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I'll apologise from the off for the length of this.

 

When I first started here I remember being told, you don't want to upload those mountain images you have to micros, there worth more than that. Well, sadly that doesn't appear to hold true anymore.

 

A lot of the mountain, climbing and walking scenes I take were aimed at  the outdoor magazine market, for obvious reasons. The images I uploaded were RM and I expected that I would receive a payment for each use unlike RF that allowed customers to use it as much as they want. The value of the RM sales seemed to be dropping (nothing new there really) but today, I noticed something that didn't so much anger me, it just left me feeling sickened, deflated even.

 

I subscribe to many of the popular walking mags because both me and the better half love going out walking, and I noticed that a few of my images that had popped up but no sales showing. When checking through sales I noticed they had already been sold to them in the past year or so. The license then was.....

 

Country: United Kingdom
Usage: iQ sale: Magazine, editorial print and digital use, repeat use
Industry sector: Media, design & publishing
Start: 10 February 2015
End: 10 February 2020

$ 29.46

 

The words "Within One Title" no longer included.

 

I questioned this today and was advised they have a agreements with large publishers and, to quote,

 

"Our sales teams work extremely hard to negotiate on deals with all forms of customers and always try to get the best market value possible for each licence.

 

As mentioned previously it’s very unlikely that the customer will use the image throughout this duration, they just want to be covered"

 

That bit in bold just left me slapping my head and leapfrogging around John Cleese style. The've just allowed a walking magazine to use several of my Walking Images as much as they want for 5 years and they think they are unlikely to do it?!?! They would be insane not to! 

 

If they have an image showing the Torridon mountains, or, Buttermere, they could use the thing loads of times as there is not an endless supply of regions to talk about each month.

 

So, my cut gives me $2.96 per year while they can use as much as they want.... on a RM image?!?! 

 

Of course, while this is a bummer for me, it also means they will start slowing down buying other images once they have a bit of a selection to rotate around with. Buy them once, keep them on their hard drives and pull them out whenever! I feel lost for words, truly do.

 

Anyway, what I've decided to do is create a new pseudonym and bang all the images that I feel will sell well as RF elsewhere (which I can't do while they're here as RM and being sold like RF). Request them to be changed to RF and the ones they can't, they can delete from my portfolio. I can't afford to have images here that will only sell once every 5 years to one of the biggest buyers for that genre of magazine!

 

It's even more annoying when a batch of images I sent to the darkside have been returning plenty of sale, including ones between £28 - $120  :angry: It appears the world has turned upside down! Ah well, I know what I'll be doing this weekend!

 

Anyway, sorry for the length of this, just felt like I needed to vent a little!

 

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That's shocking and disheartening. I feel your pain. You have worked your a** off, for what?

That license model is a slap to the face. So many of my sales have those extremely long time spans, too.

Seems to me, agencies are not only slitting our throats, but their own.

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That's shocking and disheartening. I feel your pain. You have worked your a** off, for what?

That license model is a slap to the face. So many of my sales have those extremely long time spans, too.

Seems to me, agencies are not only slitting our throats, but their own.

 

Yeah, it's a little disheartening but I know I can use my mountain imagery elsewhere and make good money. It just means I won't send any RM outdoor shots here anymore, just RF. That way I can spread them further to places that return a better $/per image per month/year.

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Interesting discussion, I too have been pondering whether I should allocate more of my images RF status, rather than RM. I often have the choice but have given the bulk of them RM status up to now. 

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Y

 

Interesting discussion, I too have been pondering whether I should allocate more of my images RF status, rather than RM. I often have the choice but have given the bulk of them RM status up to now. 

 

Same here, but I've found it means Alamy have the best of both worlds, the option to sell them via the IQ sale as if they were RF, unlimited usage over X amount of years while making it harder for me to send them elsewhere.

 

I wouldn't have a problem with the above sale if I had selected RF as the licence type. I would then know that once it has been purchased, it could be used as many times as they feel..... but, I would also be able to sell them elsewhere as RF as well!

