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Changes to the Newspaper Scheme - official thread


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1 hour ago, Robert M Estall said:

oops, thanks. soon fixed. several other photographers seem to have visited lately

 

I've been meaning to visit Wrabness as I've never been. Now knowing that this house is there gives me more reason! Somebody told me about houseboats down on the river.

Edited by geogphotos
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My last UK newspaper sale was $1.18 and I got a whopping 47 cents. Remember when the NU promised us volume for low prices?  The low prices they promised cane to fruition, but not the volume, and that makes the low prices even more frustrating.

 

I'm in the scheme but if I was shooting UK news, I'd be out and would be licensing my work directly.

 

I get that the pandemic is putting another nail in the coffin of stock, so I'm not surprised by this move. Alamy is like all the other stock agencies, charging lower prices is always "great news" that's going to benefit contributors, LOL. They think we're as gullible as some of a certain politician's followers. We're not. 


 

 

 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Marianne said:

My last UK newspaper sale was $1.18 and I got a whopping 47 cents. Remember when the NU promised us volume for low prices?  The low prices they promised cane to fruition, but not the volume, and that makes the low prices even more frustrating.

 

I'm in the scheme but if I was shooting UK news, I'd be out and would be licensing my work directly.

 

I get that the pandemic is putting another nail in the coffin of stock, so I'm not surprised by this move. Alamy is like all the other stock agencies, charging lower prices is always "great news" that's going to benefit contributors, LOL. They think we're as gullible as some of a certain politician's followers. We're not.

 

 

I did a bit better than that, but not much. During the past year, I've had but two UK newspaper sales -- for $7.62 and $21.45. The second one is the highest I've seen since signing up for the "scheme". During the same time period (rolling year), I had a couple of other newspaper licenses to Germany at slightly better prices plus a $$$ newspaper sale to the US, which is pretty rare. Newspapers everywhere have always been notoriously cheap. I know that from my past experience as a freelance writer.

 

This is a bit off topic, but I never liked the use of the word "scheme" to describe sales plans like this as it has negative connotations. Just sayin'...

 

Unfortunately, you can't argue with gullibility, only with reason, which sadly is now in very short supply. In fact, it's best not to go there at all. 😨🤐

 

 

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28 minutes ago, Marianne said:

@John Mitchell  $$$ for a US newspaper! I'm impressed! As a freelance writer myself, I think direct I averaged about $50 per image even in "the good old days." 

 

 

 

 

It was barely $$$, but still surprising these days. I always used to illustrate my own newspaper travel stories, and $50 per image was the norm for big newspapers back in the "good old days". However, after the Web came along, prices started to get lower and lower until the point where many newspapers wanted images accompanying articles for free and "all rights" to boot. At that point, I bowed out.

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This was the newspaper scheme that I used to be in:

 

A94EEB A94EEB IDMPNG09 geogphotos 08 April 2004 Rights Managed Country: United Kingdom
Usage: Editorial
Media: Newspaper - national
Industry sector: Media Industry
Sub-Industry: Publishing
Print run: up to 1 million
Placement: Inside
Image Size: 1 page
Start: 17 April 2004
End: 18 April 2004
$ 311.70
A94EEB A94EEB IDMPNG09 geogphotos 08 April 2004 Rights Managed Country: United Kingdom
Usage: Editorial
Media: Newspaper - national
Industry sector: Media Industry
Sub-Industry: Publishing
Print run: up to 1 million
Placement: Inside
Image Size: Spot size
Start: 24 April 2004
End: 25 April 2004
$ 103.90
Edited by geogphotos
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Now on a serious note. That photo was taken in 1985. You try and find the same or better on Shutterstock, Getty or anywhere else for that specific subject matter.

 

So why on earth does Alamy think it good business to sell it for $5 in 2020 when they charged over $400 in 2004. 

 

Someone please explain the business sense.

Edited by geogphotos
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37 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

This was the newspaper scheme that I used to be in:

 

A94EEB A94EEB IDMPNG09 geogphotos 08 April 2004 Rights Managed Country: United Kingdom
Usage: Editorial
Media: Newspaper - national
Industry sector: Media Industry
Sub-Industry: Publishing
Print run: up to 1 million
Placement: Inside
Image Size: 1 page
Start: 17 April 2004
End: 18 April 2004
$ 311.70
A94EEB A94EEB IDMPNG09 geogphotos 08 April 2004 Rights Managed Country: United Kingdom
Usage: Editorial
Media: Newspaper - national
Industry sector: Media Industry
Sub-Industry: Publishing
Print run: up to 1 million
Placement: Inside
Image Size: Spot size
Start: 24 April 2004
End: 25 April 2004
$ 103.90

 

So, tell me, how do I sign up for that "scheme"? 🙃

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2 hours ago, Marianne said:

I'm in the scheme but if I was shooting UK news, I'd be out and would be licensing my work directly.

