Alamy had gross sales in Q3 2007 of $7,506,000 and is on track to exceed $28 million in all of 2007, up 15.5% from its 2006 revenue of $24,237,364. Since late 2004, Alamy has been regularly publishing numbers on many aspects of its operation, but this is the first time it has provided revenue figures. (For a complete breakdown of the information reported see Details of Almay's Q3 Operations. "
With this level or revenue, I believe Alamy is the fourth-largest seller of stock images in the world after Getty, Corbis and Jupiterimages, although a few others may be close: Image Source, Masterfile, and PhotoLibrary. However, given the huge number of images Alamy represents (over 10 million reported last week), the average annual return per image is only about $2.80 per image. Most photographers receive a 65% royalty and thus, the average annual return to image suppliers is approximately $1.82 per image. This useful figure enables photographers to determine if their images are selling better, or worse than the average.
Some photographers and stock agencies that edit carefully and keyword well earn five-plus times this $1.82 average, but that also means that many contributors of those 10 million images earn far less per-image-on-file per-year.
The revenue generated by 10,000 photographers, compared to that of the over 400 agencies, has been steadily climbing and reached 54% of total revenue or $4,053,240 for the quarter. The average annual earnings of each photographer is just over $400.
Of the images licensed in Q3, 74% were RM and the rest RF. The average price for an RM image was $159 and for RF $226. Image prices have stayed relatively stable since the beginning of 2006. A total of $5,554,440 of the revenue was for editorial use and the average price for an editorial license was $133, meaning that 41,762 images were licensed. On the commercial side, $1,951,560 was generated from the licensing of 4,966 commercial images at an average price of $393.
These numbers demonstrate that less than half of 1% of the images in the collection are licensed in any given quarter, and since some images are licensed multiple times, the number of unique images licensed could be less.
Editorial sales represent 89% of Alamy's business. For some tim,e Alamy has been making efforts to increase their share of the higher-paying commercial market, but the ratio has remained stubbornly the same. However, commercial sales showed growth in both the number of images licensed and average price compared with the previous quarter.
Since the end of 2006 the number of images on the site has grown by 2.4 million; it is on track to add well over 3 million for all of 2007. In 2006, it added 3,432,808 images to their collection. The number of both RM and RF images added by agencies declined in the quarter, but the number of images submitted by photographers more than made up for that decline.