Alamy Almost Doubles Images In 2006

Posted on 1/24/2007 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

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ALAMY ALMOST DOUBLES IMAGES IN 2006


No Indication As To How This Relates To Revenue Growth

January 24, 2007

Alamy has released fourth quarter 2006 figures on contributors, percentage revenue and average pricing that show no major trend change from the previous quarter or for the year. Alamy almost doubled its collection in 2006 adding 3,432,808 images to the approximately 4.2 million it had at the beginning of the year. The collection now totals over 7.6 million images according to information on the web site.

Alamy still does not release the one figure that would help to make sense of all the others and that is actual revenue. The fact that 35% of revenue came from RF sales and 65% from RM doesn't really tell contributors much if they have no idea what total revenue was. The fact that these percentages were almost the same as in Q3 doesn't mean a whole lot if we don't know if the revenue went up or down in the quarter.

In November, Alamy conducted several information seminars for contributors in New York and London. At these seminars they displayed a revenue graft that showed generally rising income since the company was founded. However, there was no indication of scale on the graph so it was impossible to tell if the top number represented $2 million, $20 million or more. There were occasional dips on the graft, some rather significant for short periods of time, as might be expected from any company. What is impossible to tell from the figures just released is whether revenue for Q4 was declining, flat or rising and by how much.

Having some idea of revenue trends would be very useful to Alamy suppliers. Many agencies and image suppliers have reported falling revenue in Q4, and there is a suspicion that this is the case for significant number of Alamy. The question many have is, "Are royalties going down because of Alamy Rank, or because of a general fall off in overall revenue being generated by Alamy?"

Introduced this summer, Alamy Rank is a new system of ordering images returned as a result of a customer search. The theory behind Alamy Rank is that it will bring the most relevant images in any search to the top and thus make it easier for customers to find the images they need. However, with different images being pushed to the top images that were once near the top are automatically being pushed down to the point where they will never seen by customers.

The supplier's decision as to how to move forward is very dependent on the answer to the above question. If the supplier guesses wrong he may waste a lot of time and effort trying to correct something that is irrelevant.

Providing Statistics

It is interesting to compare the information strategies of the various players in the industry. Alamy provides lots of detail, but no revenue figures that would help to make that detail meaningful. Corbis, on the other hand, provides gross revenue figures, but little granularity. Getty provides both, partially because they are required to as a public company, but also because providing additional detail and granularity worked to their advantage when their business was growing. Now they may wish they had not established the precedent of supplying so much detail. Jupiter provides what they are required to be law, but doesn't release anywhere near the detail that Getty does. Each company has a different strategy that works best for them, not necessarily for their suppliers.

Among the things that can be gleaned from the Alamy statistics are that the average photographer uploaded 158 images in the quarter down from 175 in the previous quarter. The average agency uploaded 2,773 images in the quarter up from 2,657 in the previous quarter.

The percent of revenue generated by images from photographers has been going up while the percentage from agencies has gone from 60% in Q4 2005 to 51% in Q4 2006.

The average price for an editorial use of an image was $132 which has been relatively stable over the last two years with exception of a drop to $122 in Q2 2006. The average price for commercial use was $332 and has been trending down, but that could be a result of the number of large sales in any quarter rather than an actual price reduction. The big question is how many sales for commercial use are there relative to those for editorial use and is the actual number of images licensed going up or down.

The following is a detailed chart of the information reported by Alamy.


































































































































































































































































































































































































































2005

2005

2005

2005

2006

2006

2006

2006

Contributor Information

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

New RF images from photogs.

53,408

74,008

89,199

83,614

95,940

97,552

95,009

93,510

New RF images from agencies

60,850

140,360

63,451

125,405

152,752

109,935

243,386

246,244

New RM images from photogs.

203,641

258,847

268,147

291,356

450,653

312,170

371,741

349,704

New RM images from agencies

125,688

143,297

120,030

144,433

125,707

192,282

234,914

261,309

% Revenue photographers

38%

39%

41%

40%

43%

44%

45%

49%

% Revenue agencies

62%

61%

59%

60%

57%

56%

55%

51%

2005

2005

2005

2005

2006

2006

2006

2006

Contributor Information

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Photogs. submitting images

2,030

2,209

2,349

2,452

2,870

2,667

2,667

2,800

Photogs. submitting RM images

1,850

2,001

2,111

2,179

2,569

2,349

2,376

2,470

Photogs. submitting RF images

907

1,041

1,135

1,214

1,435

1,351

1,264

1,342

Agencies submitting images

165

175

179

161

178

165

180

183

Agencies submitting RM images

142

141

142

128

130

126

136

131

Agencies submitting RF images

58

70

72

67

79

74

76

87

RM images submitted in quarter

329,329

402,144

388,177

435,789

576,360

504,452

606,655

611,013

RF images submitted in quarter

114,258

214,368

152,650

209,019

248,692

207,487

338,395

339,754

All images submitted in quarter

443,587

616,512

540,827

644,808

825,052

711,939

945,050

950,767

2005

2005

2005

2005

2006

2006

2006

2006

Percentage Revenue Info

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Images per transaction - credit card

1.7

1.7

1.8

1.8

1.8

1.7

1.7

1.8

Images per transaction - account

2.9

2.9

3.0

3.3

3.4

3.6

3.6

3.4

% Revenue RF

43.0%

43.1%

42.3%

41.0%

40.0%

38.0%

36.0%

35.0%

% Revenue RM

57,0%

56.9%

57.7%

59.0%

60.0%

62.0%

64.0%

65.0%

% Images sold RF

41.0%

39.0%

39.9%

36.4%

33.0%

29.0%

29.0%

29.0%

% Images sold RM

59.0%

61.0%

60.1%

63.6%

67.0%

71.0%

71.0%

71.0%

% Images sold - credit card

23.0%

21.9%

23.0%

21.0%

18.0%

16.0%

15.0%

16.0%

% Images sold - account

77.0%

79.0%

77.0%

79.0%

82.0%

84.0%

85.0%

84.0%

% Revenue - credit card

25.0%

25.4%

28.1%

25.1%

23.0%

21.0%

22.0%

21.0%

% Revenue - account customer

75.0%

75.0%

71.9%

74.9%

77.0%

79.0%

79.0%

79.0%

% Revenue editorial licenses

67.0%

66.0%

62.7%

65.0%

69.0%

71.0%

72.0%

72.0%

% Revenue commercial licenses

33.0%

34.0%

37.3%

35.0%

31.0%

29.0%

28.0%

28.0%

2005

2005

2005

2005

2006

2006

2006

2006

Average Price in USD

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Avg RF price - credit card

$191

$199

$206

$210

$211

$235

$229

$234

Avg RM price - credit card

$239

$276

$304

$236

$225

$230

$254

$224

Avg RF price - account

$193

$206

$114

$203

$203

$221

$205

$206

Avg RM price - account

$170

$156

$146

$162

$151

$145

$151

$156

Avg RM price - editorial use

$132

$137

$131

$131

$126

$122

$133

$132

Avg RM price - commercial use

$423

$423

$425

$359

$389

$364

$357

$332

Avg price all RM images

$177

$165

$182

$170

$158

$151

$159

$161

Avg price all RF images

$192

$203

$201

$206

$206

$226

$213

$215




Copyright © 2007 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-251-0720, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  

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