Alamy To Open Sales Office in NYC

- - Stock

Alamy is setting up a dedicated sales office in NYC and charging all it’s contributors an extra 5% on sales to do so. The US market makes up 30% of their revenue at the moment but they think the dedicated sales team can ramp that up and increase gross payments to their contributors.

I’m not sure how a dedicated sales office increases the amount of stock you sell. Wouldn’t marketing and adding more US targeted imagery do the trick?

Here’s the announcement from Alamy (here). Thanks Steve.

There Are 13 Comments On This Article.

  1. a photo buyer

    Wouldn’t actually accurately keywording your collection and allowing zip downloads (with occasional research assistance) be a better use of funds?

    Their office in the UK is not in London, yet they’ll pay NYC rents for what?

  2. Maybe Alamy can hire up all the Photoshelter refugees?

    Other than the fact that the pound & euro are completely kicking the hell out of the dollar these days, I can’t quite figure how they plan to succeed against Getty, et al., when the Photoshelter Collection [which had a decent amount of money behind it] just folded.


  3. Perhaps they can ask Congress for a loan to open a new Wall Street office to prop up real estate prices there.

    On a serious note it could be too little too late. Alamy was the great white hope when Getty started abusing their contributors. I was a big fan, but recently contributing to them has become more work than it is worth in financial returns.

    If they did this 5 years ago it would have been great news.

  4. Rob

    I think the press release says that are increasing the percentage to photographers by 5 percent.



    If you prefer, they are summarised below.

    This is to give you advance notice that our royalty percentage
    will be increasing by 5% in early 2009 for direct and distributor

    The change applies to all images from all our contributors,
    regardless of which commission structure you are on. We’re making
    this change to fund a shift in strategy for the company which,
    we believe, will lead to a significant increase in gross payments
    to our contributors. We’re starting by opening a dedicated sales
    office in the USA…..”

  5. Alamy’s percentage for direct sales and for distributor sales will rise by 5%

    That would be awesome tho if they had said they were giving photographers a raise to keep them happy and help out in the bad economic times ahead…

  6. The hit photogs take is actually about 7% – the current 70% reduced by 5%. That makes their increase almost 17%.

    What a clever way to increase corporate revenue!

  7. What a way to write a press release. Looks like one thing but then it is another.

    Alamy is time-consuming. I (along with all contributors) were asked to re-keyword all of the images in the files. That was time consuming and I’ve not seen an increase in zooms to the images or increased sales.

  8. Alamy will have a very tough time achieving the same success they’ve had in Europe here in the US. If you look here ( you can see some interesting stats. The most interesting to me is that as of Q2 2008, 70% of their revenue came from Rights Managed images and 30% from Royalty Free. In the same period, they received about 830k RM images from contributors versus 475k RF images.

    I opened a branch of a Rights Managed-only US stock agency in the UK in 2006. Not only was the Euro/Pound on the upswing but the market for Rights Managed stock was extremely healthy in Europe. It seemed that no self-respecting art buyer or photo editor would consider Royalty Free for a “serious” project, much less microstock.

    Needless to say, the environment in the US is decidedly different. Taking a look at the Rights Managed work offered by Alamy, I doubt that US photo buyers will shell out RM rates when RF and microstock can be had for 1/10th or 1/100th the cost in some cases.

    One the one hand, I have hard time believing that Alamy doesn’t know what they are getting into. On the other hand, if they think they can derive significant revenue by selling RM into the US market, then they’re nuts.

  9. I get 35-40% of my Alamy sales from North America or US already. Not sure I see the point of a US office.

    I am sure that their chosen tactic to get US market share will be aggressive discounting. They are exporting their race to the bottom.

  10. I’d be curious to hear summaries or anecdotes of people’s experience contributing to Alamy. I have a modest amount of work listed with a smallish, high-commission U.S.-based niche agency. I’ve not been too pleased with sales nor with the huge chunk the agency grabs. I was thinking of trying PhotoShelter, but obviously glad I didn’t. Wondering if Alamy might work for me or not.

  11. The reason Alamy wants to open a sales office in the US is to try and grab some big corporate accounts. Getty, Corbis and Jupiter all have aggressive sales forces that approach big stock photo buyers (think magazine chains like Conde Nast or unber-ad agencies like Publicis) and offer them huge discounts for volume purchases. For example, they might offer across the board 30% discount off all purchases and then another 15% off if the sales volume exceeds $1 million within a specified time period.

    The stock agencies love these deals because it brings in relatively stable income and the cost of supporting a sales team in much lower than all of the advertising it would take to bring in the equivalent amount of revenue.

    But I think Alamy will have a tough time with this since Getty, Corbis & Jupiter already have deals with the major volume picture buyers. Alamy can only grab these accounts at the expense of the other agencies. Maybe Alamy thinks that they have some competitive advantage that will help them grab these accounts. Hopefully, it won’t just be by low-balling on price.

  12. “I’d be curious to hear summaries or anecdotes of people’s experience contributing to Alamy….Wondering if Alamy might work for me or not.”
    Am pleased with my Alamy $$. I supply nonreleased which sells mostly for editorial usage. Join Yahoo! Alamy forums & Alamy’s own forum to ask those who shoot whatever you shoot.

    As to US buyers, Alamy has solid footing in US textbook market, & foot-in-door with lots of others, US consumer publications, e.g., Wall Street Journal, inflight magazines, travel guidebooks, etc. My edu-guess is that new US office will offer a lot more personal service which a lot of buyers like…?

    My current biggest concern is that search engine stemming was dropped around Aug 7 to make searches more accurate & what effect it will have on future sales #s.

  13. I’m not sure that is a good idea.
    Alamy as a specific target. I believe that they are trying to bring a market taht search stories.
    Let we see…