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All my port is RM so if Alamy goes Micro then I am out simply because I do not obtain releases for RF stock.

 

Allan

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Yes me too, I checked the requirements of major microstock library and much of my, mostly editorial, work would need a release of some sort - even my news stuff because it is no longer "newsworthy" it would seem.

 

All my port is RM so if Alamy goes Micro then I am out simply because I do not obtain releases for RF stock.

 

Allan

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There's always the simple idea that the blog was there to attract microstockers to Alamy - Alamy like to feature them on occasion, so it would made sense to want more. Alamy's been a member on the main micro forum for a long time and has long subtly, or not so subtly, encouraged others to join.

 

There's plenty of life in RM yet, GI has just revamped their website to showcase more 'high-end' content - see the Prestige collection. Sales seem to show clearly that clients still want imagery that has values they are willing to pay for. Frankly I know who I would be looking to for a trend in this business. Plenty of life in regular RF as well - just differentiate from micro... simples.

Edited by Geoff Kidd
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There's always the simple idea that the blog was there to attract microstockers to Alamy - Alamy like to feature them on occasion, so it would made sense to want more. Alamy's been a member on the main micro forum for a long time and has long subtly, or not so subtly, encouraged others to join.

 

There's plenty of life in RM yet, GI has just revamped their website to showcase more 'high-end' content - see the Prestige collection. Sales seem to show clearly that clients still want imagery that has values they are willing to pay for. Frankly I know who I would be looking to for a trend in this business. Plenty of life in regular RF as well - just differentiate from micro... simples.

 

I assume the trend in question is to split vertically - exclusive content down to micro/midstock level.  It would certainly be a way of dealing with the xx-million images that aren't selling.  The problem is that Alamy, who appear to have just one curator, don't seem to want to invest, and nor do they appear to want exclusive content.  The RM license isn't fit for purpose, and is increasingly looking like budget RF.  All this indicates a continuing downward trend to me. 

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Yes me too, I checked the requirements of major microstock library and much of my, mostly editorial, work would need a release of some sort - even my news stuff because it is no longer "newsworthy" it would seem.

 

All my port is RM so if Alamy goes Micro then I am out simply because I do not obtain releases for RF stock.

 

Allan

 

 

Fortunately, Alamy says that they "love" microstock, not that they want to be microstock. That said, I wish we had the option of being able to change RM images to RF (where appropriate) after they have been put on sale. I have a lot of images that I should probably have set as RF. Leaving them as RM likely means that they will never lease now. The stock world has changed dramatically since I first uploaded them. No doubt many of us are in the same boat.

Edited by John Mitchell

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Yes me too, I checked the requirements of major microstock library and much of my, mostly editorial, work would need a release of some sort - even my news stuff because it is no longer "newsworthy" it would seem.

 

All my port is RM so if Alamy goes Micro then I am out simply because I do not obtain releases for RF stock.

 

Allan

 

 

Fortunately, Alamy says that they "love" microstock, not that they want to be microstock. That said, I wish we had the option of being able to change RM images to RF (where appropriate) after they have been put on sale. I have a lot of images that I should probably have set as RF. Leaving them as RM likely means that they will never lease now. The stock world has changed dramatically since I first uploaded them. No doubt many of us are in the same boat.

 

 

 

I have thought the same thing John. Because it takes Alamy so long to remove images from the library, you can't simply delete then re-upload as RF. 

 

I know there could be a purchase in the works and that is why it takes so long to remove, but is there no way for Alamy to let someone who wants to convert images to RF what images are in the works and can't be changed at that time. Might mean more sales for Alamy.

 

Jill

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Yes me too, I checked the requirements of major microstock library and much of my, mostly editorial, work would need a release of some sort - even my news stuff because it is no longer "newsworthy" it would seem.

 

All my port is RM so if Alamy goes Micro then I am out simply because I do not obtain releases for RF stock.

 

Allan

 

 

Fortunately, Alamy says that they "love" microstock, not that they want to be microstock. That said, I wish we had the option of being able to change RM images to RF (where appropriate) after they have been put on sale. I have a lot of images that I should probably have set as RF. Leaving them as RM likely means that they will never lease now. The stock world has changed dramatically since I first uploaded them. No doubt many of us are in the same boat.

