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Author Topic: RF versus RM versus Microstock versus Midstock  (Read 2202 times)

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steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« on: June 26, 2017, 13:21 »
+2
The perennial question for contributors is whether to submit a "great" image to the midstock agencies (such as Alamy) and make it RM rather than submitting to all agencies (which makes it RF almost by definition) and losing the chance of those high priced RM sales. I decided I really need to analyse that question as best I could with my own sales to see if I could come up with an answer (that works for my sort of portfolio).

The logic and my conclusion is on my blog: http://www.backyardsilver.com/2017/06/decide-whether-submit-macro-sites/

I may, of course, be very wrong, but would welcome counter arguments.

Steve


Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2017, 16:23 »
0
Quote
The perennial question for contributors is whether to submit a "great" image to the midstock agencies (such as Alamy) and make it RM rather than submitting to all agencies (which makes it RF almost by definition) and losing the chance of those high priced RM sales. I decided I really need to analyse that question as best I could with my own sales to see if I could come up with an answer (that works for my sort of portfolio).

The logic and my conclusion is on my blog: http://www.backyardsilver.com/2017/06/decide-whether-submit-macro-sites/

I may, of course, be very wrong, but would welcome counter arguments.

Steve


This is an interesting and useful discussion.

As for newbies, it can be a bit overwhelming to think about licensing (RF v RM / Commercial v Editorial = 4 possible different combination). Obviously if you're just submitting to Micros, as most newbs start out, that choice is limited to 2 combinations RF Commercial or Editorial and the agency will let you know if you made the wrong choice in case there's identifiable people and/or property.

Soon enough all contributors will have to think about where to upload their premium images. The 'safe' choice is to go with RF across the board but that 'leaves money on the table' on some images. I think it all depends on the type of image and contributors must get a feel for how rare or unique a certain image is which takes empirical knowledge.

Interestingly, Robert Harding, gives the choice of "either RF or RM", which I find peculiar. Not exactly sure how that would work in practice (must be some sort of hybrid exclusive license). I'll try to find out more and put together an article - maybe it's the way forward to give buyers greater flexibility / choice...

Alex

steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2017, 16:37 »
0
You mention leaving money on the table with an RF choice. I think the case I am trying to make with my own results is that on Alamy and Getty (non-exclusive) there does not seem to be a significant extra revenue from choosing RM these days. In fact, my numbers show that RF earns more on these sites than RM (at least for me).

Steve

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2017, 16:55 »
0
True, your earnings examples are clear, would like to see a bigger sample though so would be interesting to analyze in a few months/years. I would be curious to know if any of your RM licenses are renewed after usage / time period, whereas the RF would probably not be renewed unless upgraded to an extended license.

I have to admit that I do have a slight prejudice against RF, as there's little to no control about how the images are used and re-used. That's fine for most generic images. But for the premium ones, I much prefer having more control and able to track usages and mis usages.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2017, 17:05 by Brasilnut »

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2017, 16:55 »
0
You mention leaving money on the table with an RF choice. I think the case I am trying to make with my own results is that on Alamy and Getty (non-exclusive) there does not seem to be a significant extra revenue from choosing RM these days. In fact, my numbers show that RF earns more on these sites than RM (at least for me).

Steve

Which makes sense for RM purchases without any exclusive uses for the buyer, as RF allows for a lot more uses.
BTW, for any readers who don't know, Alamy allows for non-exclusive RM sales, at a lower price, for all RF files there. They call it a hybrid licence and the default on RF files (left hand screenshot) RM sales with an RF dropdown. Only when you click on the dropdown arrow do you see the size options for purchasing an RF licence (right hand screenshot):


(BTW, for newbies, be aware that the rack prices, shown above, are very seldom reached through Alamy sales. Most buyers seem to have negotiated deep discounts.)
« Last Edit: June 26, 2017, 16:58 by ShadySue »

angelawaye

  • Eat, Sleep, Keyword. Repeat

« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2017, 19:44 »
0
RM Exclusive on Alamy earned me very little. I was surprised at the low amount of royalty for the RM license I received. I pulled the images and listed them on Pond5 for $100 instead.

« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2017, 20:09 »
+6
People think every RM license is going to hit the lottery.  The point of RM is buy the rights you need.  If you're only printing a 500 copy book, you don't need the rights you do for a full page nationwide ad.