News still brings in the $$$ and $$ figures, it's images from stock which sell for $.

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@geogphotos We are sadly in one of the few professions where prices are going down instead of up. The drop in 16 years is really astounding. 

 

Yes, more photos are used today, and it is easier to shoot and upload online than it was to shoot and send transparencies or whatever was done back in 2004 (before I got into photography professionally so not sure if you had to then scan the transparencies/negatives and send via CD) but the growth in the use of photos and the fact that it is somewhat easier to take and process them should not have resulted in such a stark drop in prices. You still need to have a good eye, equipment costs more, and now you have to keyword yourself vs. agencies used to do all that for you.

 

The biggest problem I think is that the print media did not recognize the huge change that the Internet would bring and gave away their online articles for free, making it tough to later put up a paywall, something many have still resisted. Their poor choices meant less money for us as did agencies' decisions to charge less for online licenses, even though more eyes are on them, they are effectively online forever, and are at risk of being stolen, so they really should cost more to license. 

 

There is also more competition - more photographers, more images, more people traveling, more people around the world shooting images, and agencies trying their hardest to have the largest libraries, which means it is harder for our images to get seen. It seems like a miracle that with hundreds of millions of images online, any of us make sales. But we do. And I guess that's why we keep shooting. I wish I'd been doing this in 2004. I wonder if I'll still be doing it in 2024. 

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1 minute ago, Avpics said:

News still brings in the $$$ and $$ figures, it's images from stock which sell for $.

 

I'm guessing you mean Live News?  Again, I'm not in the UK so I was speaking from a US perspective but you make a good point. If Live News goes for $$$ and $$, then having Alamy market your photos to several outlets certainly makes sense. So, I stand corrected. Good point. And good to know. When it's safe to travel again I'll make a point of uploading those lovely British photos of the day and maybe even find something newsworthy when I travel. I really wish that there was a way to market our lovely American sunrises and sunsets as photos of the day. I always enjoy scrolling through them. 

 

Anyway, between @John Mitchell's experience and yours, it is heartening to know that outlets are still paying decent sums for some images. Shooting news during a pandemic certainly should be rewarded by more than $. And it's those $$$ sales, however infrequent, that keep many of us here. 

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1 hour ago, Marianne said:

 

 

There is also more competition - more photographers, more images, more people traveling, more people around the world shooting images, and agencies trying their hardest to have the largest libraries, which means it is harder for our images to get seen. It seems like a miracle that with hundreds of millions of images online, any of us make sales. But we do. And I guess that's why we keep shooting. I wish I'd been doing this in 2004. I wonder if I'll still be doing it in 2024. 

 

 

My point is that I don't think that there is any competition at all for my photo of a specific event in 2005 in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea at a school event where I was teacher and there was no other photographer present. So why should the existence of billions of images which are not of that subject have any bearing?

 

Alamy puts itself forward as its Unique Selling Point that it has images that nobody else has. So if after searching micro stock and Getty and everywhere else and failing to find a cheap image why does Alamy then provide the buyer with one rather than charge a premium?

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Back in the early 60s I used to sell the odd few soft news photos to my local paper in Kingston Ontario. The fee was always 5 bucks. They gave me grief for being a bit slow off the mark. Even way back then I thought for just 5 bucks, I should be quick off the mark? Would you believe, almost 60 years later the offer would probably be less? And I had to process the film, make prints and hump them 'round to the paper. How did I make that work? I was living  at home and mom provided. Provided nicely!

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On 09/11/2020 at 14:38, Alamy said:

Only around 1000 of our 160 000 contributors are currently opted out of this scheme, but it is causing a more complex and confusing search experience for the customer.

I'm opted in; but still, this post further erodes my trust in Alamy.

 

When I was opted out, all that happened was that I got fewer sales. It has been said many times that UKNS buyers just didn't see opted out files.

How can that be a "more complex and confusing search experience"? How stupid do you think these customers are? How stupid do you think we are when you feed us this guff?

