Offset: New Market For Traditional RF And RM Images

Posted on 8/29/2013 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Many traditional RF and RM agencies and production companies are adding images to the Offset collection. I’ve found images from Blend, Aurora, Tetra, National Geographic, Westend61, fStop, Johner, Gallery Stock, Cavan Images and Radius Images in the few searches I’ve conducted.

Offset is a new brand owned by Shutterstock. Scott Braut of Offset says, “We are receiving content from established agencies as well as individual artists who haven’t licensed their work as stock before. We’re focused on finding images that are highly engaging irrespective of their source. Unfortunately, many great images with storytelling potential get buried in established collections; the goal of Offset is to curate a large number of high-quality images that are both useful and unique and bring them together in one exceptional collection.”

These images are available through Offset non-exclusively and are licensed for $250 for a 3mb file and $500 for a 60mb file. The same images are available through many other major distributors, often at lower prices. However, given the size of those collections the images available on Offset may not be that easy to find in the other collections.

On the other hand if the images can be found in other collections they will often be significantly cheaper. I recently had the opportunity to examine over 8500 mostly RF sales (some RM) that Getty Images made for its contributors since 2008. Less than 2% were for gross fees of $500 or more. The average gross sale in 2008 was $219 and by 2012 it was down to $126. About 25% of the sales were for under $25. Other image sources may even be cheaper.

Bratt added, “We believe Offset is going to define a new category of image licensing and that it's difficult to compare Offset to any existing offering. With Offset, customers are getting best-in-class images and transparent, modern licensing terms at a very reasonable price. It's this combination of high quality and simplicity that sets the collection apart and we believe will attract a significant following. We also believe that Offset goes a long way to balance the needs of both customers and contributors.”

It also seems that Offset is open to considering submissions from at least some Shutterstock contributors.  “We encourage contributors to be on the appropriate platform for their work and for many, that’s, which offers contributors a mix of both download volume and higher royalty amounts,” said Braut, but he didn’t rule out accepting images from some of Shutterstock’s leading sellers.

Time will tell if Offset can generate enough sales at its high prices to interest Shutterstock suppliers who are used to a very high volume of sales at very low royalty rates.

Copyright © 2013 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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