Shutterstock Premier Selects

Posted on 5/6/2015 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

In March, Shutterstock began testing a new collection called Premier Selects that is only available to Enterprise customers.

The Premier offering was launched in 2011 to help the company build relationships with larger clients, such as publishers, ad agencies, and Fortune 500 companies. It showcases the regular Shutterstock collection in a customizable way that is designed to better fulfill some of the special needs of large image users. Premier offers custom license packages, additional indemnification, and help with researching the collection. For more about how it works check out

In Q4 2014 more than 20% of Shutterstock’s revenue (over $18 million for the quarter) came from Premier users, also referred to as Enterprise sales.

Premier users have always had access to all assets from Shutterstock contributors that have opted-in to sensitive use. With the Premier Selects test Shutterstock is also showing additional selected images from a small group of contributors whose images are not available on

Shutterstock has recognized that many of their enterprise customers use images that certain contributors have not been willing to place on Shutterstock because they don’t want their images licensed via subscriptions. Premier Selects is an effort to provide more value and serve a larger section of the needs of enterprise customers while at the same time satisfying the requirements of a certain segment of contributors.

In a blog post to contributors Keren Sachs said, “If customers respond well to this test, we will look to expand to additional contributors based on lifetime earnings, giving you the opportunity to consider participation in this collection.”  

Jennifer Bewley said, “Licensing and pricing on Shutterstock Premier is structured differently to what you would see on (i.e. our On-Demand or Subscriptions plans).  Premier Select is being tested exclusively on Premier.”

It appears that Premier has no standard pricing template as found on Since it is impossible to get access without talking to a sales person it seems likely that every pricing package is separately negotiated based on the unique needs of the customer.

In discussing pricing plans Josh Garey also says, “Shutterstock Premier adds value for contributors as well, because they will see higher earnings per download from our Premier platform.”

My Speculation

It seems possible that RF image producers who have, up to now, been unwilling to license their images through microstock or subscription sites due to the low prices per image used, may be more interested in participating on Premier Select. This is particularly true considering how low prices often are for images being licensed through traditional sites.

It is unclear how Shutterstock would decide to deal with such new producers since they have promised that when they expand the collection it will be “based on lifetime earnings” on Shutterstock. Nevertheless, with Premier Selects Shutterstock has brought at least a few contributors into the fold who had not been Shutterstock contributors previously.

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:  


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