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Author Topic: Alamy reducing commission from 50% to 40%  (Read 8057 times)

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« Reply #25 on: December 18, 2018, 15:13 »
0
"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 with $2.5 million. Think.
Why would you expect a business to do anything other than aim to increase its profits quarter after quarter? Up until now SS have done that by growing their business they have increased revenue per download and consequently payment to contributors.

Full Year 2017 highlights as compared to Full Year Key Operating Metrics             
Paid downloads increased 2% to 172.0 million
Revenue per download increased 9% to $3.13

Of course I'd like them to reduce their operating costs and pay a higher percentage to contributors. The fact is there is no commercial reason for them to do so.

If a business came along and offered 50% to contributors and was actually able to seriously compete then I would be as pleased as anyone but there is very little evidence this is possible.  The exception being Pond5 but that is only in the relatively new and fast growing video market. As that matures I would expect them to cut commissions and prices as has happened in every other digital market place.

Its not because SS are especially greedy. In any market where there is oversupply the suppliers will be the ones who get hit.


« Reply #26 on: December 18, 2018, 16:36 »
+1
Don't wanna keep going in circles as it's venturing somewhat off-topic. But the difference between a public company like Shutterstock and the non-public companies is that the forecasted revenue increases can be unrealistic and tied to too many invested parties that just want a large return on those investments, and this eventually forces these companies to do things that non-public companies don't have to do to keep pushing the margin. Simplified, their piece of the pie must grow at any expense. So if it isn't increased revenue, it's from somewhere else. We are among the "somewhere else".

"Of course I'd like them to reduce their operating costs and pay a higher percentage to contributors. The fact is there is no commercial reason for them to do so. "

Exactly. If we held them accountable to treat us as partners rather than sheep that'll take whatever they offer no matter how small the portion, it would be very good commercial sense to pay us fairly. But again, iStock. They set the standard of greed so low that SS and Adobe are doing us a "favor" by "only" taking 70%.

At least we have to give Alamy some credit for walking back (at least a little) due to contributor outcry. Same thing happened with Storyblocks recently. Apparently we're not all busy trying to justify and make excuses for these greed-driven moves and actually making effort to push back. Thank gawd.
 

« Reply #27 on: December 18, 2018, 16:55 »
0
Don't wanna keep going in circles as it's venturing somewhat off-topic. But the difference between a public company like Shutterstock and the non-public companies is that the forecasted revenue increases can be unrealistic and tied to too many invested parties that just want a large return on those investments, and this eventually forces these companies to do things that non-public companies don't have to do to keep pushing the margin. Simplified, their piece of the pie must grow at any expense. So if it isn't increased revenue, it's from somewhere else. We are among the "somewhere else".

"Of course I'd like them to reduce their operating costs and pay a higher percentage to contributors. The fact is there is no commercial reason for them to do so. "

Exactly. If we held them accountable to treat us as partners rather than sheep that'll take whatever they offer no matter how small the portion, it would be very good commercial sense to pay us fairly. But again, iStock. They set the standard of greed so low that SS and Adobe are doing us a "favor" by "only" taking 70%.

At least we have to give Alamy some credit for walking back (at least a little) due to contributor outcry. Same thing happened with Storyblocks recently. Apparently we're not all busy trying to justify and make excuses for these greed-driven moves and actually making effort to push back. Thank gawd.
Yes its an old argument and I guess we won't agree.

Non Public companies are often funded by loans and  Banks or Investors who will be just as demanding as shareholders...look at Getty.

I measure the value of a site by the return on investment of my time...by that measure SS wins.

« Reply #28 on: December 18, 2018, 18:11 »
0
we won! (almost  >:()

Quote
We recently sent an email regarding a change in the commission structure at Alamy where the commission contributors receive for direct sales will change from 50% to 40% in February 2019.



After careful review, and taking into consideration photographer feedback, we have come to the decision that images exclusive to Alamy will remain at 50%.

PZF

« Reply #29 on: December 19, 2018, 07:12 »
+1
OK. 50% or 60% all round would have been great. BUT....
given most of us send mostly the same stuff to all agencies, it is us that have meant that agencies do largely end up selling the same stuff and that they cannot differentiate themselves by exclusive images which can't be found elsewhere. Hence price and commission competition.
What did we expect?
I hope that Alamy will take the initiative and try to get more exclusive stuff - maybe even get back to 60% for it, and try to gain market share as a result.
If all sites continue to sell the same stuff then commodity prices will be paid by customer to the agency - and by the agency to us.

