MicrostockGroup Sponsors

Author Topic: Shutterstock Changes Contributor Rates  (Read 3481 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Co-founder of Photerloo

« on: May 26, 2020, 10:43 »
Shutterstock just sent out an email that they are changing the levels for contributors to be based on licences each year instead of lifetime earnings.  Then they are going to reset everyone to the lowest on January 1st of the year.

So we will make less at the start of the year while Shutterstock takes a bigger cut until our yearly levels rise.  I am at lifetime earnings of $8000 so I think I will be getting a lower cut because of this change.  What does everyone think about this?

Do you think this is Shutterstock just hurting for cash because of Covid and taking it from contributors? 

« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2020, 10:52 »
I am not totally sure I understand this. I am at a very high lifetime earnings as I have been with SS for 15 years. If I understand this and maybe I don't . If you are a new contributor this is actually a good thing as for me maybe not. Sounds like kind of a reverse pyramid idea. You will make less money for the first few months and maybe make more or the same as you were making at the end of the year. 

« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2020, 10:55 »
(see the other thread)
« Last Edit: May 26, 2020, 10:57 by Zero Talent »

« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2020, 11:02 »
Starting contributors will gets less, as minimum was 20% (up to $80) in lifetime, now it will be 15%.

Well top agencies and biggest contributors and photo/videa farms with selling more than 2500-25000 will get 35% and 25000+ sells even 40%. But not that easy to get there, as they split foto & video. You want to get 40% for both? You have to sell 50.000+ together 25k+ photo and 25k+ video each year.

I am quite angry because of this. I will get less for photos 25% instead of 28% and 15% instead of 30% for video.

Reset every year instead of keeping some average, or floating average for last 12 months is extremly nasty. So every January Shutterstock will get more many even from biggest contributors and pay you minimum for first sells.


« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2020, 11:12 »
A master stroke. First they kill the sales of dedicated contributors, spreading the "earnings" out so every contributor sees only a trickle of sales compared to former numbers then change the earnings to be based on sales volume.

A few years ago I would be in the top level even as of May but for the last couple of years I'm seeing only 50% of the sales I used to get, cutting my earnings but nothing like it's about to be. This is why they dropped the minimum payout to $35 a couple of years ago.

The company won't drop prices to the customer so they will pocket record profits, making shareholders happy, until next year when they will have to do something else to show growth. I may be done with my 15 year foray into stock photography. Who could justify the time and effort for such diminishing returns?

« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2020, 11:14 »
It is not clear but Level 1 = 15% is that 15 cents....Level 2 = 20% is that 20 cents  and Level 5 which is last level 40%  is that 40 cents per image sale... If this is correct and you were making 38 cents an image sale ...Screw job...Maybe I am not reading this correctly. Your thoughts ?


« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2020, 11:18 »
If i get 0,36 dollars per image now. How many percent does that correspond to? How much does a subscription download cost to the customer? Need the basic strait before I can judge this!


  • Co-founder of Photerloo

« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2020, 13:24 »
It isn't really clear to me how they are going to do subscription sales based on the email, not sure exactly how much they will go down.  However, if you are an individual contributor, I can't see how revenue won't go down for everyone.

I think resetting the Level every January, is the detail where Shutterstock will make the most extra cash and where we will see the biggest cut, compared to doing a 12 month running average for your level. 

The way the new payments are setup it would be much better for a group of contributors to all submit to one then have individual accounts.

« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2020, 13:40 »
So from what I read on the Shutterstock forum, this percentage will apply to subscriptions as well.   Right now for all subs, I get 36 cents.   If the buyer is on the 750 image package, their price per image is only 33 cents so at my level 3 earning of 25%, I will only get 7 cents for a sale.  If the person is on the 10 image subscription package, I will do better but probably I will now be seeing 7 and 10 cent sales for subs.  I am reading all this correctly.

« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2020, 15:18 »
If i get 0,36 dollars per image now. How many percent does that correspond to? How much does a subscription download cost to the customer? Need the basic strait before I can judge this!

You can't do a comparison because shitterstock say you will get a percentage of the sales price and as they can now set the sales price at any level they like you could get less than 1 cent

« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2020, 17:03 »


Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
14 Replies
Last post September 22, 2014, 18:50
by spike
83 Replies
Last post July 03, 2015, 06:59
by Semmick Photo
4 Replies
Last post August 03, 2016, 15:18
by Stockmaan
12 Replies
Last post March 02, 2017, 16:49
by JimP
4 Replies
Last post October 14, 2018, 00:11
by pkphotos


Mega Bundle of 5,900+ Professional Lightroom Presets

Microstock Poll Results