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I think there is another point which is worth discussing. What is the price threshold under which to keep on submitting to Alamy will non longer be financially viable?

Since I started contributing to Alamy regularly, in 2016, my average net revenue per image sold has dropped from $23 to $17 to $16. This year, so far, it is as low as $10. 

Let me do some math.
In the last three years my yearly average has been 1 photo sold every 30 images in my Alamy port. 
I estimate the commercial lifetime of a picture to be of about 10 years (this is a highly disputable assumption, admittedly; yet, I deem it reasonable in my case); consequently, I can expect to sell, sooner or later, 1 picture every 3 pictures I'll upload to Alamy from now on.
I'll spend about half an hour developing, checking, editing, converting, uploading, and keywording those 3 pictures, if I'll be quick enough. This means 6 images per hour and eventually to sell two of them in the next 10 years, statistically. If prices will remain as they currently are, this is about $20 per one hour's work, before taxes. Please consider that I'm not including equipment and travel costs (and shooting time).
$20 per one work's hour is barely acceptable, at best: this is my threshold. Therefore, if per-image revenue will drop further, it would be no longer commercially viable for me to keep on uploading photos to Alamy. I'd better find a different commercial strategy as soon as possible.
OK, I can still optimize and speed up my workflow a bit to produce more images per hour, use faster keywording tools, automatize picture development, pay less attention to editing, and so on; but there's a limit I won't be able to cross, and a very close one, I fear.


That's my problem, of course, but it's also Alamy's. 
If contributors like me will find that Alamy's revenues have dropped so much that they won't even cover their basic costs, they'll probably simply stop submitting new images and just rely on what they'd already uploaded.
Yet, the business model on which Alamy is based requires contributors to keep on uploading new images at a constant pace or, better, at an increasing one. That's the point. Falling prices could seriously undermine Alamy's own business model and put my Alamy portfolios, and all the work I already did in building it, at risk.

Edited by riccarbi

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You are missing one of the most basic fundamentals of the stock photo industry; there is an unlimited supply of new photographers. People will keep entering the business without regard to what's happened in the past. Most of the stock photographers I knew twenty-five years ago have quit (because of falling revenues) long ago, and they've been replaced by another generation that's pretty much given up over falling revenues. You yourself joined in at exactly that point and now somebody is waiting in the wings to take your place too.

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2 hours ago, Brian Yarvin said:

You are missing one of the most basic fundamentals of the stock photo industry; there is an unlimited supply of new photographers. People will keep entering the business without regard to what's happened in the past. Most of the stock photographers I knew twenty-five years ago have quit (because of falling revenues) long ago, and they've been replaced by another generation that's pretty much given up over falling revenues. You yourself joined in at exactly that point and now somebody is waiting in the wings to take your place too.


I am aware of that, Brian. Yet, low hourly revenues also apply to all new photographers joining Alamy, not just to me. You can afford low revenues per photo only if you live in a low-income country or (and that's the future of stock photography of which, possibly, Alamy won't be part of it unless it "downgrades" its current status of midstock agency) if you produce an enormous number of photographs without taking much care of their technical/artistic quality. That's a totally legitimate model of business and we have several online photo agencies that embrace it successfully, nowadays. Yet, I am not sure Alamy would be as successful as them in that playground, fighting against competitors that have been adopting that model for much longer and that perfectly know how it works.

We all know that it's the supply and demand curve which determines prices in a perfectly competitive market;  yet, the same microeconomy rules also state that not all companies can survive forever in that type of market.

Edited by riccarbi

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3 hours ago, Brian Yarvin said:

You are missing one of the most basic fundamentals of the stock photo industry; there is an unlimited supply of new photographers. People will keep entering the business without regard to what's happened in the past. Most of the stock photographers I knew twenty-five years ago have quit (because of falling revenues) long ago, and they've been replaced by another generation that's pretty much given up over falling revenues. You yourself joined in at exactly that point and now somebody is waiting in the wings to take your place too.

 

This is true of a lot of other "industries"  as well. I did freelance travel writing for many years; and when the digital revolution came along, it ushered in a whole new generation of would-be writers who were willing to work for almost nothing and forfeit all the rights to their work just to see their names in print. As a result, the old business models crumbled and the whole enterprise became not worth the effort (for me, anyway). It's an old story...

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