« Reply #30 on: December 19, 2018, 08:53 »
+4
Alamay is able to do this because most of their content is non exclusive. Very little risk to their new revenue goals but a positive message they can send all while not really changing a thing on the pay cut.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #31 on: December 19, 2018, 17:48 »
0
Alamay is able to do this because most of their content is non exclusive. Very little risk to their new revenue goals but a positive message they can send all while not really changing a thing on the pay cut.

I don't even know how to mark images as exclusive on Alamy. I have a bunch.

« Reply #32 on: December 19, 2018, 18:23 »
0
Alamay is able to do this because most of their content is non exclusive. Very little risk to their new revenue goals but a positive message they can send all while not really changing a thing on the pay cut.

The contributers who are already exclusive there, dont know what they might be missing from posting images to other sites. So its awash for them, status quo.
Probably the vast majority of others who are on other sites they will take the 10 % less and stay everywhere.
The numbers here no doubt played a key part in Alamy coming to this compromise

ShadySue

« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2018, 18:35 »
0
Alamay is able to do this because most of their content is non exclusive. Very little risk to their new revenue goals but a positive message they can send all while not really changing a thing on the pay cut.

I don't even know how to mark images as exclusive on Alamy. I have a bunch.

Tick the exclusive box in the optional tab.

« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2018, 19:45 »
0
Does anyone know if we can sell "RM exclusive" through Alamy, and prints and so on through FAA and by oneself?

ShadySue

« Reply #35 on: December 19, 2018, 20:09 »
+1
Does anyone know if we can sell "RM exclusive" through Alamy, and prints and so on through FAA and by oneself?
Someone who asked that question privately was told 'no'.
However, that was before the current proposals. James West said on the most recent video that the details of exclusivity would be shared during the first quarter of next year.

« Reply #36 on: December 19, 2018, 20:49 »
0
Does anyone know if we can sell "RM exclusive" through Alamy, and prints and so on through FAA and by oneself?
Someone who asked that question privately was told 'no'.
However, that was before the current proposals. James West said on the most recent video that the details of exclusivity would be shared during the first quarter of next year.

Great to know! Thanks!

I rarely bothered to mark my photos as exclusive in Alamy. If I do it by hand one by one, it will take forever. I have asked if they can set all as exclusive, if I am still allowed to sell prints and products.

I must confess that I make far more selling prints and products myself than through Alamy.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #37 on: December 20, 2018, 14:21 »
0
Alamay is able to do this because most of their content is non exclusive. Very little risk to their new revenue goals but a positive message they can send all while not really changing a thing on the pay cut.

I don't even know how to mark images as exclusive on Alamy. I have a bunch.

Tick the exclusive box in the optional tab.

Thanks.

For the why, they are editorial, no acceptable proof of credentials going back that far, I have the IDs and things but old emails from 2008, for example, are long gone along with the computers they were on. Anything that I'd be clicking exclusive falls into that group that I most likely can't upload to SS. Also in the "good old days" of Alamy, remember we had to upsize images. I think that's against the guidelines for the other sites, which means, going back and re-editing some old news photos of questionable market interest.

On the other hand, clicking a box for 10% I might do?  ;)

« Reply #38 on: December 21, 2018, 15:23 »
+4
I earn so little from Alamy that it is inconsequential for me personally. When companies need more operating profit one of the ways to accomplish this is to squeeze their suppliers. In this case it is fairly easy for them. They recanted on the exclusive rate structure because some of their big contributors balked and they could not afford to lose them. As for the non-exclusive contributors there is really not much recourse aside from deleting your content. I agree with the comment about the term "commissions".  This has always pissed me off. We earn royalties on our work. The agency (Alamy) earns a commission on the sale. Completely backwards.

« Reply #39 on: February 22, 2019, 00:29 »
+3
I got an Alamy sale today.

I made $7.40 less than I would have with the same sale yesterday. It was also a lot easier to see how much I actually made from the sale when it was a 50/50 split. I'd be perfectly willing to do the calculations if the 60/40 split was the other way though.


I wonder who and how the screws will tighten next.

« Reply #40 on: February 22, 2019, 10:49 »
+3
I got an Alamy sale today.

I made $7.40 less than I would have with the same sale yesterday. It was also a lot easier to see how much I actually made from the sale when it was a 50/50 split. I'd be perfectly willing to do the calculations if the 60/40 split was the other way though.


I wonder who and how the screws will tighten next.

