Alamy Lowers Royalties

Posted on 11/20/2012 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Alamy has announced that beginning in January 2013 they will be reducing contributor royalty for direct and distributor sales by 10%.

The new terms will be:
  • Alamy Blue: Alamy commission 50%, Contributor commission 50%
  • Alamy Distribution: 40% to the Distributor, 30% to Alamy, 30% to the Contributor
    If you are on the discontinued Green and Red models your commission will also be reduced by 10 percentage points.
  • The split for video sales remains unchanged at 50%.
In this video Alamy CEO James West explains the reasons for making this change.

Alamy is a profitable business. In 2008 Alamy lowered its royalty structure in order to fund an expansion into the U.S. market. At that point U.S. sales represented 30% of the company’s gross. U.S. sales are now growing at a rate of 30% per year and account for more than 50% of the company’s gross. West said, ‘We’re investing for our future. We will invest the extra revenue from this change in R&D, new products and services and new marketing initiatives.” Alamy has developed significantly over the last 18 months. They have introduced a News Sport and Entertainment Division and are now selling video. They are curating the collection for creative picture buyers and continue to bring innovation and a high quality service to the editorial market.

West admits that “in the short term it is almost inconceivable that any contributor will benefit” from this move, but stressed that it is a long term thing. He pointed out that they have reached the limits of expansion under the company’s current set-up and are trying to position the business for continued growth. We appreciate that reducing your share by ten percentage points cannot be seen as great news in the short term, it will however, provide Alamy with the foundation to greatly improve our presence and penetration and so grow sales.

Alamy has ambitious plans to gain market share from its competitors. The company has increased its sales staff in the UK and US offices and has a presence in territories that offer strategic growth opportunities such as Germany, India and Australia. It has simplified the buying process for customers by introducing sales focused initiatives such as Alamy iQ. In early 2013 Alamy will unveil a new look website with with increased functionality, clearer and simplified navigation and a generally enhanced user experience that will entirelyt refresh of the Alamy brand.

Despite the reduction in commission rate from 60% to 50%, Alamy’s deal remains very competitive, Most of the company’s leading competitors in RM, RF and microstock are paying photographers between 15% and 45% of gross sales.

As per the terms of contributor contracts all contributors are being given 45 days notice of this change.

Copyright © 2012 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 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, 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:  


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