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How do you Rate Alamy?


geogphotos
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Question

Companies regularly ask for this sort of information.

 

As we know Alamy has a commitment to its contributors. They repeatedly say so in their submissions to Companies House.

 

On a scale of 0-10 how satisfied are you as an Alamy contributor?

 

0 - what am I doing here, I hate it

10- Amazing, wonderful, I love it

 

My score is 3

 

Yours?

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For

Helpful customer relations. 

They've survived recessions and a pandemic, indicates a well run company, which gives an indicator of behind the scenes operation. (Imo)

Recent months show they're finding a wider market for my snaps.

My earnings have increased, hear on year...just.

 

 

Against.

The market, sigh...

Very trusting customer self reporting regime.

Reliance on the forum to do their problem solving. Don't they appreciate we have important things to talk about!

Slow to fix the issue of the over charged commission refunds.

Punitive level for platinum membership and my 40%

 

Sorry can't put a number on that lot.

 

🦔

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Mr Standfast said:

For

Helpful customer relations. 

They've survived recessions and a pandemic, indicates a well run company, which gives an indicator of behind the scenes operation. (Imo)

Recent months show they're finding a wider market for my snaps.

My earnings have increased, hear on year...just.

 

 

Against.

The market, sigh...

Very trusting customer self reporting regime.

Reliance on the forum to do their problem solving. Don't they appreciate we have important things to talk about!

Slow to fix the issue of the over charged commission refunds.

Punitive level for platinum membership and my 40%

 

Sorry can't put a number on that lot.

 

🦔

 

 

 

 

 

Good summary. I'd go along with most of what you say. Can't say my earnings have increased year to year, though. I made about the same (gross) from 153 sales in 2020 as I did from 55 sales in 2009 when I probably had less than 2000 images online. Also, I'd add the "exclusivity" fiasco to the "against" list.

 

 

 

Edited by John Mitchell
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5 from me.

 

It could be worse (even lower commissions and fewer sales) or it could be better (more transparency, restore 50% commission and trust, clearer business strategy, better collaboration with contributors). In spite of the market I feel, if we worked better as a team, we could all do better.

 

Mark (who won't be surprised to see this thread "disappear" on Monday)

Edited by M.Chapman
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I suppose I would have given them a 7 or 8 before, and was happy with that kind of rating (they were not a 10 because of the fit of me and what I shoot rather than them). I would just rate them 20% lower because of the 20% cut in commission. I have had a decent month this past month so am quite chilled. Am also quite neutral now I give away Alamy income to a young relative. I do hope they stop it with the penny sales though.

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From this thread, others and personal discussions it's obvious the morale of individual contributors has dropped by varying degrees, but it's odd that Alamy hasn't obviously attempted to raise morale.  

 

Edited by sb photos
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10 hours ago, Radim said:

How about encouraging us on twitter to be more creative? Who would strive for a 0.21 gain

 

 

i actually think the Twitter account does try to do this, however they don't address the issue "Is that creativity linked to customer needs?".  I have questioned a few times "As this approach/ creativity or what ever else they were recommending brought any sales results?" and always told "We don't discuss sale".

 

I am not with Alamy to be in a photo club, i am with Alamy to licence images and earn £/$

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5 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

i actually think the Twitter account does try to do this, however they don't address the issue "Is that creativity linked to customer needs?".  I have questioned a few times "As this approach/ creativity or what ever else they were recommending brought any sales results?" and always told "We don't discuss sale".

 

I am not with Alamy to be in a photo club, i am with Alamy to licence images and earn £/$

 

These "creative" images also help build an image for the agency as a whole. Even if they might/may not not sell as much as some more mundane images.

To see if this sort of imagery sells, I do two tests: I throw some images in Google Images to see what comes up. Because nowadays Google Images starts with 10 pages of this is a Stock Photo, it helps to download an image first and then upload it to Google. 

And in AoA I try to guess the sort of search terms a client would use. Then when I click on the highest scoring keywords/phrases I look for the sort of images on the first 3 rows (@10/row).

What style are those? Are there many by one contributor with very few images in between(=it is a big seller). Are the newer images (as per Alamy #) a different style than the older ones?

You get the drift.

 

wim

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5 minutes ago, wiskerke said:

 

These "creative" images also help build an image for the agency as a whole. Even if they might/may not not sell as much as some more mundane images.

To see if this sort of imagery sells, I do two tests: I throw some images in Google Images to see what comes up. Because nowadays Google Images starts with 10 pages of this is a Stock Photo, it helps to download an image first and then upload it to Google. 

And in AoA I try to guess the sort of search terms a client would use. Then when I click on the highest scoring keywords/phrases I look for the sort of images on the first 3 rows (@10/row).

What style are those? Are there many by one contributor with very few images in between(=it is a big seller). Are the newer images (as per Alamy #) a different style than the older ones?

You get the drift.

 

wim

 

I still don't see the point of refusing to provide any general sales information and be partners.  And if they want to help their image when they use the images, they should reward the provider. 

 

 

and you claim "not sell as much", where is that information coming from that they sell at all with Alamy's clients 

 

Edited by meanderingemu
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1 minute ago, meanderingemu said:

I still don't see the point of refusing to provide any general sales information and be partners.  And if they want to help their image when they use the images, they should reward the provider.

