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Author Topic: 40% distributor commission  (Read 6091 times)

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ultimagina

« on: September 10, 2014, 10:20 »
0
I sometimes get sales on Alamy (maybe 1 or 2 per month), but today I see for the first time a $136 sale split as follows:

- 30% Alamy Distribution Commission
- 40% Distributor Commission

It looks like my share is only 30% instead of the usual 50%

Is this split based on some new deal and I missed the memo?


« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2014, 10:46 »
+2
That's the most recent change - distributor sales are now 30% for the photographer - so you get 50% of what Alamy gets instead of 60%. Still better than the micros but I miss the old days when sales and commission % were both higher.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2014, 21:21 by wordplanet »

« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2014, 11:06 »
+11
You can only do it once a year, but I opted out of distributor sales after they made this change because I consider it truly insane to pay someone who does nothing 40% of a sale when I get only 30%. Whoever bought from the distributor could have just gone to alamy.com and made the purchase there.

In the internet age, I cannot see how the partner deals - which effectively increase the take for everyone but the person who created the content - still exist. I know people do all sorts of distribution deals with Getty - artist licenses to small local agency and then agency does a deal with the big fish Getty. That seems to make some sense given Getty's reach. But in the case of Alamy, which is not a small local agency, I don't understand.

Valo

« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2014, 13:18 »
0
That has been around for a year or so. It it the latest change, but not recent.

« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2014, 04:19 »
0
I consider it truly insane to pay someone who does nothing 40%

In the internet age, I cannot see how the partner deals - which effectively increase the take for everyone but the person who created the content - still exist.

Don't underestimate the power of local agents to work very hard and make deals with customers in that territory. Language barrier aside, these distributors often have exclusive deals with publishers in those territories meaning that certain buyers will ONLY buy from them and not look elsewhere. Sales made by distributors are sales which would not have been made via Alamy.com otherwise.

Of course it's your decision if you want to opt in or not, but our honest advice is to opt in. On average it will mean a 20% increase in your yearly revenue.

« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2014, 07:43 »
+3
I consider it truly insane to pay someone who does nothing 40%

In the internet age, I cannot see how the partner deals - which effectively increase the take for everyone but the person who created the content - still exist.

Don't underestimate the power of local agents to work very hard and make deals with customers in that territory. Language barrier aside, these distributors often have exclusive deals with publishers in those territories meaning that certain buyers will ONLY buy from them and not look elsewhere. Sales made by distributors are sales which would not have been made via Alamy.com otherwise.

Of course it's your decision if you want to opt in or not, but our honest advice is to opt in. On average it will mean a 20% increase in your yearly revenue.

But why so much of a cut? The person producing the work is the loser in this deal.

ShadySue

« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2014, 09:27 »
+1
You can only do it once a year, but I opted out of distributor sales after they made this change because I consider it truly insane to pay someone who does nothing 40% of a sale when I get only 30%.
On the other hand (and I don't say I like it any more than you do), and bearing in mind what was said about your post, (one of) your favourite site(s) pays some nebulous percentage 'averaging between 30 - 35%' for all sales.
Ironically, it's the larger value sales I get from Alamy which tend to be distributor.

Valo

« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2014, 14:22 »
0
I consider it truly insane to pay someone who does nothing 40%

In the internet age, I cannot see how the partner deals - which effectively increase the take for everyone but the person who created the content - still exist.

Don't underestimate the power of local agents to work very hard and make deals with customers in that territory. Language barrier aside, these distributors often have exclusive deals with publishers in those territories meaning that certain buyers will ONLY buy from them and not look elsewhere. Sales made by distributors are sales which would not have been made via Alamy.com otherwise.

Of course it's your decision if you want to opt in or not, but our honest advice is to opt in. On average it will mean a 20% increase in your yearly revenue.

But why so much of a cut? The person producing the work is the loser in this deal.
Great question, now watch James come in again and see a true spin doctor at work.  ;)

« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2014, 19:22 »
0
It seems to me that deals like this are just a way for agencies to add sales people at no risk and no cost.  This 'distributor' is just an independent sales rep working totally on commission. The commission comes out of what used to be our piece of the pie, so to the agency it's just another sale.  And they don't even have to give these new salesmen health insurance. 

As always, we're expected to buy in because these sales are to people who would never otherwise buy an image.  Apparently they live in Antarctic research stations with no internet access, and the hard-working distributor has to go there on cross-country skis to get the sale. 


