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Falling revenue


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Last year Alamy warned us that they expected our returns to diminish which they duly have. It's quite obvious to me that Alamy had some facts at their disposal which they were pretty certain of to make that prediction. One might speculate that they new some of their (high content users) customers were leaving for pastures new. They might also have known that they were about to slash pricing. Whatever the facts are it will be a big disappointment for many contributors like myself to see sales remain relatively stable but see revenue plummet like a stone. I know that many are especially unhappy at the almost comical (although no one's laughing) remuneration for newspaper uses.  Whilst were being spoon fed $4.91 gross this news paper is probably making annual profits in the millions. This race to the bottom makes stock photography less interesting and more of a chore every year and little offerings like earlier payouts and if you're lucky, getting five stars instead of three is fooling no one. Why anyone these days would get into supplying stock images is beyond me. Rant over.

Edited by Sultanpepa
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13 minutes ago, Niels Quist said:

 

The five stars must have been meant hypothetically. Three stars are the maximum - unless I cannot count. 😀

 

as of this week it changed, which has been confirmed in e-mails to other by Alamy.  There is a 5 stars rating.  No idea if there is a 4 stars

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1 hour ago, meanderingemu said:

 

according to image manager i have 537 submissions, no failure.  So maybe 80 puts you in the next batch. 

 

2 hours ago, spacecadet said:

 It's a bit soon to get annoyed over a policy that only started a couple of days ago. You're not losing anything. I regard it as a convenience, that's all. The major chore is still annotation and that hasn't changed.

 

I don't know the reasoning, but I have 449 subs and no failures for 3 years, and you can see how long I've been submitting, so if you want a difference, there's one.

 

I am not bothered if I have 3 or 5 stars. My point is what is the point of a reward system when we don't know what the criteria is to obtain further stars and indeed if there is any advantage in achieving more stars. This is the first I have heard there is a now a 5 star system.

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2 hours ago, Sultanpepa said:

 

My point exactly. Once again Alamy gets it wrong. Will they never learn?

 

I agree that Alamy went about this the wrong way, and it's not the first time this type of thing has happened. Alamy should have announced their intent beforehand and given more information about how the new 5-star policy would be implemented rather than just springing it on everyone. That said, it might be a bit early to jump the gun about who is or isn't eligible. Alamy has a lot of contributors, and it sounds as if the the changes are being rolled out cautiously. Let's see what tomorrow brings. 

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10 hours ago, Marianne said:

I think incentives make sense. Most of the other agencies pay you a higher rate once you surpass different milestones. One starts off easy, bumping you up at just $500 in earnings to a higher rate, with another incremental bump or two on the way, but once you hit $10K in earnings, there are no more incentives. A few offer a higher commission and, most important, a better search position for exclusive images, even if you are not an exclusive photographer. Others have incentives by the photo, with the rate going up for each image the more often it is licensed.

 

One is offering a free year of Adobe CC if you get 300 files accepted during the year (no editorial, very strict on similars, so it's not quite as simple as it seems, especially if you don't upload much and they announce the deal when there are only three month left in the year....) From the "prize" it's easy to guess who the latter is, doesn't really cost them much and while it's not a huge prize, it is incentive. The 99 cents they pay out for a subscription download didn't seem worth the trouble, until I started getting single digit sales here for a few months (including one RM print license for $1.18 (roughly 40 cents to me), and decided the $120 I'd save on my CC subscription was worth the effort and that there was really no downside to putting my images there. I also have been uploading them elsewhere as time permits, so it's a win-win. 

 

If I'm not taking photos for a client, stock helps me to really think about the purpose of what I'm shooting, although some of my most successful images, those that are licensed again and again, are often images I shot for the pure joy of it. My family always thought it was odd that I would be off taking photos of nature and architecture while on vacation, as well as photographs of interesting strangers, and not just family snapshots, until I was off at college and my dad got a few of those rolls of film developed for me. Then he bought me my first 35mm SLR. You have to love photography, or doing this just wouldn't make any sense.

 

Some of the large micros give sweetheart deals to their biggest producers, which certainly makes sense from a business point of view, although there is plenty of griping by those who don't get such treatment, but personally I've never seen the point in begrudging other's success. John, I'm glad you're having a banner year, it keeps my spirits up to hear of other's success. It means that there is hope. 

 

I was really sure that this year was going to be great here but the second half of the year has been my worst ever. I make more in a day on those sites many scoff at than I've made here the past couple of months. I've increased my portfolio by about 15% but can never imagine having tens of thousands of images online, although I have uploaded a couple of hundred in the last couple of months, so I may hit 10,000 before I die. My new images uploaded elsewhere are being licensed right away, so I feel like I'm uploading the kinds of images people need, and I'm uploading similar content here, as well as a fair amount of exclusive content to Alamy, but i'm still waiting for that long tail to wag the dog, which is what I would expect for new content here. 

 

My income here rose steadily and sharply, roughly doubling each year to the next from 2009 through 2015. It seesawed up and down after that, but not by more than about 15% in either direction. Right now 2018 to 2019 is pretty much a straight line, and has been one since July which is disappointing. . 

