Shutterstock Q2 Revenue: $56.8 Million

Posted on 8/8/2013 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (1)

Shutterstock has reported a record 24.3 million downloads and $56.8 million in revenue for Q2 2013. Revenue per-download grew 5% year-over-year to $2.33. This was driven by a continued shift toward on demand, direct sales and footage downloads, all of which carry a higher effective price-per-download. The Shutterstock collection has grown to more than 28 million images and over 1 million video clips.

Revenue for Q3, the seasonally slowest growth quarter is expected to be between $56 million and $57 million. For all of 2013 revenue is projected to be between $227 million and $229 million. EBITDA is projected to be between $48 million and $50 million for the year. In October of last year Shutterstock was trading at $22 a share. Today it is trading around $55.

Revenue And Download Trends

The chart below shows some of the trends in downloads, images in the collection in millions and revenue growth since the first quarter of 2011. The bottom row is "revenue per image in the collection." For this figure we divide total revenue by the sum of still images and video clips since the video makes up a portion of the revenue.

  Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2
  2011 2011 2011 2011 2012 2012 2012 2012 2013 2013
Download 13.3 14.4 14.8 16.2 17.6 18.3 18.7 21.4 22.3 24.3
Rev per DL $1.92 $2.01 $2.10 $2.14 $2.13 $2.22 $2.26 $2.30 $2.29 $2.33
Images 14.4 15.3 16.2 17.4 18.8 20.2 21.7 23.3 25 28
Total Rev $25.54 $28.94 $31.08 $34.67 $37.49 $40.63 $42.26 $49.22 $51.5 $56.8
Rev/ImCol $1.77 $1.89 $1.92 $1.99 $1.99 $2.01 $1.95 $2.11 $1.98 $1.96

It should be noted that the price point for video averages around $60, much higher than the average for sales overall. This figure also pushes up the average revenue-per-download ($2.33). It is interesting to compare Q2 2012 with Q2 2013 and consider how much of the in that number may result from increased footage sales. Footage sales, and direct sales to large enterprises, are growing at a faster clip than the overall business.

It should also be noted that while revenue has been growing substantially, the number of images available for client consideration has been growing at a faster pace.
One of the company’s growth strategies has been to increase penetration of all markets worldwide. To that end they added search in two additional languages – Thai and Korean – during the quarter making the site searchable in 20 different languages. Download growth overall is pretty consistent in all territories. Last quarter CEO Jon Oringer reported that while they license images in more than 150 countries “roughly two thirds of our revenue comes from outside the United States."

Royalties Paid Out

Shutterstock paid out nearly $16 million in royalties in the quarter or about 28% of revenue. Based on photographer comments on the MicrostockGroup blog Shutterstock is clearly the industry leader in revenue generated for microstock photographers. Many photographers are reporting that 50% to 70% of the total revenue they receive from all the microstock sites where their images are represented comes from Shutterstock. They also report dismal results from iStockphoto.

Global sales and marketing expenses for Shutterstock in Q2 were $13.3 million or 23% of revenue. At the end of the quarter they had 295 employees worldwide.

They reject between one-half and one-third of the images submitted for quality reasons.

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:  


  • Paul Melcher Posted Aug 9, 2013
    Seems Yuri pulling 100,000 of his images didn't affect Shutterstock that much. Not that we didn't expect it. Impressive work from the Shutterstock team. congrats.

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