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2017, 21:02 »
+3
I guess a just as important question would be what constitutes a 'great' image. Not knocking your stuff, I've not seen it, but people have always had a wildly varying definition of what 'great' looks like.

« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2017, 01:45 »
0
I guess a just as important question would be what constitutes a 'great' image. Not knocking your stuff, I've not seen it, but people have always had a wildly varying definition of what 'great' looks like.
To me a "great" image is one that is in short supply with a demand for it. So if you were lucky enough to have a unicorn in your garden no matter how technically and aesthetically poor the shot was it would be "great". Its not about art its about supply and demand.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2017, 02:52 »
+1
RM Exclusive on Alamy earned me very little. I was surprised at the low amount of royalty for the RM license I received. I pulled the images and listed them on Pond5 for $100 instead.
That's interesting. I think I've only read of a couple of RM sales with buyer exclusivity from Alamy before and they were for high sums (well over $100 net). It's actually really uncommon there.
Can you remember what rights the buyer bought, and how much you got?

Now that I think about it, I suppose buyers wanting to buy out rights could still have negotiated a huge discount.

Or are you mixing up having images exclusively on Alamy with buyers buying exclusive rights?
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 05:32 by ShadySue »

« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2017, 05:53 »
0
I sold a file with 250$ (125$ net) on Alamy as RF, so it possible to earn nice money also as RF...

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2017, 06:09 »
0
I guess a just as important question would be what constitutes a 'great' image. Not knocking your stuff, I've not seen it, but people have always had a wildly varying definition of what 'great' looks like.
To me a "great" image is one that is in short supply with a demand for it. So if you were lucky enough to have a unicorn in your garden no matter how technically and aesthetically poor the shot was it would be "great". Its not about art its about supply and demand.

I've often thought about the unicorn in the garden scenario (well, not that exactly, but that sort of thing!)
If I ever came across that, I'd have no idea were to send it.
I don't know any macros which would accept one unique image, and on Alamy it's not about the image, it's about how much discount the buyer has negotiated. [Disclaimer: I've never sold anything directly from Live News, so that may be worth a lot more, or not. I don't know whether Live News from the UK would feed to buyers in the UKNS (if one is opted into that), and whether their low price applies to that, or whether as Alamy claim, they would NOT be fed to newspapers in the UKNS if one isn't opted into it. Too many imponderables!]

Anyone have any suggestions for the one truly unique photo, in case I ever get one?

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2017, 06:24 »
0
Quote
Anyone have any suggestions for the one truly unique photo, in case I ever get one?


Some interesting insights on the following article on why the attached photo went viral and other similar images didn't (source: Burhan OzbiliciAP):

http://time.com/4608713/russia-turkey-assassination-photos/

Quote
AP capitalized on that nowness when it uploaded Ozbilici's image to Facebook. As a staff photographer, he can file his images directly to editors who can then have them posted quickly on the wire and social networks. This particular frame was uploaded when the world was still in shock that the shooting had even occurred. By the next evening it had been shared more than 58,000 times. Alatan and Kilic work for smaller outlets; their images were later distributed that afternoon by Reuters and Agence France-Presse but did not receive similar promotional efforts.

« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2017, 06:30 »
0
I guess a just as important question would be what constitutes a 'great' image. Not knocking your stuff, I've not seen it, but people have always had a wildly varying definition of what 'great' looks like.
To me a "great" image is one that is in short supply with a demand for it. So if you were lucky enough to have a unicorn in your garden no matter how technically and aesthetically poor the shot was it would be "great". Its not about art its about supply and demand.

I've often thought about the unicorn in the garden scenario (well, not that exactly, but that sort of thing!)
If I ever came across that, I'd have no idea were to send it.
I don't know any macros which would accept one unique image, and on Alamy it's not about the image, it's about how much discount the buyer has negotiated. [Disclaimer: I've never sold anything directly from Live News, so that may be worth a lot more, or not. I don't know whether Live News from the UK would feed to buyers in the UKNS (if one is opted into that), and whether their low price applies to that, or whether as Alamy claim, they would NOT be fed to newspapers in the UKNS if one isn't opted into it. Too many imponderables!]

