Shutterstock’s Contributor Earnings Report is Out: $1 Billion in Royalties Paid!


Shutterstock LogoHeads up, Shutterstock contributors! The agency has just released their Contributor Earnings Report that shares one impressive milestone: they have now paid a total of $1 Billion in contributor earnings!

The report is broken down regionally and gives a lot of details about sales performance and content in demand. If you sell your images through Shutterstock, you won't want to miss these insights!

And if you aren't yet a contributor to Shutterstock platform, this could very well be the best time to become one, as the agency is celebrating their contributor-side achievement with a special royalty rate increase for customer referrals.

See the Shutterstock Contributor Earnings Report here.

Ready to learn all about it? Read on!

$1 Billion in Royalties, from 300 Million Images, for 1 Million Artists

Those are, in gross terms, the numbers Shutterstock just disclosed. As of now, their platform –that englobes Shutterstock, Shutterstock Editorial, Shutterstock Custom, Bigstock, Offset and PremiumBeat– has around 1 million active contributors around the globe, building up collections of over 300 million images, 16 million videos and 24 million music tracks. 

That explains their titanic offer, but how did they get to such a large sum in earnings paid to artists? The answer is in their insane sales records: cross-platform, they have over 1.9 million registered customers, that download an average of over 6 images per second!

Regional Breakdown: Europe at the Lead

While their sales numbers are oh so big in all continents, the best-earning artists are those based in Europe. With Germany at top of the best-selling countries, the European market has out-earned the other continents by a long shot. Asia follows and interestingly, a hugely dominant market like North America comes closely in third place. South America, Oceania and Africa are at the lower end, in that respective order. Here's the earnings breakdown with numbers:

  • Europe: $105.3M
  • Asia: $26.6M
  • North America: $23.7M
  • South America: $1.5M
  • Oceania: $1.2M
  • Africa: $700K

The Highs and Lows in Being a Shutterstock Contributor Today

The Contributor Earnings Report certainly shows you can sell, and sell very well, at Shutterstock. But is it worth it to become a contributor at this point?

The company hopes so! In recent times they have made progress in the contributor-side functionality, adding in-app registration for mobile, real-time earnings data and multi-language support. They also have an upgraded contributor portfolio page, that along with their constant information about in-demand content, hope to give you resources to have your images discovered and bought.

On the low side of things, even with all those tools at hand, Shutterstock is one very competitive marketplace to sell in. Just imagine, with over 300 million photos available and pushing ginormous amount of new files constantly, being relevant and having your shots showcased in first search results can be a real challenge.

A Chance for an Earnings Boost: Referral Royalty Rate

To mark the celebration of the billionaire milestone, Shutterstock is offering an increased royalty rate for a limited time, for referred customers.

What does this mean? That for a 30-day period, contributors will get a 50% commission on every net new customer they refer to the agency.

If you know Shutterstock's regular royalty rates, you know this is a great deal. So if you have salesmanship skills, or if the marketing and networking bug bites you after learning this, you can definitely take this chance to grow your income from Shutterstock sales. Wanna try? Sign up as a Shutterstock contributor then!

See the full Contributor Earnings Report here for all the juicy details! 


About Author

I write about the stock photo and microstock industry since 2006 on my several online-magazines. My goal for MyStockPhoto is to teach photographers and stock photographers how to sell more photos and earn money with their photography hobby.

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