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Just now, Brasilnut said:

 

This "better than nothing" system is hugely more profitable than all the alternatives, including Alamy: (in fact almost 4x as profitable with 90% duplicated images)

 

My earnings at SS in 2019:

Port size at Dec 2019 aprox: 10,000

Total images sold: 5755

Total net earnings: $3,916

Average Return Per download: $0.68

 

My earnings at Alamy in 2019:

Port size at Dec 2019 aprox: 10,800

Total images sold: 103

Total net earnings: $1,140

Average Return per download: $11.06

 

The above results are consistent with many other contributors who upload to the same agencies. 

 

 

Aren't you involved in some sort of business analysis as a profession?

 

You have completely missed the point of Olivier's comment about the effect of microstock on photographers' incomes. 

 

What has happened is that an entire global business has been trashed so that a very few individuals (who own these businesses) can earn their few millions of bucks a year.

 

An incalculable amount of money allowed to pour down the drain so that individuals such as Orringer can become relatively wealthy. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Brasilnut said:

 

This "better than nothing" system is hugely more profitable than all the alternatives, including Alamy: (in fact almost 4x as profitable with 90% duplicated images)

 

My earnings at SS in 2019:

Port size at Dec 2019 aprox: 10,000

Total images sold: 5755

Total net earnings: $3,916

Average Return Per download: $0.68

 

My earnings at Alamy in 2019:

Port size at Dec 2019 aprox: 10,800

Total images sold: 103

Total net earnings: $1,140

Average Return per download: $11.06

 

The above results are consistent with many other contributors who upload to the same agencies. 

 

 

All the alternatives? Really?

You seem to consider photography only from the distorted prism of stock photography but have you ever even considered working on assignment for example?

Well, I guess if you had really been considering selling images directly to a client, you would have had a slightly different perception of that "better than nothing" system!

Also, it seriously amazes me how could you expect getting decent sales with Alamy when you admit 90% of the same images of yours can be had for almost nothing on SS?

If I were a buyer, I would not pay you even $11 for an image if I could get it for 60 cents… Would you?

Hugely more profitable? For who and above all, for how long?

Edited by Olivier Parent
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2 hours ago, Brasilnut said:

 

This "better than nothing" system is hugely more profitable than all the alternatives, including Alamy: (in fact almost 4x as profitable with 90% duplicated images)

 

My earnings at SS in 2019:

Port size at Dec 2019 aprox: 10,000

Total images sold: 5755

Total net earnings: $3,916

Average Return Per download: $0.68

 

My earnings at Alamy in 2019:

Port size at Dec 2019 aprox: 10,800

Total images sold: 103

Total net earnings: $1,140

Average Return per download: $11.06

 

The above results are consistent with many other contributors who upload to the same agencies. 

 

 

 

To be brutally honest all this shows is that you have made some decisions. Arguably some very poor decisions. 

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Posted (edited)

I think what they're trying to say in the last few posts, is that if there hadn't been the rush by a lot of photographers to microstock - which validated that type of business model - you could be getting 50% with a higher overall fee at SS now. And not 15%.

 

But for everyone that won't work for low fees, there's always someone that will and the market is saturated anyway. Battle is over guys unfortunately...

Edited by Steve F
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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Brasilnut said:

 

This "better than nothing" system is hugely more profitable than all the alternatives, including Alamy: (in fact almost 4x as profitable with 90% duplicated images)

 

My earnings at SS in 2019:

Port size at Dec 2019 aprox: 10,000

Total images sold: 5755

Total net earnings: $3,916

Average Return Per download: $0.68

 

My earnings at Alamy in 2019:

Port size at Dec 2019 aprox: 10,800

Total images sold: 103

Total net earnings: $1,140

Average Return per download: $11.06

 

The above results are consistent with many other contributors who upload to the same agencies. 

 

 

Huge thumbs up Alex for posting this, and this is in line with what most of us experience across the board.   I will put up my own numbers for June at the end of the month.  

 

I also planned to reference another contributor personal website I follow.  He publicly publishes his numbers across the board just like you, backyard silver etc.   He made over 66K on SS over the years & will also be hit hard by this.  Very little on Alamy despite being awesome photographer.  Can't put up link here though as I noticed various comments there about boycott etc & it probably would not be ok on Alamy forum.  It is very educational though. 

 

 

Edited by Autumn Sky
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Just saw someone soliciting for blog writers to write Mexican travel blogs for a RV tour agency.  No pay, but will give the writers full credit.  The reality is that people imagine this will get them attention, whether it's photography or writing.  I've had people ask for free use of some of my Flickr photos.   Some people have wanted to know if movie rights were available for some of my novels, but back off when I suggested they contact Alamy or my literary agency. 

 

A large number of people believe that writers and photographers and artists are like paper wasps, and create their work because they're instinct driven.  And that the real creative work is in managing people and getting them to work as cheaply as possible. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Some writer had the gall to contact Alamy to inquire about free use of one of my alamy images for their website. Alamy gave me their email and contact info.

