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22 hours ago, Bear said:

 

The Backyard Silver guy did a study  a while back, you can see from the link he researched whether Alamy buyers searched elsewhere (at microstock sites) for the same image.  Says in his "detailed analysis" that they don't do that (on his stuff, anyway).  I don't know how true this is.  I have not researched it.     

 

I've seen that study too.   I am not sure it made complete sense --- everybody does research online today when buying anything -- but he knows way more than I ever will about stock, so maybe it is true.    I  believe 'Alamy only' makes sense from financial perspective if your port is highly editorial only & thus tailored for specific market.   Otherwise "if he was not willing to give his work for pennies on micros, he'd be making big bucks here"  view if quite naive and simply incorrect.

 

 

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2 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

Not likely is it!  Alamy is a $25m business and SS more like $500m. 

 

Alamy has missed the boat and that is unfortunate for all of us who sail in her. It has been floating around doing the same thing for a decade and more, meanwhile the industry has moved on. Not establishing a clear distinction between itself and microstock is just one of its major errors. For years you could even have images as RM on Alamy which were on microstock! 

 

Too much fiddling with software and not enough hard edge.

 

I think the mistake we keep making is to think of Alamy as an agency. It isn't. It is an image 'portal'. It is no more an agency than Ebay is. It's just a platform for matching buyers and sellers.  

 

Most agencies are portals now. A big Spanish one comes to mind. It used to be a serious stock agency with a philosophy and look of its own. Now it resembles a flashy "come and get it" online shopping mall. I agree that Alamy needs to distance itself more from microstock (perhaps it's not too late). There are plenty of newbie photography blogs and websites that actually refer to Alamy as a microstock agency.

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Just now, John Mitchell said:

 

Most agencies are portals now. A big Spanish one comes to mind. It used to be a serious stock agency with a philosophy and look of its own. Now it resembles a flashy "come and get it" online shopping mall. I agree that Alamy needs to distance itself more from microstock (perhaps it's not too late). There are plenty of newbie photography blogs and websites that actually refer to Alamy as a microstock agency.

 

I left that one last year when sales tanked. Or at least reports of sales did. Almost mysteriously so. Seemed also to happen to others. 

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Just now, geogphotos said:

 

I left that one last year when sales tanked. Or at least reports of sales did. Almost mysteriously so. Seemed also to happen to others. 

 

I still have some images with them through another non-performing "portal". As you say, sales tanked -- about two years ago for me -- so I removed the majority of my images, which took over six months and some nagging. At one time it was a good agency.

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1 hour ago, John Mitchell said:

 

I still have some images with them through another non-performing "portal". As you say, sales tanked -- about two years ago for me -- so I removed the majority of my images, which took over six months and some nagging. At one time it was a good agency.

 

Six months?! That was super-quick!

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56 minutes ago, losdemas said:

 

Six months?! That was super-quick!

 

It was through another agency that eventually contacted the Spanish one for me and gave them a nudge. If they hadn't, my images would probably still be gathering cobwebs there. 

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21 hours ago, riccarbi said:

 

I give my 2 cents. As a (very small) web magazine publisher, I can say that for most publishers - apart form the big names that usual have special agreements with one or more photographic agencies - the procedure to find suitable editorial photos for an article is as follows:
1) Go to Flickr (usually, in the portfolio of some photographers you already know) and see if you can get the pictures for free.
if you don't find anything useful, then:
2) Go to SS or AS and see if you can buy your photos for pennies.
if you don't find anything useful, then:
3) Go to Alamy (or G.).

if you don't find anything useful, then:
4) contact a specialized agency or photographer for a quotation.

 

Thanks for sharing buyer's perspective.

 

21 hours ago, riccarbi said:

Long time ago, a reputed magazine didn't give a damn about saving some tens of dollars for a picture,  it was too time-consuming. Now things are very different and also large publishers look for very cheap photos on microstock.

