MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: Alamy - is it worth it?  (Read 4627 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

« on: August 27, 2019, 08:11 »
+1
Hey guys

I dropped Alamy about three years ago, after I've been on the platform for maybe 2-3 years - without any sales. I remember the upload process and all the keywording etc to be such a hassle, that I just gave up on it.

I'm now doing a little research to see what other photographers do with their stock portfolio, and how they "make things happen". Many are talking about Alamy as a good source of income.

Has the upload process changed at Alamy, are you guys selling anything, is it worth it to create a new profile and try again? Please let me have your input.

Thanks

Brian


« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2019, 08:23 »
0
I dont have very many sales on Alamy, about 2-4 sales each month.
The sales can vary from very low single digit figures to $$$ sales, so sales can be all over the map.
Lately Ive had a good portion of sales be in the high $$ to $$$ amounts. About 18 months ago I even had a $$$$ sale but those are very rare.

For me personally, I find it is worth it although I do hate the upload process, having to fill out info on each image esp with regard to does this image have people/property visible? Do you have a release?

I am am based in North America and I find often the photographers that have more UK and Euro content tend to do better with sales than I would with my content. That is just my observation.

It can take time to realize sales, and it takes time for payments to be cleared as well, but overall I am quite satisfied with Alamy for a passive monthly payout

« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2019, 08:26 »
0
Thanks for sharing, noodle :-)

Brasilnut

  • Author Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock & Blog

« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2019, 08:29 »
+3
Hi Brian,

Looking through your port, I don't see how you would have many sales on Alamy.

Most of my sales on there are of news-type editorials and general travel postcard type shots.

« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2019, 08:35 »
0
Hi Brian,

Looking through your port, I don't see how you would have many sales on Alamy.

Most of my sales on there are of news-type editorials and general travel postcard type shots.

I would agree with Brasilnut on this
Your port seems more geared toward a true stock photo type of site, whereas Alamy generally does well with more editorial type content

« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2019, 09:34 »
0
I really like Alamy. I sell 2-10 images a month. I wish it were more images as sometimes the sells price can be quite good. For me the sells are 4 bucks to $600 per image. The type images that sell for me are all over the range of just about everything. Maybe someday I can figure out what really sells. When I upload to them I just send a few images at a time. I find this works best to not getting rejections. If I coped it correctly you can see some of my images and how they are all over the spectrum.  https://www.alamy.com/portfolio/wscottmcgill

« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2019, 09:46 »
+1
I don't find it easy to predict what will sell on any site but I'd say Alamy is the most unpredictable of all. Its worth a go I'd say. Its my 5th best site some months best some zilch.

« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2019, 13:27 »
+3
Alamy seems to be 20% less worth it than last year. Actually probably even less worth it, since sales seem to be lower everywhere and we get 20% less out of each sale unless they are distributor sales which tend to be low $ sales for me. They would have gotten a much more ringing endorsement from me before their latest "unsustainable" money grab.

Sales at Alamy are all over - some big $, some under a $. Some months they are my best earner, some months 0 sales. Sometimes sales are refunded months later - often to be resold almost immediately for a few cents less. Some sales take months and months to actually be paid.

 What will sell and why is a complete mystery to me.

The keywording is a pain there, and it isn't clear at all what actually helps and what hurts.

« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2019, 20:03 »
+2
You don't have to do the keywording in Alamy, embedded IPTC data is taken over. I think the supertag method is way superior to AS, where you have to manually move your top 10 keywords to the top of the list. If you have thousands of images, this is a nearly impossible task and i have yet to find a DAM that doesn't sort keywords in alphabetic order, whether you want it or not.

I upload almost exclusively editorial (newsworthy events) to Alamy but it's been always very slow for me, it's not worth my time. However they are one of the very few fair agencies, portfolio management is convenient, rejection rate is very low (in fact i never had any, as opposed to AS or SS), so i'll just keep uploading. If sales were somewhat better over there, i'd say they are the best agency hands down.

« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2019, 02:50 »
0
You don't have to do the keywording in Alamy, embedded IPTC data is taken over. I think the supertag method is way superior to AS, where you have to manually move your top 10 keywords to the top of the list. If you have thousands of images, this is a nearly impossible task and i have yet to find a DAM that doesn't sort keywords in alphabetic order, whether you want it or not.