« Last Edit: September 12, 2014, 09:34 by stockastic »

ShadySue

« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2014, 06:11 »
+3
Is it likely that Alamy would forego 20% (they also go down to 30% on a distributor sale) if they thought these buyers would come to them directly?

« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2014, 12:47 »
+2
I had to read the numbers again - I see I misrepresented the deal, and - on paper at least - Alamy covers part of this polar expedition.  That doesn't make it look any better to me. The idea that the way to increase sales is to add another middleman who gets more than I get is just absurd.   And I don't buy the story that there are lots of customers out there who want digital images but won't buy them from the Alamy web site.  Come on guys.

« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2014, 18:26 »
+1
How many sites do you think buyers search on? Of course making deals with distributors makes sense - most buyers look at one site or a handful at most. Searching for the right image takes time - something many buyers don't want to waste too much of - which is why we all want our images on page one. If your stuff is on more sites, you have a better chance of it being seen and a better chance of licensing it. Otherwise, we'd all just sell our stuff off our own sites or via one agency.

I have to agree with ShadySue's analysis and Alamy's decision that 30% of something is better than no sale at all.




« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2014, 20:52 »
+3
...30% of something is better than no sale at all.

And that is exactly how we got to the point that we're at today.

« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2014, 21:16 »
+5
...30% of something is better than no sale at all.

And that is exactly how we got to the point that we're at today.

Exactly.

« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2014, 21:20 »
+4
...30% of something is better than no sale at all.

And that is exactly how we got to the point that we're at today.

Point taken. But that is where we're at. They've given us the choice to opt out of the distribution program, so we are each free to decide if 30% is worth it.

Valo

« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2014, 01:52 »
+1
...30% of something is better than no sale at all.

And that is exactly how we got to the point that we're at today.

Point taken. But that is where we're at. They've given us the choice to opt out of the distribution program, so we are each free to decide if 30% is worth it.
That is not the point, the point is why does a distributor who literally has to do  nothing, get 40%? More than the issuing agency and more than the image creator. The party who does the least, gets the most.

ShadySue

« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2014, 07:47 »
+4
...30% of something is better than no sale at all.

And that is exactly how we got to the point that we're at today.

Point taken. But that is where we're at. They've given us the choice to opt out of the distribution program, so we are each free to decide if 30% is worth it.
That is not the point, the point is why does a distributor who literally has to do  nothing, get 40%? More than the issuing agency and more than the image creator. The party who does the least, gets the most.
If you don't believe what Alamy posted above, you have to question why you're in business with liars at worst (mind you, that would rule out a LOT of agencies), clueless business people at best. But at least you can opt out. I don't think there's any possible empircal way we can know whether opting out has lost us sales, or if people did buy our files anyway.
Personally, I'm actually more concerned (as I've said before) that the cut our Alamy commission from 60% to 50% 'to help set up a US office', and yet now that they have said officially that the US office is doing very well, our percentage hasn't been restored, not even by 5% as a halfway measure.


« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2014, 09:00 »
+1
...30% of something is better than no sale at all.

And that is exactly how we got to the point that we're at today.

Point taken. But that is where we're at. They've given us the choice to opt out of the distribution program, so we are each free to decide if 30% is worth it.
That is not the point, the point is why does a distributor who literally has to do  nothing, get 40%? More than the issuing agency and more than the image creator. The party who does the least, gets the most.
If you don't believe what Alamy posted above, you have to question why you're in business with liars at worst (mind you, that would rule out a LOT of agencies), clueless business people at best. But at least you can opt out. I don't think there's any possible empircal way we can know whether opting out has lost us sales, or if people did buy our files anyway.
Personally, I'm actually more concerned (as I've said before) that the cut our Alamy commission from 60% to 50% 'to help set up a US office', and yet now that they have said officially that the US office is doing very well, our percentage hasn't been restored, not even by 5% as a halfway measure.

Right. The ONLY thing I personally have received is fewer sales and smaller sales since the official opening of the US office. Anyway all agencies use this logic to appease most contributors knowing darn well this is just a way to play for something through their contributors.  And mix in two of the biggest factors: collection growth and pricing pressures and it's really hard accept that a move to the USA would actually yield any benefit for the contributor as a whole. Maybe Alamy needed to do it to stay above water. Maybe they did see good revenue lift, but that was spread over more contributors, more images and at lower prices against lower commissions. The net return for contributors is down, while the net gain for Alamy may be up slightly or kept neutral by the move.

« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2014, 10:08 »
+1
Just like the "U.S. Office" funding - I see this latest "distributor" deal as just another way to reduce our piece of the pie.

If Alamy needs more sales people, it should hire them. If there are reasons whey some people won't buy directly from Alamy's web site, then address those issues.  Don't tell us that the only answer is another shadowy outside "partner" receiving an enormous percentage for unspecified services.

I don't think the people at Alamy are crooks or liars; I just think the company is in a slide with no obvious way to turn it around.   Maybe they need new capital and have no way to raise it.

It doesn't matter anyway,  my sales this year are about 10% of last year's.  I'll probably just close the account at the end of the year. 
« Last Edit: September 13, 2014, 10:14 by stockastic »

ShadySue

« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2014, 10:14 »
+2
The party who does the least, gets the most.
'Twere ever thus.
Ask food growers.

« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2014, 11:09 »
+4

As a contributor, I get what you mean by "the party who does the least gets the most" - especially IF you're talking about the amount of work -
But the Amount of work often is not what determines someone's fee in a business that Sells a service, product - Sales tend to be king.


The commission to partner agencies has to be large enough for them to bother taking it.


Some options: opt out of partner/distributor deals --- avoid agencies that don't have opt out for partner deals (which will mean avoiding a lot of agencies) ---- work smart to develop/find ways to sell your work directly - freelance, be employee, be owner...


As an aside -
When I was looking into listing house with real estate broker using Multiple Listing, I didn't aim for lowest possible commission fee, since my property, though nice, was not special enough to motivate a broker to work as hard to promote & sell it for less commission than other nice houses. Now, if I didn't care how long it took to sell home, could be a different matter.

- Ann

...30% of something is better than no sale at all.

And that is exactly how we got to the point that we're at today.

Point taken. But that is where we're at. They've given us the choice to opt out of the distribution program, so we are each free to decide if 30% is worth it.
That is not the point, the point is why does a distributor who literally has to do  nothing, get 40%? More than the issuing agency and more than the image creator. The party who does the least, gets the most.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2014, 11:16 by ann »

« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2014, 14:29 »
+1
In the past year my sales on Alamy were so dismal that I stopped uploading any new content there!!  And the rates seemed to drop pretty dramatically as well.  This site is just not worth uploading for me as a  contributor.   

Valo

« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2014, 15:09 »
0
...30% of something is better than no sale at all.

And that is exactly how we got to the point that we're at today.

Point taken. But that is where we're at. They've given us the choice to opt out of the distribution program, so we are each free to decide if 30% is worth it.
That is not the point, the point is why does a distributor who literally has to do  nothing, get 40%? More than the issuing agency and more than the image creator. The party who does the least, gets the most.
If you don't believe what Alamy posted above, you have to question why you're in business with liars at worst (mind you, that would rule out a LOT of agencies), clueless business people at best. But at least you can opt out. I don't think there's any possible empircal way we can know whether opting out has lost us sales, or if people did buy our files anyway.
Personally, I'm actually more concerned (as I've said before) that the cut our Alamy commission from 60% to 50% 'to help set up a US office', and yet now that they have said officially that the US office is doing very well, our percentage hasn't been restored, not even by 5% as a halfway measure.
What did Alamy say then? That a distributor has to work hard? For what? They market their own site, they have a sales team that sell their product. Wont they be doing that anyway without Alamy images? Alamy does the reviews, the images are just send to the partner through API. The partner does nothing extra to sell these images. They get 40% for that. You complain a lot about istock, but why is it you defend Alamy for cutting you 70%?

