A Sign of the Times – Alamy and Stock Photography Commissions
Alamy, one of the leading and longest running stock photography agencies have today announced that they are reducing the royalties payable to its contributors.
Apparently this is so that they can concentrate on expanding their business into new and emerging markets such as video as well as new countries. This will obviously grate with all photographers who currently produce work for Alamy and is the second time they have done this. There was a 5% decrease a few years ago which was to help fund their globalization with emphasis on the US.
Despite the decrease, CEO James West is quick to point out that their commission structure is still one of the most generous in this business. To see more, watch the interview with James below:
….and here is the email I received today. I wouldn’t in any way see this as a reason to stop using Alamy because the way I see it, this market is huge and you may as well spread your images far and wide to capture maximum sales.
We’ve posted some important information on our blog and there is an accompanying video (above) from James West Alamy CEO to explain some changes at Alamy.
Your royalty percentage will be decreasing by 10 percentage points in early 2013 for direct and distributor image sales.
The change applies to all images from all our contributors, regardless of which commission structure you are on. For example, Alamy Blue contributors will move from receiving 60% of each sale to receiving 50%. Video royalties will remain unchanged at 50%.
Why are we doing this? Alamy is a profitable business, however we are at a stage in our development where we have reached the limits of our expansion under our current set-up.
Alamy has developed significantly over the past 18 months. We introduced a News Sport and Entertainment division and we are now selling video. We’ve started curating the collection for creative picture buyers and continue to bring innovation and high quality service to the editorial market. We have ambitious plans to gain market share from our competitors and grow the business.
We’ve increased our sales staff in our core UK and US offices and also in key growth markets such as Germany, India and Australia. We’re also simplifying the buying process for our customers by introducing sales focused initiatives such as Alamy iQ.
In early 2013 we’ll unveil our new look website. Alamy is transforming into a Sales and Marketing led business with the ultimate goal of growing sales.
All of this is designed to drive sales and this will be accompanied by further initiatives planned for 2013 to improve the contributor experience.
We understand that reducing your share by ten percentage points cannot be seen as great news in the short term. However, this investment will provide Alamy with the foundation to greatly improve our presence and penetration and so increase sales.
When we made a change like this back in 2008 it was to fund expansion into the US. We’ve been true to our word. Our US office sales performance is growing at the rate of 30% year on year. The US is now our largest direct sales operation and we are currently recruiting staff to expand it further. Our experience shows that investing in the right things does pay off.
All contributors will receive a formal notification via email of the changes to the contract.
Thank you for your time.