Shutterstock’s Global Contributor Community Surpasses $1 Billion in Earnings

Posted on 12/10/2019 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Shutterstock, Inc. has announced that its contributor base has reached $1 billion in earnings paid. The company released its Contributor Earnings Report, which breaks down the massive achievement shared among its global community of artists, photographers, videographers and musicians. The report showcases an overview of earnings by region, a snapshot of high-growth countries and features a selection of contributors who helped make the achievement possible.

Over 1 million contributors across Shutterstock, Shutterstock Editorial, Shutterstock Custom, Bigstock, Offset, and PremiumBeat are responsible for making more than 300 million images, 16 million videos and 24 million music tracks available on the platform. Each time an image, video clip or music track is licensed through Shutterstock, the contributor behind that content earns money.

In 2018 the average earnings of each contributor was $159.00. By region 2018 earnings break down as follow:

Europe $105,300,000 66.23%
Asia $26,600,000 16.73%
North America $23,700,000 14,91%
South America $1,500,000 0.94%
Oceania $1,200,000 0.75%
Africa $700,000 0.44%
  $159,000,000 100%

It is interesting to note that two-thirds of the earnings went to European contributors while only about 15% went to those in the U.S.

German contributors earned 5.5% of European earnings but only 3.6% of worldwide earnings. U.S. contributors earned 78.5% of North American earning, but only 11.7% of total worldwide earnings. This is despite the fact that one-third to maybe more than 40% of the customers for stock images are in North America and Germany.

It is also important to remember that Europe includes Eastern Europe and Russia. The European countries that saw the greatest percentage growth in 2018 were Kosovo, Estonia and Albania. Likewise, in Asia the countries were Shutterstock saw the greatest growth were Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia. Only a little over 1% of total Asian sales went to South Korea, one of the more prosperous Asian countries.

One of the takeaways from this data seems to be that a few contributors in countries where the cost-of-living is very low can possibly earn enough money from stock image licensing to justify putting forth the effort to produce and upload images. On the other hand, contributors from the more developed countries, where the basic cost of living is much higher, are finding that no matter how much they enjoy taking pictures, how talented they are and how hard they work,  they must find other ways to actually earn the money needed to pay their bills.

Commenting on the milestone, Shutterstock Founder and CEO Jon Oringer said, “our 1.9 million customers around the world rely on the inspiring work provided by our contributors to create effective promotional campaigns, social posts, websites, movies and other creative projects for their organizations, ranging from Fortune 500 brands to the mom and pop coffee shop on the corner. We are incredibly proud of the network effect of our platform and this monumental achievement reached by our contributor community.”

With over six images downloaded every second, Shutterstock’s platform provides contributors with real-time information on the performance of their content, as well as trending topics to help them deliver fresh images, video and music to meet current market demands.

Becoming a Shutterstock contributor has never been easier. With the recent launch of in-app contributor registration for iOS and Android, image and footage contributors can start earning money from their mobile photos and videos right away. The contributor-facing website and mobile applications are also now available in 21 languages and a newly upgraded contributor portfolio page offers an enhanced experience for these users to showcase their image and video content in one place.
In addition to the report, Shutterstock is celebrating this impressive achievement by increasing the contributor commission for new customer referrals starting today. Contributors will earn 50% commission on all net new customers they refer for a 30-day period.

Copyright © 2019 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


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