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Author Topic: Alamy reducing commission from 50% to 40%  (Read 9568 times)

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« on: December 04, 2018, 09:27 »
0


ShadySue

« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2018, 09:42 »
+2
Late to the party. See other thread.

« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2018, 09:50 »
+5
Just got the email too. Won't bother watching the video though because by now I think II can guess what it says. Alamy is not a big earner for me but stil the news is yet another disappointment in a long list of disappointments in this industry. A 20% royalty cut with a low earner like them though translates into a 100% cut in my motivation to upload there anymore.

dpimborough

« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2018, 14:18 »
+1

Mimages

« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2018, 08:22 »
+1
I don't understand why this isn't being discussed here. The post in the general section, that I only looked at the other day so maybe it says more now, only had posts from people who seemed pleased about the commission drop. This is very much a topic for THIS section and for Alamy contributors.

I won't write out lots about it for now because, like with other threads here, only very few people comment. I wish the Alamy section here was used more as we have more freedom here to speak our minds than in Alamy's own forum (plus hopefully the disruptive "I know best" Alamy forum regulars aren't here). There are a few other places to write with fellow Alamy contributors but only tiny groups where new members aren't welcome. So it's either here on Alamy's own forums.

ShadySue

« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2018, 08:49 »
+6
I don't understand why this isn't being discussed here. The post in the general section, that I only looked at the other day so maybe it says more now, only had posts from people who seemed pleased about the commission drop. This is very much a topic for THIS section and for Alamy contributors.

I won't write out lots about it for now because, like with other threads here, only very few people comment. I wish the Alamy section here was used more as we have more freedom here to speak our minds than in Alamy's own forum (plus hopefully the disruptive "I know best" Alamy forum regulars aren't here). There are a few other places to write with fellow Alamy contributors but only tiny groups where new members aren't welcome. So it's either here on Alamy's own forums.

The only posts on this topic in the Alamy forum on this subject which have been deleted were very verbally abusive ones by (mostly)one particular person. Other than that, two threads have been allowed to run freely.
Whether anything will change is doubtful. Like Getty before them, they're just letting people vent, then will be back to business as usual.
There are other groups, one of which was referenced in one of these two threads and has welcomed 25 new members in the last few days.
BTW, venting here won't change anything either, but it may be cathartic.

Also, saying that on the other thread here you "only see comments from people who are pleased about the commission drop" is totally bizarre.  I can only see this thread: http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/alamy-'good-news'!, which I just read over again and don't see even one post indicating someone who is "pleased about the commission drop", a lot of disgruntlement expressed in different ways and some posts saying, yeah, it's bad, but really, where's better (bottom line: most of us are shafted wherever we go, and now Alamy is just as bad as the rest).

Mimages

« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2018, 11:53 »
0
Deleted. Giving up.

« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2018, 16:43 »
0
*edited for link mistake

This thread is more appropriate both in category and title to have been discussing this, however most of the initial steam was released inside the general discussion.

http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/alamy-'good-news'!/

After I received the Alamy email and watched the video I tried to get more in depth information online about it. I posted my resources and thoughts in my article at TSPE.

http://thestockphotoeditor.com/index.php/2018/12/04/alamy-announces-reduction-royalty/

As I felt the article to be giving some insight but not 100%, I decided to email it to Mr James West, after his public invitation to receive thoughts in his personal email. I expressed my intention to do a follow up and kindly requested for some more information.

The information I asked was first about the current backlash and how it will affect Alamy. It's the LIFO of this case. To complete my article's main part I am also interested in how the administrative expenses are distributed in Alamy. After an incomplete search online, my first hints are that most of the expenses are the salaries and then the maintenance of 155M images, which are fixed costs. If these costs are too high for Alamy, also because of it's increased sales, therefore prohibit Alamy of investing to it's growth. In this case, contributors could better show some sense and comply with Alamy's decision, for everyone's better shake.

A revolution against someone who is still paying the highest rates (but not so high anymore) and that is trying to invest in growth to get more end customers should find contributors considerate and not angry, offensive or insulting. 

