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Tracking sales by Alamy (apart from the personal dashboard)


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Hello,

I found this forum while looking randomly for some of my pictures on the internet. The forum shows that one of my pics identified by its ID code was sold in September 2020 with my name and the website where it was published. Yet, my personal dashboard did not track that sale more than 6 months later.

So it seems that some people manage to track all sales by Alamy every month, and I'm just wondering how you make it.

Can somebody explain please ? And help me find my own sales and the websites where I was published ?

Many thanks.

Iacob

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People aren't tracking all the sales.  There is a thread every month where members can post any Alamy images that they have physically noticed themselves.  Most you will find come from newspapers and magazines that members go through looking for Alamy images.

 

You can do a google image search using your Alamy pseudonym.  If I wanted to do a google search, I would search with Jill Morgan/Alamy.  This will hopefully bring up any images of mine that have been posted on the web.

 

If I find any, I do a screen capture of the web page and save the link. I put the screen capture image in a file labeled "Images found on web".  If 3 months goes by and there is no sale on my dashboard, I email Alamy and let them know.

 

Jill

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Hi Jill,

 

Thanks for your reply.

 

The main problem is that (some/most) publishers don't always mention the name of the photographer, and sometimes they even don't mention the platform where the picture was bought from. So there is a big potential for not tracking your own work on the internet with this method. Else, you have to push your own images one by one on Google Image and see if they appear in the results. But who would do that with more than a few tens of pictures in their portfolio ? It would take hours and hours every month.

 

I'm also selling my pics on other platforms where I can see my sales incremented in real time on a daily basis. So I'm a bit disturbed by the fact that we need to look for our own images on the internet and report them to Alamy if they don't show in the personal dashboard. Is the tracking system unreliable ? Is 3 months a reasonable average between a sale and its reporting in the dashboard ? The one mentioned in my first message was spotted on the internet in September 2020, but didn't show yet even 6-7 months later. And without the forum, I may have never discovered that it was ever sold.

 

Considering the tremendous amount of time that it took me to upload and tag more than 600 photos, I'm just wondering how much time I should also dedicate to track my pictures (which was not planned at all). So far, I sold only one picture in 1,5 year (spontaneously reported in my dashboard in June 2020), and the one from September 2020 would be my second sale (!)

 

Thanks for sharing your impression.

 

Iacob

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Sometimes sales through distributors take many, many months. 

 

You can use and online tracking system such as Pixsy or Copytrack. If you only have 618 images you could upload all of them to Copytrack for free. 

Edited by geogphotos
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Hey "geogphotos"

 

That sounds great, I will have a look for sure, and maybe try it with a few pictures first to see the results.

 

72426 images ? Wow that's an investment ! Hope there is a good return.

 

Thanks.

 

Iacob

 

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3 hours ago, IACOB MADACI said:

The main problem.....

....is that Alamy don't seem to worry about it. We're constantly having to chase up finds, three months, four, five, six months later, and they're never very clear on why it's an issue.

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As the OP says, the less respected microstock channels (less respected by most contributors here from comments I have seen) seem able to report sales instantly and a credit gets added to your account for the sale straight away. The difference is a culture shock when you switch to Alamy from other agencies, as I did, with uncertainty about reporting as sometimes described in this forum and a long wait for the payment to be collected once credited which I have experienced and seems the norm. I'm not complaining as the difference in reward makes it worth the wait (as long as the reward doesn't diminish to the same levels as elsewhere).

I have tried Copyright myself which has at least confirmed sales to date and not come up with much else, but the frequent reports on this forum of unreported sales and long delays in payment is frustrating for all and doesn't inspire confidence or productivity from contributors.

Is it that Alamy's systems are outdated and can't keep up with the volume of sales? I've seen contributors state that the reason for slow reporting is that publications can be slow to report what they have bought to Alamy but surely Alamy knows what it has sold? Which begs the question why a contributor has to alert Alamy to a sale? (Illegal use is another matter of course).

I know I'm sounding critical but I find it odd. With technology being largely automated these days surely these concerns should not exist.

(And to the old hands on here who don't like the word 'sale' and prefer 'license' it seems Alamy prefer sale too as written all over the website😝)

Hopefully I won't get misinterpreted as being negative about Alamy as I am quite happy when I get $$ sales compared to the cents elsewhere. Just trying to understand why Alamy seems to be slow in these respects compared to those unmentionable other agencies. (And I wait for someone to point out Alamy is not microstock but should that make any difference?)

Continue to take this pandemic seriously please as my experience over the last few months has brought home how badly it can affect people. 

Photography has been a great diversion during the last year and having just completed my first year with Alamy I have rediscovered my interest in photgraphy and learned a great deal in the process.

