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Author Topic: Alamy Premium - RM as RF  (Read 7601 times)

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ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« on: August 02, 2011, 08:14 »
0
New Alamy scheme discovered by contributor, not notified to contributors first.
I can't seem to provide links to the Alamy forums which work, but it's the Discussion Forum thread headed 'Premium Account'.
First post was about this article:
http://www.abouttheimage.com/4332/hello_alamy_what_exactly_is_a_premium_account
Followed in the thread by a lot of disbelief etc.
Alamy Sales Pitch
"Regarding photo rates were working on a new package called the Alamy Premium Account, the benefits are:
$49 (US) per image
Unlimited repeat below the line use over 10 years, worldwide*
Un-watermarked try before you buy downloads.
No print run/impression limitations.
Unrestricted file size (typically 50MB).
22 million images available on http://www.alamy.com/bespoke and growing.
No credits, subscriptions or volume commitments.
Unlimited shared access to your library of purchases.
No differentiation between Royalty-free and Rights Managed images. "


A lot of contributor wrath, then on page 4, James West steps in:
"On the subject of Rights Management I must stress that we are not 'giving away rights for everything'. We are experimenting with giving *some* customers a broad set of rights with a time limit and a restriction on high value usages like advertising. I want to see RM images bought back into markets where they are being locked out by the combined forces of microstock pricing and customers requiring simplicity, and I want to see your images pick up those high value advertising sales when they come along.
On the subject of opt-in/opt-outs - (a.) we are always trying out new stuff and (b.) providing opt-in/opt-out for every idea we try is impossible.
My job is to make Alamy viable for producers and consumers of photography, but my company's fortunes are completely tied to those of our contributors. If our business practices were unsustainable for our contributors then the same would apply to Alamy. If Alamy revenues half, contributor revenues half. If Alamy revenues double, contributor revenues double.
If our sole motivation was profit we would raise the commission we charge contributors and raise the prices we charge customers. This would pass the cost of a reduced market share (because some customers would stop using us) onto our contributors (who will make less sales), whilst keeping Alamy's profit levels secure.
This industry has been in a tremendous state of flux over the past decade and the pace of change is accelerating. If we don't stay nimble and open-minded to new ideas, this business will wither on the vine."


Whatever you think or don't think of the scheme, it looks like people like me who sell RF exclusively on iStock and RM on Alamy will have to think again. (Remember, for a while iStock didn't sell editorial, so this was a logical choice,and still is IMO for less usual locations/images).

There is strong suggestion that if you set a restriction, the one suggested being a geographical restriction on selling to a small country with probably few buyers like Togo, that will get your images out of that scheme, but haven't seen that confirmed yet. BUT if you have a restriction on your images, you're automatically opted out of all the international distributors. http://www.alamy.com/Blog/contributor/archive/2008/11/13/3765.aspx I'd say about 40% of my Alamy sales are distributor sales.

Not happy.  >:( :'( Although I make much more on iStock overall, I'm pretty sure I make more at Alamy on the images that sell there than I would at iStock with these images, so don't want to have to leave and move everything over to iStock. Don't actually want all my eggs in one basket either, but don't want the hassle of having to upload to all micros. At the moment, iStock RF/Alamy RM was a good balance for me.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2011, 11:52 by ShadySue »


KB

« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2011, 12:58 »
0
If our sole motivation was profit we would raise the commission we charge contributors and raise the prices we charge customers. This would pass the cost of a reduced market share (because some customers would stop using us) onto our contributors (who will make less sales), whilst keeping Alamy's profit levels secure.

What a silly thing for someone at Alamy to even say. No company in their right mind would ever do such a thing as that.

 ;)

Quote
No differentiation between Royalty-free and Rights Managed images.

Whatever you think or don't think of the scheme, it looks like people like me who sell RF exclusively on iStock and RM on Alamy will have to think again.

Not happy.  >:( :'( Although I make much more on iStock overall, I'm pretty sure I make more at Alamy on the images that sell there than I would at iStock with these images, so don't want to have to leave and move everything over to iStock. Don't actually want all my eggs in one basket either, but don't want the hassle of having to upload to all micros. At the moment, iStock RF/Alamy RM was a good balance for me.