I received Mr West's reply today that he will try to answer, but a little bit later, as he is busy at the moment replying to contributors that emailed him. When this data is collected, they will be made available shortly after.


« Last Edit: December 09, 2018, 16:49 by ThomasAndreas »

« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2018, 08:14 »
+15
First off, as in the title of this thread, we as contributors should really stop the continued misuse of the word "commission". A commission is a fee paid to a salesperson. We are the creators and owners of Alamy's content, the stock companies sell our content on our behalf and THEY make a commission on those sales. I would bet a months income that iStock came up with that little switch in definition. Giving a measly 15% "commission" to a contributor somehow sounds "better" than calling it what it is, an 85% commission for the sales people. The most accurate way of describing the Alamy move is that they gave themselves a 20% raise in their own commission.

"most of the expenses are the salaries and then the maintenance of 155M images" - I'm not buying that maintenance excuse for the cash grab. Tell that to Pond5 and their 22M images, along with their 13M videos, not to mention SFX, music, AE templates, PSD, illustrations, 3D. The nearly 5 million 4K video collection maintenance alone surely dwarfs any hosting costs Alamy has. Yet, Pond5 can still muster up a 50% split and survive. And somehow Pond5 is also able to review each submission, file by file, whereas Alamy barely glances at one image in each batch. Throwing out good content in one batch and blindly accepting garbage in the next.

Salaries, that may be an issue. But it's not our problem if they want to pay themselves such high salaries that 50% earnings off content that cost them zero to create can't cover, just as our equipment and production costs are not their concern with how we spend our half. If you can't run a microstock company splitting the sales 50/50, you can't run a company. And that was the only real positive thing Alamy had going for them. Pond5 is clearly hustling way harder than Alamy, evident in my experience at least, so they seem to know how to use their 50% effectively. Alamy, it's employees and contributors, would be better served to replace their poor management. They are the ones failing everyone involved. Then maybe "salaries" may not be as much of an issue.

No, this doesn't make Alamy anywhere near as bad as iStock, or even Shutterstock or Adobe when it comes to money splitting. But with all their other flaws, it surely takes them from barely relevant to pretty much irrelevant. We should always resist these kinds of negative changes and make them as uncomfortable for these companies as we can.


« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2018, 15:16 »
0
What is the plan regarding new uploads? (Is there a plan?)

ShadySue

« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2018, 05:21 »
+6
A revolution against someone who is still paying the highest rates (but not so high anymore) and that is trying to invest in growth to get more end customers should find contributors considerate and not angry, offensive or insulting. 
That's completely ignoring the fact that we already went from 60% to 50% to fund the US office. According to Alamy, that expansion went "far better than we expected", though most (of those who report) haven't seen any uptick in sales to the US. So most of us lost money to boost the earnings of a few (and, apparently, Alamy's bottom line). Despite them saying that expanding US operations at our expense surpassed expectations, we didn't get restored to 60%.

« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2018, 06:43 »
+9
A revolution against someone who is still paying the highest rates (but not so high anymore) and that is trying to invest in growth to get more end customers should find contributors considerate and not angry, offensive or insulting. 
That's completely ignoring the fact that we already went from 60% to 50% to fund the US office. According to Alamy, that expansion went "far better than we expected", though most (of those who report) haven't seen any uptick in sales to the US. So most of us lost money to boost the earnings of a few (and, apparently, Alamy's bottom line). Despite them saying that expanding US operations at our expense surpassed expectations, we didn't get restored to 60%.

I agree. Their capital investment should come from their own pocket.

Perhaps we can ask Alamy to take a cut because we have to upgrade our gears.  ;)

« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2018, 11:25 »
+6
Email this morning says they've decided to keep 50% for exclusive files.

If they sold more & more reliably I might consider exclusive files, but that's a non-starter (for me) with such a low volume agency.

« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2018, 11:38 »
+1
 "If you can't run a microstock company splitting the sales 50/50, you can't run a company." How many microstock companies actually do this? For years SS have said that a 33/66 split in their favour is the sweet spot. We may not like it but a lot of companies have failed trying to prove them wrong. Contributors generally vastly underestimate the importance of marketing and its cost in my opinion. It may be unpalatable but thats the reality in my view.


