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Shutterstock Q2 numbers: good for them, not so much for contributors

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Jo Ann Snover:
This is not really a surprise, but take a look at how the contributor share of Shutterstock's revenue has been reduced (probably pole-axed would be more accurate) over the last couple of years.

These are just for Q2 in each of the years noted. If you haven't yet looked at their earnings report for Q2 2021, you can find the PDF on their investor relations page:

If you want to read the buzzword bingo that is the earnings call transcript (where the analysts seemed distracted by the fluff about how Shutterstock's three new AI company acquisitions will enable them to help customers predict which images/illustrations/videos will work for their campaigns)

Another note: the Q2 2021 report says that paid downloads increased, but that is with respect to Q2 2020. When you look at the paid downloads over time, you can see they are actually down below 2018 levels. And that's even with the unlimited downloads API program.

Shutterstock's stock was down 6% today (much more than the market overall) so not sure what Wall Street wasn't thrilled with... Closed at $101.11

To state the sad obvious, investors will love this. Making more money and lowering costs (royalties) :(
However, I do believe that ultimately this will impact the quality of what they are delivering to their customers....fewer and fewer contributors will generate quality work as the payout continues to decline.


--- Quote from: wds on July 27, 2021, 16:35 ---fewer and fewer contributors will generate quality work as the payout continues to decline.

--- End quote ---

I'm certainly one of the contributors who has stopped giving them quality work. And even crappy work. I don't even allow them to sell my oldest images.

Feels good!!!


The market is saturated. Digits of the company can have fluctuations. This is not surprizing. What is clearly negative for contributors - the structure of SS revenue, SS rev/dl growing, but revenues of contributors are lower and lower during years.
AI itself is beneficial, but the devil is in the details. It can be manipulated in favour of promoted collections. Officially or not.


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