I think you're right. It sounds like this will require all IS exclusives selling RM at Alamy to chose between being exclusive or being on Alamy. I'd expect IS to begin notifying exclusives "soon" that they are in violation of their contracts. Well, once they figure that out, of course.   ;D

RT


« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2011, 17:52 »
0
I'd expect IS to begin notifying exclusives "soon" that they are in violation of their contracts. Well, once they figure that out, of course.   ;D

They'll probably figure it out now you've highlighted it here! Oh and don't forget it takes 6 months to disable an image on Alamy.

« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2011, 18:39 »
0
I'm not really bothered by IS exclusivity, but does that mean that a buyer can get any image for US$49, RM or RF, and use it without any restrictions? That's very bad. :(

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2011, 19:09 »
0
Oh and don't forget it takes 6 months to disable an image on Alamy.
You can effectively 'disable' it from being searched/bought overnight by removing the caption, keywords and location.

RacePhoto

« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2011, 23:00 »
0
I'm not really bothered by IS exclusivity, but does that mean that a buyer can get any image for US$49, RM or RF, and use it without any restrictions? That's very bad. :(

Yeah kind of like some microstock sites where they get the same images, with loser licenses, for $3, or a sub download, and we get 50 cents?  ???

What I don't get is the claim that $49 is a $14 commission. I calculated that it works out to $29 at 60%. What's wrong with my thinking here. Is Alamy/bespoke the same as Alamy? Would it be a partner sale? Then 50% = $25 still not $14. Help me someone?

Yes, Alamy should tell us about how they are marketing our images and allow opt in/out.

Personally, I'd welcome some $29 sales commissions, but I don't have images in the target market. Just like the crummy newspaper deals, I've never had one of those prize sales.

Lets be fair, before becoming a lemming and running off the cliff of despair, without looking at all the facts. "As of today this is only a sales and marketing experiment - with a targeted offer made to a handful of customers in narrow bands of the market. Less than 1% of revenue comes from such offers." James West

"No differentiation between Royalty-free and Rights Managed images." Is that some bad phrasing, and the RM and RF images will still hold their appropriate respective license designation but just sell for the same and have the same usage rights and terms. Does that make any sense? The whole thing is confusing.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2011, 00:24 by RacePhoto »

« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2011, 05:01 »
0
I'm not really bothered by IS exclusivity, but does that mean that a buyer can get any image for US$49, RM or RF, and use it without any restrictions? That's very bad. :(
Yeah kind of like some microstock sites where they get the same images, with loser licenses, for $3, or a sub download, and we get 50 cents?  ???

But it isn't the same, as what I have in Alamy is not micro RF.

Quote
What I don't get is the claim that $49 is a $14 commission.

I have not gone so far in the discussion, but that is odd. Has the plague of lowering commissions reached Alamy? :(

Quote
"No differentiation between Royalty-free and Rights Managed images." Is that some bad phrasing, and the RM and RF images will still hold their appropriate respective license designation but just sell for the same and have the same usage rights and terms. Does that make any sense? The whole thing is confusing.
If they are selling the images for a 10-year worldwide license, repeeated use with no print run limits, this is not a typical RM license anymore, it's RF. Quite confusing indeed. I wouldn't mind this deal for RF images only, but it's odd for RM.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2011, 17:24 »
0
Official reply from James West:

I'd like to clarify some facts behind a couple of reports that are out there that have caused some to comment on our (and other) forums. Someone has posted an email from one of our sales agents to a customer.

Here's the bit of the email that is causing all the trouble:

"Regarding photo rates we're working on a new package called the Alamy Premium Account, the benefits are:

* $49 (US) per image
* Unlimited repeat below the line use over 10 years, worldwide*
* Un-watermarked "try before you buy" downloads
* No print run/impression limitations
* Unrestricted file size (typically 50MB)
* 22 million images available on www.alamy.com/bespoke and growing
* No credits, subscriptions or volume commitments
* Unlimited shared access to your library of purchases
* No differentiation between Royalty-free and Rights Managed images

*definition of below the line: direct mail and collateral, email and PDF, corporate websites and intranet, presentations, public relations, event programmes, sales giveaways, annual reports, office dcor, company handbooks, training docs."

