Alamy continued its steady revenue growth in the second quarter and was up almost 20% compared to Q2 2007. The company had gross sales in Q2 2008 of $8,520,000, up from $7,132,000 in Q2 2007. Detailed statistics on the last two years of Alamy's operations are provided on its Web site.
Currently, Alamy has 8,855,218 RM images and 4,473,964 RF for a total of over 13.3 million images on its site. The number of images on the site available for licensing continues to go up at a rate even faster than revenue. During the quarter, there was 830,102 RM images submitted compared to 544,586 in Q2 2007, or a 52% increase. There were 477,564 RF images added, compared to 352,691 a year earlier for a 35% increase. Given these figures, suppliers should be experiencing a decline in return-per-image (RPI) on average. It should also be noted that there is more focus on adding RM images than RF. More on that point later.
55% of the revenue for the quarter came from images submitted by photographers and 45% from agencies.
Of the images licensed in Q2, 78% were RM, up from 74% in the previous quarter. There was a proportionate drop in the percentage of total images licensed for RF. This is likely due to the price differential between the two imagery types, with RM being 52% cheaper than RF on average. The average price for each RM image licensed was $147, while the average price of each RF image was $224. The average price of RM for commercial use was $383 and $116 for editorial use. Gross revenue for editorial licenses was $6,219,600 and for commercial licenses, $2,300,400.
The gross revenue for RM sales was $5,964,000, while the gross revenue for RF sales was $2,556,000. Dividing $147 into $5,964,000, means 40,571 images licensed and dividing $224 into $2,556,000 nets 11,411, making total images licensed 51,982.
Divide 40,571 into the total of 8,855,218 RM images on the site: Only one of every 218 images on the site sold during the quarters (Some my have sold twice so the odds could be even greater.) RF statistics are even worse.
Divide 11,410 into the total of 4,473,964 RF images: Only one of every 392 images on the site was licensed during the quarter. Thus, given Alamy's customer base, the over supply of RF images is significantly greater than the oversupply of RM images.
If a photographer is in the process of deciding whether to offer images to Alamy as RF or RM, choose RM. The advantage is that the price for RM images can be negotiated downward, unlike RF, where the price is fixed and on average, higher than RM. For every RF sale at an average price of $224, the photographer would make 1.8 RM sales for a total of $265.
Based on this data, another option for RF producers to consider is to offer a different price template for editorial than they offer for commercial uses. If, for example, they retained their existing prices for commercial uses and offered a 50% discount on all the file sizes for editorial uses, their prices for editorial would be in the ballpark for what editorial customers are willing to pay.