And they are now taking the 1 cent difference after the royalty split that used to go to the contributor.

They must be desparate if they are now taking $0.01 :(

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #41 on: February 22, 2019, 10:52 »
0
I got an Alamy sale today.

I made $7.40 less than I would have with the same sale yesterday. It was also a lot easier to see how much I actually made from the sale when it was a 50/50 split. I'd be perfectly willing to do the calculations if the 60/40 split was the other way though.


I wonder who and how the screws will tighten next.

You mean how low can they go and who's leading the race to the bottom and lowest commissions for us.  ;)

I hate to say "old timers" but honest, since I started, I've watched the agencies nibble and cut and adjust, almost always down. Only upwards changes I've seen were SS when they added the highest level to subs, which is a long time ago. Not sure about Single and On Demand, they didn't exist back then. And the AdobeStock recently raising commissions to make them more consistent.

Every other announcement has been, no more referrals, cuts in commissions, drops in prices, removing levels, adding new partners (which are always lower returns for us), changing pricing packages = discounts which means we get less, and all kinds of Good News or Exciting Changes that always mean, they make more and we make less.  :(

I won't know on Alamy until I get some sales, but I just went through and marked almost everything as Exclusive. A small number are too close to call, similar, I didn't bother. I seldom uploaded the same things to Alamy that I have on Microstock. I didn't want to get into that game and I don't know how many buyers would be so set in their ways that they wouldn't at least check SS, FT or IS when they found something on AL?

With the lower Alamy prices I have more downloads now and make less money. I'll guess if I get the same number of downloads in 2019, I'll make less money than 2017 or 2018? OK so I'm not going out of my way to feed the slightly better than Microstock agency, unless it's something I think will do better there, like travel or scenic.

Lets all give Alamy a year and come back to see what we found out?

« Reply #42 on: February 22, 2019, 11:36 »
0
I got an Alamy sale today.

I made $7.40 less than I would have with the same sale yesterday. It was also a lot easier to see how much I actually made from the sale when it was a 50/50 split. I'd be perfectly willing to do the calculations if the 60/40 split was the other way though.


I wonder who and how the screws will tighten next.

You mean how low can they go and who's leading the race to the bottom and lowest commissions for us.  ;)

I hate to say "old timers" but honest, since I started, I've watched the agencies nibble and cut and adjust, almost always down. Only upwards changes I've seen were SS when they added the highest level to subs, which is a long time ago. Not sure about Single and On Demand, they didn't exist back then. And the AdobeStock recently raising commissions to make them more consistent.

Every other announcement has been, no more referrals, cuts in commissions, drops in prices, removing levels, adding new partners (which are always lower returns for us), changing pricing packages = discounts which means we get less, and all kinds of Good News or Exciting Changes that always mean, they make more and we make less.  :(

I won't know on Alamy until I get some sales, but I just went through and marked almost everything as Exclusive. A small number are too close to call, similar, I didn't bother. I seldom uploaded the same things to Alamy that I have on Microstock. I didn't want to get into that game and I don't know how many buyers would be so set in their ways that they wouldn't at least check SS, FT or IS when they found something on AL?

With the lower Alamy prices I have more downloads now and make less money. I'll guess if I get the same number of downloads in 2019, I'll make less money than 2017 or 2018? OK so I'm not going out of my way to feed the slightly better than Microstock agency, unless it's something I think will do better there, like travel or scenic.

Lets all give Alamy a year and come back to see what we found out?

Give them a year and all you'll see is lower sales prices and reduced income.

Then give them a year or two and they come back with a 70/30 split in their favour.

I had an RM exclusive sale today and made a whole 98 cents  >:(

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #43 on: February 22, 2019, 12:07 »
0
I got an Alamy sale today.

I made $7.40 less than I would have with the same sale yesterday. It was also a lot easier to see how much I actually made from the sale when it was a 50/50 split. I'd be perfectly willing to do the calculations if the 60/40 split was the other way though.


I wonder who and how the screws will tighten next.

You mean how low can they go and who's leading the race to the bottom and lowest commissions for us.  ;)

I hate to say "old timers" but honest, since I started, I've watched the agencies nibble and cut and adjust, almost always down. Only upwards changes I've seen were SS when they added the highest level to subs, which is a long time ago. Not sure about Single and On Demand, they didn't exist back then. And the AdobeStock recently raising commissions to make them more consistent.

