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After fact price reduction of RM image???? WTF, alamy!

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I just noticed that a RM image that sold in September for $125, just got refunded, then sold again at $80 on the same day. The usage data are EXACTLY the same.

Mind you, that the $125 was essentially 50% off from what the alamy calculator gets, but that has been a shameful practice for quite a while. So now we talks 33c on the dollar.

 

And alamy wonders why I haven't added images for several years? If anybody wonders why I don't leave, the images that are up there are a "sunk cost".

 

This latest shenanigan is a new low even for this "agency".

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It's not new.  I've had half a dozen of them over the years. Rebooks at a different price aren't uncommon- Alamy reports instantly so you get to know about it, apparently other agencies don't so they can conceal any changes.

Buyer requirements change.  Your reasons for not adding images are your business. There's no call for abuse.

Edited by spacecadet
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It's not new.  I've had half a dozen of them over the years. Rebooks at a different price aren't uncommon- Alamy reports instantly so you get to know about it, apparently other agencies don't so they can conceal any changes.

Buyer requirements change.  Your reasons for not adding images are your business. There's no call for abuse.

 

True, but changes like this are difficult to understand when the usage terms haven't changed.

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I'm with Mark on this one. Alamy is the only game in town that makes these changes openly. Anybody with serious aspirations in stock photography should man the sales phone for a few months and hear what the clients have to say. The last time I did that was in 1993 and it made such a strong impression that I haven't forgotten a word.

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I totally understand the frustration but I don't believe Alamy is to blame.

 

It's a competitive market and (in my opinion) Alamy would be foolish to pretend otherwise. Capitalism and economic forces are the real cause. Personally, I would be more concerned if Alamy refused to adapt to evolving market dynamics. After all there is no shortage of names consigned to the corporate graveyard.

 

Alamy earn a ℅ of sales so our interests are fully aligned, and that's good enough for me.

Edited by JamesC
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The question is, what does Rights Managed mean? Is there any other business where you tell the seller of a third party commodity, "well, I think it's too expensive, but I I'll take it for a half or a third of what you want it for" Try that with cars, software, groceries. Not working that way, sorry. That certainly does not work unilaterally, i.e., without consulting with the original provider. 10-15% negotiating, maybe, but alamy has gone as far as 97% discount on some of my images. On average is around 1/3 to 1/2 of calculator price.

 

Even less so, if you buy it, at price x, then you return it to the store later, and tell the owner "You know, I'll buy it for half price off now". Does not happen. 

 

By bending over backwards to buyer pressure, alamy is cheapening the brand, and also my work. I prefer not to sell an image, to selling it utterly under value. I have no problem with alamy adjusting to market, and that is reflected in the on-line calculator. However, those prices are hardly ever realized. Or does alamy not know the market prices, because the online calculator is not even close to actual sale prices? Which ever way you slice it, it is not favorable for alamy.

 

Bottom line, I am not happy at all with how alamy hands out my work for pennies on the dollar/pound.

 

Re because it is a % of sale, therefore, it is good, is very short sighted. With RM, I expect alamy to sell at official calculator prices, then the % is justified because they keep up the bargain. However, if alamy decides to go low, then that should not be at my expense. I should get the $ value from full price sale, and alamy can keep the whatever is left over. That would keep prices at >50% of calculator value. 

 

I guess I am in the minority here. I find it better to donate my work to the Smithsonian and getting invited for paid talks, rather than getting pennies from alamy.

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I feel squeezed on prices also. Yet I also realize that print media is becoming rarer every year. I've seen iconic magazines that were around when I was a toddler shut their doors.

Newspapers are folding. The newspaper I subscribe to, The Oklahoman, has raised subscription prices hugely over the past 10 years, while giving fewer features, reducing the size of the printed page and just recently, stopped their presses and are letting the other big city in Oklahoma print theirs and ours, which delays delivery a bit.

 

A lot of advertising is going online. Fewer advertising dollars, less money to go around. My paper has their own photographers still, but I can see the day coming when those will go. They are hanging on by their fingernails. I can see the day when I might have to order cage liners for my parrots' cages while I read the digital newspaper on my iPad.

 

While I would love to get $180-250 prices for my images like when I joined Alamy, I understand why I don't get them but rarely now.

It is what it is, and we can either decide if it's worth it or not.

 

The buyers are squeezing the agencies, the owners of the companies where the buyers work are squeezing the editors. Not sure where the Buck stops, but not many bucks are stopping in my pocket.