I upload almost exclusively editorial (newsworthy events) to Alamy but it's been always very slow for me, it's not worth my time. However they are one of the very few fair agencies, portfolio management is convenient, rejection rate is very low (in fact i never had any, as opposed to AS or SS), so i'll just keep uploading. If sales were somewhat better over there, i'd say they are the best agency hands down.
But the super tag thing is time consuming and I think no-one really knows if it makes any difference. I would say total time spent in tagging etc is the longest of any agency....apart from Panther which I stopped uploading too way back as their "system" was tortuous.

OM

« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2019, 03:27 »
0
I find it weird that 'good discoverability/poor discoverability' of an image seems to be determined by number of keywords above 40. I have less than 100 images (not editorial) there and have sold (not unsurprisingly) zero in 3 years!

ShadySue

« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2019, 04:21 »
+2
I find it weird that 'good discoverability/poor discoverability' of an image seems to be determined by number of keywords above 40.
It's not, that's just some insane thing someone thought up, but they aren't humble enough to say 'we made a mistake'.

ShadySue

« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2019, 04:22 »
+1
and i have yet to find a DAM that doesn't sort keywords in alphabetic order, whether you want it or not.
It may not suit your workflow, but I keyword in Bridge which holds and exports them in the order I set them to be.

« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2019, 06:50 »
+10
I find it weird that 'good discoverability/poor discoverability' of an image seems to be determined by number of keywords above 40.
It's not, that's just some insane thing someone thought up, but they aren't humble enough to say 'we made a mistake'.

I think maybe "insane" is a little unfair. We've been open and appreciate that the current system doesn't work for everyone but it does for others. Some contributors feel that we ask for too much info and others feel that we don't give enough space to add even more tags!

Essentially, we had an issue before the current system where many contributors were not adding enough information, just adding a handful of tags. We needed a system that would encourage users to add more info, and that's what this system does. We've been very open and said within our help info that the "discoverability bar" is not analysing your data in any way, it's just essentially letting you know if you have more space to add more info. The more relevant information you can add the better, and the key term there is relevant - again, something we've been trying to make clear to contributors. I'm sure we'll tweak the terminology in time, maybe even remove the "discoverability" labelling as we can appreciate this can be confusing. We do test any changes with groups of current contributors before going live though to get feedback, and this system was no exception.

We need a caption and 5 tags to get the image searchable - everything else is optional. Additional info like number of people, release info etc is desirable but not mandatory. We'll extract any embedded info and apply it, so if you have a caption and 5 tags the images will go online without you doing anything else.  Supertagging definitely does help images get higher up in the search engine - so if you have the time to do it and want to give certain images a boost for certain words then you should try and make the time to take advantage. Again though, not mandatory so it's a judgement call for you and your time.

Back to the OP question though - is Alamy worth it? Of course we would say yes, but it works better for some than for others. We'll offer you 50% commission for images exclusive to us and 40% for non-exclusive. Our average licence price is $35, although as others have mentioned, it's not uncommon to get much higher and sometimes lower. If you have a portfolio of images sat on your hard drive or sat on another site, you absolutely should upload them to Alamy to see if we can make you some additional revenue. Once the images are up and online, there is nothing further for you to do other than enjoy the extra money! We pay out well in excess of $1 million every month to contributors so you should put yourself in the mix and get a slice.

Happy to answer any other questions here about Alamy as best I can. As others can attest to, I'm also open to answering any questions you have via PM if you'd rather not ask out in the open.

Cheers

James Allsworth

Contributor Experience Manager

« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2019, 09:10 »
+2
I find it weird that 'good discoverability/poor discoverability' of an image seems to be determined by number of keywords above 40.
It's not, that's just some insane thing someone thought up, but they aren't humble enough to say 'we made a mistake'.

I think maybe "insane" is a little unfair. We've been open and appreciate that the current system doesn't work for everyone but it does for others. Some contributors feel that we ask for too much info and others feel that we don't give enough space to add even more tags!

Essentially, we had an issue before the current system where many contributors were not adding enough information, just adding a handful of tags. We needed a system that would encourage users to add more info, and that's what this system does. We've been very open and said within our help info that the "discoverability bar" is not analysing your data in any way, it's just essentially letting you know if you have more space to add more info. The more relevant information you can add the better, and the key term there is relevant - again, something we've been trying to make clear to contributors. I'm sure we'll tweak the terminology in time, maybe even remove the "discoverability" labelling as we can appreciate this can be confusing. We do test any changes with groups of current contributors before going live though to get feedback, and this system was no exception.