 

I got one $250 license earlier this year, so I know that they are still out there, and am feeling like it's time to see at least one more of them before the year ends.  @John Mitchell , may I rub your head for luck? 😎

 

I didn't mean to give the impression that I'm having a "banner year", just that after several years of plateauing, my sales numbers and hence revenue took unexpected and welcome upturns in 2019. Time will tell whether or not this is just a spike. I've seen a couple of those in the past.

 

Interesting to hear about all those perks available on the dark side. Are there any particular incentives that you'd like to see Alamy provide?

 

P.S. There is very little hair left on the top of my head at this point, so I'd be afraid that it might hurt too much. 😏

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Gross average sale price down from 39.50 for 2018 to 19.10 this year so far. At only 40% of that this makes it a waste of time. Shame as had a few good years in a row.

 

 

Edited by WPL
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1 hour ago, WPL said:

Gross average sale price down from 39.50 for 2018 to 19.10 this year so far. At only 40% of that this makes it a waste of time. Shame as had a few good years in a row.

 

 

 

I agree that this 40% hit to non-exclusives has been really discouraging.

 

I only started going non-ex in 2012 because of falling Alamy revenue. Unfortunately for 'RM non-ex' the options are limited nowadays so I'm not sure what to do for the best.

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16 hours ago, BobD said:

 

 

I am not bothered if I have 3 or 5 stars. My point is what is the point of a reward system when we don't know what the criteria is to obtain further stars and indeed if there is any advantage in achieving more stars. This is the first I have heard there is a now a 5 star system.

 

Well my rank went up to 5 stars this morning but I still don't know what that means. Does anyone know why Alamy has changed the ranking system and what benefit it has over the old 3 star system.

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Just now, BobD said:

 

Well my rank went up to 5 stars this morning but I still don't know what that means. Does anyone know why Alamy has changed the ranking system and what benefit it has over the old 3 star system.

It just means that your subs go straight through to AIM. QC rank has nothing to do with search ranking.

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3 hours ago, spacecadet said:

It just means that your subs go straight through to AIM. QC rank has nothing to do with search ranking.

 

Well at least that is a benefit. A few I uploaded this morning have gone straight on sale.

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1 hour ago, Matt Ashmore said:

 

Yes, I presume so too but you never know with some of these changes...

 

 

No you have to get to 6 stars to avoid the update. 😀

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On 01/12/2019 at 14:15, John Mitchell said:

 

I didn't mean to give the impression that I'm having a "banner year", just that after several years of plateauing, my sales numbers and hence revenue took unexpected and welcome upturns in 2019. Time will tell whether or not this is just a spike. I've seen a couple of those in the past.

 

Interesting to hear about all those perks available on the dark side. Are there any particular incentives that you'd like to see Alamy provide?

 

P.S. There is very little hair left on the top of my head at this point, so I'd be afraid that it might hurt too much. 😏

 

😎

 

I'd just like to see better prices and I'd also like to see them collect up front for small one-off or new client licenses, I'm still waiting months for some sub $10 licenses to clear. That's just adds insult to injury. 

Edited by Marianne
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27 minutes ago, Marianne said:

 

😎

 

I'd just like to see better prices and I'd also like to see them collect up front for small one-off or new client licenses, I'm still waiting months for some sub $10 licenses to clear. That's just adds insult to injury. 

 

 

actually the one incentive that could be interesting is a true "what to shoot" based on actual client's needs, and premium price for preferred providers.  the current list is just so random, with many things just based on "we think we have gaps" or "we want to develop our France market" with no feedback when you say, yes i've covered it, which is little incentive to go even slightly out of your way. 

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So that is why it is taking so much longer for my images to pass through QC.

Contributors with 5 stars go straight to the front of the QC queue which pushes me further to the back.

I do have the evidence in that my images used to pass QC reasonably quickly. Two days at most. Lately 3 and 4 days.😖

 

Allan

 

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9 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

Contributors with 5 stars go straight to the front of the QC queue which pushes me further to the back.

To be fair we don't know what's happening inside QC HQ right now, It's probably fair to say that this testing period is causing some extra work, but otherwise if those with 5 stars are going through without testing (or at least with random spot testing) then that should free up more time for the team, the queue should get shorter. Let's hope they are keeping their staff numbers the same of course. Admittedly it would be nice to know how they see this panning out, but it is a testing period so perhaps they don't want to say too much before they've settled on a strategy that works for them.

Edited by Harry Harrison
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1 minute ago, Harry Harrison said:

To be fair we don't know what's happening inside QC HQ right now, It's probably fair to say that this testing period is causing some extra work, but otherwise if those with 5 stars are going through without testing (or at least with random spot testing) then that should free up more time for the team, the queue should get shorter. Let's hope they are keeping their staff numbers the same of course. Admittedly it would be nice to know how they see this panning out, but it is a testing period so perhaps they don't want to say too much before they've settled on a strategy that works for them.

 

 

How do we know that we are in a testing period, have I missed an announcement?

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1 minute ago, Harry Harrison said:

the queue shoulld get shorter.

 

But even if 5 star images are going straight through, even with a brief glance, those 5 star uploads are still going in front of uploads with less star ratings.

The queue has to get longer before it gets shorter.

 

Allan

 

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1 minute ago, Allan Bell said:

even with a brief glance,

I've only done one upload but that was over the weekend, so not even a brief glance. I think the processing time is likely to be negligible compared to the time needed for human inspection.

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