 

If I'm buying anything online and filter my options by price, I get options which are within my budget, and I don't need to see more expensive (or, indeed, cheaper) options. That's a smaller, simpler search.

 

Could the truth really be that you don't want the overheads involved in keeping files out of that search?

 

Edited by Cryptoprocta
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17 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

My point is that I don't think that there is any competition at all for my photo of a specific event in 2005 in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea at a school event where I was teacher and there was no other photographer present. So why should the existence of billions of images which are not of that subject have any bearing?

 

Alamy puts itself forward as its Unique Selling Point that it has images that nobody else has. So if after searching micro stock and Getty and everywhere else and failing to find a cheap image why does Alamy then provide the buyer with one rather than charge a premium?

I've had an Alamywhack net me less than an average UKNS sale.

We're always told it's not about the rareness or beauty of the image, but the discounting ability of the buyer. Pretending otherwise is having our heads in the sand.

Edited by Cryptoprocta
typo
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@geogphotos It is a shame that an image without competition can be licensed for small amounts. It's frustrating that you don't know if your image will be licensed for $ or $$$. My point wasn't that your particular image had competition but that overall competition has a negative impact on all prices and without an edited collection that differentiates premium images from the rest, there is no differentiation between a rare image and a more prosaic one. 

Edited by Marianne
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In Alamy's email the stated premise is - "standard licence prices (industry-wide) are now much more in line with the pre-negotiated rates, in most cases virtually identical."

 

No doubt after everyone is put back in the "scheme" pre-negotiated rates will be renegotiated to bring the newspaper rates back to the previous inequality.

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9 minutes ago, Skyscraperfan said:

I wish contributors could set minumum prices for their work. If a customer does not want to pay that price, he has to buy another photo instead.

 

I think that sounds good in theory.

 

But then customers might spend so long looking for a photo within their budget,  then just go elsewhere instead where things are easier. Never to return !

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20 hours ago, Robert M Estall said:

Back in the early 60s I used to sell the odd few soft news photos to my local paper in Kingston Ontario. The fee was always 5 bucks. They gave me grief for being a bit slow off the mark. Even way back then I thought for just 5 bucks, I should be quick off the mark? Would you believe, almost 60 years later the offer would probably be less? And I had to process the film, make prints and hump them 'round to the paper. How did I make that work? I was living  at home and mom provided. Provided nicely!

 

If it was the one with the funny name (Whig Standard), it's still publishing AFAIK, which is somewhat unusual in Canada because many smaller newspapers have closed due to financial problems, which is something that hasn't been discussed in this thread -- i.e. can UK newspapers actually afford to pay more for images?

 

P.S. I don't know anything about UK newspapers except to say that they are are a lot livelier (except in Quebec, where everything is livelier) and more diverse than here in Canada, and that I really enjoy the Guardian, which I read regularly.

Edited by John Mitchell
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Yes The Kingston Whig Standard was the one. As a lad I delivered a round of about 50 by bike, collected the moneys which I think was 35 cents a week, so I knew my 35x times tables. We rolled up our many coins and cashed in on Saturday mornings 'round the back of the downtown office. It was only as a contributor that I entered from the front. They stopped the lads collecting the money years later and now I think it is a free-sheet just relying on the advertising for revenue. Here in the UK quite a few big titles are free-sheets now; the most obvious being The London Evening Standard which published it's first edition in the morning. Out here in East Anglia we have several local newspapers which seem to be doing OK. They even employ a few photographers. Just a few!

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33 minutes ago, Robert M Estall said:

Yes The Kingston Whig Standard was the one. As a lad I delivered a round of about 50 by bike, collected the moneys which I think was 35 cents a week, so I knew my 35x times tables. We rolled up our many coins and cashed in on Saturday mornings 'round the back of the downtown office. It was only as a contributor that I entered from the front. They stopped the lads collecting the money years later and now I think it is a free-sheet just relying on the advertising for revenue. Here in the UK quite a few big titles are free-sheets now; the most obvious being The London Evening Standard which published it's first edition in the morning. Out here in East Anglia we have several local newspapers which seem to be doing OK. They even employ a few photographers. Just a few!

 

Interesting story. I tied to interest the Whig Standard in some my travel stories years ago, but they turned me down. The paper looks to owned by Post Media now, which has gobbled up most Canadian newspapers.

Edited by John Mitchell
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