 

 

 

I have thought the same thing John. Because it takes Alamy so long to remove images from the library, you can't simply delete then re-upload as RF. 

 

I know there could be a purchase in the works and that is why it takes so long to remove, but is there no way for Alamy to let someone who wants to convert images to RF what images are in the works and can't be changed at that time. Might mean more sales for Alamy.

 

Jill

 

 

In my case, the chances of there being a sale in the works for these particular images are remote, but obviously that scenario could be problematic. However, allowing us to make the RM to RF change -- again where approriate -- more easily is something Alamy should be thinking about IMO. I don't imagine that the logistics would be all that complicated. Easy for me to say, though...

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Perhaps a much more radical alternative would be to open up pricing to contributors.  We do everything else, so why not set prices?  Drop all the haggling and messing up the existing priceing scheme.  It would be chaos for a while, but most would soon wise up, find that they had to drop some prices (a lot), but occasionally could demand much higher fees.  Buyers would be able to buy at a range of price points, from micro level to expensive.  Basically that's what they get at the majors, including the one with two names (iStock/Getty). Also give contributors more promotional tools.  If they did this, some pros might return.  I haven't contributed for a while now, but would certainly give it a go.  It would be like Photoshelter, but with a huge client base.

 

 

 

As far for allowing contributors to set their own prices there are some examples in Micro agencies in the footage segment.

 

The leading micro agency in footage allows you to set the prices freely but informs the contributor of the overall average sale price of the agency's actual sales, and the average sale price of the best sellers, in each image submission page as a way to inform the contributor of a realistic price and avoid dumping. Another agency has a three tier system and we can choose the tier for each video. This last example is a good solution to avoid excessive confusion among clients. The only thing I think is almost mandatory in something like this is a fixed bottom price.

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I think Alamy should really clarify things. This post on the blog leaves me quite skeptical! "Why we love Microstock"… Why should we? From a photographer's point of view, I think "Why we hate Microstock" would have been a much more appropriate title. I absolutely don't understand what is going on here, and I cannot say I like it.

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All my port is RM so if Alamy goes Micro then I am out simply because I do not obtain releases for RF stock.

 

 

Perhaps Alamy have it in mind to address this issue for Microstock 3?

 

Alan

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I think Alamy should really clarify things. This post on the blog leaves me quite skeptical! "Why we love Microstock"… Why should we? From a photographer's point of view, I think "Why we hate Microstock" would have been a much more appropriate title. I absolutely don't understand what is going on here, and I cannot say I like it.

It could also be a diversionary tactic to draw attention away from the contract issues or it might all be part of a master plan. Either way, I don't like the noises from Alamy at the moment. It's unsettling. 

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All my port is RM so if Alamy goes Micro then I am out simply because I do not obtain releases for RF stock.

 

Allan

 

Unless they are cracking up, this isn't likely to happen.  The post is simply pointing out that the firm is as close to the micros as it is to traditional agencies, and, as they have upped their game, while Alamy remains one-size-fits-all and crowdsourced, maybe getting closer.  There might be a hidden agenda - like: "stop kidding yourselves and thinking you are special. Average Alamy content is no better than average SS/iS content, maybe worse".  That will play well with micro contribs, and as GK has pointed out, maybe aimed at getting the best of them to come over.

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Personally, I'm not worried that Alamy will morph into a microstock agency, but It does sound as if they are going through something of an identity crisis, which could turn out to be a good thing. I guess we'll just have to wait to see how things unfold. I do wish, however, that Alamy had put a bit more thought into the title of the blog post. There's nothing in there that would suggest that Alamy is in love with the microstock model itself (especially the pricing), but rather that they admire some of microstock's more innovative aspects.

Edited by John Mitchell
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From a photographer's point of view, I think "Why we hate Microstock" would have been a much more appropriate title. I absolutely don't understand what is going on here, and I cannot say I like it.

 

I think that being in 2015, has given everybody more than enough time to get over the trauma. Microstock was an absolute inevitability despite some people refusing to see it. Once high-quality and affordable digital cameras were invented allowing anyone to become a photographer, and high-speed Internet access became widespread allowing high-resolution photos to be sent and bought from anywhere, the recipe was complete.

 

Maybe you could hate the Internet, maybe you could hate digital photography. But hating something that was inevitable...