ShadySue

« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2018, 11:52 »
+1
Anyway, the latest news is that exclusive-to-Alamy files are to stay at 50%, non-exclusive files go to 40%.
As my files are all de facto exclusive, except for a few at FAA which I can change*, that's great news, in my opinion.

*Unfortunately, Alamy now sells prints via a 3rd party, for very low prices. However, that can be opted out of, together with personal use.

« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2018, 12:52 »
+7
"If you can't run a microstock company splitting the sales 50/50, you can't run a company." How many microstock companies actually do this? For years SS have said that a 33/66 split in their favour is the sweet spot. We may not like it but a lot of companies have failed trying to prove them wrong. Contributors generally vastly underestimate the importance of marketing and its cost in my opinion. It may be unpalatable but thats the reality in my view.

Buy into the bs all you want, most companies take as much as contributors allow them to. Marketing, content management and payment processing is ALL they do. They don't create content, they don't pay for content, they have zero reasoning to take more than 50% as a sales commission to do their part in this business. iStock set the tone and many others followed suit because you guys keep feeding them content and choose to believe their "exciting news" press releases over common sense and logic. As for SS, I personally don't trust an assessment on an appropriate split from an agency that chooses to spend top dollar on lavish offices in a ridiculously high rent location and has an obligation to their executives and shareholders to constantly increase THEIR bottom line.

The long standing and continued success of Pond5 is all the proof we need that 50% is plenty to run a company efficiently. It's right in front of you. Believe in whatever reality you choose.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 14:26 by Daryl Ray »

« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2018, 13:37 »
+1
"If you can't run a microstock company splitting the sales 50/50, you can't run a company." How many microstock companies actually do this? For years SS have said that a 33/66 split in their favour is the sweet spot. We may not like it but a lot of companies have failed trying to prove them wrong. Contributors generally vastly underestimate the importance of marketing and its cost in my opinion. It may be unpalatable but thats the reality in my view.

Buy into the bs all you want, most companies take as much as contributors allow them to. Marketing, content management and payment processing is ALL they do. They don't create content, they don't pay for content, they have zero reasoning to take more than 50% as a sales commission to do their part in this business. iStock set the tone and many others followed suit because you guys keep feeding them content and choose to believe their "exiting news" press releases over common sense and logic. As for SS, I personally don't trust an assessment on an appropriate split from an agency that chooses to spend top dollar on lavish offices in a ridiculously high rent location and has an obligation to their executives and shareholders to constantly increase THEIR bottom line.

The long standing and continued success of Pond5 is all the proof we need that 50% is plenty to run a company efficiently. It's right in front of you. Believe in whatever reality you choose.
The reality is the top three  agencies by a mile all offer 35% or less payout. That's the reality not my belief. Yes they are  businesses so need to show a profit thats how it works. In 2017 SS revenue was 557.1 $m. Pond5s is estimated at $5.6M
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 13:40 by Pauws99 »

« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2018, 13:44 »
+1
Alamy is the only place I still have photos. The only reason I left them there is that with Alamy I didn't feel like a chump every time I made a sale. If they can't hold the line at 50% anymore then I guess it's time to pull the plug.

dpimborough

« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2018, 13:51 »
+1
Alamy is the only place I still have photos. The only reason I left them there is that with Alamy I didn't feel like a chump every time I made a sale. If they can't hold the line at 50% anymore then I guess it's time to pull the plug.

You are in luck they just announced today that "exclusive" images will still get 50% none exclusive images 40%

« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2018, 13:59 »
+2
"If you can't run a microstock company splitting the sales 50/50, you can't run a company." How many microstock companies actually do this? For years SS have said that a 33/66 split in their favour is the sweet spot. We may not like it but a lot of companies have failed trying to prove them wrong. Contributors generally vastly underestimate the importance of marketing and its cost in my opinion. It may be unpalatable but thats the reality in my view.

