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Alamy blog - Why we love Microstock

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Alamy isn’t a Microstock company, or is it? What defines a Microstock company? Some may suggest it’s all down to the price point and in the early days they were probably right. But the world has moved on, Microstock grew up and now the question isn’t so straightforward to answer.

 

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Is this maybe preparing suppliers for a "big surprise?"

 

Some of the developments and noises coming from Abingdon really are starting to give me the heeby-jeebies.

 

There's definitely stuff going on behind the scenes with the new contract and now this alignment with microstock.

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" we want our photographers to get a fair return"

 

so do we, don't ever forget this!

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We are all doomed anyway.....

 

www.christiantoday.com/article/pastor.says.march.20.solar.eclipse.is.a.message.from.god.warns.of.end.of.the.world/50251.htm

 

 

:(

Edited by AlbertSnapper

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I always have been told that microstock = micro pricing/ income. Were they all wrong?

 

And no, I don't love micros, I hate them in a fact, that's why I closed over 15 micro accounts... I just honestly hope Alamy won't do wrong decisions soon...

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Well, Alamy does say in their post that they like "sitting in the middle ground," which probably isn't a bad place to be. There's really no reason to think that this positioning will change.

 

However, the middle ground does have a habit of shifting unexpectedly beneath everyone's feet these days.

Edited by John Mitchell
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From a business point of view the middle ground is a dangerous place to be. It too often means there is little to differentiate your offering and you can be hammered at both ends of the market by the low-ball providers and at the top end by buyes wanting something a bit special. You get squeezed both ways - look at the mid-market supermarkets in the UK.

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Although most people point the low prices for which images are licensed in the Micro agencies as the worst thing for photographers on that model, the truth is that the worst thing is the unstoppable greed of the agencies and total lack of respect for their contributors.

 

For example IS, once the leading Micro agency decided that the business was unsustainable if they had to continue to pay 20% of commission, so they lowered from 15% to 20% whee only a handful of photographers could reach the top tiers.

 

Many agencies frequently sign highly damaging or ethically appalling agreements, like one that had a partner licensing images for $30 and since they classified this scheme as a subscription service the photographer would only get $0.30 per sale.

 

Others, refuse to delete your images even if you terminate the contract, saying that they keep those images for statistical purposes... Guessing if they keep in fact supplying them to partners and keep 100% of the commission.

 

Persecution of contributors and termination of contracts because the photographers discovered schemes the agency had arranged with partners, that were ripping off contributors, and talked about it in forums. Mind that those arrangements were not secret and were publicly evident if someone crossed the partners sites, but since they would be unpopular they were put in place without any announce, in an undercover way. As said, people criticizing the agencies in neutral forums had the accounts deleted.

 

And these examples could be multiplied by 100 that I would not be exaggerating.

 

So, although people point price as the worst thing, the truth is that the greed and 3rd world exploitation mentality that rule the heads of many micro agencies is the worst to us. In that sense alamy, although not perfect and exempt of criticism has been until this moment the most correct agency toward photographers I know.

 

With a bigger presence in the stock business and a bigger share of the market, this attitude towards photographers could turn alamy in the most supported agency by contributors and help change some bad things that currently happen in this business. 

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After 35 years in the stock photo business,I've been burned by every single agency I've signed with. The list is huge...One and maybe two are looking at an upcoming lawsuit for selling my images years after acct closed,selling images for years and not paying me. One should end up in jail. That is where he belongs the freaking liar...

 

I terminated Alamy and I am doing it all on my own again.

 

No regrets,it's all good. I keep my rates high.No bulk licensing,pursue my own infringers(or use imagerights or my lawyers) and I can sleep at night knowing a big entity isn't taking advantage of my hard work.

 

I terminated so I am sure my posts here will vanish before April Fools Day....the day when their new contract comes into play.

 

L

Edited by Linda
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I really didn't see the point of the article - but then I wasn't trying to read anything into it.

I like apples.  There are good things and bad things about apples - but I'm not a apple or am I?

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Is this maybe preparing suppliers for a "big surprise?"

 

Some of the developments and noises coming from Abingdon really are starting to give me the heeby-jeebies.

 

There's definitely stuff going on behind the scenes with the new contract and now this alignment with microstock.

 

 

Have felt uneasy ever since the homepage was changed….and that it is identical to another agency homepage…..

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Is this maybe preparing suppliers for a "big surprise?"

 

Some of the developments and noises coming from Abingdon really are starting to give me the heeby-jeebies.

 

There's definitely stuff going on behind the scenes with the new contract and now this alignment with microstock.

 

 

Have felt uneasy ever since the homepage was changed….and that it is identical to another agency homepage…..

 

 

A takeover / merger ??

 

Is the contract similar to others ?

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Is this maybe preparing suppliers for a "big surprise?"

 

Some of the developments and noises coming from Abingdon really are starting to give me the heeby-jeebies.

 

There's definitely stuff going on behind the scenes with the new contract and now this alignment with microstock.

 

 

Have felt uneasy ever since the homepage was changed….and that it is identical to another agency homepage…..

 

 

A takeover / merger ??

 

Is the contract similar to others ?

 

 

I'm not sure that Alamy would be a takeover target. They provide significant funding for a closely linked medical research charity. I don't know what the % of the Alamy profits are but I thought it was very high. If it is a high % then buying Alamy would not generate much 'pure profit' for the new Company. I would speculate there is some legal framework ensuring a buy out wouldn't mean the end to the charitable funding.

 

The change in contracts and branding could be a simple reflection of what others in the market are doing. In the non photo world company employees often have their contracts updated to reflect the changing workplace.