 

Just plodding through my images now, picking out the ones to convert or delete, it's going to take a while but it will be worth it.

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Interesting discussion, I too have been pondering whether I should allocate more of my images RF status, rather than RM. I often have the choice but have given the bulk of them RM status up to now. 

 

Likewise, I have started to annotate RF where possible. Not sure that it going to do a lot of good, but it does give me more scope.

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I get the frustration.

 

But, with an eye to the sticky at the top, its not just an either or question... Alamy or the micros. There are other options.

 

Very true.... don't get me wrong, I think Alamy do try their best at times to get the best deals, but there are times when they do get it really wrong which is a shame. It's like they work so hard to take one step forward then, do their level best to fall two steps back. 

 

As we've seen in the past, on many occasions, they will stand by something even when deep down they know it's wrong *cough* contract..... I guess I just don't feel I can trust them to manage RM as RM and not sell them as mini RF over a 5 year period. 

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I had a license like this earlier in the month for Country Walking mag and was rather disheartened to read the bit about repeat use. However I am not understanding what you think you will gain by going RF. Won't that just give ALL buyers repeat use for anything forever and at even lower prices? What am I missing here?

 

Pearl

Edited by Pearl
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I can certainly understand your frustration, Duncan. But like Pearl I don't understand how switching to RF will improve things. Wouldn't it make more sense to approach these outdoor magazines directly with your images since you seem to have what they are looking for? Perhaps you've already tried that.

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The impression I get from Duncan's post Pearl and John is that by converting to RF he can then sell in places that require RF and get better prices at these agencies.  Might be wrong with that mind.

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The impression I get from Duncan's post Pearl and John is that by converting to RF he can then sell in places that require RF and get better prices at these agencies.  Might be wrong with that mind.

Yes David, I got that bit thanks but what I don't get is why Duncan thinks the buyers will come here at all if they can buy the same images for micro prices elsewhere. At the moment the deal he is objecting to only applies to certain mags. Another buyer might pay a much higher price.

 

A couple of years ago I uploaded an image of a cup of tea. I did deliberate as to whether it should be RF or RM but eventually opted for RM even though most of the completion was RF.. It sold for $3600 which would never have happened as RF.

 

Pearl

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The impression I get from Duncan's post Pearl and John is that by converting to RF he can then sell in places that require RF and get better prices at these agencies.  Might be wrong with that mind.

 

That's correct.

 

 

I mistakenly thought that by setting them to RM that they would receive 1 licence fee per use, unlike RF that would allow any number for one fee. The IQ sales are allowing them to licence my RM images to my main target audience as if it was RF (over a 5 year period) but I myself cannot. So, If they are converted to RF, I can them realise more money from different markets that Alamy don't reach. The ones they can't convert I will delete. There is little point waiting around for a sale on them once every 5 years.

 

I recently tested out a batch as RF elsewhere and the return in volume and $'s was significantly better than I would get here. Especially as one of these images = $2.96 are year for 5 years (if licensed).

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The impression I get from Duncan's post Pearl and John is that by converting to RF he can then sell in places that require RF and get better prices at these agencies.  Might be wrong with that mind.

Yes David, I got that bit thanks but what I don't get is why Duncan thinks the buyers will come here at all if they can buy the same images for micro prices elsewhere. At the moment the deal he is objecting to only applies to certain mags. Another buyer might pay a much higher price.

 

A couple of years ago I uploaded an image of a cup of tea. I did deliberate as to whether it should be RF or RM but eventually opted for RM even though most of the completion was RF.. It sold for $3600 which would never have happened as RF.

 

Pearl

 

 

Micro has a lot of low value sales, i.e. Subs but that is only one small part of it. Subs represent about 20% of my income from any one agency. The rest, is higher value sales that net me between $28 - $120 at time ($56-$240 in the world of Alamy). And to be honest, if Alamy are happy giving my images away at the lower Micro price range without the volume, why should I worry if they buy it here or not? 

