Under review

Does anyone know what the pricing and profit sharing is for photo sales through Town News?

mcgregora 5 years ago in BLOX CMS updated by Kevin M. Cox 5 years ago 12

We currently use My Capture but would switch for the convenience if the potential income was comparable.

We're looking to switch as well, but are still waiting for a few nagging bugs to be fixed first.

According to the FAQ, Town News takes 10% of the Retail price.


Here is the lst price sheet I saw, from March 2019:

What are the "nagging bugs" that concern you? Perhaps we will want to hold off as well.

Thanks for the price sheet, that will help us compare the services.

Two things specifically:

1. Our staff photographers primarily upload photos into TotalCMS via FTP (processed by a TCMS Job). Photos entered into the system this way do not honor the "Disable photo sales by default” setting inside the Editorial / Assets settings panel in Total CMS. (Ticket # 717157)

We want photos sales off by default, because we have more photos that cannot be sold than ones that can, to allow our photo editor to selectively (batch) enable photo sales on specific assignments. This is currently working for anything added via the BLOX web browser interface, but not having it apply to images we upload via FTP is a blocking issue for us.

2. I still don't have a satisfactory answer on what photo sales state (Automatic/Enabled/Disabled) all of our existing photos in both Hosted BLOX (going back to 2012) and TotalCMS (back to 2015) will be in when we enable the service.

Along the same lines as above, we need all these old photos to default to "Disabled" (NOT automatic) so we don't suddenly have photos that we don't want to sell (house fires, car wrecks, etc.) or are not legally allowed to sell (MLB, NFL, etc.) available for purchase by the public.

I just noticed you mentioned a ticket number, and it was actually just assigned to me. So I will be forwarding it on to the appropriate folks. =)

We're good on issue #1 now thanks to mcgregora, but there are other feature requests plus a new question still in that ticket.

The new question is:

Is there a version of this* that can be applied to the newer Editorial Importer processing?

*  "disable_photo_sales" = "1" in Destination options of the Job

I'm also still looking for clarification about #2 which I elaborated on in my reply below.


Since you so graciously shared the price sheet perhaps I can return the favor.

1 - We had the same concern with our photos, which upload via FTP from our editorial content management system that is separate from Town News. I presume your photo import is handled by a job command set up in Blox Admin. If so, go to Blox, Settings, Jobs, and select the job that handles your photo import. On the destinations tab create an option for "disable_photo_sales" and give it a value of "1". This was done for us via a help ticket a few months back and it solved the issue of all our photos appearing with the Buy Now button despite having the Disable photo sales option selected.

2 - Early this summer the Town News unveiled a much more powerful Batch editing process that I think can essentially Batch Edit every asset you have. I believe you could designate all your existing photos to have photo sales disabled in one command - although it may take some time for the system to execute the change. See: https://help.bloxcms.com/knowledge-base/releases/software_releases/article_799c45b3-cb7d-57d2-bbdd-789220833480.html

Hope that helps.

1. Wow, that works perfectly yet hasn't been provided to me in the three months since I added it to the ticket (that was opened in March) or mentioned in emails with our project manager. Town News really needs to do a better job around documenting items like that, especially in relation to job processing.

Thank you very much for sharing it. Can you dig up that ticket number for me so I can reference it?

2. Yep, I've been following that and it'll get the job done eventually, I'm not sure how long it would take with 121,408 images in our hosted site plus 70,425 in TCMS. Especially since you can't search on Photo Sales status.

Under review

A few things to note:

1. The pricing sheet changes quite a bit due to feedback from customers, data trends and testing, and changes to vendor pricing. I think that one is still in effect, but we change the pricing (for all accounts) several times a year. We announce any changes in our weekly release note emails. But, I'm specifically mentioning this for future generations who read this email, please note that the pricing may have changed.

2. As mcgregora mentioned, in order to switch old photos to "disabled" the mass batch editing feature is great. I would highly recommend you do a batch to turn off ones in specific sections or with specific bylines (or even ALL photos). Then, you can strategically re-enable some that you know will work - such as photos posted by a specific photographer, or photos in a specific section (which you can search for and then perform a batch on those searches).

That being said, by far the majority of photos are going to be ones that are recent, so you're probably not missing a lot by just enabling photo sales going forward.

However, we are working on a few projects to try to make finding and purchasing older photos easier for end users. We will have a special search function (which will only find "enabled" photos) that you will be able to use which will allow you to create special searches to promote certain photos, and they may contain older photos as well. For example:

- Historical photos about the area

- Promoting more photos about a specific prep sports team from a current article

- Scenic photos around town of landmarks or nature (imagine someone buying framed photos of Yellowstone for their living room makeover)

- Previous graduation photos promoted from this year's gallery (or prom, etc.)

- Posters or graphics made by the paper to promote an event (like Best of the Region, 100th anniversary of the town, etc.) that people might want to hang in their office, etc.

We actually see a good deal of people who buy really nice framed photos of a particular theme in order to use in decorating. Pictures of nature, pictures of animals, etc. are very popular. The most popular photos are prep sports, graduation, prom, and then community shots. But scenic photos are next.

3. As mcgregora also mentioned, I believe the "disabled by default" issue has been addressed. So if you are still having this issue, please submit a ticket. There are now ways to make this happen in all situations, I believe. It might require some changes as mcgregora mentioned.



1. How about just keeping the current price list displayed on the FAQ that way it is always available for reference by all customers?


2. This statement is exactly what I'm still trying to get clarification on: "...so you're probably not missing a lot by just enabling photo sales going forward."

What specifically does that mean? If we enable photo sales today ("going forward") what is the state for existing photos in the system? From what I've seen it'll be "Automatic" which means we can't enable photo sales until we have the ability to do the large batch edit in TCMS to disable it for our 70,425 photos there.

Now if the system was set so that any existing photos would default to "Disabled" and only photos uploaded after photo sales are enabled, this would solve our problem and combined with #3 below we could turn on the feature this week.

3. I wish that would have been communicated sooner. I asked about it in my ticket back in June plus have mentioned it multiple times in emails with our project manager on photo sales.


The import job setting was implemented as a result of ticket 734417.



I flipped the switch a month or so ago to Enable Photo Sales, which is when I discovered the Buy Now button issue on our FTP imported photos. A quick review of our legacy photos (over 120,000 from 5 years as a Town News customer and the thousands that migrated from our prior web management system) show photo sales as "Automatic" on all the photo assets I checked. I can't say definitively that this setting was applied when I flipped the switch but I suspect it was. Our saving grace is all those old photos do not meet the resolution threshold to satisfy the photo sales requirement, so the Buy Now button never appeared. I only recently increased our export resolution from our CMS to Town News in effort to possibly take advantage of Town News photo sales, which is when the Buy Now button issue revealed itself.

When I have some downtime, and I know there isn't anyone else working on our site, I will try a batch edit on 10,000 or 20,000 of those old photos to disable photo sales and see how long it takes and let you know.

Thanks, you've been most helpful.

The biggest batch I've run so far was just shy of 8,000 assets. It actually didn't take all that long to complete, but I've had to run every batch twice so far because it seems like a few dozen get missed in the first go.

Personally I'm also annoyed that doing so means we've now updated the Modification time on all those assets. If all the existing content had just defaulted to "Disabled" when they added the feature it would have worked better for us specifically.