There have been some misinformed comments about this as unfortunately a number of people published it before checking with us first - and this has not been helped by someone using my name making comments that I would never have made.

This particular deal says use it for anything you like, within your industry, as often as you like, for ten years, but not for advertising (because you have to pay more for that).

This is just one example of a number of deals we are testing the market with. Some deals are priced at $49, some at $99, some at $199, some in the high thousands.

We have control over every aspect of each offer. Unwatermarked 'try before you buy' downloads, for example, are only available for customers we can trust with such a feature. We hand pick the customers who have this feature enabled and we keep a close eye on their download activity.

"No differentiation between Royalty-free and Rights Managed images" - this is salespersonspeak for the same terms apply to all the images on Alamy, regardless of their normal license designation. A Royalty Free image bought under this scheme is only useable for the terms set out in the deal.

These deals narrow the usage rights available under a traditional RF license in exchange for simplifying the purchasing experience for the customer. It is not, contrary to some reports out there, rebadging RM as RF. These are Rights Managed licenses, no different from any other kind of broad license we've been selling for years to educational publishers, to name just one example, to cover multiple editions, languages, etc.

The price on offer in each case depends on our analysis of the following:

The scope and range of usages the customer requires
The likelihood of those usages being used to maximum capacity
The impact of microstock in the sector the customer belongs to

In practically all cases, unless the entry-level price is already high enough, we are withholding high value advertising rights from these deals. These are usually negotiated separately or built into a high all-encompassing price.

We have found examples of large consumers of photography who are limiting themselves to mircrostock sites because a. they can't deal with the headache of policing the usage of Rights Managed images across a large distributed marketing teams and b. they are buying such large volumes of imagery (thanks to the explosion of digital platforms) that even conventionally priced royalty free imagery is deemed too expensive.

Our trials have shown that we can cannibalise microstock market share at a much higher price point. Too good to be true? It gets better - some of these customers have been upgrading their premium account purchases for expensive advertising usages.

To put the significance of this trial in perspective - we are working on dozens of news ideas at the moment but only one of them, Premium Accounts, is about pricing. Everything else we're working on is about making searching on Alamy better and faster for picture buyers. Premium Accounts make up less than 1% of our revenues.

There is no opt in/opt out available for this. You can, of course, opt out of Alamy whenever you like. We provide the marketplace and set the ground rules, but it is entirely your decision as to whether you want to participate or not.

I want to sell as many of your pictures as possible for the highest price possible. By giving us your pictures you are entrusting us to make a judgement over what price the market will bear. We have been licensing content for 10 years. We are really good at it. If you are unhappy with what we are doing and you don't like our explanation, I completely respect your judgement if you decide your pictures will do better someplace else.

For an independent view of this issue you might also want to check out the article here. Here's an extract from the author and stock industry veteran, Jim Pickerell:

'RM pricing is not a way to protect the value of images. All RM means is that the price is negotiable. It doesnt necessarily mean that the seller will receive a high price for his work. When you have a negotiable price it can be set at any level on which a willing seller and a willing buyer agree. The buyer sets the price if there is no price so low that the seller will walk away. However, if the seller takes a stand, walks away, and the majority of buyers are unwilling to pay the sellers price the seller may be quickly driven out of business.' (You'll need to pay a small fee to read the whole article but good content, as we all know, is worth paying for.)

Best wishes
James West

So definitely a wide-ranging RM licence, not RF. Glad he explained 'below the line', a term I hadn't heard.

RacePhoto

« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2011, 23:20 »
0
Me Too, I didn't know what it meant.

*definition of below the line: direct mail and collateral, email and PDF, corporate websites and intranet, presentations, public relations, event programmes, sales giveaways, annual reports, office dcor, company handbooks, training docs."

Since it was getting lost in all the other details, I wanted to quote it.


 

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