 

Even if the price for Microstock RF photos had been established at $100, today they were being sold at $10 or $1, without a doubt. Even with the low prices established at the beginning there has been a fierce and constant price war between agencies. It's the so called free-market in the capitalist societies.

 

How many orange sellers do you guess would be left, and how much would a kg cost if anyone suddenly owned an orange-tree? Don't waste your energy hating something that was evident it would happen from day one if you look back. Just adapt to the reality and make the best you can.

Edited by Jose Elias
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I don't have any experience of micros....

 

....but I've just spent a while searching various subjects (editorial - that Alamy have recently licensed of mine) on two of the big micro sites (SS, and IS).

I was surprised at the unexpected,unwanted and rubbish results !  

 

The other images are ok, but often totally irrelevant. And limited choice. And I think, 'well...., that was a waste of time'. Not so here.

 

I'm not a customer, but if I was, I wouldn't love microstock.

 

If I were an editorial customer, I also wouldn't love the captions on a lot of microstock images. It doesn't look to me that they have improved much over the years. Many are still inaccurate and virtually useless.

Edited by John Mitchell
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I don't have any experience of micros....

 

....but I've just spent a while searching various subjects (editorial - that Alamy have recently licensed of mine) on two of the big micro sites (SS, and IS).

I was surprised at the unexpected,unwanted and rubbish results !  

 

The other images are ok, but often totally irrelevant. And limited choice. And I think, 'well...., that was a waste of time'. Not so here.

 

I'm not a customer, but if I was, I wouldn't love microstock.

 

If I were an editorial customer, I also wouldn't love the captions on a lot of microstock images. It doesn't look to me that they have improved much over the years. Many are still inaccurate and virtually useless.

 

reminds me of a job I did for a tourism guide of Berlin a couple of years ago. They had obtained a large number of images from a well know micro and wanted me to take the images they couldn't get, which was an even larger number. They then asked me to check the ones they got from the micro - I asked them to ditch some on quality, things like chromatic aberration visible without having to zoom in on the image. I also asked them to ditch a few because they wasn't what they said. One image was supposedly the Berlin Wall, its a pretty distinctive thing, but what was in this image was no way the Berlin Wall. 

I just checked on the micro site and they still have massive holes in their collection of Berlin. Unlike Alamy, the images I took for that guide are here now also and many have licensed.

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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.

I certainly hope not!

 

The reason I joined Alamy is because it is NOT a microstock agency.  I already have a big, successful portfolio on a MS agency, but I needed another agency to market my better images - one that would sell for premium prices on a Rights Managed basis.  I feel as though I finally have found a place for my really good images, while my sub-par stuff will continue to earn me consistent, substantial money on S.S.  

 

If Alamy turns into microstock, or even gets more similar to microstock, then I will be left high and dry, as I certainly am not going to ever, EVER sell my better images on a cheap Royalty Free basis.  

 

In the article that the OP (in this case, Alamy themselves) linked to, the use of the term "crowdsourcing" concerns me.  My impression of Alamy is that it is a group of contributors that are all highly successful, professional photographers - just what you would expect from a high-end stock agency.  Alamy's use of the term "Crowdsourcing" makes me think that they do not think of themselves as a high-end agency that only represents the world's finest photographers.  Is this really the case?  

 

Crowdsourcing infers (to me, at least) that they are just representing a bunch of willy-nilly part-timers and hobby photographers.  My impression when joining Alamy was that I would be partnering with an elite agency that still sells world-class images for high rates on a Rights Managed basis.  Am I really just joining a bunch of hobbyists who are trying to earn "a few bucks on the side"?  Do Alamy's customers think of Alamy as offering some of the world's finest imagery?  Or, do they think of Alamy as just a small step above microstock?  

 

I really would like some accurate, transparent answers to these questions, as I feel that a huge part of my financial future is going to be dependent on the revenue I can generate here on Alamy.  

Edited by Tom Reichner
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I don't have any experience of micros....

 

....but I've just spent a while searching various subjects (editorial - that Alamy have recently licensed of mine) on two of the big micro sites (SS, and IS).

I was surprised at the unexpected,unwanted and rubbish results !  

 

The other images are ok, but often totally irrelevant. And limited choice. And I think, 'well...., that was a waste of time'. Not so here.

 

I'm not a customer, but if I was, I wouldn't love microstock.