Edited by sooth
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3 hours ago, sooth said:

Some writer had the gall to contact Alamy to inquire about free use of one of my alamy images for their website. Alamy gave me their email and contact info.

I had similar experience.  Few months back some guy from Australia emailed me;  he zoomed my landscape on Shuttertock, but watermark bothered him & he asked if I could send him photo directly (for free) so he doesn't have to buy it from SS.   People expect digital content for free nowdays,  music film so why not photos

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8 hours ago, Steve F said:

I think what they're trying to say in the last few posts, is that if there hadn't been the rush by a lot of photographers to microstock - which validated that type of business model - you could be getting 50% with a higher overall fee at SS now. And not 15%.

 

But for everyone that won't work for low fees, there's always someone that will and the market is saturated anyway. Battle is over guys unfortunately...

 

Steve,

I never considered SS (or the microstock system in its entirety) as a sustainable option.

It may seem the easiest and most profitable way in the very short term, I do not deny it.

Some wiser guy once said that the dark side is quicker, easier, more seductive… 😁

And one can always find some examples of very successful people, especially at the very beginning, and at the very top of this pyramid which base expands exponentially.

But this remains a very short term view and the benefits of a very small number come at the expense of the multitude.

I have been to places where fishermen used to use dynamite near coral reefs and I won't deny that in the beginning, it earned them more.

(I hope this will not be considered an analogy, I now know analogies are BAD… 😉)

Whatever…

If there hadn't been the rush by a lot of photographers to microstock - which validated that type of business model - we would not have seen this incredible drop in the price of the photographic image, and we could all be getting more whatever the way we would have chosen (stock photography with decent agencies, assignments, direct sales to local clients…).

This idea that if I do not do it someone else will is only a way to justify ourselves when we are not very proud of our actions.

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10 hours ago, Steve F said:

 

 

But for everyone that won't work for low fees, there's always someone that will and the market is saturated anyway. Battle is over guys unfortunately...

 

 

 SS contributors are in this battle. They are not forced to contribute there. It's a choice. 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 SS contributors are in this battle. They are not forced to contribute there. It's a choice.

 

 

Agreed. But I don't think - and it doesn't look like - enough people are going to make a stand that will make any sort of difference. Or SS improve something slightly because of the reaction, but contributors will still be getting peanuts.

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20 hours ago, Olivier Parent said:

 

Sorry, I can't help but be a natural cynic either… By contributing to microstock websites, you actively participated in the "better than nothing" system which considerably harmed the economy of photography as a professional activity, to the detriment of the photographers who depended on it for a living. Now you are complaining that your income may drop because people in India may take 10 cent subs (instead of your formerly 30 cent subs) as "better than nothing"? Isn't that also hugely ironic?

This. 👍

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, Steve F said:

 

Agreed. But I don't think - and it doesn't look like - enough people are going to make a stand that will make any sort of difference. Or SS improve something slightly because of the reaction, but contributors will still be getting peanuts.

 

Just switch the uploads away from SS to another agency/agencies. Walk away from the exploitation. Just as you would in an abusive relationship whatever the immediate financial costs. 

 

Find an agency that treats contributors better and isn't leading the way in the race to the bottom.

 

Anything come to mind?

Edited by geogphotos
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Steve F said:

 

Agreed. But I don't think - and it doesn't look like - enough people are going to make a stand that will make any sort of difference. Or SS improve something slightly because of the reaction, but contributors will still be getting peanuts.

 

I fully agree with you, I don't think many people are going to actually make a stand, I mean… some meaningful stand. It is up to SS contributors now.

Some of us already made a stand, many years ago, by not contributing to these websites and therefore accepting not to get money from them.

Ultimately, when in the first place, one agreed to earn something like 30 cents per image, can one genuinely take offense at getting peanuts in the long run? 

Edited by Olivier Parent
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29 minutes ago, Olivier Parent said:

 

Ultimately, when in the first place, one agreed to earn something like 30 cents per image, can one genuinely take offense at getting peanuts in the long run? 

 

+1

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13 hours ago, Autumn Sky said:

  He made over 66K on SS over the years & will also be hit hard by this.  Very little on Alamy despite being awesome photographer. 

 

The reason he's made very little on Alamy is because his pics are available for pennies on SS - do you see?! 🙄

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10 hours ago, sooth said:

Some writer had the gall to contact Alamy to inquire about free use of one of my alamy images for their website. Alamy gave me their email and contact info.

It gets worse.  I hope when the writer contacts you, you'll reply with two words, the second word being 'off'?

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7 minutes ago, Colblimp said:

It gets worse.  I hope when the writer contacts you, you'll reply with two words, the second word being 'off'?

 

When someone wants to get one of my images for free I say "sure, as long as you also work for me without expecting to be paid"…

This usually closes the discussion quite efficiently.

