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Author Topic: Success stories on Alamy - the $100,000+ club  (Read 19551 times)

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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2018, 07:22 »
+19
Note that whenever Alamy comes here promoting themselves they always refer to 'x amount of sales' which is always the gross amount, never the net amount.  When they say $100,000 what they really mean is gross sales value, which is equivalent to double that of net sales value.  Of course many people have had success with Alamy, but let's get the amount of money right, otherwise it is deliberately misleading.

« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2018, 07:47 »
+13
$100k isn't really a very impressive bar to set. It could mean an income of as little as $375 a month over 10 years for the photographer (45% commission on 10k a year/12 months).
Now $100,000 a year would be impressive, as would $1m in total sales, but I suppose 100k sounds impressive to relative newbies.

Shelma1

« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2018, 08:07 »
+12
Yeah, a million in earnings might be worth hearing about. 100K just tells me people don't make much there compared to Shutterstock.

Ive been with Alamy since 2004 and have have done much better than I ever expected, with nearly $700,000 in gross sales in that time.

If I did my math correctly he's bringing home about $2,000/month-$24,000/year in royalties, which isn't terrible, but it sounds like he's the top of the top at Alamy. So there's no way you can make a living just submitting there. In fact, he goes on to say he has to make money doing other things because he doesn't make enough shooting stock. Depressing.

« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2018, 08:17 »
+9

If I did my math correctly he's bringing home about $2,000/month-$24,000/year in royalties, which isn't terrible, but it sounds like he's the top of the top at Alamy. So there's no way you can make a living just submitting there. In fact, he goes on to say he has to make money doing other things because he doesn't make enough shooting stock. Depressing.
And he's a top-flight photojournalist, former chief photographer of a British daily paper noted in his day for its excellent photography.

Shelma1

« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2018, 08:24 »
+1
I know. Sad.  :(

ShadySue

« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2018, 08:27 »
+1
Yeah, a million in earnings might be worth hearing about. 100K just tells me people don't make much there compared to Shutterstock.
... In fact, he goes on to say he has to make money doing other things because he doesn't make enough shooting stock. Depressing.

The classic argument is that SS et al (but SS in particular in recent times haven't increased their prices) have led the market to expect vastly lower prices for their imagery, so rpd at Alamy etc has decreased.
The tiny prices per images works when you can expect multiple sales of images, but many buyers now expect low prices even on unique images which may have only one or a very few sales.

My total net on Alamy is only a bit over my best year on iS, but that best year was 2012 and it's been rapidly downhill ever since. And I know as near 100% as d*mmit that my port would have fared poorly on SS.

That said, last year was my second best on Alamy, but it's all relative.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2018, 09:34 by ShadySue »

« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2018, 08:29 »
+3
Applaud James for posting, but all things are relative.  100k over one year is quite different than 100k over 10 years.  I have made 100k over 10 years on one site, but not Alamy.  And those photographers are perhaps the exception, not the rule. Thus, they are probably one-offs.  I would love to see more histogram data to see how the distribution of contributor revenue looks.

« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2018, 09:37 »
+2
Thus, they are probably one-offs.  I would love to see more histogram data to see how the distribution of contributor revenue looks.

It looks like a very steep curve with a very long tail, a handful earn thousands and thousands earn a handful. 10 years back DT released information from which you could work out their revenue distribution and I'm sure all the other sites have similar curves. If I remember correctly, it seemed likely that something like 90% of contributors would not even get to a payout (many of them with just a handful of images up for sale).

JaenStock

  • Bad images can sell.
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2018, 09:43 »
+6
Thanks for share. I like that Alamy is fair agency. We must feed the sagencias that pay well and do not throw the prices

« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2018, 10:14 »
+1
Thus, they are probably one-offs.  I would love to see more histogram data to see how the distribution of contributor revenue looks.

It looks like a very steep curve with a very long tail, a handful earn thousands and thousands earn a handful. 10 years back DT released information from which you could work out their revenue distribution and I'm sure all the other sites have similar curves. If I remember correctly, it seemed likely that something like 90% of contributors would not even get to a payout (many of them with just a handful of images up for sale).
If tyler had the time he could set an anonymous poll where we give our income and fotolia rank. A graph of that would give you a good idea as fl is one of the biggest agencies.

« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2018, 11:05 »
0
Thus, they are probably one-offs.  I would love to see more histogram data to see how the distribution of contributor revenue looks.

It looks like a very steep curve with a very long tail, a handful earn thousands and thousands earn a handful. 10 years back DT released information from which you could work out their revenue distribution and I'm sure all the other sites have similar curves. If I remember correctly, it seemed likely that something like 90% of contributors would not even get to a payout (many of them with just a handful of images up for sale).

You can describe a curve like the one you suggest by using a stat from Shutterstock's Annual Report for 2016.
"The content contributed by our five highest-earning contributors was together responsible for less than 4% of downloads in 2016"
Lets call "less than 4%" 3%, though it's more likely to be 3.9 recurring.  That's 3% of 168,000,000 = 5,040,000 downloads.  If the next five highest earners are responsible for 3% of what's left 162,600,000 and so on and so on, that should give you your curve.
You could also drop each iteration by say 0.1% if you want to leave more for those nearer the bottom with a payout, but even then they would be far from the bottom of the 190,000 contributors.
The average price per download was $2.88, though you would think if anybody is getting more than average, because many of us get less, it would likely be the top earners.  If that was the case financially they would look better off than merely looking at downloads.
Your extrapolations may differ from mine, the difference between 3% and 4% make a big difference down the line.

I wonder if Alamy is much different, James?
« Last Edit: January 26, 2018, 11:08 by obj owl »

« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2018, 11:11 »
+3
By the way, I do like Alamy. It's one of a few agencies that I still bother to upload some stuff to.

« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2018, 11:42 »
+3
Alamy was my best site last year (yes, beating SS - Alamy was up, and SS down a lot). Still, 100K total gross is not all that impressive over up to 15 years or possibly more - not that I am close, but I am not all that dedicated.

To get to the 100K gross on Is you would only get 15K total for yourself, more like 30K at SS, and closer to 40 to 50K at Alamy (depending on if you get distributor sales and how many).

It is good to see them posting here - and keeping an eye on what we might be posting.



Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2018, 13:54 »
+1
My sales are up on Alamy, my income is down. Still a great site for fair treatment and a fair percentage of any sale I make.

The Alamy "Stock Photography Timeline" was interesting:  http://www.alamy.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Alamy-Stock-Photo-Timeline-Second-Edition.pdf

U11


« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2018, 14:46 »
+2

« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2018, 22:32 »
+3
I've always found the gross total that Alamy and the forum under 'how was your month' to be both misleading and deluded. Evey other agency I know of present figures in net amount.

Last year I had a BYE on Alamy which was surprising and welcome. Despite my BYE being worse than my WYE at Getty RM (not Istock), I'm now uploading to Alamy and not Getty, since there are a lot of things not to like about Getty, first and foremost their need for total exclusivity, meaning you lose all control of your photos.

Overall Alamy is a good agency. They should get real and present in NET figures, plus cull millions of similar's and obviously bad photos. Otherwise it looks too much like a dumping ground for any photographer instead of the best editorial agency in the business.

« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2018, 00:41 »
+7
I've always found the gross total that Alamy and the forum under 'how was your month' to be both misleading and deluded.

Alamy is older than any of the microstock agencies so its method of reporting sales did not have any of them to compare with, maybe it is in line with what some of the earlier agencies were doing. And you can't blame the agency if its contributors choose to report gross sales rather than their commission.
It makes far more sense to have a go at the agencies that like to hide the size of the slice of your sale they are helping themselves to by only reporting what cash commission they will pay without telling you what percentage of the sale it actually is. In the early days of microstock we all knew what percentage we were getting (20% from IS, 50% from DT) but pretty soon the owners started hiding the size of their slice, sometimes even using deliberate deception (pretend currency values) to do so.

« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2018, 21:42 »
+3
When I went non-exclusive nearly three years ago I started to upload to Alamy with some enthusiasm.  However I found sales very slow and the upload process tedious.  After about a year I gave up and considered the effort not worth it.  If it is indeed possible to make reasonable money at Alamy perhaps I should try again, but I must admit I am feeling somewhat reluctant.

« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2018, 01:07 »
0
When I went non-exclusive nearly three years ago I started to upload to Alamy with some enthusiasm.  However I found sales very slow and the upload process tedious.  After about a year I gave up and considered the effort not worth it.  If it is indeed possible to make reasonable money at Alamy perhaps I should try again, but I must admit I am feeling somewhat reluctant.