 

Michael

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They are just being honest.  The company is about customers, not photographers, and occupy the mid ground, which is increasingly where iStock and Shutterstock are.  Photographers, knowing what the deal is, choose to supply them. 

 

If they had to sell themselves to photographers in order to acquire contributors, the company would be about photographers too.  But they don't: photographers are voluntarily bundling in thousands of images every hour, most of which are unsalable.

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Michael wrote   -   " In the non photo world company employees often have their contracts updated to reflect the changing workplace. "

 

 

BIG difference.  Contributing photographers are NOT the employees of the photo agencies.  Most agencies do not pay us a penny for any of the work that we photographers do.  WE pay THEM around 50% of every fee we receive from our labour and our intellectual property as per the contract agreement we have with them whereby they distribute our images, collect revenues, retain 50% of revenues and remit the other 50% to us.  Under this peer to peer circumstance the ethically logical practice, when substantial changes in operation are deemed to be required, would be for the agencies and photographers (or their representatives) to come to a mutual, open and equitable agreement for the future betterment of both involved parties  -  within reasonable operational parameters.  In ethical business all parties acknowledge their responsibilities toward each other. The job of the legal sector these days seems to be primarily to undermine ethical equity and leverage "justice" and "lawful" advantage to one party  -  the one that pays them. 

 

Partner Choices!     -     Serious, committed, experienced, not-untalented photographer seeks ethical, non-patronising, pleasure to work with, financially rewarding photo agency for mutual satisfaction leading to long term relationship.

 

Conundrum for today.  When is a micro not a scapegoat?   ;~)

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I always have been told that microstock = micro pricing/ income. Were they all wrong?

 

And no, I don't love micros, I hate them in a fact, that's why I closed over 15 micro accounts... I just honestly hope Alamy won't do wrong decisions soon...

 

If you were to take the average port here and try and sell the images at a micro you would get little to no income. That's not saying the images here are poor (although, there are a few if ones :) ) It's just a different customer base that requires a different product. They also edit their libraries to keep the images to the level they want or style they are interested in.

 

To supply Alamy and Micros you really need to have two different ports. The Alamy one stays with Alamy (or other RM libraries) and the Micro one can be shared with both. 

 

I'd rather not get rid of either.... Although Alamy is coming close because of the low net income p/month (<$500) from here compared to the Micros.

 

I'm hoping Alamy sorts themselves out as I enjoy taking imagery for them and it's easy to get images to them (all be it time consuming... different keyword system etc). They just need to increase the $ and volume coming in otherwise the % they contribute each month will drop to a point that it won't be cost effective to supply them. At that point I'd have to remove my port.

Edited by Duncan_Andison
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I am afraid Alamy dropped to the point where the effort has not been justified by sales over a year or two ago for me :(

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I am afraid Alamy dropped to the point where the effort has not been justified by sales over a year or two ago for me :(

 

Well, based on this months earnings so far here, I'd be pulling my port from Alamy by the end of this month  :P

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The blog is just a call for microstockers to come to Alamy - many have already done so and Alamy has featured them as well. If you need crowd-sourcing because the agencies like Blend and many pros are leaving you, then where's a better place to look than micro where some commercial sense and technical ability has already been hammered in to the contribs.

 

Made me even more happy with recent decision.

 

 

 

 

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I think the article is fine as well - many of us are not the intended audience.

 

Its good to make us think as well. Things always change.

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We are all doomed anyway.....

 

www.christiantoday.com/article/pastor.says.march.20.solar.eclipse.is.a.message.from.god.warns.of.end.of.the.world/50251.htm

 

 

:(

 

Wow, one for Live News!

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........

 

Partner Choices!     -     Serious, committed, experienced, not-untalented photographer seeks ethical, non-patronising, pleasure to work with, financially rewarding photo agency for mutual satisfaction leading to long term relationship.

 

.........

 

Anyone with talent, who can produce work that the markets want, will find such a place.  I guarantee it.  But you have to research, and proactively seek it.  Don't wait for Alamy to come up with the goods.  Alamy is about crowdsourcing.  And that's what it says on the tin.

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........

 

Partner Choices!     -     Serious, committed, experienced, not-untalented photographer seeks ethical, non-patronising, pleasure to work with, financially rewarding photo agency for mutual satisfaction leading to long term relationship.

 

.........

 

Anyone with talent, who can produce work that the markets want, will find such a place.  I guarantee it.  But you have to research, and proactively seek it.  Don't wait for Alamy to come up with the goods.  Alamy is about crowdsourcing.  And that's what it says on the tin.

 

 

That line was a joke, Robert.  I have been with several stock libraries over 30 years and during that time also selling x 3 direct to publishers from my own collections.  Like yourself, I know my way around.

 

But yes, all that you say is good advice and perfectly true.  People can wish what they want from a cow but if it turns out to be a bull they won't get much milk.

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I always have been told that microstock = micro pricing/ income. Were they all wrong?

 

And no, I don't love micros, I hate them in a fact, that's why I closed over 15 micro accounts... I just honestly hope Alamy won't do wrong decisions soon...

 

They just need to increase the $ and volume coming in otherwise the % they contribute each month will drop to a point that it won't be cost effective to supply them. At that point I'd have to remove my port.

 

 

If it's after April 1st it may be too late if you decide to remove your images. Your whole portfolio could be downloaded by various customers and therefore 'in the system' and Alamy can claim to have been in negotiation with the customer so can grant a license.

 

CLAUSE 1.3.4

Delete any Images after one hundred and eighty (180) days notice. On image deletion Alamy will cease to grant Licences for the Image so deleted (but without prejudice to any Licences which may subsequently be granted for Images already downloaded, or where any Image is re-used or where Alamy entered into negotiations to licence an Image prior to deletion).

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