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I just read through the Alamy accounts for 2018. I'm staggered to learn that the average daily upload was 106,000 images.

 

How can that happen?

 

Over ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND NEW IMAGES ADDED EVERY DAY

 

Where are they all coming from?

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This is the real reason they cut our commission. 

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It does seem stupendously large, especially considering Alamy is just a slice of the overall market. But according to the website blurb, over 60,000 contributors. Let's assume that 21,200 are regularly active. So that's 5 images per contributor per day, or 35 a week on average. I guess some are agencies that pull up the average from people that only submit a handful a week.

 

Scary stuff though, not sure how I'm still managing to sell any with my drop in the ocean.....!

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Re 106,000 images added per day, I'm curious how many are captioned and tagged to sell. They obviously pass QC, but what percentage are images that are not likely to sell at Alamy, and what percentage of the daily uploads are from newcomers to Alamy who upload large numbers of images they have accumulated over the years, or newcomers to photography upload en mass, quantity rather than quality. Or are they top notch images from experienced stock photographers, that would be worrying for contributors. I believe there are so many unknown variables to consider the implications of 106,000 uploads accepted per day, other than the likely Alamy need for regular IT upgrades to ensure they can be stored and searched at acceptable speeds.

 

Is the competition between agencies to hold the largest library of images a good thing, is it sustainable?

Edited by sb photos

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10 minutes ago, sb photos said:

 other than the likely Alamy need for regular IT upgrades to ensure they can be stored and searched at acceptable speeds.

 

Is the competition between agencies to hold the largest library of images a good thing, is it sustainable?

 

Well it could be worse, imagine Facebook's servers!

 

Maybe it's our job as contributors to look for niches where there are subjects that are not really photographed or not well photographed.

 

I think it probably isn't sustainable, no. I suspect the largest (and best) libraries will survive, provided that they have a sustainable business model. i.e. not loss making, having huge debts, or paying oodles of money to shareholders. I guess we'll find out in a few years....

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30 minutes ago, Steve F said:

 

Maybe it's our job as contributors to look for niches where there are subjects that are not really photographed or not well photographed.

 

 

I couldn't agree more.

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How much server space is needed for all these images?  , probably 90% never sell. I think the business model will collapse if no restraints are put in,

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Just what is the point of uploading such a ridiculous number of images?

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22 minutes ago, Travelshots said:

How much server space is needed for all these images?  , probably 90% never sell. I think the business model will collapse if no restraints are put in,

 

16 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

Just what is the point of uploading such a ridiculous number of images?

 

I am somewhat ignorant of the stock industry overall I have to admit. But isn't the fact that Alamy doesn't reject images because it doesn't "need" them in its collection (like a lot of other traditional agencies) set them apart from the others as they have a more diverse library? At the end of the day, how do you distinguish yourself from the competition? On price? Size of library? Image quality? There's a lot of competitors and you're all selling essentially the same thing.

 

That said, I have to agree that there are a lot of images on Alamy that will never sell. But I don't know how you stop this from happening without them changing their whole business model. A tier system for contributors could be introduced, but then what criteria do you use? Would also create a lot of resentment probably too.

Edited by Steve F

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7 minutes ago, Steve F said:

 

 

I am somewhat ignorant of the stock industry overall I have to admit. But isn't the fact that Alamy doesn't reject images because it doesn't "need" them in its collection (like a lot of other traditional agencies) set them apart from the others? At the end of the day, how do you distinguish yourself from the competition? On price? Size of library? Image quality? There's a lot of competitors and you're all selling essentially the same thing.

 

That said, I have to agree that there are a lot of images on Alamy that will never sell. But I don't know how you stop this from happening without them changing their whole business model.

 

Yes, that policy made sense in the past but as the collection approaches 200 million it seems increasingly crazy and unwieldy. There have to be substantial costs involved in managing all this and what are the benefits of millions and millions of unsaleable and barely saleable pictures of people's pets, sunsets, un-located beaches, holiday snaps etc. 

 

There's one guy with over 2 million public domain pics automatically harvested and automatically resized. 

 

I recall when Alamy had under 1 million images. Surely there comes a point where some sort of change of direction just has to happen.

 

106,000 every single day. Wow

Edited by geogphotos

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1 minute ago, Steve F said:

 

 

I am somewhat ignorant of the stock industry overall I have to admit. But isn't the fact that Alamy doesn't reject images because it doesn't "need" them in its collection (like a lot of other traditional agencies) set them apart from the others? At the end of the day, how do you distinguish yourself from the competition? On price? Size of library? Image quality? There's a lot of competitors and you're all selling essentially the same thing.

 

That said, I have to agree that there are a lot of images on Alamy that will never sell. But I don't know how you stop this from happening without them changing their whole business model.

having images in your database that don't sell is not a problem if it doesn't affect the customer experience.   The algorithm has to be the differentiating effect, as well as speed probably.  

If the contributor that uploads 5000 image in one month, without optimising it for Alamy search never gets seen is it that much of an issue?

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1 minute ago, meanderingemu said:

having images in your database that don't sell is not a problem if it doesn't affect the customer experience.   The algorithm has to be the differentiating effect, as well as speed probably.  

If the contributor that uploads 5000 image in one month, without optimising it for Alamy search never gets seen is it that much of an issue?

 

Yes, sounds sensible. As long as it's not you (or me), no, not much of an issue :):)

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1 minute ago, meanderingemu said:

having images in your database that don't sell is not a problem if it doesn't affect the customer experience.   The algorithm has to be the differentiating effect, as well as speed probably.  