Every other announcement has been, no more referrals, cuts in commissions, drops in prices, removing levels, adding new partners (which are always lower returns for us), changing pricing packages = discounts which means we get less, and all kinds of Good News or Exciting Changes that always mean, they make more and we make less.  :(

I won't know on Alamy until I get some sales, but I just went through and marked almost everything as Exclusive. A small number are too close to call, similar, I didn't bother. I seldom uploaded the same things to Alamy that I have on Microstock. I didn't want to get into that game and I don't know how many buyers would be so set in their ways that they wouldn't at least check SS, FT or IS when they found something on AL?

With the lower Alamy prices I have more downloads now and make less money. I'll guess if I get the same number of downloads in 2019, I'll make less money than 2017 or 2018? OK so I'm not going out of my way to feed the slightly better than Microstock agency, unless it's something I think will do better there, like travel or scenic.

Lets all give Alamy a year and come back to see what we found out?

Give them a year and all you'll see is lower sales prices and reduced income.

Then give them a year or two and they come back with a 70/30 split in their favour.

I had an RM exclusive sale today and made a whole 98 cents  >:(

I won't disagree with the likelihood of anything you wrote, but I'd like to give the new program a fair chance, before deciding. I'd expect income for anyone with regular numbers to be down 10%?

Didn't we start at 60/40 We got 60 they took 40. Then it went to 50/50 and a slight adjustment when they added partners, 50/50 of the 35% that was left. Now it's 40/60 (our cut starts first to keep it the same) and I suppose somewhere in the future, we might see 30/70, I don't think for at least a few years, but so what, that's not great news either way.

Let me express my view. For 40% and if I understand 40% of 35% when a partner makes a sale? I'm not going to go out of my way to upload much new to Alamy. I don't think they care, just like I don't think most of the agencies care if 1 person, or 100 people or 1,000 people, stop uploading, or clear out and leave. They have millions of images, all they need, with duplicates of nearly every subject.

The only choice we have is where we want our work to be sold, and that choice for myself is getting smaller and smaller as they (the agencies) take a bigger cut, until I'm not feeding them anything anymore. Personal decision and I honestly don't think any of them are concerned about getting enough good materials for the market.

Haven't I said this before?  ;)

I'd rather sit for nothing than work for nothing.

« Reply #44 on: February 22, 2019, 22:32 »
+3
Today they rubbed salt in the wound. A sale from last week was refunded and repurchased for the same price, except they took 20% more of it and I got 20% less.  ouch.

« Reply #45 on: February 23, 2019, 16:44 »
0
Ouch for sure.  What a bummer.

ShadySue

« Reply #46 on: February 23, 2019, 17:04 »
+1
Today they rubbed salt in the wound. A sale from last week was refunded and repurchased for the same price, except they took 20% more of it and I got 20% less.  ouch.

Ohm, that's nasty.  :(

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #47 on: February 25, 2019, 14:50 »
0
Today they rubbed salt in the wound. A sale from last week was refunded and repurchased for the same price, except they took 20% more of it and I got 20% less.  ouch.

How did that work? What I mean is, we got a 10% cut, how did they take 20%? I don't understand.

« Reply #48 on: February 25, 2019, 15:18 »
0
Today they rubbed salt in the wound. A sale from last week was refunded and repurchased for the same price, except they took 20% more of it and I got 20% less.  ouch.

How did that work? What I mean is, we got a 10% cut, how did they take 20%? I don't understand.

I sold an image on the 20th Feb for $200 of which my cut is 50% or $100.  If I had sold that image on the 21st Feb my cut would be 10% less at 40% equals $80.  As you can see that would be 20% less than the day before.  They may be only taking 10% more commission, but they have got 20% of your earnings.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #49 on: February 25, 2019, 15:26 »
+1
Today they rubbed salt in the wound. A sale from last week was refunded and repurchased for the same price, except they took 20% more of it and I got 20% less.  ouch.

How did that work? What I mean is, we got a 10% cut, how did they take 20%? I don't understand.

I sold an image on the 20th Feb for $200 of which my cut is 50% or $100.  If I had sold that image on the 21st Feb my cut would be 10% less at 40% equals $80.  As you can see that would be 20% less than the day before.  They may be only taking 10% more commission, but they have got 20% of your earnings.

Clear as the Sunrise in the morning, over the ocean. I read it as taking 20% more from the sale not 20% less money. Thanks, I understand.

Yes we're back to the math parts, where a 10% cut will cost us 20% in earnings.

But it's still a 10% cut... and in the future we'll only get $80 for a sale of $200 instead of $100. Both true


 

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