 

So what has changed from "long time ago"? Is your (or dedicated photo researcher's) time required to find absolute cheap photos suddenly become free? Stock images (ie images shot on a speculation that they may sell one day) are maybe devalued but people's time working on a funded (commercial) project could not be much less than $15/hour?

 

GI

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14 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Most agencies are portals now. A big Spanish one comes to mind. It used to be a serious stock agency with a philosophy and look of its own. Now it resembles a flashy "come and get it" online shopping mall. I agree that Alamy needs to distance itself more from microstock (perhaps it's not too late). There are plenty of newbie photography blogs and websites that actually refer to Alamy as a microstock agency.

 

Alamy does have some microstock elements, which I don't think is necessarily a bad business decision...it's just catering to buyers' evolving needs.

 

One instance of "microstocky" behaviour is offering the image-packs which is just a fancy way to call them subscriptions (albeit at higher priced than at full-on micros).

 

A more clear example are the heavy discounts given to "bulk discount, flat sales" purchases:

 

Here are some of the gross prices I've seen for such recent sales:

 

- $3.14

- $3.48

- $4.80

- $2.98

- $3.14

etc 

 

But fortunately, these are offset by larger sales, such as the following recent gross prices:

 

- $109

- $105

-  $377

etc

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6 hours ago, Brasilnut said:

 

Alamy does have some microstock elements, which I don't think is necessarily a bad business decision...it's just catering to buyers' evolving needs.

 

One instance of "microstocky" behaviour is offering the image-packs which is just a fancy way to call them subscriptions (albeit at higher priced than at full-on micros).

 

A more clear example are the heavy discounts given to "bulk discount, flat sales" purchases:

 

Here are some of the gross prices I've seen for such recent sales:

 

- $3.14

- $3.48

- $4.80

- $2.98

- $3.14

etc 

 

But fortunately, these are offset by larger sales, such as the following recent gross prices:

 

- $109

- $105

-  $377

etc

 

I can understand why Alamy introduced the image packs. They don't seem like a bad idea to me either. I was thinking more in terms of how Alamy presents itself in the future. I hope they resist trying to sound and look like a microstock agency. For instance, I didn't particularly like it when they adopted the current "packaged" homepage that makes them almost indistinguishable from a certain big micro.

 

Those tiny sales occasionally pop up for me, but my average price per image so far this year is roughly $50 (a far cry from ms prices). This hasn't changed for a long time.

Edited by John Mitchell
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I've been away a while (new house, endless projects).  I see the SS fiasco is a hot topic here too.

 

To be honest, I think it's a tempest in a teapot.  Yes, now instead of getting $0.33 for a subscription sale, I get as low as $0.10.  But the reality is that I've also been getting a lot of other higher sale prices for the other license packages or one-offs.  I'm actually having a good month over there.  So far, here I have $84 in net, while there I have $119.  The sky didn't fall for me yet.

Maybe I'm more inured to the 10 cents sales because I thought the first tier 25 cents when I joined was already so bad.  But in the end, not so bad after all.

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On 18/06/2020 at 14:16, Reimar said:

I've been away a while (new house, endless projects).  I see the SS fiasco is a hot topic here too.

 

To be honest, I think it's a tempest in a teapot.  Yes, now instead of getting $0.33 for a subscription sale, I get as low as $0.10.  But the reality is that I've also been getting a lot of other higher sale prices for the other license packages or one-offs.  I'm actually having a good month over there.  So far, here I have $84 in net, while there I have $119.  The sky didn't fall for me yet.

Maybe I'm more inured to the 10 cents sales because I thought the first tier 25 cents when I joined was already so bad.  But in the end, not so bad after all.

 

It seems to me that once upon a time you used to often report $1000+ gross monthly sales on Alamy. No?

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On Alamy I peaked in 2012, but I'm not sure who or what ruined stock.