 

How often do you get the $3600 sales (is that $1800 net?). I only ask as I can easily make that every month elsewhere but here, I normally Gross $250 -$500. Do I continue hoping for the big one to arrive or do I go for where I know I can achieve the same amount every month?!? Do I concentrate with the agent that sells 70-100 a year at a slightly higher price range (on average) or sell 2-3k a month at a place that gives me a lot better $/per image per year?

 

But, that's my experience with my port / subject matter. There are plenty of people for who it would the other way around.... maybe

Edited by Duncan_Andison
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I can certainly understand your frustration, Duncan. But like Pearl I don't understand how switching to RF will improve things. Wouldn't it make more sense to approach these outdoor magazines directly with your images since you seem to have what they are looking for? Perhaps you've already tried that.

 

Yeah I do that with a few. They would normally email me and others asking whether we have X imagery. 

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The impression I get from Duncan's post Pearl and John is that by converting to RF he can then sell in places that require RF and get better prices at these agencies.  Might be wrong with that mind.

 

Yes David, I got that bit thanks but what I don't get is why Duncan thinks the buyers will come here at all if they can buy the same images for micro prices elsewhere. At the moment the deal he is objecting to only applies to certain mags. Another buyer might pay a much higher price.

A couple of years ago I uploaded an image of a cup of tea. I did deliberate as to whether it should be RF or RM but eventually opted for RM even though most of the completion was RF.. It sold for $3600 which would never have happened as RF.

Pearl

 

Micro has a lot of low value sales, i.e. Subs but that is only one small part of it. Subs represent about 20% of my income from any one agency. The rest, is higher value sales that net me between $28 - $120 at time ($56-$240 in the world of Alamy). And to be honest, if Alamy are happy giving my images away at the lower Micro price range without the volume, why should I worry if they buy it here or not? 

 

How often do you get the $3600 sales (is that $1800 net?). I only ask as I can easily make that every month elsewhere but here, I normally Gross $250 -$500. Do I continue hoping for the big one to arrive or do I go for where I know I can achieve the same amount every month?!? Do I concentrate with the agent that sells 70-100 a year at a slightly higher price range (on average) or sell 2-3k a month at a place that gives me a lot better $/per image per year?

 

But, that's my experience with my port / subject matter. There are plenty of people for who it would the other way around.... maybe

Duncan I'm just surprised that walking images would sell well on micros. My very limited dabble into the dark side has resulted in sales which are truly micro.

But more importantly I worry about the long term. Once all the buyers have downloaded all the cheap RF images that they will ever need, what then?

Pearl

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The impression I get from Duncan's post Pearl and John is that by converting to RF he can then sell in places that require RF and get better prices at these agencies.  Might be wrong with that mind.

Yes David, I got that bit thanks but what I don't get is why Duncan thinks the buyers will come here at all if they can buy the same images for micro prices elsewhere. At the moment the deal he is objecting to only applies to certain mags. Another buyer might pay a much higher price.

A couple of years ago I uploaded an image of a cup of tea. I did deliberate as to whether it should be RF or RM but eventually opted for RM even though most of the completion was RF.. It sold for $3600 which would never have happened as RF.

Pearl

 

Micro has a lot of low value sales, i.e. Subs but that is only one small part of it. Subs represent about 20% of my income from any one agency. The rest, is higher value sales that net me between $28 - $120 at time ($56-$240 in the world of Alamy). And to be honest, if Alamy are happy giving my images away at the lower Micro price range without the volume, why should I worry if they buy it here or not? 

 

How often do you get the $3600 sales (is that $1800 net?). I only ask as I can easily make that every month elsewhere but here, I normally Gross $250 -$500. Do I continue hoping for the big one to arrive or do I go for where I know I can achieve the same amount every month?!? Do I concentrate with the agent that sells 70-100 a year at a slightly higher price range (on average) or sell 2-3k a month at a place that gives me a lot better $/per image per year?

