Shutterstock Q3 2017 Financial Results

Posted on 10/31/2017 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Shutterstock has reported Q3 2017 revenue of $141.1 million up $18.0 million, or 14% on a constant currency basis, compared to Q3 2016. The revenue was also up $7.1 million from Q2 2017. Revenue per download averaged $3.23 per image, an 11% increase over Q3 2016. About 27% of revenue, or roughly $38.09 million, was paid out in royalties to contributors.

Total download for the quarter were 41.9 million, up from 41.2 a year earlier. For the first 9 months of 2017 the company had a total of 128.1 million downloads, up 2.3 million, or about 1.5%, from the 125.8 million in the first 9 months of 2016.

At the end of Q3 Shutterstock had 155.8 million images in its collection up 53.1 million, or 51% more than were in the collection a year earlier. In addition, the collection contains 8.3 million video clips.

Enterprise revenue grew 29% year over year and represented about 34% or $49.3 million of total Q3 2017 revenue. Currently the company has about 1.8 million customers up about 11% from a little over 1.6 million in Q3 2016. In the previous quarter it was reported that the company had 36,000 Enterprise customers. There was no indication that Shutterstock added significantly to that number in Q3. That would imply, based on the revenue growth, that Enterprise customers are spending, on average, more that in previous quarters.

It is important to note that they have about 1,764,000 non-enterprise customers. These customers would have purchased content with a total value of approximately $91.8 million during the quarter and spent, on average,roughly $52.04 per customer. Given that a significant percent of the images are licensed via subscription where the customer pays, at least, $298 to download 50 images a month for three months, a significant percent of Shutterstock’s customers are either not purchasing anything during the quarter, or purchasing very few images.

About 40% of Q3 revenues were from the United States and Canada, another 30% from Europe and the remaining 30% from Asis/Pacific and Latin America.


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 Q4 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.

  Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3
  2015 2015 2015 2016 2016 2016 2016 2017 2017 2017
Downloads (millions) 35.9 38.1 39.8 41.2 43.4 41.2 41.1 43.5 42.7 41.9
Rev.per DL $2.85 $2.76 $2.86 $2.77 $2.81 $2.91 $3.02 $2.96 $3.05 $3.23
Images in collection 57.2 63.7 71.4 81.0 92.1 102.7 116.2 132 144.7 155.8
Total Rev. (millions) $104.4 $107.3 $115.9 $116.7 $124.3 $123.1 $130.2 $130.2 $134.0 $141.1
Rev/Image $1.83 $1.68 $1.62 $1.44 $1.34 $1.20 $1.12 $0.98 $0.93 $0.90
% Image Lic 63% 60% 56% 51% 47% 40% 35% 32% 30% 26%

    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 Q2 2015 on average he would have had 630 downloads in that quarter. In Q3 2017 a collection with 1,000 image would have only had 260 downloads. Back in Q4 2012 a contributor with a 1,000 image collection could have expected to see 920 downloads in a quarter.

Lines Of Business

Oringer pointed out that the company is engaged in 6 lines of business: Ecommerce, Enterprise, Motion (audio and video), Editorial (sports and entertainment), Shutterstock Custom (Flashstock) and Web DAM.

During the quarter the Editorial division covered 1,900 events, over 700 of them sporting events, and saw a 38% increase in licenses of Editorial images. It is unclear exactly how much revenue these sales might have represented.

It is believed that the download numbers Shutterstock provides are the combined total of images and illustrations downloaded from both Shutterstock and Bigstock. They do not include Motion or Editorial downloads. If that is the case then we can calculate the combined revenue generated by Motion, Editorial, Shutterstock Custom and Web DAM by multiplying the number of downloads by the revenue per download and then subtracting that number from the total revenue generated during the quarter. Thus, in the last 12 months about $17 million or 3% of the total $535.5 million was generated by these other lines of business.


    Revenue Gross Total Amt From
  Downoads per DL From DL Gross Other
Q2 2015 35,900,000 $2.85 $102,315,000 $104,400,000 $2,085,000
Q3 2015 38,100,000 $2.76 $105,156,000 $107,300,000 $2,144,000
Q4 2015 39,800,100 $2.86 $113,828,286 $115,900,000 $2,071,714
Q1 2016 41,200,000 $2.77 $114,124,000 $116,700,000 $2,576,000
Q2 2016 43,400,000 $2.81 $121,954,000 $124,300,000 $2,346,000
Q3 2016 41,200,000 $2.91 $119,892,000 $123,100,000 $3,208,000
Q4 2016 41,100,000 $3.02 $124,122,000 $130,200,000 $6,078,000
Q1 2017 43,500,000 $2.96 $128,760,000 $130,200,000 $1,440,000
Q2 2017 42,700,000 $3.05 $130,235,000 $134,000,000 $3,765,000
Q3 2017 41,900,000 $3.23 $135,337,000 $141,100,000 $5,763,000

Financial Outlook

The full year guidance for 2017 remains at $535 and $545 million, but CFO Steven Berns says, “our full year 2017 revenues will be at the higher end of our guidance range.” Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be at the low-to-mid point of the previously issued guidance of $85 to $95 million.

In addition, the Company expects its fourth quarter 2017 capital expenditures to be approximately $15 million, of which 60% is expected to be capitalized labor. Accordingly, management expects capital expenditures for the full year 2017 to be approximately $55 million, including capitalized labor of approximately $35 million.

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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