 

Betty

Edited by Betty LaRue
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SLR:

 

Looking at your response, I'm disappointed, I'm sorry you didn't ask this group about Alamy's adherence to the price calculator before you uploaded and keyworded so many images. Many of us would have been happy to explain the situation to you. Indeed, the knowledge here is so great that in many ways, it exceeds what Alamy actually knows about itself. I urge you to think of this board as a resource - really the best resource - on Alamy practice. 

 

We may seem a tiny bit lost as individuals, but collectively, we really know our stuff.

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Buyers squeeze the agencies/libraries for lower prices because they easily can.  When there is a gross oversupply of something the pricing becomes very negotiable.

 

There is an increasing gross oversupply/glut of stock photographers and images available with no end in sight.   How much has Alamy's image library grown in the last 10 years?  Less than 10 mil to now almost 100 million images?   

 

With the rise of digital camera technology everyone thats interested enough can become a stock photographer. The entry barriers to becoming a stock photographer have been greatly reduced by digital technology. The reduction in image value and pricing is a natural result of this glut of stock photographers and images.  Of course none of this is new news to most of us. 

 

Stock photographers have no leverage to influence Alamy's pricing of stock images due to the image oversupply that in turn leads to the stock image marketplace creating pressure for cheaper and cheaper image pricing.  

 

We willfully signed Alamy's contract that gives them full pricing discretion. If the pricing of our images becomes disagreeable there is an untold number of stock image producers and images that will fill the void in short order.

 

I don't like it either - It ain't pretty but it is what it is.    

 

"We have met the enemy and he is us".

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Well said, Phillipe. As Geoff says also, unfortunately that's how it is. Gone are the days when a 'normal' sale would be in excess of $200!!

Jim. ;) 

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From my perspective the business went insane when the world’s richest disruptive entities started buying up all of the mom and pop RM photo libraries. This was 5 years before microstock and 10 years before microstock caught on with clients. Microstock is too simple an explanation for today’s prices.

 
The disruptive things the worlds richest entities did was shift from RM to RF. They engage in price wars. They gave away free stock RF photographs on CD, along with their software. They opened the flood gates to amateur photographers. They formed their own stock production companies, when their full time professional stock photographers stopped producing.
 
Ironically they disrupted themselves, and shot themselves in the groin. Some went bankrupt. Some were forced to sell. Some never ever made a profit. Now a microstock company, formed much later in 2006, is eating the remaining survivors for breakfast.
 
Alamy has been very straight up about low price expectations. Alamy even produced a video about low prices.  Maybe some of you remember the Alamy video of the focus group made up of Alamy clients who wanted even lower prices. 
 
You would have to be willfully blind, given the insanity that has been going on since 1995, to be surprised, insulted, or outraged by low prices.
 
This guy could open your eyes.
 
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From my perspective the business went insane when the world’s richest disruptive entities started buying up all of the mom and pop RM photo libraries. This was 5 years before microstock and 10 years before microstock caught on with clients. Microstock is too simple an explanation for today’s prices.

 
The disruptive things the worlds richest entities did was shift from RM to RF. They engage in price wars. They gave away free stock RF photographs on CD, along with their software. They opened the flood gates to amateur photographers. They formed their own stock production companies, when their full time professional stock photographers stopped producing.
 
Ironically they disrupted themselves, and shot themselves in the groin. Some went bankrupt. Some were forced to sell. Some never ever made a profit. Now a microstock company, formed much later in 2006, is eating the remaining survivors for breakfast.
 
Alamy has been very straight up about low price expectations. Alamy even produced a video about low prices.  Maybe some of you remember the Alamy video of the focus group made up of Alamy clients who wanted even lower prices. 
 
You would have to be willfully blind, given the insanity that has been going on since 1995, to be surprised, insulted, or outraged by low prices.
 
This guy could open your eyes.
 

 

 

I have been arguing for a long time that stock  photography, especially the easy generic stuff, will go the way of clip-art, Who buys clip-art these days? Yet I remember CDs of clip art being sold for $100, then $10 before being given away on the front of magazines ... Now we have extensive creative commons for images.

 

Photography will be like graphic art and illustration within a few years. There will be a tiny number of photographers doing it on well-paid assignments for major clients, rather more doing it for a modest income and loads dreaming of making a living from it.

 

Perhaps that time is already here? :(

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