fine with me as I haven't seen much evidence that "pure" RF licenses result in higher fees, perhaps they did at one time, I don't know.

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9 hours ago, Brasilnut said:

RM old-timers on here used to be very dismissive of microstock and entertained no such open discussion, even referring to such agencies as "cancer".  

 

After misleading some forum members for a very long time, I think they have changed their minds, and a now submitting to microstock themselves.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Bill Brooks said:

 

After misleading some forum members for a very long time, I think they have changed their minds, and a now submitting to microstock themselves.

 

Yes, I admit that I'm one of those testing the waters, mainly with images that aren't very suitable for Alamy. I'm not really cut out for the micro world, as I don't generate a lot of images, and I still think that it's an exploitative and unsustainable business model (haven't changed my mind in that regard). Nonetheless, it has been an instructive experience so far. My impression from lurking [evil giggle] on MS forums is that there is no shortage of disgruntled contributors out there. I think that the micros are going to have to become more like the macros if they want to keep their best photographers, many of whom sound like they are getting fed up with the tiny subscription sales and the glut of poor images. Who knows, perhaps there is a middle ground to be reached somewhere. My other takeaway is that quite a number of MS agencies -- even well-established ones -- don't appear to be in very good shape and are no longer worth submitting to.

 

 

Edited by John Mitchell
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13 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Yes, I admit that I'm one of those testing the waters, mainly with images that aren't very suitable for Alamy. I'm not really cut out for the micro world, as I don't generate a lot of images, and I still think that it's an exploitative and unsustainable business model (haven't changed my mind in that regard). Nonetheless, it has been an instructive experience so far. My impression from lurking [evil giggle] on MS forums is that there is no shortage of disgruntled contributors out there. I think that the micros are going to have to become more like the macros if they want to keep their best photographers, many of whom sound like they are getting fed up with the tiny subscription sales and the glut of poor images. Who knows, perhaps there is a middle ground to be reached somewhere. My other takeaway is that quite a number of MS agencies -- even well-established ones -- don't appear to be in very good shape and are no longer worth submitting to.

 

 

Interesting. I know nothing at all about MS, but I have never been tempted to sell my photos for pennies, and don’t think I’ll be changing my mind about that. 

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1 hour ago, Sally said:

Interesting. I know nothing at all about MS, but I have never been tempted to sell my photos for pennies, and don’t think I’ll be changing my mind about that. 

 

I haven't really changed my mind either. I've had video clips on MS agencies (for lack of other options) for a couple of years and have earned some OK revenue. Prices are much better for footage, though. It's only recently that I've decided to experiment with adding some still images as well -- ones that for the most part would continue to languish on my hard drives. There have been rumours of a certain top-of-the-heap MS agency negotiating higher prices for different types of sales. So far, I've not seen any of those. I'm certainly not recommending MS or thinking of switching my focus. Sometimes, however, it can help to learn more about the enemy. Fortunately one can also beat a fairly hasty retreat if things get too much to bear. 😈

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5 hours ago, Bill Brooks said:

 

After misleading some forum members for a very long time, I think they have changed their minds, and a now submitting to microstock themselves.

 

Yes, @Reimar is having success. Very happy to see :) 

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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, Brasilnut said:

 

Yes, @Reimar is having success. Very happy to see :) 

 

However, I don't think he was misleading anyone. He was pretty upfront about his feelings after the commission change earlier this year.

 

Edited by John Mitchell
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13 hours ago, Sally said:

Interesting. I know nothing at all about MS, but I have never been tempted to sell my photos for pennies, and don’t think I’ll be changing my mind about that. 

It's not even a consideration for you. None of the micros have any facility for live news.

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On 15/06/2019 at 11:44, Brasilnut said:

 

Post is 1 year old. 

 

Stocksy, in hindsight, wasn't / isn't a good fit for me...I'm not a lifestyle photographer and probably never will be. I do travel, so decided to dedicate my "premium" images to Robert Harding and having some success. RH have a large collection on Alamy, so think it's OK to mention them on here with no fear of censorship. 

 

 

Putting "premium images" on RH is a gamble that isn't paying off for me currently. I have slightly more images than you on there and my May statement had 2 sales for 44p net. Both distributor from big G.

 

On the subject of microstock, for nearly 10 years I have been one of those fighting against the tide. Recently I've done the odd experiment with small numbers of images. For example only 7 images on the 'Tier 1 MS site' earned me $11 net last year.

 

But with prices getting so low on Trad stock agencies, I don't know whether there is any point in resisting anymore - as I don't see much of a difference.

 

A year ago I submitted my RM images to another Trad stock library, which then distributed them to big G and several other places. I am talking trad stock RM not ms. I recently received my quarterly statement with 164 sales. A handful were good prices with one grossing $$$$, but after both libraries got their teeth into it I got just $190 from that one sale. What was really shocking though, was that 140 out of 164, were below $10 gross and many below $1. The lowest one earned me just 3 cents.

 

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14 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

However, I don't think he was misleading anyone. He was pretty upfront about his feelings after the commission change earlier this year.

 

 

Reimer is always a gentleman and mislead no one. He was probably in a better position to make his successful microstock decision because of Brasilnut's continued presence on the forum.

 

It is very important that discussion on the forum is open to all points of view, otherwise we live in silos and make decisions unprepared.

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