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Hello

 

Is the distribution deal worth selecting? I'm uncomfortable with 30%. I understand what Alamy is endeavouring to do but would be keen to hear what others have to say. 

 

Thanks in advance.

 

- Paul 

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Yet to make a sale via a distributor, so unable to say with any authority.  Various threads in the past have suggested that people get different mileage with distributed images.  You might want to give it a go and then drop out if you have limited success or poor returns.

 

It's very much an individual decision anyhow: some contributors view any sale as a good sale; others disagree.  No guarantee that a regular sale will get you more than a distributor sale, though!

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Mine range from $125-$16 gross. So $37-$5 net. At the end of the days they are sales to markets you might not otherwise get at.

As losdemas says, not the lowest, that dubious distinction belongs to the newspaper scheme.

Edited by spacecadet

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I think you can have a small revenue of $5 dollars or nothing. I prefer 5$ so in am opted in :).

 

Mirco

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My highest sale of this year was in June: $ 957.81. (gross)

It was a distributor sale.

My lowest distributor sale was $ 6.24

My lowest regular sale was $ 5.92

In total I had 11 sales for a lower net value than the highest NU sale, of those 11, 7 were distributor sales. If I had had only these I would have been quite upset.

 

You can always opt out for certain countries where you are already well distributed, like one's home country or a country where one does speak the language better than a distributor does. And are able to show your images to clients when they are looking for it, meaning you have a very high SEO. For that you set restrictions on image level. Agencies do this all the time. Well distributed photographers do it as well. If Alamy is your only outlet, it's simple: just stay in.

 

wim

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I'd advise signing Yes to Distribution, Paul. As others say, a sale is a sale and you wouldn't get it otherwise. My take on it is why on earth sign up to a library with a global reach if you opt out of that .. er, globe? 

 

Richard. 

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I dropped out. The low fees  plus only getting 30 % just gets my blood pressure up. And I didn't like that Alamy raised their take by 50% from 20 to 30 % of the gross. On the other hand, it is poosible to jump in now and try it out and drop out again in April.

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A few Japanese sales can help your income quite a bit. However much I dislike losing 70%, my income would be down considerably if I opted out.

The good thing is you can do it by region. I would certainly recommend Japan. Though I have many happy memories of and links with the Czech Republic, their distributors fees are a lot less popular than their beer.

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The 30% cut and low prices can be hard to take, but it does all add up to a decent sum after a while. Also, distributor sales do sometimes come in batches, which can help dull the pain.

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I'm in, and I have no plans to leave. I spent some time in India many years ago, and got to know a few people well, particularly some educators. I was truly impressed with how much they were trying to do with so little. When a couple of distributor licenses for textbooks dropped in recently from India, I was glad to know that Indian educators have access to my images at prices that are (for them) reasonable, even though they don't translate to much in my local economy (particularly when reduced by 70%).

 

I suspect that a lot of my distributor licenses (particularly in Brazil) are for translations of textbooks originally published in English. They're often for small print runs with limited distribution in developing economies, so I don't feel like I can expect a high fee. I've never felt like someone was trying to rip me off by licensing through a distributor.

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I'm in, and I have no plans to leave. I spent some time in India many years ago, and got to know a few people well, particularly some educators. I was truly impressed with how much they were trying to do with so little. When a couple of distributor licenses for textbooks dropped in recently from India, I was glad to know that Indian educators have access to my images at prices that are (for them) reasonable, even though they don't translate to much in my local economy (particularly when reduced by 70%).

 

I suspect that a lot of my distributor licenses (particularly in Brazil) are for translations of textbooks originally published in English. They're often for small print runs with limited distribution in developing economies, so I don't feel like I can expect a high fee. I've never felt like someone was trying to rip me off by licensing through a distributor.

Interesting perspective. Those of us in the so-called "developed" countries sometimes forget how different things are in the rest of the world.

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If you're one of those people who worries about making the minimum payout each month, then yes, even a $5 (net) distributor sale may push you over the threshold.  If you already meet the minimum for payment each month these distributor sales may be less attractive.

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I've made some good distributor sales over the years, in markets I would otherwise not be selling in. Worth doing, as long as you accept that other people will get paid, as well as you.

