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AndyMelbourne

Has anybody else had a total loss of sales over the last few months?

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Can't help but wonder if this is the new shiny buttons kicking in.  I have certainly noticed a downturn in last couple of months.

 

Pearl

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Sorry to see drops in everyones sales. Is there maybe a trend pattern developing where you'll see peaks and dips? I watched the CEO's Q&A part 2 session earlier and he said that in some sectors its dropping however, others are booming. He also said that the 'New' button sales only accounted for something like 5% of total sales. Pretty sure that's what he said.

 

I'm not overly confident in the stats as stats can be bent to suit anyone, but I guess its the sales at ground level that count and this is where you hear it most.  

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In essense the cake is being divided into an ever expanding number of slices. Therefore the slices get thinner. This together with the number of distributors who even sell the same image at a number of different prices depending on which middleman it last passed through means that there can only be crumbs left when the payment reaches the original contributor.

 

Also, if you have an image in a Micro and then put it into Alamy you should not be astonished that it does not sell here - buyers are not daft and they will happily drop an image into Google Image Search and buy the cheapest one that pops up - this is not rocket science or even advanced economics is it ?

 

I'd love to come up with a happy solution so that we could all make a good living and spend our time doing what we enjoy - but it is fast becoming something where we each have to make our own choices - I feel a touch guilty - because I was lucky enough to be able to have that combination for most of my working life......

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Average number of sales per month from January to June:

 

2011 - 18

2012 - 21

2013 -   8

 

Now, this is a drop!

 

The income also reflects a +60% drop.

 

I have absolutely no explanation for this, but the fact is that the number of zooms have only declined slightly which is very strange. I also believe that there are possibly a huge amount of unreported uses.

 

And if UK residents have at least the possibility to checkout the newspapers and magazines, being in Portugal or any other country outside UK makes it impossible to police those newspaper deals. The self-reporting deal is outrageous and insulting to us photographers.

Edited by Jose Elias
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May and June have been a disaster! It isn't going to get better folks! Only worse due to Getty and Corbis. They destroyed the industry.

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I haven't licensed an image since February....in fact, I went two months without even a zoom.  I'm hoping things turn around - I went through my keywording last week.  I am still going through and uploading archive images I have sitting around (in between other shoots).  It was a project I started last December to get my catalog updated and migrated over to the external drives.  Once that's done I'll review, cull, etc. after the requisite "upload grace period" surrounding the image search.

 

There was also a change in the search algorithm last October.  Based on my findings, BHZ is no longer relevant and no longer a factor.  Each individual image really does stand on its own.  I have some images that are well buried in the search, but oddly, I have other images that are on the first page.  Images on the first page = images that have been viewed and licensed. Images way down in the search = images that have been uploaded quite some time ago and have never been viewed or licensed.

 

The times, they are a changin'

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I haven't licensed an image since February....in fact, I went two months without even a zoom.  I'm hoping things turn around - I went through my keywording last week.  I am still going through and uploading archive images I have sitting around (in between other shoots).  It was a project I started last December to get my catalog updated and migrated over to the external drives.  Once that's done I'll review, cull, etc. after the requisite "upload grace period" surrounding the image search.

 

There was also a change in the search algorithm last October.  Based on my findings, BHZ is no longer relevant and no longer a factor.  Each individual image really does stand on its own.  I have some images that are well buried in the search, but oddly, I have other images that are on the first page.  Images on the first page = images that have been viewed and licensed. Images way down in the search = images that have been uploaded quite some time ago and have never been viewed or licensed.

 

The times, they are a changin'

 

Interesting. October was when my sales started going from consistent to inconsistent. I'm now thinking that it's best to upload small batches of different subjects and locales -- rather than large submissions of similar images -- as often as possible in order to take advantage of the "New" button and other changes that seem to have been implemented. Any thoughts on this strategy?

Edited by John Mitchell

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Does anyone confirm the information that the alamy rank has started to been applied to each image individually and not at a pseudonym level?

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Does anyone confirm the information that the alamy rank has started to been applied to each image individually and not at a pseudonym level?

As far as I understand it, AR still applies at pseudo level for the search under the "Relevant" button.  It is under the "Creative" button that individual images are ranked although not in such a simplistic way as suggested above.

 

Pearl

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A couple of points.

 

Do we have to pay or apply to get images into the creative section?  In many given searches there often appears to be more images of a creative nature left in the relevent section.

 

Now that the search images are displayed larger could it be that zooms are now being used more to gain illegal screen captures.  The quality is more than acceptable for web use and the Alamy watermark is very easily removed in most images.  This might be the reason that zooms are up without corresponding increases in sales.  If this is the case then perhaps Alamy might consider using a better watermark.

 

John

Edited by John Walker

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Difficult to analyse with any scientific certainty, but my thoughts are:
 

1. the drop/lack of sales - maybe not so with ALL contributors, is influenced by the Alamy policy of accumulating a VAST library?

2. we ARE, in the UK anyway, suffering from a significant economic downturn which is BOUND to influence sales here, to whatever degree

3. so many publishers are going for the 'we'll credit you' line rather than buying repro rights through e.g. Alamy  - and wannabees are 'falling for it'. Ironically many photo mags do this!!

