Is Shutterstock Ready To Take On Getty In The Editorial Space?

Posted on 1/16/2015 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Yesterday, Shutterstock paid $33 million in cash to acquire London-based Rex Features.  In the technology section of its website Crain’s New York Business says, “The purchase of Rex puts Shutterstock in direct competition with Getty Images for a share of the editorial stock photography market, and ends long-held speculation that Shutterstock was looking to knock off its London rival.”

Let’s be realistic. Shutterstock may now have a toe in the water, but it is a long way from being ready to jump in and take on Getty in the editorial market. It is believed that Rex’s gross revenue in 2014 was in the range of $7 million. Revenue for Getty’s editorial division was about $65 million in Q3 2014, up 21% year-over-year. That probably means that Getty’s total editorial revenue for 2014 was in the range of $250 million.

Shutterstock has been hurting Getty in its Midstock business (iStock) and Getty’s revenue from Premium stills has also been declining, but Editorial is a very different from the creative stills side of the stock photo business in which Shutterstock is currently engaged. And editorial is currently the strongest part of the Getty offering.

Shutterstock has a lot to learn about the editorial side of the business before they would really be ready to really compete with Getty in that space.

Some have speculated that Shutterstock might be ready to make an offer to purchase Getty, but with all the problems with Getty’s Midstock and Premium, and the huge cost, buying the whole company would seem absurd.

On the other hand there are rumors that Getty is open to selling its editorial division separately. That might not be a bad option for Shutterstock. Getty would probably want any buyer to take on a huge part of its debt. With all things considered such a deal might be worth close to 1 billion. Shutterstock could probably swing such a deal, if they are ready to take on a lot of debt.

Copyright © 2015 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:  


Be the first to comment below.

Post Comment

Please log in or create an account to post comments.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive email notification when new stories are posted.

Follow Us

Free Stuff

Stock Photo Pricing: The Future
In the last two years I have written a lot about stock photo pricing and its downward slide. If you have time over the holidays you may want to review some of these stories as you plan your strategy ...
Read More
Future Of Stock Photography
If you’re a photographer that counts on the licensing of stock images to provide a portion of your annual income the following are a few stories you should read. In the past decade stock photography ...
Read More
Blockchain Stories
The opening session at this year’s CEPIC Congress in Berlin on May 30, 2018 is entitled “Can Blockchain be applied to the Photo Industry?” For those who would like to know more about the existing blo...
Read More
2017 Stories Worth Reviewing
The following are links to some 2017 and early 2018 stories that might be worth reviewing as we move into the new year.
Read More
Stories Related To Stock Photo Pricing
The following are links to stories that deal with stock photo pricing trends. Probably the biggest problem the industry has faced in recent years has been the steady decline in prices for the use of ...
Read More
Stock Photo Prices: The Future
This story is FREE. Feel free to pass it along to anyone interested in licensing their work as stock photography. On October 23rd at the DMLA 2017 Conference in New York there will be a panel discuss...
Read More
Important Stock Photo Industry Issues
Here are links to recent stories that deal with three major issues for the stock photo industry – Revenue Growth Potential, Setting Bottom Line On Pricing and Future Production Sources.
Read More
Recent Stories – Summer 2016
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complet...
Read More
Corbis Acquisition by VCG/Getty Images
This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Gett...
Read More
Finding The Right Image
Many think search will be solved with better Metadata. While metadata is important, there are limits to how far it can take the customer toward finding the right piece of content. This story provides...
Read More

More from Free Stuff