 

But, that's my experience with my port / subject matter. There are plenty of people for who it would the other way around.... maybe

Duncan I'm just surprised that walking images would sell well on micros. My very limited dabble into the dark side has resulted in sales which are truly micro.

But more importantly I worry about the long term. Once all the buyers have downloaded all the cheap RF images that they will ever need, what then?

Pearl

 

 

Yeah I hear what you say. Sadly that RF ball started rolling some time back. I ignored it to begin with but if I hadn't revised my approach I wouldn't have been able to go full time. Don't get me wrong, it's been hard work identifying areas that yield good results and it takes time etc to work up the ranking systems but, it can be done. I no longer shoot the things I want to shoot, I shoot the things they want and save my spare time for my first love, landscape photography :-)

 

Also, I'm a tight bugger. I spend no more than £30 a shoot, often a lot less. Now I've built my own studio I have low overheads so I'm quickly into profit. I couldn't, wouldn't spend a lot on shoots / traveling etc for images. Hard to make up the cost and time.

 

I would say if they haven't stopped buying images after 12 years of being flooded by imagery, then they are unlikely to stop now. Most analysis seems to suggest daily downloads keep going up. The main battle is to keep ahead of everyone else. I'm looking to make more technical (computer generated) imagery / footage that is not easily done.

Edited by Duncan_Andison
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The impression I get from Duncan's post Pearl and John is that by converting to RF he can then sell in places that require RF and get better prices at these agencies.  Might be wrong with that mind.

Yes David, I got that bit thanks but what I don't get is why Duncan thinks the buyers will come here at all if they can buy the same images for micro prices elsewhere. At the moment the deal he is objecting to only applies to certain mags. Another buyer might pay a much higher price.

 

A couple of years ago I uploaded an image of a cup of tea. I did deliberate as to whether it should be RF or RM but eventually opted for RM even though most of the completion was RF.. It sold for $3600 which would never have happened as RF.

 

Pearl

 

 

It doesn't matter how much it sold for, frankly that's for the ego. It's how much it would make over it's stock shelf life and that's the figure from both areas of stock that matters. The RPI per image will tell you that and you may very well be surprised at the result.

 

Buyers tend, at mags especially, to be limited in the agencies they use. They won't hold accounts at every place they can get images suitable for them.

 

This is a business and if the OP can get more per image elsewhere using a different license, the answer's pretty obvious. Times are changing and being stuck with a business model that used to work and maybe doesn't any longer require changes, if business is the goal.

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The impression I get from Duncan's post Pearl and John is that by converting to RF he can then sell in places that require RF and get better prices at these agencies.  Might be wrong with that mind.

Yes David, I got that bit thanks but what I don't get is why Duncan thinks the buyers will come here at all if they can buy the same images for micro prices elsewhere. At the moment the deal he is objecting to only applies to certain mags. Another buyer might pay a much higher price.

 

A couple of years ago I uploaded an image of a cup of tea. I did deliberate as to whether it should be RF or RM but eventually opted for RM even though most of the completion was RF.. It sold for $3600 which would never have happened as RF.

 

Pearl

 

 

It doesn't matter how much it sold for, frankly that's for the ego. It's how much it would make over it's stock shelf life and that's the figure from both areas of stock that matters. The RPI per image will tell you that and you may very well be surprised at the result.

 

Buyers tend, at mags especially, to be limited in the agencies they use. They won't hold accounts at every place they can get images suitable for them.

 

This is a business and if the OP can get more per image elsewhere using a different license, the answer's pretty obvious. Times are changing and being stuck with a business model that used to work and maybe doesn't any longer require changes, if business is the goal.

 

 

True. Slightly off topic but I have to say I'm finding footage a real interesting area at the moment. Just dipping toes in now but the potential (and fun factor) seems great. I think we need to prepare for an age of high internet speeds and cheap storage that means footage clips will become mainstream. 

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Duncan, you can forget the "somewhat" in the title... 