If the contributor that uploads 5000 image in one month, without optimising it for Alamy search never gets seen is it that much of an issue?

 

 

Perhaps there will always be software solutions to be found. But equally if those 5000 images per month are never seen then what is their purpose, and what is the purpose of spending time, effort and resources in making sure that they are hidden?

 

This is my failure to understand. I have no doubt that Alamy have good reasons. It is just that I don't understand them.

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7 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

Perhaps there will always be software solutions to be found. But equally if those 5000 images per month are never seen then what is their purpose, and what is the purpose of spending time, effort and resources in making sure that they are hidden?

 

This is my failure to understand. I have no doubt that Alamy have good reasons. It is just that I don't understand them.

 

I think the labourious and costly task of curating a very large image library would make a varied collection like Alamy's completely uneconomic. Although the multi-million image collection is unwieldy, the use of raw computer power and algorithms to identify what the customer wants is almost certainly a more cost-efficient way of proceeding. Machine curating a massive collection is easier and cheaper and probably as successful as trying to do it manually,

 

I am increasingly happy to see poorly keyworded and captioned images, because I know they will not be in realistic competition with mine or other careful contributors.I do try to help new contributors to understand this, so they have a chance to succeed, but hey-ho, some do not hear.

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Are all these 106,000 images QC'd in the Abingdon office? I know of course that they only spot check a small proportion but that's still a lot of upload batches to go through. Extraordinary really.

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What amazes me is that with, say, three carefully chosen keywords, a potential buyers can whittle those millions of pix down to a manageable handful... in seconds...

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35 minutes ago, Joseph Clemson said:

I am increasingly happy to see poorly keyworded and captioned images, because I know they will not be in realistic competition with mine or other careful contributors.I do try to help new contributors to understand this, so they have a chance to succeed, but hey-ho, some do not hear.

 

With the potential 60,000 Alamy contributors, and it's anyone's guess how many still contribute regularly if at all, the few that are given advice, if accepted, would literally have no impact on the success of forum regulars. 

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Just now, John Morrison said:

What amazes me is that with, say, three carefully chosen keywords, a potential buyers can whittle those millions of pix down to a manageable handful... in seconds...

 

Very true. But I am still staggered that so many images are being produced and uploaded each day.

 

I suppose a lot must be from agencies, museums, and other existing collections.

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25 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

Are all these 106,000 images QC'd in the Abingdon office? I know of course that they only spot check a small proportion but that's still a lot of upload batches to go through. Extraordinary really.

 

That is extraordinary. I wonder if Alamy use outworkers to handle the load, although I've never seen the position advertised.

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3 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

Very true. But I am still staggered that so many images are being produced and uploaded each day.

 

I suppose a lot must be from agencies, museums, and other existing collections.

 

Am I correct that other agencies submitting are expected to have done their own QC so bypass the Alamy QC. If that's so it lightens the load.

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40 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

Are all these 106,000 images QC'd in the Abingdon office? I know of course that they only spot check a small proportion but that's still a lot of upload batches to go through. Extraordinary really.

 

My guess is that many images -- perhaps most -- are coming from other stock agencies, so they probably bypass Alamy's QC. There are also lots of pseudo agencies out there that never make a sale themselves but exist solely to spread images around to as many "partners" as possible. Unfortunately, I've had experience with a couple of those outfits. It really is a jungle out there now...

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14 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

My guess is that many images -- perhaps most -- are coming from other stock agencies, so they probably bypass Alamy's QC

 

32 minutes ago, sb photos said:

Am I correct that other agencies submitting are expected to have done their own QC so bypass the Alamy QC. If that's so it lightens the load.

Yes, I suspect that might be the case, and it's hard to get an idea of how fast, or otherwise, new individual contributors are joining up. Outsourcing would certainly be an option I would have thought. I know of an events photographer (marathons, bike races etc) who uploads everything to the Far East somewhere along with the list of entrants and their race numbers. Images are then ready for download the following morning captioned by name. Neat.

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As others have said it is still very possible to be the only one with images of certain, admittedly specific, subjects. And I agree with the view already expressed that is probably the way to go - most of my sales this month are of that type - very specific/obscure. And then, also as has been pointed out, if you play the Alamy game reasonably sensibly it still opens up occasional sales of heavily over-subscribed subjects because of Alamy Rank. ( mosque in Cordoba)

 

I do agree that Alamy software is all very clever. 

 

But will it ever stop? 100,000 a day is 36 million year  ( I think?). In ten years will we be discussing Alamy at 500 million, along with our increasing aching joints 😊

Edited by geogphotos

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49 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

As others have said it is still very possible to be the only one with images of certain, admittedly specific, subjects. And I agree with the view already expressed that is probably the way to go - most of my sales this month are of that type - very specific/obscure. And then, also as has been pointed out, if you play the Alamy game reasonably sensibly it still opens up occasional sales of heavily over-subscribed subjects because of Alamy Rank. ( mosque in Cordoba)

 

I do agree that Alamy software is all very clever. 

 

But will it ever stop? 100,000 a day is 36 million year  ( I think?). In ten years will we be discussing Alamy at 500 million, along with our increasing aching joints 😊

 

My recent sales suggest the same thing for the most part -- specific/obscure subjects are doing the best. I don't think that the flood of images will ever stop. Alamy will just get increasingly bottom heavy with more an more images sinking into the depths of no return. Keeping one's leaky boat afloat is everything now. 🥴

Edited by John Mitchell

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Some more images just added !

 

Just noticed that the system has topped up the Alamy library a short while ago !  ...rather late today.

 

😀

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