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average price per sale fall since 2007

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dear all


first time on new forum


just updated my sales and average stats.


average sale in 2007 $178

average sale in 2013 $50


thats quite a drop sales were down last year and so were prices, had a good november oddly, but rest of year was lower.


sold something every month though.


what are others finding, I know its not alamys fault all libraries are getting over supply and shrinking market, though alamy seem to grow year on year with their marketing.



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Ian welcome!


What you have started with is not really news to anyone here, but for a comparison here is how it went for me:


2006  Sales    1  Average Gross $100

2007  Sales    3  Average Gross $201

2008  Sales   16  Average Gross $159

2009  Sales   15 Average Gross $70

2010  Sales   25  Average Gross $79

2011  Sales   46 Average Gross $113

2012  Sales   74  Average Gross $49

2013  Sales   76  Average Gross $45


Prices dropped sharply after the crash of 2008.

One big sale in 2011 boosted the average a lot....

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I too see an evolution similar to that. Yet, 2013 was the first year since 2008 that I've seen the average sale price and my commission slightly rise.


But considering that I saw a drop of +30% in my sales all I can say is that it was an absolute disastrous year! :(


Since 2010 I average between 10 to 20 sales per month, so I think these numbers are relatively balanced and not being influenced by an odd sale or two.


Average per image

Year        Gross            Net

2007      $175,52      $ 99,13

2008      $182,23      $109,43

2009      $141,43      $  72,23

2010      $110,89      $  58,64

2011      $  65,84      $  34,73

2012      $  52,10      $  28,20

2013      $  60,41      $  33,15


Just edited to mention that I do not participate in NU, but participate in the newspaper scheme. So these sales are not brought down by the smaller sales from NU.

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My gross figures are:

2002     $117.96
2003     $154.32
2004     $113.01
2005     $98.23
2006     $134.59
2007     $138.71
2008     $123.27
2009     $87.06
2010     $83.77
2011     $44.81
2012     $65.52
2013     $50.11


NO Novel Use and I only joined the newspaper scheme at Christmas.


2011 was probably the turning point as it was the first year I had a gross sale under $10 ($4.5) and the first year no sale over $100. What is particularly troubling is that I started to be more active again in about 2009/10 - I added around 50% more properly keyworded images in 2012/13 of much better quality and yet 2013 had lowest number of sales since I started.


We also need to remember that these are gross sales so my income has fallen even faster as Alamy's take has increased at last twice over my 12 year involvement.

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I think it's important to show NET when sharing this kind of statistic, otherwise a little useless?


Last three years:


Year     Gross       NET         Royalties Paid

2011     $91.53     $52.99     58%

2012     $54.88     $26.15     48%

2013     $80.95     $32.87     41%


Random Notes: 

2011 - In Newspaper scheme, NU sales removed from AVG

2012 - In Newspaper Scheme, Not in NU - A few low sales brought down average, more distributor sales than direct

2013 - No Newspaper, no NU. Felt like one of the lucky ones with an $80.95 average GROSS. But thanks to commission cuts and large amount of distributor sales only 41% of that ended in my pocket...


Overall, distributor sales still seem to trump Alamy direct in terms of Gross fees (Especially Japan and Germany), but with 30/70 commission split, there's not much left for photographer.




PS. Why are there still distributor sales to DE when Alamy have offices there? Mt two largest sales last year were both to Germany- Unfortunately both distributor sales, which left me only 30%.

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I think it's important to show NET when sharing this kind of statistic, otherwise a little useless?


I don't think that presenting the Net value is that important, and certainly not useless. Since we know that we receive a known fraction of that value. If Gross declines obviously Net will follow.


Net value may only be interesting if we're trying to assess how much distributor sales we get. If someone has none than the Net will be 50% of the Gross (at least starting from a certain date of 2013). If Net is lower than 50% (or 60, or 65 depending on the year) then you can get a notion about the contributor distributor sales. Just that.


Other than that I don't see that presenting only the Gross is useless, as I said.

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Easy enough for me as I only sold at the 50% cut so:


Year     Gross       NET         Royalties Paid

2013     $54.53     $27.27     50%


Not in NS, NU and have very limited distribution with no sales so far.


I think Gross still gives a good indication of the way things have gone.

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Here an additional view using MEDIAN rather than average. The MEDIAN being the value having an equal number of values above and below. It is not distorted by unusually high or low exceptional sales. It is just an additional data point that is useful to understand a trend.


eg: 5, 6, 8, 10, 15, 25, 265

10 is the median (middle number, three above, three below). Average here would be 47.7 (distorted by one large number, 265), but 47.7 is a far way from the majority numbers in the distribution. So median is interesting to know too.


From a total of about 10,000 images over 3 accounts since 2005, MEDIAN GROSS SALES FEES and (average gross fees in () ). I use GROSS since this is what customers are paying, enabling comparison to other outlets:

       Median (Average)

2005: $139 ($174)

2006: $ 107 ($180)

2007: $162 ($237)

2008: $75 ($102) <--------!!! What happened in 2008 - start of downward trend?

2009: $87 ($108)

2010: $69 ($95)

2011: $75 ($84)

2012: $76 ($91)

2013: $45 ($75)  < nasty (NET looks worse)! 


Every year has shown exceptional sales, both high and low, however,since 2007/8 the range has shifted down significantly. Also, there is a clear squeeze on the fee distribution (median is falling, as are fees above and below the median). Not in NS nor in NU. Distributor sales are small (can be ignored).

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!!! What happened in 2008 - start of downward trend?


The beginning of the crisis in US, that spread all over the world with many businesses bankruptcies, bank with serious problems, countries like Iceland in extreme difficulties, etc.


Businesses became scared, cut down in advertising and marketing expenses and became more price conscious.


This lead to a price war between agencies with a race to the bottom in prices and a widespread offer of subscription packages in many micros that didn't have them.


In a nutshell... :mellow:


Edit: with the the crisis many part-time or hobbyist photographers joined the stock agencies, some to increase the falling revenue, others trying to survive an unemployment situation as I read frequently in some agencies forums. Thus, more competition between us.

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we know that we receive a known fraction of that value. If Gross declines obviously Net will follow.


Not necessarily- If you look at my stats above- My NET % is declining... Due to more distributor sales, and commission cuts by Alamy. So, my NET this year would have been a good bit higher, had I actually earned the same % of Gross as two years ago.


But in the sense of simply seeing that prices have been falling, yes, Gross also tells a telling story! But we already knew that.



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