We need a caption and 5 tags to get the image searchable - everything else is optional. Additional info like number of people, release info etc is desirable but not mandatory. We'll extract any embedded info and apply it, so if you have a caption and 5 tags the images will go online without you doing anything else.  Supertagging definitely does help images get higher up in the search engine - so if you have the time to do it and want to give certain images a boost for certain words then you should try and make the time to take advantage. Again though, not mandatory so it's a judgement call for you and your time.

Back to the OP question though - is Alamy worth it? Of course we would say yes, but it works better for some than for others. We'll offer you 50% commission for images exclusive to us and 40% for non-exclusive. Our average licence price is $35, although as others have mentioned, it's not uncommon to get much higher and sometimes lower. If you have a portfolio of images sat on your hard drive or sat on another site, you absolutely should upload them to Alamy to see if we can make you some additional revenue. Once the images are up and online, there is nothing further for you to do other than enjoy the extra money! We pay out well in excess of $1 million every month to contributors so you should put yourself in the mix and get a slice.

Happy to answer any other questions here about Alamy as best I can. As others can attest to, I'm also open to answering any questions you have via PM if you'd rather not ask out in the open.

Cheers

James Allsworth

Contributor Experience Manager

Great to see official conversations happening here. Thank you for your comment, James.

Although I'd agree with "insane" if Alamy believes the system is logical. If you are truly concerned with the importance of relevant keywords, then giving the impression to contributors that their image will suffer from "poor discoverability" if it contains less than 40 keywords is obviously only going to encourage irrelevant keywords. If that qualification was simply lowered to a reasonable amount, the system might be closer aligned to it's intention, and without the temptation to add spam or borderline spam keywords to reach an arbitrary minimum.

« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2019, 09:33 »
+2
Again, I hear you, however we get plenty of contributors asking us to allow more space for tags as they feel 50 is not enough. So for some, getting to 40 tags is really not a problem, even when adding highly relevant words - literal, descriptive and conceptual.

Of course, this amount of tags is not always required, depending on the type of image, so it's not a perfect system by any means.

We are committed to continually develop the system and we've already made a number of changes and improvements since the original release. Before making any changes to the number of tags needed to achieve "good" status (or removing the discoverability bar entirely) we would adopt an evidence based approach looking at data across the board. E.G average number of tags in the collection, looking at best performing collections and number of tags per image etc before making any decisions. It's worth noting that previously we had a character based system rather than individual tags, and when we analysed the collection at the time we found that 50 tags seemed to be the sweet spot in terms of an optimal number. Things change all the time though and we've had enough feedback to know it needs to be revisited and tweaked if required.

So I can't offer any timeframes for change, but just know that if you feel you have added all relevant information yet still don't have a "good" rating for the image discoverability, it's fine to leave it as "poor / amber". I think we all agree that labeling something "poor" from our side is no longer the best terminology, however at the time of release this was about encouraging contributors to provide more info as a lot of it was too sparse.

We know we're not perfect but we promise to learn from our failings - the perfect system probably does not exist when you're dealing with 150,000 contributors, all of which have different requirements and image types - but we'll keep evolving!

Thanks for sticking with us.

James A

« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2019, 18:27 »
0
I think Alamy is great - I find the uploading and keywording system very good compared to say Getty, which is horrendous and I enjoy uploading to Alamy. I also find the payout average to downloads is the best of all stock sites and I wish I had more sales per month - of course.


MxR

« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2019, 01:26 »
0
Again, I hear you, however we get plenty of contributors asking us to allow more space for tags as they feel 50 is not enough. So for some, getting to 40 tags is really not a problem, even when adding highly relevant words - literal, descriptive and conceptual.

Of course, this amount of tags is not always required, depending on the type of image, so it's not a perfect system by any means.

We are committed to continually develop the system and we've already made a number of changes and improvements since the original release. Before making any changes to the number of tags needed to achieve "good" status (or removing the discoverability bar entirely) we would adopt an evidence based approach looking at data across the board. E.G average number of tags in the collection, looking at best performing collections and number of tags per image etc before making any decisions. It's worth noting that previously we had a character based system rather than individual tags, and when we analysed the collection at the time we found that 50 tags seemed to be the sweet spot in terms of an optimal number. Things change all the time though and we've had enough feedback to know it needs to be revisited and tweaked if required.