 

If I were an editorial customer, I also wouldn't love the captions on a lot of microstock images. It doesn't look to me that they have improved much over the years. Many are still inaccurate and virtually useless.

 

reminds me of a job I did for a tourism guide of Berlin a couple of years ago. They had obtained a large number of images from a well know micro and wanted me to take the images they couldn't get, which was an even larger number. They then asked me to check the ones they got from the micro - I asked them to ditch some on quality, things like chromatic aberration visible without having to zoom in on the image. I also asked them to ditch a few because they wasn't what they said. One image was supposedly the Berlin Wall, its a pretty distinctive thing, but what was in this image was no way the Berlin Wall. 

I just checked on the micro site and they still have massive holes in their collection of Berlin. Unlike Alamy, the images I took for that guide are here now also and many have licensed.

 

 

Some Canadian newspapers now use microstock images in their travel sections. I've seen some real bloopers -- e.g. Mayan archaeological sites in Mexico identified as Aztec. I've even e-mailed travel editors about mistakes. Have never gotten a reply, though. You also find plenty of useless captions like "bird sitting in a tree" at the micros. Not to say that there aren't a couple of those on Alamy. B)

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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.

I certainly hope not!

 

The reason I joined Alamy is because it is NOT a microstock agency.  I already have a big, successful portfolio on a MS agency, but I needed another agency to market my better images - one that would sell for premium prices on a Rights Managed basis.  I feel as though I finally have found a place for my really good images, while my sub-par stuff will continue to earn me consistent, substantial money on S.S.  

 

If Alamy turns into microstock, or even gets more similar to microstock, then I will be left high and dry, as I certainly am not going to ever, EVER sell my better images on a cheap Royalty Free basis.  

 

In the article that the OP (in this case, Alamy themselves) linked to, the use of the term "crowdsourcing" concerns me.  My impression of Alamy is that it is a group of contributors that are all highly successful, professional photographers - just what you would expect from a high-end stock agency.  Alamy's use of the term "Crowdsourcing" makes me think that they do not think of themselves as a high-end agency that only represents the world's finest photographers.  Is this really the case?  

 

Crowdsourcing infers (to me, at least) that they are just representing a bunch of willy-nilly part-timers and hobby photographers.  My impression when joining Alamy was that I would be partnering with an elite agency that still sells world-class images for high rates on a Rights Managed basis.  Am I really just joining a bunch of hobbyists who are trying to earn "a few bucks on the side"?  Do Alamy's customers think of Alamy as offering some of the world's finest imagery?  Or, do they think of Alamy as just a small step above microstock?  

 

I really would like some accurate, transparent answers to these questions, as I feel that a huge part of my financial future is going to be dependent on the revenue I can generate here on Alamy.  

 

 

"Crowdsourcing" refers to the fact that anyone can sell, or attempt to sell, their images on Alamy, and all judgements about content are left with contributors.  I doubt if many buyers would consider Alamy 'high end' as against Corbis or Getty, notwithstanding that it does have some astoundingly good work of a kind you won't find on any micros.  The problem is that it also has a lot of average to astoundingly bad, the inevitable result of it's crowdsourcing philosophy, and the belief that the only judges of quality are the buyers.

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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.

I certainly hope not!

 

The reason I joined Alamy is because it is NOT a microstock agency.  I already have a big, successful portfolio on a MS agency, but I needed another agency to market my better images - one that would sell for premium prices on a Rights Managed basis.  I feel as though I finally have found a place for my really good images, while my sub-par stuff will continue to earn me consistent, substantial money on S.S.  

 

If Alamy turns into microstock, or even gets more similar to microstock, then I will be left high and dry, as I certainly am not going to ever, EVER sell my better images on a cheap Royalty Free basis.  

 

In the article that the OP (in this case, Alamy themselves) linked to, the use of the term "crowdsourcing" concerns me.  My impression of Alamy is that it is a group of contributors that are all highly successful, professional photographers - just what you would expect from a high-end stock agency.  Alamy's use of the term "Crowdsourcing" makes me think that they do not think of themselves as a high-end agency that only represents the world's finest photographers.  Is this really the case?  

