23 Apr 2007 Shutterstock Gives its Contributors a Raise
Shutterstock has just announced an increase in the standard license payout rate for each image for contributors who’ve earned more than US$500, effective May 1, 2007. The previous rate was 25c per download, which is now gone up to 30c. Contributors with lower total earnings will remain earning 25c commission until they reach the US$500 amount.
This is the second payout rise from Shutterstock since we started contributing photos to their website a little over a year ago. The previous rise, 30th March 2006, was the same amount, 5c, going from 20c to 25c. In their notification, Shutterstock thanked its contributors for helping their positive first quarter growth.
Shutterstock’s payment model, being a monthly buyer subscription with a flat rate per-image payout to sellers, is unique in the market and likely a factor in their success. They claim to have the largest collection of images of all microstock websites displaying their current total number of images on their homepage. Indeed, at the time of writing their advertised total is 1,758,528 while iStockphoto reports 1,649,868.
I also note that many of the microstockers I read about online find Shutterstock to be their most lucrative website. With all these factors combined I imagine this raise will be very well received, and increase pressure on the competition. We’ll see.