Alamy Revenue Down 27% In 2009

Posted on 2/24/2010 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Table 1. Alamy revenue in original transaction currency
Transaction currency Revenue (000’s)
Q1 2009 Q2 2009 Q3 2009 Q4 2009
U.S. Dollars $2,351 $2,070 $2,109 $1,855
Euros 565 530 604 615
British Pounds 1,887 1,795 1,704 1,800

Alamy sales for 2009 were $22,864,000, down 27% from 2008. Fourth-quarter sales were down less than 2% compared to the previous quarter but 14% compared to the fourth quarter of 2008. British pound and Euro sales were up slightly compared to the third quarter of  2009, but U.S. dollar sales were down 12% compared to Q3 2009 and 22% compared to Q4 2008.

Table 1 shows Alamy sales in the original transaction currencies. Table 2 converts the amounts to U.S. Dollars based on the March 31, June 30, September 30 and December 31 exchange rates.

Table 2. Alamy revenue converted to U.S. Dollars
Transaction currency Revenue (000’s)
Q1 2008 Q2 2008 Q3 2008 Q4 2008 Q1 2009 Q2 2009 Q3 2009 Q4 2009
U.S. Dollars $2,626 $2,937 $2,750 $2,390 $2,351 $2,070 $2,109 $1,855
Euros $1,162 $1,225 $1,035 $1,017 $746 $745 $881 $881
British Pounds $4,146 $4,368 $4,433 $3,091 $2,682 $2,965 $2,713 $2,866
Total $7,934 $8,530 $8,218 $6,498 $5,779 $5,780 $5,703 $5,602

In the last quarter of 2009, the average price of a rights-managed image was $116, down $2 from the previous quarter but up from a low of $105 in the first half of the year. The average price of a royalty-free image was $168, down from $177 in the third quarter.

The average price of a rights-managed image licensed for editorial use was $100, down 3% from the third quarter of 2009, but far better than the $93 in the second quarter. The average price of a rights-managed commercial image was $298—on a steady pace upward after hitting a low of $234 in the first quarter of the year. However, the average price for rights-managed commercial images is still a long way from the high of $384 in third quarter of 2008. The revenue from commercial sales in the fourth quarter of 2009 was about $1,234,440, and editorial sales totaled about $4,369,560.

Of the $5,602,000 in revenue for the fourth quarter, $1,344,480 was for royalty-free sales and $4,257,520 for rights-managed sales. Based on the figures disclosed, approximately 8,002 royalty-free images were licensed. Of the rights-managed images, 3,143 were licensed for commercial use and 33,209 for editorial use, for a total of 44,354 images licensed in the quarter.

As of February 23, Alamy had over 18 million images available on its site. This means that of all the images available for licensing on Alamy, less than 1% are licensed at least once annually.

On average, a photographer who has 100 rights-managed images on Alamy can expect to license rights to one in the year for about $116 and receive a royalty of 60% of that. Nevertheless, Alamy has reported that their three top-selling 2009 contributors received the following rounded commissions:

  • £130,000 ($210,000)
  • £90,000 ($150,000)
  • £75,000 ($120,000)

They also confirmed these three were a mixture of agencies and individuals. One might suspect that the top two were agencies and a solo photographer received $120,000.

Copyright © 2010 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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