Good luck to all and let's all get back out into the world when we can and push Alamy to being the number one provider of great images.

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In the Xmas video message it was mentioned that this would be improved in the New Year.

 

Hopefully we will hear about it soon.

 

I've started another thread suggesting that Alamy let us know who the client is so that we know where are images are being used and so that we can monitor misuse.

 

Other agencies are supplying this information. 

 

I agree that the reporting system needs to be better organised with a tracking system used to update what is happening. Otherwise it can end up wasting the time of both contributors and staff.

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8 hours ago, Tony ALS said:

As the OP says, the less respected microstock channels (less respected by most contributors here from comments I have seen) seem able to report sales instantly and a credit gets added to your account for the sale straight away. The difference is a culture shock when you switch to Alamy from other agencies, as I did, with uncertainty about reporting as sometimes described in this forum and a long wait for the payment to be collected once credited which I have experienced and seems the norm. I'm not complaining as the difference in reward makes it worth the wait (as long as the reward doesn't diminish to the same levels as elsewhere).

I have tried Copyright myself which has at least confirmed sales to date and not come up with much else, but the frequent reports on this forum of unreported sales and long delays in payment is frustrating for all and doesn't inspire confidence or productivity from contributors.

Is it that Alamy's systems are outdated and can't keep up with the volume of sales? I've seen contributors state that the reason for slow reporting is that publications can be slow to report what they have bought to Alamy but surely Alamy knows what it has sold? Which begs the question why a contributor has to alert Alamy to a sale? (Illegal use is another matter of course).

I know I'm sounding critical but I find it odd. With technology being largely automated these days surely these concerns should not exist.

(And to the old hands on here who don't like the word 'sale' and prefer 'license' it seems Alamy prefer sale too as written all over the website😝)

Hopefully I won't get misinterpreted as being negative about Alamy as I am quite happy when I get $$ sales compared to the cents elsewhere. Just trying to understand why Alamy seems to be slow in these respects compared to those unmentionable other agencies. (And I wait for someone to point out Alamy is not microstock but should that make any difference?)

Continue to take this pandemic seriously please as my experience over the last few months has brought home how badly it can affect people. 

Photography has been a great diversion during the last year and having just completed my first year with Alamy I have rediscovered my interest in photgraphy and learned a great deal in the process.

Good luck to all and let's all get back out into the world when we can and push Alamy to being the number one provider of great images.

 

You cannot compare RM agencies (even if RM/RF) with the vending machine that is microstock.  At traditional/'macro' agencies, the actual useage needed to be factored in to the price for a licence. You wouldn't have been happy years ago to see your image used for a cover shot when initially the publisher was going to use it for an 1/8th of a page interior but changed their mind during the comping process. Now with micro you would get paid the same for a dl, not in what was the world of stock. So publishers paid on publication, not on download....download of course didn't exist....they scanned slides/dupes which were sent out (for a fee) by agencies.

 

So Alamy is not slow as a process, it is simply doing what was the norm for decades longer than micro has been around. Maybe they could keep an eye a little closer on the relationship between downloads and actual useages but that takes money...our money and initially Alamy gave the lion's share to it's contribs.

 

So Alamy is not microstock in it's sales method, it cannot be unless you want blanket sales revenues i.e price per download. 

 

 

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As I said in my earlier post, I know Alamy isn't the same as microstock.

It would be encouraging if there was a way of notifying a download with a status reported, i.e. pending, being negotiated or whatever.

Alamy must be able to track downloaded images automatically surely. The technology to do this can't be so hard to set up or cost fortunes.

At least we would know that a potential sale was on the way and we wouldn't need to feel we have to search.

As Ian says, hopefully something along these lines is on the way.

 

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1 hour ago, GeoffK said:

Maybe they could keep an eye a little closer on the relationship between downloads and actual useages but that takes money...our money and initially Alamy gave the lion's share to it's contribs.

Just to add that this is short sighted, how much do Alamy spend on staff chasing unreported sales? There must be considerable time and effort wasted by not having a system in place which confirms what contributors find has been downloaded and used. This would help contributors and Alamy long term, particularly given the growth in available images on the site recently.

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6 minutes ago, Tony ALS said:

not having a system in place which confirms what contributors find has been downloaded

There is.

If you query a use Alamy can confirm whether or not there is a relevant download matching the details you provide.

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53 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

There is.

If you query a use Alamy can confirm whether or not there is a relevant download matching the details you provide.

I am aware of that but why is it a manual process in this technological age?🤷‍♂️

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Posted (edited)

Hey all,

 

Just to give you figures, my portfolio on the other platform contains around twice as many as in Alamy's. And so far I sold more than 700 pics ! My average sale / view ratio is between 25 and 30 %, and up to 100 % for some nice pictures, which I guess is very good knowing that it's just a hobby for me as a frequent traveler.

