Shutterstock Announces Multiyear Deal With AP

Posted on 3/10/2016 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Shutterstock, Inc. has announced a three-year deal with The Associated Press (AP) to distribute AP's daily global photo and packaged video output for license to customers based in the United States. This milestone will also give U.S. Shutterstock editorial customers access to over 30 million photos and nearly 2 million video clips from, respectively, AP Images and AP Archive.

AP, one of the pre-eminent news agencies in the world, delivers up-to-the-minute news, sports and entertainment worldwide, including coverage from every statehouse in the United States, to all media platforms and formats.  Every day AP produces approximately 3,000 images and video clips. This wide array of photos and videos will be available on the Shutterstock Premier platform, along with approximately 100 ready-to-air packages called Consumer Ready Videos, which are produced by AP staff from raw footage captured at news events.

"This marks a major step forward for Shutterstock's editorial offering, providing trusted coverage of news events around the world to our Premier customers in the United States," said Jon Oringer, founder and CEO of Shutterstock. "We are proud that an organization built on a single-minded focus to newsgathering and the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism is trusting its content to be licensed on our platform and making it available to our customers in the U.S."

"With this relationship, AP gets the benefits of adding Shutterstock’s sales and marketing reach into the U.S. segments that AP has not traditionally served," said David Gwizdowski, AP senior vice president of revenue, Americas. "AP's worldwide prominence in news content and Shutterstock's strength in technology and visual content discovery makes us a formidable player in the market."

Shutterstock currently expects images from AP to go live to Shutterstock enterprise customers in the U.S. in April, 2016, and footage to be made available later in the year. All images and footage will be licensed under editorial use.

How Big A Deal Is This?

First we know that AP had a contract with Corbis until that company’s sale to VCG. Sources tell us that Corbis paid AP an annual guarantee for the right to distribute their images. However, Corbis never earned more than the guarantee, so it was a money losing venture for Corbis. We don’t know if Shutterstock has offered AP an annual guarantee and, if so, how much.

One of the reasons Corbis was not able to sell more of the AP content was that AP supplied Corbis with a very extensive list of companies that were not allowed to purchase AP images from Corbis. This included all the major magazines and newspapers that were already AP customers. It is unclear if AP has supplied Shutterstock with a similar list or restrictions.

We do know that the AP images will only be available to Shutterstock’s Enterprise customers who can access Shutterstock’s Premier collection. The Premier collection is not available for viewing by regular Shutterstock customers. Shutterstock says they have 1.5 million customers, but currently only a little over 24,000 of them are Enterprise customers. Shutterstock says that the AP images will only be available to U.S. customers, not all Enterprise customers worldwide. In the past they have said that about 30% of their revenue comes from U.S. sales which may mean that only about 7,200 of their 1.5 million customers will be able to see the AP images on the Shutterstock site.

The AP content will be visible on the Editorial tab of the Premier section of the Shutterstock site. Initially, the images will be available through the On-Demand pricing structure, but eventually there will be other packaging options.

Sources who supply images to Rex have told us that the revenue generated for them by Rex sales has been declining over the past year since Shutterstock took over that company. This may indicate that customers looking for hard news editorial content are finding what they need through sources other than Shutterstock.

Shutterstock does not disclose the number of unique images or video clips that are only available on the Premier Selects section of its site. It is unclear if the Premier Select numbers are included as part of the 78,549,303 royalty-free stock images on the site, or if they are in addition to those images.

Copyright © 2016 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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