4. Alamy doesn't specialise - I think some libraries are latching on to this to Alamy's detriment - no proof I confess

5. Newspaper publishers are SO slow in paying their pittances - so we read here

 

Whilst no one of these will have a noticeable effect across the Alamy business, an accumulation of them all (and others I haven't thought of) could well have an effect?

 

nj

Edited by Nick Jenkins

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  This might be the reason that zooms are up without corresponding increases in sales. 

 

It is not a general trend that zooms are up. There has been a drop in CTR over all of Alamy since the changes. My own zooms have dropped considerably.

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This might be the reason that zooms are up without corresponding increases in sales.

It is not a general trend that zooms are up. There has been a drop in CTR over all of Alamy since the changes. My own zooms have dropped considerably.

My zooms are definitely on the way up but I have also increased my port significantly over the last couple of months. Getting about 10 zooms per 1000 images a month at the moment (not sure if that's normal or not). That said, I would rather see sales!

Edited by Duncan_Andison

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Am not finding the same trend, thankfully

 

Sales

Jan  4

Feb  4

Mar  7

Apr  6

May  5

Jun  7

 

Zooms also increasing

Jan  34

Feb  30

Mar  30

Apr  52 (includes one large batch)

May  49

Jun  49

 

I make few sales to the papers. Could this be the key?

 

 

dov

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I also see a drop in zooms. The question is that the drop in zooms is small, while the drop in sales is HUGE. I cannot see a correspondence between both.

 

Average zooms per month in first six months of the year:

2011 - 85

2012 - 56

2013 - 50 (June hasn't finished)

 

The views trend is similar to the zooms.

 

How a small percentage drop in the views and zooms stats can lead to a 60% drop in the sale is something that puzzles me.

 

That's why, unless there's a better explanation, I'm suspecting that many self-billing clients are not reporting the uses, and unfortunately I have no possibility to control any of this.

Edited by Jose Elias

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A couple of points.

 

Do we have to pay or apply to get images into the creative section?  In many given searches there often appears to be more images of a creative nature left in the relevent section.

 

Now that the search images are displayed larger could it be that zooms are now being used more to gain illegal screen captures.  The quality is more than acceptable for web use and the Alamy watermark is very easily removed in most images.  This might be the reason that zooms are up without corresponding increases in sales.  If this is the case then perhaps Alamy might consider using a better watermark.

 

John

With regard to paying to be in the creative section the answer is NO you don't.  The images are selected by Alamy or through client activity.  But you are quite right IMO, many creative images have been left out.  The problem as I see it is that editorial buyers are looking at the creative section, not just the advertising clients that Alamy is wanting to attract.  This means that the benefit of a high Alamy Rank has been largely lost and, rightly or wrongly, I believe that is a significant cause of my own drop in sales.

 

Pearl

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  This means that the benefit of a high Alamy Rank has been largely lost and, rightly or wrongly,

I'm sure this is true. I used to get quite a few zooms where someone had just looked at 12 or so images. Now my images tend to be at the bottom of a page of 100 below a load of "creative" images. I'm beginning to wonder if the old stategy of keywording closely for rank is still relevant and perhaps a more expansive keywording ploy would actually be of benefit.

Edited by JohnB

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February was my worst month for years (since June 2009), March wasn't great, April and May were much better, June is doing very nicely (so far five times what I made in Feb). The trend is looking good.

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0 sales this month.  Haven't had 0 sales month in 3 years!  Views are way up, zooms are average.  I am SHOCKED 

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My sales/zoom ratio  has been 1:3 over the last 2 years, this month is 1:30 sure something has changed.

On a side note I have  a couple of sales on Sept 2012 not cleared yet.

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So on the one hand Alamy is reporting promising growth and optimism while the replies on this topic seem to point towards diminishing sales. Personally, my image numbers have gone up and my sales down.

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I think people are always more willing to talk about poor sales than good. Perhaps those selling well are too busy out there taking photos to contribute to the discussion......

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I think people are always more willing to talk about poor sales than good. Perhaps those selling well are too busy out there taking photos to contribute to the discussion......

 

That's the human nature... :)

 

But the fact is that starting in January 2013 something clearly changed, at least for me.  It's like a line was drawn and there's a Before and an After. Everything that has happened since contradicts years of data and it's not a seasonal fluctuation, as I know them.

 

Yet, only in the sales part as I've shown. The views and zooms only had a slight decrease. Something doesn't make sense. I believe some people are having better sales now than before, but that's normal.

 

The problem is the ratio between zooms and sales, and even if alamy changed the clients that contribute with data for the AlamyMeasures, it would be a strange coincidence that those who left, and the ones that started to be monitored had the same interest in my portfolio. At least in a way that I would keep similar views and zooms but the "new" ones would only have less than half the interest in buying my photos.

 

Honestly, I find this very strange.

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I think people are always more willing to talk about poor sales than good. Perhaps those selling well are too busy out there taking photos to contribute to the discussion......

 

Until they start wondering if it's still worth shooting and join the forum...

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Relative to last year I'm actually doing much better in terms of sales and zooms, it's just the fees I'm getting that make it feel like I'm not selling anything.

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