So I can't offer any timeframes for change, but just know that if you feel you have added all relevant information yet still don't have a "good" rating for the image discoverability, it's fine to leave it as "poor / amber". I think we all agree that labeling something "poor" from our side is no longer the best terminology, however at the time of release this was about encouraging contributors to provide more info as a lot of it was too sparse.

We know we're not perfect but we promise to learn from our failings - the perfect system probably does not exist when you're dealing with 150,000 contributors, all of which have different requirements and image types - but we'll keep evolving!

Thanks for sticking with us.

James A

 Hello, I see that the button to upload the model releaseo has disappeared for both Mac and Windows, take a look, I have not been able to upload a new authorization for two months!

ShadySue

« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2019, 04:19 »
0
Again, I hear you, however we get plenty of contributors asking us to allow more space for tags as they feel 50 is not enough. So for some, getting to 40 tags is really not a problem, even when adding highly relevant words - literal, descriptive and conceptual.
Are you checking all of those who ask? Usually when people have brought this up in Alamy's forum, their efforts to reach 50 words has left them with a lot of spam keywords.
It's not the person, it's the image. I have about 1% of my pics in the green, naturally, because these pics need alternate keywords or many place names (local going back to country), but most don't. Even Alamy's own 'exemplar' video has 16 keywords - though I remember a discussion on the forum which suggested that at least another three were relevant and important.
The more keywords you have, the more scope for malgorithms from combining/splitting random keywords (also with words in the caption).

« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2019, 08:15 »
0
Again, I hear you, however we get plenty of contributors asking us to allow more space for tags as they feel 50 is not enough. So for some, getting to 40 tags is really not a problem, even when adding highly relevant words - literal, descriptive and conceptual.

Of course, this amount of tags is not always required, depending on the type of image, so it's not a perfect system by any means.

We are committed to continually develop the system and we've already made a number of changes and improvements since the original release. Before making any changes to the number of tags needed to achieve "good" status (or removing the discoverability bar entirely) we would adopt an evidence based approach looking at data across the board. E.G average number of tags in the collection, looking at best performing collections and number of tags per image etc before making any decisions. It's worth noting that previously we had a character based system rather than individual tags, and when we analysed the collection at the time we found that 50 tags seemed to be the sweet spot in terms of an optimal number. Things change all the time though and we've had enough feedback to know it needs to be revisited and tweaked if required.

So I can't offer any timeframes for change, but just know that if you feel you have added all relevant information yet still don't have a "good" rating for the image discoverability, it's fine to leave it as "poor / amber". I think we all agree that labeling something "poor" from our side is no longer the best terminology, however at the time of release this was about encouraging contributors to provide more info as a lot of it was too sparse.

We know we're not perfect but we promise to learn from our failings - the perfect system probably does not exist when you're dealing with 150,000 contributors, all of which have different requirements and image types - but we'll keep evolving!

Thanks for sticking with us.

James A

 Hello, I see that the button to upload the model releaseo has disappeared for both Mac and Windows, take a look, I have not been able to upload a new authorization for two months!

In a bid to simplify the upload process we removed the requirement for you to upload releases. If you have a release available, just check the box to say you have one. If we have a client that needs a copy, then we'll get in touch with you.

Cheers

James A

« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2019, 08:23 »
0
Again, I hear you, however we get plenty of contributors asking us to allow more space for tags as they feel 50 is not enough. So for some, getting to 40 tags is really not a problem, even when adding highly relevant words - literal, descriptive and conceptual.
Are you checking all of those who ask? Usually when people have brought this up in Alamy's forum, their efforts to reach 50 words has left them with a lot of spam keywords.
It's not the person, it's the image. I have about 1% of my pics in the green, naturally, because these pics need alternate keywords or many place names (local going back to country), but most don't. Even Alamy's own 'exemplar' video has 16 keywords - though I remember a discussion on the forum which suggested that at least another three were relevant and important.
The more keywords you have, the more scope for malgorithms from combining/splitting random keywords (also with words in the caption).

Not sure how to answer your comment without repeating myself, sorry.

If you haven't got many images in the green but you feel you have tagged fully and thoroughly then great, you don't need to do anything else. As previously mentioned, we'll look at tweaking the messaging within AIM and the way it "grades" data in time.

