Alamy stock photography company works with local companies (distributors) in many countries around the world to sell the photos in its portfolio. There are countries where the images are sold at a good price, there are some where the share is only cents. What are these distributors?
The stock photography company Alamy provides its photographers with the opportunity to offer their photos for sale through distributors (local contract partners). By default, you are opted in all country / territory distributors (Dashboard > Additional revenue options > Distribution).
However, based on experience, this is not necessarily a wise thing to do, because there are countries where your images sell for cents (10-20 cents gross), from which distributors and Alamy deduct their share. So often 20-30% of the already low price only hits you.
By comparison, you get 40% off the price of images purchased directly from Alamy. The average price per image is around $30.
You can only opt out of distributors in April every year, and you can opt in at any time of the year.
Which countries / territories should you leave checked (opt in)?
Alamy photographers agree that the high-paying distributors are mainly in (in order from highest to lowest payers):
These are definitely worth keeping, as we can get tens of dollars per picture.
Which countries / territories should we opt out of?
There are photographers who keep saying that the easiest way is to opt out of the distributor option as is. Others see this as an exaggeration, but they always opt out of the following countries:
Most of the territories (countries) in the list of distributors never produce image purchases, and e.g. Serbia, where there is a distributor, is not even listed. This means that if e.g. you completely opt out of the list of African countries, you will possibly experience no changes in sales.
I suggest that you opt out of the above two countries, but at least China, from the very beginning, and all the others only if you already have a few years of experience to be able to decide which distributor sales are more valuable or worthless.
What are the pros and cons of opting out of all territories?
Those who have unchecked all distributor territories, i.e., are not in contact with any distributors through image sales, say that because Alamy’s website is available worldwide, the involvement of distributors (local companies) is not necessary. So you don't even have to worry about which country to opt out or in.
This point of view is contradicted by the fact that the English Alamy website cannot be operated in many countries, and it is much more convenient for customers living there to browse through photos and purchase in their own language. This is where the local distributor comes into the picture.
So if you completely disable the ability to sell through distributors in your user account (dashboard), you could miss out on selling a lot of photos, including more expensive ones. This is not a big thing for smaller portfolios (2-3,000 images), but it can be significant for larger ones.
An interesting solution when you disable all distributors:
Alamy will notify you by email if a distributor that is disabled in your settings wants to buy a specific image from you. So you won't miss a sale in principle. In this case, you can choose to say yes to the sale if it meets your expectations in price. It's a good idea to store these images in a lightbox (you can create "folders" at Alamy called lightboxes) so you can track sales.
What are the pros and cons of opting in all territories?
The clear profit is that you can take advantage of every single purchase, even if with a small amount, but you can increase your revenue.
However, it is also a disadvantage that you will be left with very little (3-8 cents) of very low (10-20 cents) gross revenue per image, and your images will be posted on websites or publications almost for free. The point of working with Alamy is that due to the higher average price ($30), we rarely see the same picture in different places.
Alamy’s contracted partners, the distributors, may sell the photos in Alamy’s portfolio at very different prices. That’s why many Alamy contributors take advantage of the opportunity and review which countries / territories they opt out or in, using the settings in their user account, in April every year.
It is advisable to gain a few years of experience selling your own images, before, believing the opinion of anyone, you start to opt out of each and every distributor or most of them.
Photo credits: Dollar cents / Arcelia / FreeImages, 100 dollar notes / John Guccione / Pexels