Alamy is a grind to say the least. The only way to do well is to be very astute with what you upload. Too many contributors are uploading LCV images and way too many similars. Check out the portfolios of the 100k club, they are the masters.

ShadySue

« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2018, 05:26 »
0
When I went non-exclusive nearly three years ago I started to upload to Alamy with some enthusiasm.  However I found sales very slow and the upload process tedious.  After about a year I gave up and considered the effort not worth it.  If it is indeed possible to make reasonable money at Alamy perhaps I should try again, but I must admit I am feeling somewhat reluctant.
Sadly, the new upload system is even more tedious (really badly implemented) if you do it properly, though if you keyword before upload, at least your files go on sale (showing as 'no releases', as you haven't been through the system to indicate that you have releases) without you doing anything else.

Still, if you haven't been involved since the changeover, you might want to revisit your old files to see if the system has mashed keywords together, or split keyword phrases. It's like some manual dexterity test trying to click on the right place on the stars or crosses.  >:(
It's a really antique system, still no spell-checking - while uploading or worse still, while searching - and no stemming. I'm wading through my back catalogue correcting what the new system put in, but  it's something to do during the interminable rainy days and seasonal long nights ...
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 07:55 by ShadySue »

« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2018, 06:15 »
0
Still, if you haven't been involved since the changeover, you might want to revisit your old files to see if the system has mashed keywords together, or split keyword phrases.

I wasn't aware of that. I just hope mine haven't suffered because, frankly, the effort involved in trying to make corrections to thousands of files wouldn't be justified by any likely additional returns.
It sounds horribly like "disambiguation" all over again.

ShadySue

« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2018, 06:17 »
0
Still, if you haven't been involved since the changeover, you might want to revisit your old files to see if the system has mashed keywords together, or split keyword phrases.

I wasn't aware of that. I just hope mine haven't suffered because, frankly, the effort involved in trying to make corrections to thousands of files wouldn't be justified by any additional returns.
It sounds horribly like "disambiguation" all over again.

It is, and from the forum it seems not everyone is doing it. It takes ages. I have lots of files where this has happened (about 30%). Still, it lets me check for typos, and some people are finding missed keywords, and I'm finding a few, but as I was on iS before I was on Alamy, I had a reasonable handle on keywords from the beginning there, even though they don't, of course, use the Getty CV (for better or worse, which is a matter of opinion).

There are now categories, much like iS's old categories, which we are supposed to add (not compulsory), but with no supplied evidence that buyers are using them to any great extent.

Also there's an 'editorial use only' button now for RM files, which I tick for files which have prominent people or brands (for the rest, the old 'needs release/no release' should suffice. I hope!)

And all the time, I'm realising how much more time/tedium it will take if indyref2 prevails and I have to remove UK and British from the majority of my files.

To be honest, I have no realistic hopes that the work will result in more sales (after all, Alamy's search splits and merges keywords randomly anyway), though I'd be delighted to be proved wrong!
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 07:08 by ShadySue »

« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2018, 06:48 »
+1
And all the time, I'm realising how much more time/tedium it will take if indyref2 prevails and I have to remove UK and British from the majority of my files.

I wouldn't worry about that. Scotland will still be geographically part of the British Isles and I can't imagine anyone accusing you of spamming for legacy "UK"s.  In any case, didn't the nats want to keep the Queen, so they wouldn't be cancelling the Union of Crowns, only the Act of Union.

There you go, I've just saved you from that!

ShadySue

« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2018, 06:54 »
0
And all the time, I'm realising how much more time/tedium it will take if indyref2 prevails and I have to remove UK and British from the majority of my files.

I wouldn't worry about that. Scotland will still be geographically part of the British Isles and I can't imagine anyone accusing you of spamming for legacy "UK"s.  In any case, didn't the nats want to keep the Queen, so they wouldn't be cancelling the Union of Crowns, only the Act of Union.
They used to say that they wanted to keep the Queen, but that doesn't seem to be the case now, at least on the ground, if not officially.

Quote
There you go, I've just saved you from that!
  ;D ;D ;D
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 07:19 by ShadySue »


 

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