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3 minutes ago, Olivier Parent said:

 

When someone wants to get one of my images for free I say "sure, as long as you also work for me without expecting to be paid"…

This usually closes the discussion quite efficiently.

I sometimes quote the "Ask your mechanic to service your car for free if you credit him" line.  Mostly it's the "F*ck Off" line. 🤣

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6 hours ago, Autumn Sky said:

I had similar experience.  Few months back some guy from Australia emailed me;  he zoomed my landscape on Shuttertock, but watermark bothered him & he asked if I could send him photo directly (for free) so he doesn't have to buy it from SS.   People expect digital content for free nowdays,  music film so why not photos

 

 

and people don't understand that they can't do what they want with the work either.  My sister needed a picture of my nephew for a class project his teacher was doing where kids had to do a recipe and she was going to collate them for the kids.  (there is more to this as the teacher was clearly doing this as a justification she was working extra hard during the pandemic, but that's other stuff).  

 

Days later the teacher is asking parents for releases so she can use the content of the material so she can make a "book" to send to all parents, and go discuss her project on TV.  I then discussed the whole issue that this wouldn't give her the right to the image, as she didn't get it from the copyright owner permission.  That seemed totally foreign to them (they are also afraid of the teacher).  To make matter worse, my nephew's recipe was derived from a famous TV chef, probably not an issue for school work, but not sure he would have been happy to see his recipe on "national' TV under a kids name... 

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18 hours ago, Brasilnut said:

 

This "better than nothing" system is hugely more profitable than all the alternatives, including Alamy: (in fact almost 4x as profitable with 90% duplicated images)

 

My earnings at SS in 2019:

Port size at Dec 2019 aprox: 10,000

Total images sold: 5755

Total net earnings: $3,916

Average Return Per download: $0.68

 

My earnings at Alamy in 2019:

Port size at Dec 2019 aprox: 10,800

Total images sold: 103

Total net earnings: $1,140

Average Return per download: $11.06

 

The above results are consistent with many other contributors who upload to the same agencies. 

 

I would dispute this - with a similar portfolio size, my net returns, solely from Alamy, match your total returns from Alamy and SS combined, and I'm sure I'm not alone in this. I've never seen any reason to sell pics to the micros, thus driving down prices for everyone else, and I certainly don't intend to start now.

 

Alex

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Posted (edited)

I agree with Alex's comment and have my own experience. I often notice that in my sales reports from Getty Images I come across an image that was zoomed at Alamy ( I check Zooms just about every day). This has happened too frequently for it to be co-incidence. Buyers most likely have deals in place at both Alamy and Getty and can switch between the two, usually the Getty fees are lower because of their Premium Access offer. 

 

It is so easy nowadays to check and see if the same image is available elsewhere so I would assume that if Brasilnut were to leave micros and those images only be available on Alamy he would see an increase in revenue from Alamy. I don't suppose that it would be an earth-shattering difference simply because we are all being squeezed and affected by dilution and falling fees -  as a direct result of microstock but obviously other factors as well such as the economy.

 

It is also worth pointing out that Alamy also loses out on this. They may have picked up 20% by cutting revenues on non-exclusive images but they clearly lose out if and when more contributors feel compelled to go non-exclusive ( I made that decision back in 2012). Was that when commission was cut from 65%?

Edited by geogphotos
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15 hours ago, Autumn Sky said:

 

Huge thumbs up Alex for posting this, and this is in line with what most of us experience across the board.   I will put up my own numbers for June at the end of the month.  

 

I also planned to reference another contributor personal website I follow.  He publicly publishes his numbers across the board just like you, backyard silver etc.   He made over 66K on SS over the years & will also be hit hard by this.  Very little on Alamy despite being awesome photographer.  Can't put up link here though as I noticed various comments there about boycott etc & it probably would not be ok on Alamy forum.  It is very educational though. 

 

 

 

If you do this it would be interesting to compare shutterstocks May and June figures.

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52 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

I agree with Alex's comment and have my own experience. I often notice that in my sales reports from Getty Images I come across an image that was zoomed at Alamy ( I check Zooms just about every day). This has happened too frequently for it to be co-incidence. Buyers most likely have deals in place at both Alamy and Getty and can switch between the two, usually the Getty fees are lower because of their Premium Access offer. 

 

It is so easy nowadays to check and see if the same image is available elsewhere

 

As I have mentioned before, I buy images, and the first thing I do when I find one I like is do an image search to see where else it is.  Almost all the searches will find the image at 5 different stock agencies at minimum.

 

I buy where it is cheapest, as I have to buy a commercial license, so want to save where I can.  I can't be the only buyer who does this.

 

Jill

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Jill, do you have subscriptions to any of these agencies? 

 

During the past few years, I've been asked many times if I have images at agency X because they subscribe there. 

 

 

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