Here in Alamy is just 1 picture sold (though over a 1-year-shorter period than the other platform). And maybe 2 when the second will finally end up in my dashboard more than 7 months after it was reported in that forum.

Of course, the benefit is higher per sale on Alamy (36 $ for my first sale) vs less than 1 $ each on the other platform. But all in all, guess which one pays more ?

I opened that topic because in addition to the very few sales here, I didn't expect I would have to track my sales myself and ask for my due only when I notice a sale from Alamy. It just sounds crazy to me, knowing the days and nights needed to upload and tag all these pics here.

 

I just hope that some day, all missing / pending sales will appear all at once. Who knows ? 🙂

Edited by IACOB MADACI
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36 minutes ago, IACOB MADACI said:

Hey all,

 

I opened that topic because in addition to the very few sales here, I didn't expect I would have to track my sales myself and ask for my due only when I notice a sale from Alamy. It just sounds crazy to me, knowing the days and nights needed to upload and tag all these pics here.

 

I just hope that some day, all missing / pending sales will appear all at once. Who knows ? 🙂

 

 

That doesn't seem to be a fair description of what happens at Alamy. The vast majority of sales are to media companies, and the vast majority of sales are reported. You are not expected to hunt them down.

 

But as has been said many, many times if Alamy isn't the right place for you then that is your choice. 

 

My own opinion is that your hundreds of micro sales, your support for that model, undermines all of us at Alamy by taking sales away from us. 

 

If micro stock is working out better for you then don't waste more time here. 

 

 

Edited by geogphotos
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36 minutes ago, IACOB MADACI said:

Hey all,

 

Just to give you figures, my portfolio on the other platform contains around twice as many as in Alamy's. And so far I sold more than 700 pics ! My average sale / view ratio is between 25 and 30 %, and up to 100 % for some nice pictures, which I guess is very good knowing that it's just a hobby for me as a frequent traveler.

Here in Alamy is just 1 picture sold (though over a 1-year-shorter period than the other platform). And maybe 2 when the second will finally end up in my dashboard more than 7 months after it was reported in that forum.

Of course, the benefit is higher per sale on Alamy (36 $ for my first sale) vs less than 1 $ each on the other platform. But all in all, guess which one pays more ?

I opened that topic because in addition to the very few sales here, I didn't expect I would have to track my sales myself and ask for my due only when I notice a sale from Alamy. It just sounds crazy to me, knowing the days and nights needed to upload and tag all these pics here.

 

I just hope that some day, all missing / pending sales will appear all at once. Who knows ? 🙂

Has it occurred to you that the reason you have sales on microstock and not here is that you have the same images in both places? Who wants to pay $36 when they can pay $1?

You are competing with yourself and, as geog says, with us as well.

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2 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

That doesn't seem to be a fair description of what happens at Alamy. The vast majority of sales are to media companies, and the vast majority of sales are reported. You are not expected to hunt them down.

 

But as has been said many, many times if Alamy isn't the right place for you then that is your choice. 

 

My own opinion is that your hundreds of micro sales, your support for that model, undermines all of us at Alamy by taking sales away from us. 

 

If micro stock is working out better for you then don't waste more time here. 

 

 

Sorry for telling my truth, but I spent hours and hours and hours on my personal free time editing, uploading and tagging all my pics one by one to build my Alamy portfolio. The "like it or leave it" is just irrelevant because my investment in time and energy is so huge that I cannot imagine it's worth 36 $. I make more every hour in my regular job, so what's the point ?

Before sharing my questions and thoughts here, I just even didn't know what is a microstock ! And nothing about all those economic and publication models that you are talking about. I'm not a professional, just a sunday photographer with a ridiculous camera. Yet I was published in paper travel guides, travel brochures, travel agencies' websites, MSN website, internationally known newspapers, and even a United Nations report. So opposing microstocks and Alamy on that basis is just irrelevant too.

Again, I'm not paying any judgement. I'm just realizing now that I can never expect the same return on investment here, for some reasons, and I'm just hoping that my tiny sales here are not lost in the tracking process. No more, no less.

Peace to everyone.

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Has it occurred to you that the reason you have sales on microstock and not here is that you have the same images in both places? Who wants to pay $36 when they can pay $1?

You are competing with yourself and, as geog says, with us as well.

Please consider that every publisher on each platform is potentially competing with all the other contributors. I'm sure that the buyers know better which pictures are more suitable for their needs and they have the final word in the end. So claiming that I might be competing with you is just like common sense. If we propose the same material, of course, the customer will have to select one of us. There is nothing wrong with that.

