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Alamy contributor called Wirestock


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Could somebody kindly explain this business model.

 

At first glance it appears that you have to pay to contribute images to Wirestock and then they distribute.

 

What is the attraction of that? Why pay for what you can do yourself for free?

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These media aggregators will process your image/video with curators to add Titles Descriptions, and keywords then distribute to various agencies. 

 

Not sure if a contributor has pay out of pocket upfront for their services - I assume they take a healthy percentage of sales proceeds for their services before the photographer gets paid.

 

Wirestock and another is Blackbox are a couple that come to mind.

Edited by Phil
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mentioning another agency?

3, 2, 1, poof deleted...

 

regardless...

in the late 90's (not 1890's)
an agency accepted my slides (dupes)
then unexpectedly charged me per slide
for sorting them into various file cabinets;
I reported them to PACA who then advised
me agency had been put on 1-yr probation;
(I demanded & got me slides back)
can't remember agency name, may have
been in Texas, Dallas that is...
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3 minutes ago, Jeffrey Isaac Greenberg said:

mentioning another agency?

3, 2, 1, poof deleted...

 

Jeff -

Wirestock and Blackbox are not stock agencies.  They do not license media AFAIK.  Wirestock is an Alamy contributor.

 

They're aggregators of images sent in to be processed and then distribute them to agencies on behalf of the contributors.

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I joined Wirestock before they changed the business model and only took a commission from sales. The advantage is that when contributing to agencies with tiered commission structures you are very quickly on the highest tier and the extra return more than compensates for Wirestock commission. Since the change I do not submit anymore but still get occasional sales.

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23 minutes ago, Joe Gaul said:

I joined Wirestock before they changed the business model and only took a commission from sales. The advantage is that when contributing to agencies with tiered commission structures you are very quickly on the highest tier and the extra return more than compensates for Wirestock commission. Since the change I do not submit anymore but still get occasional sales.

 

 

Are you saying that Wirestock does not take a commission from each sale? If they did that would wipe out any advantage of higher tier commission.

 

What was your main motivation - was it to cut out all the busy work of submitting to multiple agencies?

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I wonder if there is something in the attraction of Wirestock and similar business models that Alamy could offer? After all, Alamy has a global network of partners. 

Edited by geogphotos
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One group once offered me to represent my images on Alamy saying that they are top-ranked, and as such my images will be in earlier search pages than w/o them. I do not remember how much they wanted for that, I did not accept the deal.

Edited by IKuzmin
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7 hours ago, Joe Gaul said:

The advantage is that when contributing to agencies with tiered commission structures you are very quickly on the highest tier and the extra return more than compensates for Wirestock commission.

 

Some agencies have higher commissions for being an "Exclusive" contributor.   One of the supposed benefits of submitting media to the aggregators is their multi-agency distribution scheme.  

 

Increased "Exclusiveness" commissions would not be available to members of the aggregators.

Edited by Phil
typo
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I tried Wirestock briefly last year. A total joke. They thought that my totally relevant tags were irrelevant and rejected the uploads because of this. I uploaded a few images of various railway subjects that had sold in other areas, tagged with the relevant operator, manufacturer etc (the one in particular was a new unit that was being searched for & sold elsewhere by the manufacturer).

They rejected the tags as irrelevant, in an email discussion they said the tagging review was done by a human not AI/bot, and claimed that adding the tag "agriculture" to one particular image was relevant - it was a shot of a new train on test with the track running through a grassed area.

There were several examples of this type of thing, so I gave up after that...
 

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22 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

Are you saying that Wirestock does not take a commission from each sale? If they did that would wipe out any advantage of higher tier commission.

 

What was your main motivation - was it to cut out all the busy work of submitting to multiple agencies?

Not sure if they take a commission now but they probably do Ian. At WS you can choose which agencies they contribute to for your pics so Agencies I would not have normally submitted to due to their tier system and low commissions became viable as being an aggregator you are quickly in a high tier. I did not select Alamy as one of the agencies for WS to submit to only putting my micro work there. I keyword prior to upload so I do not find submitting to the three micros I'm left with terribly onerous so motivation was purely getting on a high tier which made otherwise non viable agencies viable. 

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It is interesting to see how the industry is developing.

 

I do submit to other aggregators that have wide distribution networks - both also allow me to block distribution to Alamy because obviously want to avoid duplication. I also submit where I can block any distribution and the images stay only with that agency ( non-exclusively).

 

I can understand, with returns the way that they have become, there must be lots of busy people who are quite happy to let somebody else do some of the work - they still end up with some of their pics on the internet and the possibility of some income. 

 

I also think that this idea of 'psychological income/return' comes into play - the satisfaction of taking on the role of the professional stock photographer may provide self-esteem, an ego boost, bragging rights etc, also the idea of being part of a creative community.

 

Powerful non-monetary motivators for some people. Most of us like to think of ourselves as economically rational but in reality a lot of decision-making comes down to subjective factors.

Edited by geogphotos
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6 hours ago, geogphotos said:

I also think that this idea of 'psychological income/return' comes into play - the satisfaction of taking on the role of the professional stock photographer may provide self-esteem, an ego boost, bragging rights etc, also the idea of being part of a creative community.

 

That was me, I admit. I started at one of the micros because I didn’t know any better. When I sold an image for the first time, I wanted to run down the street shouting “I’m a pro photographer !”  I didn’t, of course, but the elation was extreme.

I like to think I shortly put things into perspective.🥴

I got out of that micro quickly, the first time I read what the micros were doing to traditional stock photography and all the people who made their living from it, & came to Alamy where there was a considerable wait for a license.

I also felt a rush when I sold my first watercolor painting many years ago. It’s a validation of your work, that there is at least one other human being that likes what you’ve poured your heart into.

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