Buy into the bs all you want, most companies take as much as contributors allow them to. Marketing, content management and payment processing is ALL they do. They don't create content, they don't pay for content, they have zero reasoning to take more than 50% as a sales commission to do their part in this business. iStock set the tone and many others followed suit because you guys keep feeding them content and choose to believe their "exiting news" press releases over common sense and logic. As for SS, I personally don't trust an assessment on an appropriate split from an agency that chooses to spend top dollar on lavish offices in a ridiculously high rent location and has an obligation to their executives and shareholders to constantly increase THEIR bottom line.

The long standing and continued success of Pond5 is all the proof we need that 50% is plenty to run a company efficiently. It's right in front of you. Believe in whatever reality you choose.

Agreed 100%. Plus, purchasing images is self service for the most part, that's not expensive for stock agencies to organize.

ShadySue

« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2018, 14:21 »
+1
Agreed 100%. Plus, purchasing images is self service for the most part, that's not expensive for stock agencies to organize.
At micros, yes.
Alamy actually offers some help in the process, if it's needed.

« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2018, 14:26 »
0
Alamy is the only place I still have photos. The only reason I left them there is that with Alamy I didn't feel like a chump every time I made a sale. If they can't hold the line at 50% anymore then I guess it's time to pull the plug.

You are in luck they just announced today that "exclusive" images will still get 50% none exclusive images 40%

But they're not exclusive, because I still try to sell prints of some of them.

ShadySue

« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2018, 14:29 »
0
Alamy is the only place I still have photos. The only reason I left them there is that with Alamy I didn't feel like a chump every time I made a sale. If they can't hold the line at 50% anymore then I guess it's time to pull the plug.

You are in luck they just announced today that "exclusive" images will still get 50% none exclusive images 40%

But they're not exclusive, because I still try to sell prints of some of them.
The others will be exclusive, then.
Also we have yet to hear whether they'll be counted as exclusive if available at pos print sites and we have opted out of print (and PU) sales at Alamy for that image.

« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2018, 14:50 »
+3
"If you can't run a microstock company splitting the sales 50/50, you can't run a company." How many microstock companies actually do this? For years SS have said that a 33/66 split in their favour is the sweet spot. We may not like it but a lot of companies have failed trying to prove them wrong. Contributors generally vastly underestimate the importance of marketing and its cost in my opinion. It may be unpalatable but thats the reality in my view.

Buy into the bs all you want, most companies take as much as contributors allow them to. Marketing, content management and payment processing is ALL they do. They don't create content, they don't pay for content, they have zero reasoning to take more than 50% as a sales commission to do their part in this business. iStock set the tone and many others followed suit because you guys keep feeding them content and choose to believe their "exiting news" press releases over common sense and logic. As for SS, I personally don't trust an assessment on an appropriate split from an agency that chooses to spend top dollar on lavish offices in a ridiculously high rent location and has an obligation to their executives and shareholders to constantly increase THEIR bottom line.

The long standing and continued success of Pond5 is all the proof we need that 50% is plenty to run a company efficiently. It's right in front of you. Believe in whatever reality you choose.
The reality is the top three  agencies by a mile all offer 35% or less payout. That's the reality not my belief. Yes they are  businesses so need to show a profit thats how it works. In 2017 SS revenue was 557.1 $m. Pond5s is estimated at $5.6M

They pay 35% or less because they can and people will still upload to them. You're not understanding my post. If their sole motivation is increasing their profits quarter after quarter, who do you think is going to be getting the decrease? Where do they "find" more profit? You and me. Showing the difference between the revenue of the different agencies actually further illustrates my point. SS takes 70% (probably more with the sub deals), so that comes to approximately $389 million in commissions from sales of things they didn't pay a cent to create, ship or purchase. You're telling me that $228 million (50%) wouldn't be enough commission to cover their costs to host digital files, process payments, pay staff and maintain (poorly at times) a database? I guess it isn't if you overpay ridiculous amounts for real estate and executive salaries. Somehow, Pond5 does it all with $2.5 million...
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 15:00 by Daryl Ray »

« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2018, 15:01 »
+1
Agreed 100%. Plus, purchasing images is self service for the most part, that's not expensive for stock agencies to organize.
At micros, yes.
Alamy actually offers some help in the process, if it's needed.


This is why I said "for the most part"...


 

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