As for the example vid, the image and tagging is just that - an example - it's not presented to be a fully optimised image.

« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2019, 09:07 »
0
Are there any thoughts about raising the number of allowed characters to captions (not in live news) from 150 to 200? That would help in a more detailed description. It would be better Alamy allows that option. After all, not all would make use of it. Sometimes I find the 150 characters not enough. This now might force me to ommit letters to fit a sentence, which naturally does not look proficient.

« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2019, 08:39 »
0
Quote
Back to the OP question though - is Alamy worth it? Of course we would say yes, but it works better for some than for others. We'll offer you 50% commission for images exclusive to us and 40% for non-exclusive. Our average licence price is $35, although as others have mentioned, it's not uncommon to get much higher and sometimes lower.

Sometimes? try most of the times, sometimes higher and rarely much higher.

My last 3 sales were $3.72, $3.53 and $5.09 and that's without their cut (so at least half of these figures)
If you ask me Alamy isn't worth it, they are no better and most of the times even worse then Microstock.

My 2c

« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2019, 09:33 »
0
Quote
Back to the OP question though - is Alamy worth it? Of course we would say yes, but it works better for some than for others. We'll offer you 50% commission for images exclusive to us and 40% for non-exclusive. Our average licence price is $35, although as others have mentioned, it's not uncommon to get much higher and sometimes lower.

Sometimes? try most of the times, sometimes higher and rarely much higher.

My last 3 sales were $3.72, $3.53 and $5.09 and that's without their cut (so at least half of these figures)
If you ask me Alamy isn't worth it, they are no better and most of the times even worse then Microstock.

My 2c


Well, everybody's results will differ of course, and three sales does not a representative sample make - but for my part, my last three sales were $55.99, $41.99 and $3.62, so fairly close to what the Alamy rep says, on average.

And I'm not a big seller, but if I total all my sales over my time with Alamy (that's 10 years) the average license price comes to about $43.

So from my point of view, it's hardly a living wage, but in answer to the OP - yes, it's worth it.

MxR

« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2019, 11:12 »
0
Again, I hear you, however we get plenty of contributors asking us to allow more space for tags as they feel 50 is not enough. So for some, getting to 40 tags is really not a problem, even when adding highly relevant words - literal, descriptive and conceptual.

Of course, this amount of tags is not always required, depending on the type of image, so it's not a perfect system by any means.

We are committed to continually develop the system and we've already made a number of changes and improvements since the original release. Before making any changes to the number of tags needed to achieve "good" status (or removing the discoverability bar entirely) we would adopt an evidence based approach looking at data across the board. E.G average number of tags in the collection, looking at best performing collections and number of tags per image etc before making any decisions. It's worth noting that previously we had a character based system rather than individual tags, and when we analysed the collection at the time we found that 50 tags seemed to be the sweet spot in terms of an optimal number. Things change all the time though and we've had enough feedback to know it needs to be revisited and tweaked if required.

So I can't offer any timeframes for change, but just know that if you feel you have added all relevant information yet still don't have a "good" rating for the image discoverability, it's fine to leave it as "poor / amber". I think we all agree that labeling something "poor" from our side is no longer the best terminology, however at the time of release this was about encouraging contributors to provide more info as a lot of it was too sparse.

We know we're not perfect but we promise to learn from our failings - the perfect system probably does not exist when you're dealing with 150,000 contributors, all of which have different requirements and image types - but we'll keep evolving!

Thanks for sticking with us.

James A

 Hello, I see that the button to upload the model releaseo has disappeared for both Mac and Windows, take a look, I have not been able to upload a new authorization for two months!

In a bid to simplify the upload process we removed the requirement for you to upload releases. If you have a release available, just check the box to say you have one. If we have a client that needs a copy, then we'll get in touch with you.

Cheers

James A
Thanks!!!


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
13 Replies
9900 Views
Last post November 14, 2010, 02:57
by RacePhoto
8 Replies
5358 Views
Last post January 17, 2011, 17:18
by PeterChigmaroff
54 Replies
28808 Views
Last post July 10, 2012, 15:16
by Freedom
55 Replies
20856 Views
Last post July 21, 2015, 11:51
by sgoodwin4813
6 Replies
4468 Views
Last post June 23, 2016, 09:44
by hafakot

Sponsors

Microstock Poll Results