Shutterstock Q2 2017 Financial Results

Posted on 8/2/2017 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Shutterstock has reported Q2 2017 revenue of $134.0 million. This revenue was up 8% from Q2 2016, and up $3.8 million from Q1 2017.

Revenue per download increased 9% from $2.81 in Q2 2016 to $3.05. Revenue per download in Q1 2017 was $2.96. At the end of the quarter there were 144.7 million images in Shuttrstock’s collection and 7.6 million video clips. This was up from 132 million images at the end of Q1 2017 and from 92.1 million a year earlier at the end of Q2 2016.??

The company had 42.7 million paid downloads in the quarter down from 43.5 million in Q1 2017. It is worth looking at the number of paid downloads per quarter for the last 18 months (see chart below). In millions they were, 41.2, 43.5, 41.2, 41.1, 43.5 and 42.7. While download numbers were very flat, Shutterstock managed to more than double the size of its collection by growing it from 71.4 million images to 144.7 million.

More than 250,000 contributors made their images, video clips & music tracks available to Shutterstock. At the end of 2016 they had 190,000 contributors so they have added over 60,000 new contributors in the last 6 months. Contributor royalty payments are believed to be approximately 27% of revenue or $36.18 million. Divided among the 250,000 contributors that would average about $145 per contributor for the quarter.
More than 1.7 million customers contributed to revenue over the past 12 months, which was up 11% vs. Q2 2016. (They were saying that they had 1.7 million customers at the end of 2016 so it doesn’t seem there is much growth in new customers in the last 6 months.)

After the quarterly conference call Shutterstock shares declined 15.44% to $35.26 by the end of the trading today. The previous close was $41.70.


The chart below shows some of the trends in downloads, images in the collection and revenue growth since Q1 2015. Video downloads are not included in this calculation. (For earlier data going back to Q3 2012 see here. The "Rev/Image" row is "the average revenue per image in the collection." For this figure I divide total revenue by the sum of still images.

  Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2
  2015 2015 2015 2015 2016 2016 2016 2016 2017 2017
Downloads (millions) 33.4 35.9 38.1 39.8 41.2 43.4 41.2 41.1 43.5 42.7
Rev.per DL $2.87 $2.85 $2.76 $2.86 $2.77 $2.81 $2.91 $3.02 $2.96 $3.05
Images in collection 51.6 57.2 63.7 71.4 81.0 92.1 102.7 116.2 132 144.7
Total Rev. (millions) $97.5 $104.4 $107.3 $115.9 $116.7 $124.3 $123.1 $130.2 $130.2 $134.0
Rev/Image $1.89 $1.83 $1.68 $1.62 $1.44 $1.34 $1.20 $1.12 $0.98 $0.93
% Image Lic 65% 63% 60% 56% 51% 47% 40% 35% 32% 30%
    The "% Image Lic” row measures the odds that a single image in the collection will have been licensed one time within the quarter. To arrive at this number, I divide the total downloads by the number of images in the collection at the end of the quarter. This number is significant because it shows that new images are being added at a much faster rate than image downloads are increasing. For example, if a contributor had 1,000 images in the collection in Q1 2015 on average he would have had 650 downloads in that quarter. In Q2 2017 a collection with 1,000 image would have only had 300 downloads. Back in Q4 2012 a contributor with a 1,000 image collection could have expected to see 920 downloads in a quarter.

Financial Outlook

The full year guidance for 2017 was adjusted down to $535 and $545 million. At the beginning of the year they had projected revenue of $545 to $560. Revenue for 2016 was $494.3 million. If they hit $540 million, that will be 9% growth for the year.

Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be between $85 and $95 million. At the beginning of 2017 the EBITDA for the full year was expected to be $105 and $110 million.


CFO Steven Berns said, “We also saw a 2% decrease in paid downloads, driven by lower downloads from our e-commerce subscription customer base. In the second quarter of 2017, revenue from our e-commerce business was $85.9 million or 3% higher than the second quarter of 2016.” (It is unclear whether “e-commerce” includes subscription and Image-on-Demand, or just subscription.)

Berns added, “Revenue in the e-commerce channel “decelerated slightly” driven by the changes in mix of our subscription business.” With the new lower-priced subscription offering customers were able to tailor their subscriptions closer to their actual needs. Thus, even though they paid a slightly higher price per image downloaded they actually spent less money overall.

Back in 2014 and early 2015 Shutterstock provided a little more color on these aspects of the business, but nearly all of that kind of detail has now disappeared.

Enterprise Customers

Enterprise revenue grew to $42.9 million or 32% of total revenue. The average Enterprise customer spent $1,191.67 during the quarter, or $4766.68 per year.
    (Much of the Enterprise revenue allows the customer to make virtually unlimited downloads. We assume those downloads are counted as part of the subscription offering, rather than part of the fee per image downloaded offering, but it is unclear.)

Where Are The Customers

CFO Steven Berns said that “Of the approximately 65% of customers from outside the U.S. about half (32%) is from customers in Europe with the balance (32%) are in Asia Pacific and Latin America.” That would leave 35% of customers are in the U.S. (It is unclear whether Canada and Mexico are included with the United States)

For readers who want to read a transcript of the Shutterstock Earnings Call click here or listen to the call click here.

Copyright © 2017 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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