 

That could be seen as dishonest to the contributors that do not get the same information, I guess.

Some (most) other agencies also have an image ranking according to popularity (=amount of sales). You could check out their general collections vs say the 100 top selling images.

As for rewarding the provider, there has always been a clause in the contract about that. And AFAIK every other agency has the same clause. (Old hands will now remember and may even chip in to say that they used to pay an agency to appear in The Book.)

An interesting case would be a contributor who sells nothing or very little, while his/her images are very popular with Alamy staff over and over again for marketing the agency. Maybe that just doesn't happen and staff-picked images sell like hotcakes.

 

wim

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22 hours ago, sb photos said:

From this thread, others and personal discussions it's obvious the morale of individual contributors has dropped by varying degrees, but it's odd that Alamy hasn't obviously attempted to raise morale.  

 

 

The new homepage was probably -- in part anyway -- an attempt to raise contributor morale. The new look got mixed reviews. Nonetheless, I think Alamy deserves brownie points for effort.

 

 

Edited by John Mitchell
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The stated purpose of the original James West commission cut was to fund Alamy's development to become a 'Tier Two Plus agency'. It hasn't happened. Revenue is static around £20 million. Profits around £3 million. Profits have been maintained not by increased sales but by diverting revenue from conrtibutors via DACS and commission changes. 

 

Alamy portrays itself - its USP - as offering unique, hard to find images. But the fact is that 93% ( and increasing) of its images are not exclusive, mostly available at far lower prices elsewhere. They could not highlight an Exclusive collection because it would just show what a small percentage that it actually was. Thus, exclusivity is stated as having no commercial value to Alamy. The cut for exclusive images to 40% won't have much impact on boosting revenue ( only 7% of images are effected) but it has had a huge impact on contributor morale and commitment. 

 

I realise that  my view is partial and irrelevant but it is that Alamy have gone in the wrong direction over Exclusivity offered by much of its previously very loyal contributor base.  

Edited by geogphotos
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6

 

Lacking consistency in terms of sales (but improving) and many unresolved issues relating to Personal Usage licenses that buyers appear to be manipulating the system. 

 

Overall a good agency in a tough market for contributors. 

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I've only been contributing since 2014, so don't have a long term perspective to offer. During that last 7 years Alamy has been pretty good to me. It helped turn an occasional hobby into a reasonable source of additional income that helped with finances, a bit. Fortunately, it was never a seen as a reliable source of extra cash. If it had been one of my main income sources I would have been really upset when they cut the commission and then again when the T&Cs changed. That's not to say I was not peeved or anything, but PA/Alamy are just doing what the other agencies have been doing, and getting away with, for a long time. PA/Alamy is still, IMHO, a little better than most of the others, and therefore I would still give them a 5/6 (a few years ago I would have said 8/9). Needless to say, if there was another agency with a compelling commision rate I would be off in a flash. Sadly, no loyalty shown, none given in return. 😞

Edited by Jansos
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On 16/11/2021 at 09:09, geogphotos said:

The stated purpose of the original James West commission cut was to fund Alamy's development to become a 'Tier Two Plus agency'. It hasn't happened. Revenue is static around £20 million. Profits around £3 million. Profits have been maintained not by increased sales but by diverting revenue from conrtibutors via DACS and commission changes. 

 

Alamy portrays itself - its USP - as offering unique, hard to find images. But the fact is that 93% ( and increasing) of its images are not exclusive, mostly available at far lower prices elsewhere. They could not highlight an Exclusive collection because it would just show what a small percentage that it actually was. Thus, exclusivity is stated as having no commercial value to Alamy. The cut for exclusive images to 40% won't have much impact on boosting revenue ( only 7% of images are effected) but it has had a huge impact on contributor morale and commitment. 

 

I realise that  my view is partial and irrelevant but it is that Alamy have gone in the wrong direction over Exclusivity offered by much of its previously very loyal contributor base.  

Totally agree with you regarding 'exclusivity' - I'm sure Alamy has shot itself in the foot on this one. Also, the change in 'Live News' a few years back realistically stopped the keen but not professional snapper from being able to contribute in a timely fashion. How many Live News events were missed as a consequence? 'News' is blissfully unaware of where the accredited Live News snappers are located. Why should I now bother taking a pic of celeb A, B or C buying their morning coffee? It's just not worth the hassle.
On a more optimistic note, I would like to see the 50/50 commision rate reinstated and Alamy exclusivity. I hope PA/Alamy eventually see the error in their ways but I won't be holding my breath! 

Edited by Jansos
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4 hours ago, Jansos said:

'News' is blissfully unaware of where the accredited Live News snappers are located.

I don't think that's true. Or at least it was not true. Not accredited anymore because of the purge, but I have been contacted on occasions by the news desk.

 

wim

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4 hours ago, wiskerke said:

I don't think that's true. Or at least it was not true. Not accredited anymore because of the purge, but I have been contacted on occasions by the news desk.

 

That's true, but the majority of us lesser mortals are not on their radar.

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About a 5. 

 

One of the features I miss, and one of the reasons for originally signing up, was way back when they featured photographers by location. I'm not sure I'd call it a recommendation, but it offered up a path to be offered assignments to shoot subjects that had not been added to the site. Although it was long enough ago now that I don't remember how it worked. 

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