First it was RF.  Then MS.  Yes the halcyon days of stock are over, but stock ain't dead yet.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, for what it's worth, my 50 test images on SS on the average net ~$20/month.

In June, with the new commission scheme, these 50 images brought in $73.

Could be a fluke. Sample size of one contributor is not statistically representative.

 

GI

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1 hour ago, giphotostock said:

Well, for what it's worth, my 50 test images on SS on the average net ~$20/month.

In June, with the new commission scheme, these 50 images brought in $73.

Could be a fluke. Sample size of one contributor is not statistically representative.

 

GI

 

It would be interesting to know whether this represents 730 sales at ten cents each or whether the figure is skewed by a number of substantailly higher sales of some kind? In addition, though it is hard to do anything other than speculate, have remaining contributors benefitted significantly by the action of a large group of very angry contributors who have made moves to form a coalition of contributors and have, in many cases deactivated or deleted their accounts. Shutterstock's library  is recored as having dropped from 325 millon at the beginning of June to 321 million on June 26th. 

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17 minutes ago, Joseph Clemson said:

 

It would be interesting to know whether this represents 730 sales at ten cents each or whether the figure is skewed by a number of substantailly higher sales of some kind? In addition, though it is hard to do anything other than speculate, have remaining contributors benefitted significantly by the action of a large group of very angry contributors who have made moves to form a coalition of contributors and have, in many cases deactivated or deleted their accounts. Shutterstock's library  is recored as having dropped from 325 millon at the beginning of June to 321 million on June 26th. 

40 "downloads" total. Average $3.65 per sale.

There we some $0.10, but there was a large number of sales that were more than previous standard $0.33.

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7 minutes ago, giphotostock said:

40 "downloads" total. Average $3.65 per sale.

There we some $0.10, but there was a large number of sales that were more than previous standard $0.33.

 

Thank you for that. I can't see any obvious logical reason why the changes at Shutterstock should have produced a  sudden increase in licences significantly over the basic ten cent variety. Only time will tell if it is a statistical blip or a real change. 

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4 hours ago, giphotostock said:

Well, for what it's worth, my 50 test images on SS on the average net ~$20/month.

In June, with the new commission scheme, these 50 images brought in $73.

Could be a fluke. Sample size of one contributor is not statistically representative.

 

GI

 

I also did better following the commission structure change (roughly double any month so far this year). Only a small portfolio so not statistically that significant. I think depends on what type of customer buys your images. If you only sell to big corporates on high volume subscription deals then you loose out. But otherwise, you may gain.

 

Mark 

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3 hours ago, giphotostock said:

40 "downloads" total. Average $3.65 per sale.

There we some $0.10, but there was a large number of sales that were more than previous standard $0.33.

 

but pricing has not changed so that's not relevant.  Did you receive a higher % than before, since all non Subscription  were already on a %

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59 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

 

I also did better following the commission structure change (roughly double any month so far this year). Only a small portfolio so not statistically that significant. I think depends on what type of customer buys your images. If you only sell to big corporates on high volume subscription deals then you loose out. But otherwise, you may gain.

 

Mark 

 

 

more reporting of the sort should actually be suspicious, since it might imply that reporting of sales of non subs were actually delayed to only hit at a lower rate of compensation.   

 

actually if you don't sell to the high volume you also get hit, as you need those to climb in the scale every year 

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8 hours ago, Joseph Clemson said:

 

Thank you for that. I can't see any obvious logical reason why the changes at Shutterstock should have produced a  sudden increase in licences significantly over the basic ten cent variety. Only time will tell if it is a statistical blip or a real change. 

The licensing structure at SS changed.  There are all kinds of different subscription models.  Some pay better, and there are some bulk packages that give 10 cents even to the highest level of submitter.  I had a good month with more On Demand and Single and Other sales.

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2 hours ago, Reimar said:

I had a good month with more On Demand and Single and Other sales.