Also, dont assume anything about my business, you know nothing about that.  ;)

ShadySue

« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2014, 15:30 »
0
If you don't believe what Alamy posted above, you have to question why you're in business with liars at worst (mind you, that would rule out a LOT of agencies), clueless business people at best. But at least you can opt out. I don't think there's any possible empircal way we can know whether opting out has lost us sales, or if people did buy our files anyway.
Personally, I'm actually more concerned (as I've said before) that the cut our Alamy commission from 60% to 50% 'to help set up a US office', and yet now that they have said officially that the US office is doing very well, our percentage hasn't been restored, not even by 5% as a halfway measure.
What did Alamy say then? That a distributor has to work hard? For what? They market their own site, they have a sales team that sell their product. Wont they be doing that anyway without Alamy images? Alamy does the reviews, the images are just send to the partner through API. The partner does nothing extra to sell these images. They get 40% for that. You complain a lot about istock, but why is it you defend Alamy for cutting you 70%?
Where did I defend them?
Did you read all of this thread or just my last post?
I repeat:
Either one believes what they said above, in this thread, or one doesn't, viz:
 "Don't underestimate the power of local agents to work very hard and make deals with customers in that territory. Language barrier aside, these distributors often have exclusive deals with publishers in those territories meaning that certain buyers will ONLY buy from them and not look elsewhere. Sales made by distributors are sales which would not have been made via Alamy.com otherwise."
If one doesn't believe it, one has the right to opt out, though that right can only be exercised each April IIRC.
Quote
You complain a lot about istock, but why is it you defend Alamy for cutting you 70%?
Actually, my complaints about iStock generally refer to their broken promises and arrangements. One of my complaints is that according to the deal I signed up to I should be earning 35% now, not 30% as I get.
When I signed up to Alamy, the deal was 60% for Alamy sales, 40% for distributor sales and one could opt out of the latter.
Now these have been reduced by 10% each, so my Alamy complaint is exactly the same as my iStock percentage complaint: moving the goalposts.
Quote
Also, dont assume anything about my business, you know nothing about that.  ;)
I should have said 'one' not 'you' - I wasn't addressing my remarks to you alone but to people in general - but that tends to look pretentious (like my paragraph above) and I forget most of the time. It's general use here to use a generic 'you' (which can be plural as well as singular) instead of 'one', but it can be ambiguous, granted.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2014, 17:42 by ShadySue »

Valo

« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2014, 15:45 »
0
Yes ShadySue, I have read that bit. I stand by my point.

ShadySue

« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2014, 15:48 »
+3
Yes ShadySue, I have read that bit. I stand by my point.
Fair enough.
Opt out in April, if it's relevant to you, and be happy.  :)

Valo

« Reply #26 on: September 14, 2014, 00:53 »
-4
It is not relevant to me ShadySue, I have opted out of Alamy already as they are not to be trusted. Their business is shady, look into their owners and business structure and money streams. 89% of it's profits goes to one charity - the Fischer Family Trust, a charity whose address is the same as Alamy's and whose trustee is Alamy co-founder Mike Fischer,  who is CEO James West's uncle.  :o

ShadySue

« Reply #27 on: September 14, 2014, 02:21 »
+2
Sorry on phone - computer not connecting to the internet. For clarity this is in reply to Valo' s suggestion that Alamy's business is shady as 85% of its profits goes to his uncle's charity:

How is that shady in itself? IMO running an agency to support a charity is far better than to keep someone  in a multi million dollar flat overlooking Central Park, or to keep a lot of venture capitalists happy.  If JW kept 100% of the profit of his own business, would that be 'shady'? If he gave 85% of the profit to his uncle, would that be 'shady'?
What on earth is 'shady' about running a business to support a charity?
The money going to a family charity is no secret and was originally a strong positive for me in considering Alamy. I've already posted that I've read undefended suggestions on Alamy's forum that the research done by the charity had not been very effective. Thay may or may not be true, but if you find an agency which gives us more than 50% / 30% and supports charity with more than 85% of the profits, be sure to let us know.

BTW, according to Wikipedia, Mike Fischer, co-founder of Research Machines, whose educational software was for many years (no idea about nowadays) used in UK schools, is co-founder of Alamy.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2014, 14:26 by ShadySue »

Valo

« Reply #28 on: September 14, 2014, 03:02 »
-2
Good for you.

« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2014, 04:09 »
+6
It seems a rather blinkered and silly view to suggest that any distributor selling our work does "literally nothing".  The equal and opposite view would be that photographers don't deserve to get paid when all they did was press a button.  No doubt successful distributors are engaged in negotiating deals, advertising their services and wining and dining potential clients, among other things. It's a job that has lots of behind the scenes skills, work and expenses, just like creating images does.

[Come to think of it, that seems to be almost exactly the degree of respect that some agencies, like Fotolia and perhaps Veer,  have for contributors].
« Last Edit: September 14, 2014, 04:11 by BaldricksTrousers »


 

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