 

 

 

Duncan I'm just surprised that walking images would sell well on micros. My very limited dabble into the dark side has resulted in sales which are truly micro.
But more importantly I worry about the long term. Once all the buyers have downloaded all the cheap RF images that they will ever need, what then?
Pearl

 

 

I am not sure Duncan only thinks of micros.Wouldn't there be other places using the business method of RF and editorial RF. The problem with micros would be that the images mustn't /cannot / shouldn't contain anything that could/might need a property release. Micros often interpret property in another way.

 

BTW you will sometimes obtain a higher price at micros than the usual rather low price. A main problem is that you don't have any control of your images. It is impossible to track any infringement / misuse of your images and the good images will spread like bushfires.

Edited by Niels Quist
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True. Slightly off topic but I have to say I'm finding footage a real interesting area at the moment. Just dipping toes in now but the potential (and fun factor) seems great. I think we need to prepare for an age of high internet speeds and cheap storage that means footage clips will become mainstream. 

 

 

Only have to look, for example, at the usual splash page for Paypal which has been footage for quite some time now.....

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Edited by Niels Quist

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True. Slightly off topic but I have to say I'm finding footage a real interesting area at the moment. Just dipping toes in now but the potential (and fun factor) seems great. I think we need to prepare for an age of high internet speeds and cheap storage that means footage clips will become mainstream. 

 

 

Only have to look, for example, at the usual splash page for Paypal which has been footage for quite some time now.....

 

 

Exactly. I was looking at a software package called Motions for Final Cut Pro and it made my head spin at the possibilities. It gave me a buzz to think of what you could do.... easily pleased me man  :D

 

 

Niels Quist

"Your selling of video clips and experiments can be done parallel to your imaging without any influence on your choice of image licence. The video clips seem to have their own kind of licence."

 

Very true. It's a time issue now focusing on key outlets and not spreading myself out to thinly. There are a few places that are really fast at reciving & managing 1-2Gb 4k files.... others not so :)

 

RF can, as you mentioned earlier, be sold at non micro outlets as well. 

Edited by Duncan_Andison

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Thanks, Duncan for the reply to my remarks in the video clip post. Unfortunately I deleted it as I thought it was irrelevant. But you summed it up nicely.... :)

Edited by Niels Quist
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Very true. It's a time issue now focusing on key outlets and not spreading myself out to thinly.

 

 

There is no right way or wrong way in this business, we all have different factors affecting us. If I carried on concentrating on my key outlets from 5 years ago I would be in deep doggy doo-doo now. By re-allocating my time from mainly one of my key outlets for whom I was more or less working full time but was failing in returns I have made time for a lot of other potential income streams. I now have 20+ income streams for my creative work. Some have earned their keep, some I dont supply any more but still send out an occasional invoice. None are micro. I have only a handful of RF images. I have become cynical in what I send where. Having more income streams means I am less likely to get stuffed if and when changes happen because of a new ranking or algorythm or SEO policy.  More options also gives more options and may open new markets you may not have thought of.

Coincidently I sold a video clip this morning. However I am still not convinced that that is the road to riches.

 

 

Food for thought. I've a load of things that I want to do, just have to make sure I do them and not get bogged down with other stuff!

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I'm a bit confused by this Duncan,

                                                      Alamy's own definition of the different licence types is very clear. "The customer pays a licence fee each time they use the image."

A separate magazine within a group or a different issue of the same magazine is a separate use and it cannot be argued otherwise. To argue otherwise is to suggest that it is RF

 

I personally had the same issue 12 months ago and queried it with member services and got the same stock answer as you, to which I replied quoting the terms below. A few days later the repeat sale popped into my account. Admittedly the within a single issue was in the sale description, but I don't see that as of any relevance as the definition of an RM licence is clear.

 

This is an important issue, perhaps member service could take the opportunity to clarify what the position is.

 

http://www.alamy.com/contributor/help/image-licences.asp

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