Stocksy United Removes Membership Cap

Posted on 6/1/2018 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (1)

Stocksy United, the artist-owned photography + cinematography co-op that has tightly limited its membership since its founding in 2012, has made a decision to open its doors to new contributors.

Stocksy has seen continued strong growth since its founding due to careful selection of new contributors, tight editing and licensing fees considered reasonable by customers, but still fair to contributors.

In 2015 revenue was $7,928,745, up 126% from $3.5 million in 2014. By the end of 2017 revenue had grown another 26% in two-years to roughly $10.7 million.

Artists receive royalties of 50-75%. In 2017, the company paid out $5.7 million USD in royalties and $300,000 USD in dividends to their artist-shareholders.

Currently, the company has a combined collection of close to 1,000,000 images and videos. This means that on average artists received about $6.00 per image in the collection in 2017. Compare that figure with averages of $0.88 for Shutterstock and $2.38 for Getty Images Creative RF in the same year.

Currently Stocksy have 975 member-owners who have decided that it is in their best interest to expand membership in an effort to meet ongoing client demand, succeed in new markets, and remain relevant and competitive through ongoing diversification.

Previously, Stocksy membership was limited to 1,000. This meant that it was necessary to regularly review and remove inactive members. By removing the limit, the company can now allow for an increase of an unlimited number of additional co-op members (provided the quality of their work meets Stocksy’s standards) while also retaining current members and their content. With this change, Stocksy can continue to grow its existing collection while giving new photographers and filmmakers the opportunity to work alongside some of the most talented visual artists in the industry.

All images submitted to Stocksy must be exclusive, but Stocksy will accept photographers who have non-exclusive content with other agencies, as long as Stocksy is the exclusive representative of everything in its collection. One of the features of Stocksy’s pricing structure is that it offers “Market Freeze” pricing that starts at $1,250 for 6 months and goes up to $9,000 for five years. In order to guarantee that an image cannot be licensed by any other customer during the Market Freeze period, Stocksy must have exclusive control of the image.

The vote for removing the membership limit was run through the company’s new co-op resolution process which was carefully designed to utilize a balance of automation and valuable ‘old-school’ committee work facilitating transparency to, and voting by, its members who are spread out over 65+ countries speaking a myriad of languages.

"Our members recognize the need to further broaden the content we can offer to clients and have made a bold step to make that happen by voting to remove the membership limit,” said Michael Cook, VP Operations, Stocksy United. “This change allows us to further solidify Stocksy’s position as a leader in the industry, as well as the go-to stock house for content. We want to be the first, and last place creatives look for exceptional imagery and video. We are excited about how this change will help us advance our co-op while demonstrating how effective the platform co-op model is.”
Unlike many other stock agencies, Stocksy’s members are partners and have a true say in the business direction, which has led to the company’s ongoing success. To that end, the company will institute a yearly vote where members can choose to “freeze” membership growth for the following year.
Dedicated to supporting artists’ careers and making its community the number one priority of the business, Stocksy is considered a creative technology co-op that is doing it right. Built on the notion of championing creatives, empowering artists and making sure that every voice is heard, Stocksy welcomes this new change and is excited for the new challenges and anticipated growth.

Copyright © 2018 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:  


  • Thomas Wear Posted Jun 1, 2018
    Very interesting. Could be a great opportunity. This reads like a press release though -- Jim do you have any input on how they are doing based on your conversations with their photographers or other independent information?

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