Then competing with myself, maybe. I just guess that the customers who make business with Alamy have good reasons to do so, and might not make business with other platforms at the same time. So being here too is just adding exposure for my pictures right ?

By the way, the single picture that I sold here is also available on the other platform. And the second picture too. So...

Edited by IACOB MADACI
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7 minutes ago, IACOB MADACI said:

Sorry for telling my truth, but I spent hours and hours and hours on my personal free time editing, uploading and tagging all my pics one by one to build my Alamy portfolio. The "like it or leave it" is just irrelevant because my investment in time and energy is so huge that I cannot imagine it's worth 36 $. I make more every hour in my regular job, so what's the point ?

 

 

 

If you find this a waste of time then stop doing it. 

 

What are you expecting?

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Again, as long as the tracking system is reliable, I will accept what the market decides. Maybe I'm not worth more than 1 sale per year after all.

I just don't want to worry about tracking, which is the duty of the platform.

That's all.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and info with me. Now I know better.

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21 hours ago, Avpics said:

....is that Alamy don't seem to worry about it. We're constantly having to chase up finds, three months, four, five, six months later, and they're never very clear on why it's an issue.

 

I emailed CR a short while back over the fact that two sales from approx 2.5 months prior hadn't yet cleared into my account. The same two images were actually zoomed the month before they registered as a sale and one would assume bought at the same time, so it had more than likely been at least 3 months since they were used. The reply I received was somewhat curt with the wording "we haven't given up or forgotten about it". Oddly enough, very soon after the payment for those two images did clear.

 

They also mentioned, regarding another query I had that they could see a download for the image but that the customer may report at certain intervals. It then made me wonder why, if the system can see a download for the image, that this also can't automatically issue an invoice, instead relying on the customer to separately exercise honesty. And the system does seem to run on honesty as people have said here before that they had to "report usages themselves".

 

I honestly can't understand why Alamy's system is so lax. If I didn't pay my credit card bill for 90 days I would rightly incur serious penalties. As a mere mortal it appears on the outside that alamy doesn't exercise any strict payment term to its customers and if it does it clearly doesn't enforce it.

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2 minutes ago, Cal said:

 

I emailed CR a short while back over the fact that two sales from approx 2.5 months prior hadn't yet cleared into my account. The same two images were actually zoomed the month before they registered as a sale and one would assume bought at the same time, so it had more than likely been at least 3 months since they were used. The reply I received was somewhat curt with the wording "we haven't given up or forgotten about it". Oddly enough, very soon after the payment for those two images did clear.

 

They also mentioned, regarding another query I had that they could see a download for the image but that the customer may report at certain intervals. It then made me wonder why, if the system can see a download for the image, that this also can't automatically issue an invoice, instead relying on the customer to separately exercise honesty. And the system does seem to run on honesty as people have said here before that they had to "report usages themselves".

 

I honestly can't understand why Alamy's system is so lax. If I didn't pay my credit card bill for 90 days I would rightly incur serious penalties. As a mere mortal it appears on the outside that alamy doesn't exercise any strict payment term to its customers and if it does it clearly doesn't enforce it.

 

 

Because Alamy wants clients to download images in the hope that they will then use them and pay for them. 

 

The long delays tend to be with distributor sales and that is an opt-in sales channel.

 

Other agencies such as Getty only report once they have been paid and the payment has cleared. Alamy lets us know about sales as soon as they are reported.

 

Yes, the Alamy tracking system can be improved but insisting that all downloads are paid for would drive clients away.

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10 hours ago, spacecadet said:

There is.

If you query a use Alamy can confirm whether or not there is a relevant download matching the details you provide.

Sometimes. Other times it's: 'Come back in a month and we'll look again', and repeat.

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This week I found an unreported use from last June by a google search of my name and a well known newspaper title. Alamy quickly replied they could see a relevant download and they would add it to the billing. It's worth a bit of googling now and then to see what we can find. 

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I think that we would all benefit greatly from giving a lot more attention to this aspect of our business. 

 

And at the risk of becoming boring ( no comments required) it would be an invaluable help for Alamy to provide us with the name of each client when an image is licensed.   

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17 hours ago, IACOB MADACI said:

Again, as long as the tracking system is reliable, I will accept what the market decides. Maybe I'm not worth more than 1 sale per year after all.

I just don't want to worry about tracking, which is the duty of the platform.

That's all.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and info with me. Now I know better.

 

 

i am curious, how do you know the tracking system is reliable with the other agencies you use.  For example the ones where you revenue is impacted by the date/order of download, how did you get validation that you get them reported reliably?  How did you validated that the download usage match the conditions set in the agreement? 

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