ALAMY Q2 2007 FIGURES

Posted on 7/18/2007 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Alamy has released their second quarter 2007 figures on contributors, percentage revenue and average pricing which shows no major change from the previous quarter. In the quarter they added 897,277 images to their collection, slightly fewer than in the previous quarter. They now have over 9.15 million images on their site.Alamy still does not release revenue, except to provide average price-per-image licensed figures. RF sales were responsible for 31% of total revenue, down from 34% in the previous quarter. Despite this decline in revenue RF suppliers added 352,691 new images to the collection a 32% increase over the number of RF images added in the previous quarter.

There was little change in the number of individuals and agencies adding RF and RM compared with the previous quarter, but the number of RM images added was down 20% from the previous quarter. This would seem to indicate that many suppliers are now focused on supplying more RF images rather than RM at precisely the time when RM sales are increasing relative to RF.

It should be noted that this trend is probably unique to Alamy and not representative of what is happening in the industry overall. Over 90% of Alamy's sales are for editorial uses and the average price for editorial uses was $133 per image. Many of these customers can't afford the higher priced RF images which had an average price of $220 in the quarter. In addition, editorial customers tend to want content specific images, not the more generic images typically found in RF. Put both of these factors together and it may go a long way to explaining why Alamy's RF sales are falling while that is not necessarily the case in much of the rest of the industry.

Alamy's RF sales may also have been impacted by micropayment. It is well known that some of the editorial customers who had been using RM prior to the introduction of micropayment are now finding a significant number of the images they need on micropayment sites. In addition, because individual photographers, rather than agencies, are the ones posting on micropayment sites, there may be a variety of subject matter that attracts the editorial user.

Alamy has been trying for some time to build commercial sales, but despite strengthening their collection in this area they don't seem to be making much headway in selling to commercial users. The average price per commercial image licensed has been dropping over the last two-and-a-half years and the number of commercial licenses is also dropping.

For image suppliers the most useful figure is the average return-per-image (RPI) of all their images in the collection. This figure cannot be calculated from the data Alamy provides. (See Story Understanding RPI.) In talking to photographers, some who edit tightly and produce high demand subject matter indicate that they earn an annual RPI of about $10. There are those that earn somewhat less than this and I would be surprised if Alamy's overall gross sales are greater than $5.00 per image in the file.

Growing Collection

Among the things that can be gleaned from the Alamy statistics are that the average photographer uploaded 160 images in the quarter down from 173 in Q1. The average agency uploaded 2,424 images, up from 2,094 images in Q1, but still lower than the 2,773 uploaded in Q4 2006. There could be many factors that affect these averages, including new agencies that might have decided to participate and made large initial submissions.

The percent of revenue generated by images from photographers has been steadily going up and reached 53% for the quarter. Meanwhile, the percentage of revenue generated by agency images has gone from 61% two-and-half years ago to 47% in Q2 2007. In that same period of time photographers added 3,859,715 new images and agencies added 3,118,216 images.

Given the shift in revenue it is somewhat surprising that there isn't a bigger spread in the number of images added. My suspicion is that this also goes back to those editorial customers. Many of the agencies are submitting generic images aimed at the commercial market and such images aren't having a whole lot of success on Alamy. Many of the photographers, on the other hand, tend to supply images that are narrowly focused in terms of their potential use. Often these are images that the big agencies wouldn't accept.

These images may not sell as frequently as generic images, but they fill a need for editorial customers who have trouble finding the same type of imagery elsewhere.

Alamy Numbers - 2005-2007


2005

2005

2005

2005

2006

2006

2006

2006

2007

2007

Contributor Information

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

New RF images from photogs.

53,408

74,008

89,199

83,614

95,940

97,552

95,009

93,510

113,728

88,183

New RF images from agencies

60,850

140,360

63,451

125,405

152,752

109,935

243,386

246,244

154,259

264,508

New RM images from photogs.

203,641

258,847

268,147

291,356

450,653

312,170

371,741

349,704

423,987

377,620

New RM images from agencies

125,688

143,297

120,030

144,433

125,707

192,282

234,914

261,309

228,978

166,966

% Revenue photographers

38%

39%

41%

40%

43%

44%

45%

49%

51%

53%

% Revenue agencies

62%

61%

59%

60%

57%

56%

55%

51%

49%

47%













2005

2005

2005

2005

2006

2006

2006

2006

2007

2007

Contributor Information

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q1

Photogs. submitting images

2,030

2,209

2,349

2,452

2,870

2,667

2,667

2,800

3,107

2,908

Photogs. submitting RM images

1,850

2,001

2,111

2,179

2,569

2,349

2,376

2,470

2,762

2,592

Photogs. submitting RF images

907

1,041

1,135

1,214

1,435

1,351

1,264

1,342

1,491

1,405

Agencies submitting images

165

175

179

161

178

165

180

183

183

178

Agencies submitting RM images

142

141

142

128

130

126

136

131

133

123

Agencies submitting RF images

58

70

72

67

79

74

76

87

86

87

RM images submitted in quarter

329,329

402,144

388,177

435,789

576,360

504,452

606,655

611,013

652,965

544,586

RF images submitted in quarter

114,258

214,368

152,650

209,019

248,692

207,487

338,395

339,754

267,987

352,691

All images submitted in quarter

443,587

616,512

540,827

644,808

825,052

711,939

945,050

950,767

920,952

897,277













2005

2005

2005

2005

2006

2006

2006

2006

2007

2007

Percentage Revenue Info

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Images per transaction – credit card

1.7

1.7

1.8

1.8

1.8

1.7

1.7

1.8

1.7

1.7

Images per transaction – account

2.9

2.9

3.0

3.3

3.4

3.6

3.6

3.4

3.6

3.7

% Revenue RF

43%

43%

42%

41%

40%

38%

36%

35%

34%

31%

% Revenue RM

57%

57%

57%

59%

60%

62%

64%

65%

66%

69%

% Images sold RF

41%

39%

40%

36%

33%

29%

29%

29%

27%

24%

% Images sold RM

59%

61%

60%

64%

67%

71%

71%

71%

73%

76%

% Images sold – credit card

23%

22%

23%

21%

18%

16%

15%

16%

13%

11%

% Images sold – account

77%

79%

77%

79%

82%

84%

85%

84%

87%

89%

% Revenue – credit card

25%

25%

28%

25%

23%

21%

22%

21%

18%

17%

% Revenue - account customer

75%

75%

72%

75%

77%

79%

79%

79%

82%

84%

% Revenue editorial licenses

67%

66%

63%

65%

69%

71%

72%

72%

73%

77%

% Revenue commercial licenses

33%

34%

37%

35%

31%

29%

28%

28%

27%

23%













2005

2005

2005

2005

2006

2006

2006

2006

2007

2007

Average Price in USD

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Avg RF price – credit card

$191

$199

$206

$210

$211

$235

$229

$234

$246

$250

Avg RM price – credit card

$239

$276

$304

$236

$225

$230

$254

$224

$240

$254

Avg RF price – account

$193

$206

$114

$203

$203

$221

$205

$206

$211

$209

Avg RM price - account

$170

$156

$146

$162

$151

$145

$151

$156

$149

$149

Avg RM price – editorial use

$132

$137

$131

$131

$126

$122

$133

$132

$130

$133

Avg RM price – commercial use

$423

$423

$425

$359

$389

$364

$357

$332

$378

$360

Avg price all RM images

$177

$165

$182

$170

$158

$151

$159

$161

$155

$155

Avg price all RF images

$192

$203

$201

$206

$206

$226

$213

$215

$222

$220


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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