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I have super limited experience with distributor sales (2), but one had quite modest and one has good size commission, so it all evened out.

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My second highest sale so far in 2013 is a distributor sale.

 

I have had 8 this last year ranging from $6.95 to $128.35 (gross) so I think it's worth being in the scheme.

 

John.

Edited by Stokie

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This is an Alamy direct sale. I think the sum would have been muck lower if a distributor had made the sale + I would then only get 30%

 

Rolf

 

Country: Slovenia

Usage: Editorial

Media: Textbook - print and e-book

Print run: up to 25,000

Placement: Inside

Image Size: 1/4 page

Start: 10 December 2013

End: 10 December 2018

Printrun: 20,000

$ 70.30

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The only thing I've opted out of is the Novel Use scheme. As others have said a market is a market.

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Got one sale last month for 6,83$, so after all commissions had gone off there was 2$ left in my pocket.
That'll get me a sugar cube in my cappuccino...

But also one for 130$, so... That's slightly better.
(although the "client" had entered a printrun of 25,000 and print only, when -being subscribed to said client- I happen to know that they have a printrun of 335,000 and that the image was also in the online edition. Alamy didn't seem to be too bothered by it and basically (not in those literal words, but between the lines) told me I should be happy with the sales, because these are markets they wouldn't get to without the distributors.
I guess on one hand the have a point, but on the other...)

Edited by Arno

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Please forgive my ignorance, but what kinds of markets are unable to buy directly from Alamy?

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Please forgive my ignorance, but what kinds of markets are unable to buy directly from Alamy?

My question also.   Unless there are markets where there is a language barrier for image buyers that local distributors could service.  But I think those markets would be pretty uncommon.

Edited by Phil

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I have had mixed results with distribution. My worst experience is from 2010 for a Greek? magazine front cover that I have never been paid for.  Alamy do seem to have tried but don't seem to be able to do anything about it. "waiting for the distributor to get back to us"

 

On the whole I have had a number of sales from the likes of Japan, Brazil, South Korea, Russia etc, but at 30% they don't amount to much so last April I had a major cull of territories/countries I deem to be too much of a risk payment, or usage wise (eg usage wise - paying for cheapest spot use and using for another use).  Equally there is no reason why any country could not buy direct from Alamy and culling most territories has not made any difference at all to my overseas sales.  I am considering removing all territories in April and seeing if it makes any difference as you can opt back in at any time (I think).

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If you have an image which sells well with Alamy (say) then I just don't get the logic of competing in a particular territory against yourself with another agency sublicencing that same image - it will drive down the price - and of that lowered price you will get less via the local agency. If you have lots of generic stuff competing with many similar images from other shooters then maybe there more of a case but it will still drive down the prevailing market prices for other stock AND you will still get paid a lot less money for what you do sell.

 

I also had the experience of a Slovak republic distributor (who also operates in Czech republic according to alamy distributor info) continuing still sell my images many months (over 6) after I told alamy to take them off - OK you might argue that the sales sometimes take a while to come through but these were highly seasonal shots unlikely to have sold outside the season - it took alamy 3 goes to stop this happening.

 

And on a more general point even when your images are non exclusive (which my 12k are) is it not better to restrict the agencies through which you offer them to try and slow down this bidding war and the downward plunge in prices? I took 4k images off alamy earlier in the year to reduce my own self competition in markets important to me - at the moment I'm hanging fire about where I go with my images longer term while I monitor sales - will it be via a specialist agency or alamy or direct sales through my own (just relaunched) website. Obviously everyones situation is different with loads of travel shots I'd be with alamy all the time as they are about as good as it gets for working with an agency

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Please forgive my ignorance, but what kinds of markets are unable to buy directly from Alamy?

My question also.   Unless there are markets where there is a language barrier for image buyers that local distributors could service.  But I think those markets would be pretty uncommon.

 

That's the only reason I could think of, but the only distributor I know of has offices in Istanbul and Berlin, but when I look at one of my files there, there's only a title in English and no keywords at all (visible on the file's page).

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Guest

It may be worth asking yourself why the agencies with the highest returns in stock have the widest distribution channels.... even big ole Getty have quite a few distribution partners.

Edited by Guest

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