Anyone have any suggestions for the one truly unique photo, in case I ever get one?
I've never had one but I would imagine it would depend on the image e.g Newspaper for celebs, Specialist magazines for natural phenomena. I reckon you'd have to do a bit of research to know where to sell it. I wouldn't be that surprised if its a lot less than you might think ;-). A unique photo is the extreme but If I had a set of something hard to replicate I would put it on RM.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2017, 07:15 »
0
I guess a just as important question would be what constitutes a 'great' image. Not knocking your stuff, I've not seen it, but people have always had a wildly varying definition of what 'great' looks like.
To me a "great" image is one that is in short supply with a demand for it. So if you were lucky enough to have a unicorn in your garden no matter how technically and aesthetically poor the shot was it would be "great". Its not about art its about supply and demand.

I've often thought about the unicorn in the garden scenario (well, not that exactly, but that sort of thing!)
If I ever came across that, I'd have no idea were to send it.
I don't know any macros which would accept one unique image, and on Alamy it's not about the image, it's about how much discount the buyer has negotiated. [Disclaimer: I've never sold anything directly from Live News, so that may be worth a lot more, or not. I don't know whether Live News from the UK would feed to buyers in the UKNS (if one is opted into that), and whether their low price applies to that, or whether as Alamy claim, they would NOT be fed to newspapers in the UKNS if one isn't opted into it. Too many imponderables!]

Anyone have any suggestions for the one truly unique photo, in case I ever get one?
I've never had one but I would imagine it would depend on the image e.g Newspaper for celebs, Specialist magazines for natural phenomena. I reckon you'd have to do a bit of research to know where to sell it. I wouldn't be that surprised if its a lot less than you might think ;-). A unique photo is the extreme but If I had a set of something hard to replicate I would put it on RM.
I'm not asking about RM/RF, and in fact you could get more for RF, but which actual agency/ies would accept one unique image from an otherwise unknown to them tog.

« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2017, 07:19 »
+1
I guess a just as important question would be what constitutes a 'great' image. Not knocking your stuff, I've not seen it, but people have always had a wildly varying definition of what 'great' looks like.
To me a "great" image is one that is in short supply with a demand for it. So if you were lucky enough to have a unicorn in your garden no matter how technically and aesthetically poor the shot was it would be "great". Its not about art its about supply and demand.

I've often thought about the unicorn in the garden scenario (well, not that exactly, but that sort of thing!)
If I ever came across that, I'd have no idea were to send it.
I don't know any macros which would accept one unique image, and on Alamy it's not about the image, it's about how much discount the buyer has negotiated. [Disclaimer: I've never sold anything directly from Live News, so that may be worth a lot more, or not. I don't know whether Live News from the UK would feed to buyers in the UKNS (if one is opted into that), and whether their low price applies to that, or whether as Alamy claim, they would NOT be fed to newspapers in the UKNS if one isn't opted into it. Too many imponderables!]

Anyone have any suggestions for the one truly unique photo, in case I ever get one?
I've never had one but I would imagine it would depend on the image e.g Newspaper for celebs, Specialist magazines for natural phenomena. I reckon you'd have to do a bit of research to know where to sell it. I wouldn't be that surprised if its a lot less than you might think ;-). A unique photo is the extreme but If I had a set of something hard to replicate I would put it on RM.
I'm not asking about RM/RF, and in fact you could get more for RF, but which actual agency/ies would accept one unique image from an otherwise unknown to them tog.
Think I would be looking to sell direct to a publication....hypothetical really I doubt I'll ever get a unique image.........wait whats that in the garden  ::)

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2017, 07:48 »
0
I guess a just as important question would be what constitutes a 'great' image. Not knocking your stuff, I've not seen it, but people have always had a wildly varying definition of what 'great' looks like.
To me a "great" image is one that is in short supply with a demand for it. So if you were lucky enough to have a unicorn in your garden no matter how technically and aesthetically poor the shot was it would be "great". Its not about art its about supply and demand.

I've often thought about the unicorn in the garden scenario (well, not that exactly, but that sort of thing!)
If I ever came across that, I'd have no idea were to send it.
I don't know any macros which would accept one unique image, and on Alamy it's not about the image, it's about how much discount the buyer has negotiated. [Disclaimer: I've never sold anything directly from Live News, so that may be worth a lot more, or not. I don't know whether Live News from the UK would feed to buyers in the UKNS (if one is opted into that), and whether their low price applies to that, or whether as Alamy claim, they would NOT be fed to newspapers in the UKNS if one isn't opted into it. Too many imponderables!]

