Exclusivity – Worth it?

Carriage driver gives his horse a drink from a bucket near the entrance to St. Stephens Green, Dublin

Alamy has about 155 million images available for licensing and say they have the world’s most diverse stock photo collection. In early December they announced that in January they would announce they were increasing their commission from 50% to 60%. An increase of 20%.

The Alamy forum erupted in a tirade of condemnation. Feelings ran high. Alamy said little and the venting continued for a few hundred posts. Then they announced that images exclusive to them would continue to attract 50% commission.

The issue has calmed for now, on the forum anyway. It will kick off again in January when the actual announcement is made, but it’s unlikely to gain much traction and the vast majority of contributors do not air their views on the forum.

Prices in stock photography have been falling for some years and many agencies have closed. As you would expect the board at Alamy will do whatever they feel is in the best interests of the company. This episode is a reminder that the future they see for Alamy may not align with the interests of contributing photographers as closely as in the past.

Will it be financially worth it licensing images exclusively through Alamy? Possibly for a few, for others probably no.

My last sale through Alamy was licensed to a National Newspaper for $8.59 and I will receive $4.30. After February I will receive $3.44, if it’s not exclusive. Yes, some sales are much larger but I’ve had smaller as well. Sales are rarely large enough to get excited about.

I will continue to upload but few will be exclusive.

An interesting start to 2019.

Happy New Year.

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