Alamy Pays Over $20 Million to Contributors in 2008

Posted on 2/4/2009 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

In 2008, Alamy paid its contributors $20.8 million of $31.5 million in gross sales. To help photographers and agencies understand where their sales and return per image stood relative to others represented by Alamy, the company has supplied summary sales information for the top 100 photographers and top 100 agencies. This information demonstrates that there is no right answer to the age-old question of loose versus tight editing.

Of the top photographers, there were 69 with fewer than 10,000 images and 31 with more. The former had an average gross return per image of $13, while those with larger collections only averaged $3. (Contributors received about 66% of these numbers.) However, the average total annual revenue for these two groups was $46,083 and $59,027, respectively—not a significant difference, despite the wide variation in the average gross return per image.

Alamy pointed out that among the 10 highest-earning photographers, there were two whose approaches could not be more different. One has fewer than 6,000 images and an average annual revenue of $17 per image. The other has almost 60,000 images and averages $2 per image per year. Thus, the two made similar amounts of money—one with a large catalogue of wide and varied subject matter, the other with a tightly edited collection of iconic images.

Among the top 100 agencies, only 22 had fewer than 10,000 images; 78 agencies offered more. The average gross return per image for the former was $14, while those with more images averaged $3.10 per image.

Copyright © 2009 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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