Anyone have any suggestions for the one truly unique photo, in case I ever get one?
I've never had one but I would imagine it would depend on the image e.g Newspaper for celebs, Specialist magazines for natural phenomena. I reckon you'd have to do a bit of research to know where to sell it. I wouldn't be that surprised if its a lot less than you might think ;-). A unique photo is the extreme but If I had a set of something hard to replicate I would put it on RM.
I'm not asking about RM/RF, and in fact you could get more for RF, but which actual agency/ies would accept one unique image from an otherwise unknown to them tog.
Think I would be looking to sell direct to a publication....hypothetical really I doubt I'll ever get a unique image.........wait whats that in the garden  ::)
Oh, I doubt if I'll get anything either, but it's worth thinking about strategies 'just in case'.
I had a locally unique set of images (needs particular weather conditions, only twice here in at least 40 years, then the thing has to happen, and you have to know about it happening). There are no other images of it online. [Not remotely globally unique, but mine featured a local landmark] Tried two local papers, and like dragonblade discovered (other thread), they don't pay for speculatively-submitted images. I did sell one a couple of years later as secondary editorial on Alamy, for $26 net (to a UK national newspaper, apparently not in the UKNS)
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 13:46 by ShadySue »


steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2017, 07:54 »
0
Quote
A unique photo is the extreme but If I had a set of something hard to replicate I would put it on RM

This statement made me think more about this - I think RM makes sense (on Alamy at any rate) if the image is going to be in demand for multiple uses by the same buyer. So if a newspaper was likely to use the same image on four or five different occasions as the news developed, then they would have to relicense it multiple times (or pay more for that sort of mulitple use license).

It is harder to think of a similar use-case for non-news uses, which is why I came to the conclusion that pretty much any image should be RF and on all agencies. I can't really see the reason we would submit now as RM even for a "great" shot.

Steve

angelawaye

  • Eat, Sleep, Keyword. Repeat

« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2017, 07:55 »
0
I earned $25 for the RM sale and it was EXCLUSIVE.

steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2017, 07:58 »
+1
Where does it say exclusive? It says editorial.

angelawaye

  • Eat, Sleep, Keyword. Repeat

« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2017, 08:00 »
0
Actually, now that I think about it, I earned less than $25 because I believe the $25 on the right side was the sale price - not my earnings...

I could be wrong but I could have made more than $25 (or less) as RF for the image.

angelawaye

  • Eat, Sleep, Keyword. Repeat

« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2017, 08:01 »
0
Where does it say exclusive? It says editorial.
That is strange. It is definitely NOT editorial...

« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2017, 08:53 »
0
A great image and something I know will fetch good revenue is completely wasted in micro nowadays that is. I much rather put it up as Rm or Rf ( not at Alamy god forbid) but some others. RM's I tend to give to specialized agencies and not the generalists.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2017, 09:08 »
0
Where does it say exclusive? It says editorial.
That is strange. It is definitely NOT editorial...
Any file can be used as editorially illustrative.
In fact, editorial files can be used exclusively, that's not the issue.

But the buyer has not bought any sort of exclusivity. That's a very basic sale.
Buyer exclusivity for which they would pay for would be something like
"Worldwide Calendar use, one year"
"US use, five years"
Meaning the file couldn't be used by anyone else for a calendar for a year, or no-one else could use it in the US for five years. Obviously, as that restricts the sales of your file, they have to pay more for that.

The fact that you may have chosen to have the file on sale only at Alamy is totally irrelevant to that. Your sale was not in any way 'exclusive'.

« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2017, 09:47 »
0
Ten years ago I was (RF exclusive) at iS/Getty and making around $12 Per Image Per Year. Alamy RM I was making around $1 PIPY. Granted the material was different which accounted for some of the spread (commercial vs editorial). But the spread was big enough then that anything I thought would be accepted at iS went there as a first choice.

Now I'm making something like $1.35 at iS (RF exclusive 30%) and $.35 at Alamy (RM), the image destination choice is a lot tougher. Then again, the topics recently accepted at iS have excluded a significant portion of my earlier income and production (such as cars). Some of my other work, travel and tourism locations, don't have high sales at iS. So I tend to send them to Alamy in hopes that that one buyer needs the image and is will to pay the bit higher price.

Outside of the bounds of what topics are accepted. I now tend to search the sites and licenses and send images to the site with the least comparable image coverage.


 

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