 

Crowdsourcing infers (to me, at least) that they are just representing a bunch of willy-nilly part-timers and hobby photographers.  My impression when joining Alamy was that I would be partnering with an elite agency that still sells world-class images for high rates on a Rights Managed basis.  Am I really just joining a bunch of hobbyists who are trying to earn "a few bucks on the side"?  Do Alamy's customers think of Alamy as offering some of the world's finest imagery?  Or, do they think of Alamy as just a small step above microstock?  

 

I really would like some accurate, transparent answers to these questions, as I feel that a huge part of my financial future is going to be dependent on the revenue I can generate here on Alamy.  

 

  I doubt if many buyers would consider Alamy 'high end' as against Corbis or Getty.......

 

But my understanding is that throughout the past several years, Getty and Corbis are very shoddy, low-end agencies that are basically just microstocks now.  

 

If Alamy is just as bad as Getty and Corbis, then where does one go to sell premium images for very premium prices on a RM basis?  What agency is still a "good" one?  Some of us really hate - and I mean HATE - selling on our own, and much prefer/need to sell via a stock agency.  

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If I were an editorial customer, I also wouldn't love the captions on a lot of microstock images. It doesn't look to me that they have improved much over the years. Many are still inaccurate and virtually useless.

 

 

That problem in not exclusive to micros. In respect to Portugal in all searches I make on alamy there are gross errors of misidentified places, monuments, and all sorts of things. Including messing up world heritage sites names! Sometimes I almost sent alamy a mail, but didn't do it because it would become a full time job.

 

The fact that alamy has an advantage of years in terms of editorial content, which is not a surprise since it's the agency's main focus, obviously gives it not only a larger collection but probably more correction in terms of keywords and captions.

 

In terms of the Micro agencies that may very well change as more and more informed contributors, join the editorial segment. Some agencies even have in place an alert to badly captioned and keyworded images.

Edited by Jose Elias

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"...and the belief that the only judges of quality are the buyers."

 

However, the buyers are the final judges of what they need/want, which is probably one of the main reasons that Alamy is so successful.

Edited by John Mitchell

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It seems to me that the blog post is little more than an advert to attract MS contributors.
 

...where does one go to sell premium images for very premium prices on a RM basis?


I'd say that - unless you have something very unique, or a very specific niche - then that ship has sailed.
 

the buyers are the final judges of what they need/want


Precisely.  Many end users are attracted here precisely because of the variety of imagery available.  It never ceases to amaze me what sells - and indeed, what doesn't.

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"But my understanding is that throughout the past several years, Getty and Corbis are very shoddy, low-end agencies that are basically just microstocks now.  

 

If Alamy is just as bad as Getty and Corbis, then where does one go to sell premium images for very premium prices on a RM basis?  What agency is still a "good" one?  Some of us really hate - and I mean HATE - selling on our own, and much prefer/need to sell via a stock agency." TR    (my italics)

 

Just an urban myth.  Yes, they do own iStock and Veer, but keep them as separate entities.  My biggest sales in 2014 ($500+ per licence) have been via these agencies.  I have one set of distributed images both here and at Getty.  At Getty I have sales every month, whereas here: not a sausage. 

 

"What agency is still a "good" one?"  Alamy is fine for secondary editorial/textbook sales.  It's hands-off philosophy works very well in this market.  But it doesn't seem to have worked so well for commercial sales.  Nor for some specialist areas like fiction book covers.  Both of which pay very well.  On the other hand, If you have in-depth textbook material not handled by a well known specialist agency then Alamy is probably the best place to be.

 

I suspect this thread is a storm in a teacup, and Alamy isn't about to start selling credits, or do anything other than carry on as it has been doing - trying to thrive in an impossible market.

Edited by Robert Brook

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 My biggest sales in 2014 ($500+ per licence) have been via these agencies.  I have one set of distributed images both here and at Getty.  At Getty I have sales every month, whereas here: not a sausage. 

 

 

So, you have sales at Getty every month, but here on Alamy you have "Not a sausage"?  

 

Forgive me, but I am not familiar with the use of the term "sausage" as you are using it here, and therefore I am not sure what it is that you mean.

 

Does that mean that out of your 1409 images here at Alamy, you do not have a single sale?  That is hard for me to believe.  Why, then, did you bother to spend all of the time uploading, keywording, etc....if it didn't yield even a single sale.  Is this place really so terrible as that?

Edited by Tom Reichner

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