 

Yes, it's curious. So did I. Why the sudden increase in non-subs sales? Was the old system failing to categorise sales correctly, or (as meanderingemu said) were some sales "held back"? Or maybe there's been some changes in the pricing structure? But I haven't noticed that.

 

Mark

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For what it's worth, here is my SS June breakdown:

 

I am on level 3 (25%), expecting to cross into level 4 early August.   Before new earnings schedule I was in second tier

 

Number of DLs:  Almost same in June as it was in May (1 more in May)

Subs:  all over the place, with majority in 10 cent range.  Largest:  90 cents.  ~55% compared with old formula (flat 0.33 per sub)

ODD:  largest 3.36, lowest 0.10.   80% compared with old formula (flat 2.48 per ODD)

SOD:  0.25 - 0.56 range.  I am leaving this as 100% as it is hard to know what it would be in old formula & difference would be minor

EL: none

 

Drop in earnings:

1)  June vs May '20:   60%

2)  June '20 vs June '19:  55%

 

By the way,  Backyard Silver made outstanding article about  "maximizing your earnings" (referencing this Alamy Forum thread along the way!).   I really think any contributor should read it

 

https://backyardsilver.com/how-to-maximize-your-earnings/

 

(Thank you Steven so much, your wisdom is piece of sanity in this increasingly chaotic stock photography universe)

 

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5 hours ago, Autumn Sky said:

By the way,  Backyard Silver made outstanding article about  "maximizing your earnings" (referencing this Alamy Forum thread along the way!).   I really think any contributor should read it

https://backyardsilver.com/how-to-maximize-your-earnings/

 

 

Well, his "hard-to-find" image experiment is

"statue is well off any tourist areas to Washington and so only a local or dedicated stock photographer would go there and take the time to keyword and upload it"

Walking to a spot in a major metropolitan area is not "hard-to-find". No wander he got the results he got. The reason it did not sell like hot cakes is because there's not much demand (=market) for it.

 

Real hard-to-get stock images require a lot more effort to get access to, like negotiating with some sort of a gate keeper. They also often require actually producing and setting up images, not simply recording what's in front of the lens. For example: nuclear plant control room, particle accelerator tunnel, hydroelectric turbine manufacturing, scientist doing carbon dating analysis, laser eye surgery, workers reading gauges in an oil refinery, etc. Take it a notch down: mechanic fixing a car, nurse taking ECG, carpenter making hand-made furniture, farmer doing what farmers do, computer server room, mechanical engineer using ProE or SolidWorks, colorful chemical reactions (preferably something exploding), instantly-recognizable tools of a particular trade, etc.

 

A wandering stock photographer has a zero chance of walking into one of those and snapping an image. All the above have serious demand and can command serious fees. That's where the money is. Some people make such images, place them on microstock and they sell for peanuts, but they sell a lot. Real demand and not a lot of supply. A hard-to-find statue in Washington? Yeah, right. Keep snapping and sales will come.

 

GI

Edited by giphotostock
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I have to agree with the last two posts of GI and Olivier. I am sick and tired of reading forums which are full of part time hobbyists telling us how insightful they are about how this industry operates.

 

There used to be successful professional photographers. And there still are successful professional photographers.  It should have become very clear to all over the last few years that very, very few successful professionals still share their knowledge on the forums of crowd-sourced amateur based agencies. The reason is not hard to find.  All professions need to protect the respect for, and value of, their experience and skills.

 

Serious photographers, who need the income to pay their bills, will sell their photos (especially those which require knowledge based access and / or personal style) with strategies which will be closely protected. It has always been like this.  It is common sense.

 

Any aspiring photo professionals take note.  Those claiming to have "the knowledge" on popularist forums and blogs most likely don't.   And any idea they have of making a "profit" from their stock sales should first deduct the time and financial subsidy which derives from their main job income.  Otherwise it is all just nonsense.  Entertaining, but still nonsense.

 

 

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