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New earnings structure for Contributors

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In an email that is going out today, we are announcing that we will be updating the earnings structure that determines how much you get paid when customers license your work. We are making this adjust

This is just a joke. 10 years with SS and now I'll be getting 20% commission on my footage clips??? No lifetime sales tier, just what you sold last year/this year.... To get to the curr

This space will be updated to address frequently asked questions.  My email shows different counts for videos than are shown above. Which is correct? Apologies. The email to video contributo

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15 minutes ago, Mirko Rosenau said:

The only interesting thing in that article is that Africa studio is back. That is how clever people do business.

It was already suspicious when their entire port disappeared in a few hours, it took days for others.

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4 hours ago, Mirko Rosenau said:

As far I know it is until July 3rd. However, this is simply "censorship"  Shutterstock is sinking lower and lower.  Every single work Wilm wrote was professional, informative, and most important, it was right on target. It is discussing how Shutterstock treats the people who brought them here! And, don't forget, they are nothing without our content! 

We will look at the data in half a year and I don't think that Shutterstock will be still  the number 1 as it used to be. Why I think this? You cannot cut pay by over 60 %, down to a 10 cent per image and then ask you contributors to shot specific content. Creating the content has expenses like the equipment, travel, time, models, power bill, and so on. With Shutterstock's new strategy, it pays only if a contributor has zero expense. This is only achievable with low quality gear and shooting what may across on the way to buy groceries. The trend will be that professionals will continue not to upload fresh content and move away from Shutterstock to other platforms. Shutterstock will have to live of old content and a lot of amateur images. 


Long-term clients will recognize the new quality of Shutterstock. Hours of searching through low quality images to find what they need. Clients will leave Shutterstock as well. ANd don't worry, the "Boycott Shutterstock" is in full swing!  There is an awareness campaign to let clients know about Shutterstock Greed.


That won't end well.

True and SS will have to accept smartphone images because that's the only cameras most newbie's will have. Who on earth would want to buy decent gear with these payments? And banning people from the forum for telling the truth. Do these tech companies want to take over the world?

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All of you who have small or large video portfolios. Turn them off as soon as possible. Many people report a sudden increase in sales of video files for amounts below 3, 2 or even 1 dollar per video. This means that large companies have opted for cheap subscriptions to build their video libraries for pennies, to use it in futer projects. They will no longer buy your video elsewhere where they have to pay the normal price.Everything in your hands.

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On 6/27/2020 at 9:40 AM, ribeiroantonio said:

The conclusion that all SS contributors should be drawing now is: SHUTTERSTOCK smells putrid.

The listed pricing in the official SS website is one, what SS pay the contributors (meaning creators, artists, workers) is a very different matter. SS dictate levels, percentages and dates (starting on January 1 of each year) that contributors are obliged to follow but, every day SS pay whatever they want without any criteria and scrutiny. 

@Kate Shutterstock Please come clean. Show us a precise and concise table of SS official pricing and official pay outs to contributors, with all levels and percentages stated. Otherwise, 20+ different pays for subs look bad and smell a rat.

At $3.92, it is another On Demand outside the official listed pricing. And the bad smell continues.


Right now, another OD one outside the listed pricing: $2.34

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On 6/27/2020 at 7:40 AM, ribeiroantonio said:

@Kate Shutterstock Please come clean. Show us a precise and concise table of SS official pricing and official pay outs to contributors, with all levels and percentages stated. Otherwise, 20+ different pays for subs look bad and smell a rat.

Yes it smell a rat except it is not Just 20 different pays but nearly 4 times more subs than that.

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16 hours ago, Studio 2 said:

Is it a temporary ban?

Sorry, wasn't in here over the weekend. 
Yes, it is. Just six days, so he'll be back soon. He asked me to deliver greetings to everyone in here in the meantime. "GREETINGS FROM WILM!!!"


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24 minutes ago, Photographynet.co.uk said:

Thanks to Stan’s failures, they can’t afford the space in the Chrysler building and have to relocate to Detroit.

It's the Empire State, actually, but other than that this is how I think about this industry's future, too. 

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Shutterstock have just sold one of my videos for $0.67 in 'other' sales. The lowest I've ever sold a video for in the past is $6. How is this explained and how do I prevent my videos from being sold at this price again. I'm still getting some $10-15 sales, but I will not allow a sale at this price.

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Got an email from YAY just couple minutes ago:



Hello again!

It seems Shutterstock is still at it and footage commissions have slipped under $1. Reports from the "Badass Stock Footage Shooters" group show some users comments below:


At YayImages we've just launched our video single sales. Take a look through our current library of over 100k approved videos 

With premium footage priced at $59 per HD clip and fair 50% commissions, we are set to launch sales through our affiliate program in the coming weeks.  

What else is new at YayImages?

  • Image credit pack sales are live!
  • Bulk edit tools for image uploads!
  • Stocksubmitter integrations complete!

We would also like to welcome the newest members of our contributor community,
many of them referrals, especially the new users from Thailand. 

Have you sent a friend your referral link yet? 

Earn 20% of your referral's sales, when they use your link to signup. Login to your contributor dashboard to find your link in the "Referrals" tab here: https://contributors.yayimages.com/

More features coming soon including our new affiliate program to boost everyone's sales! We will also be working on a bug some contributors have reported for vector intake. 

Suggestion, feedback? We're accepting requests for improvement to our system. Please contact us at post@yayimages.com or via livechat to discuss

Stay safe!

Together in photography,

Alex @ the YayImages Team

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Dear Shutterstock,

With all due respect, I find this new earnings structure to be insensitive and lacking of timing. We are facing a pandemic right now and it is impossible to create that much content in order to earn a decent amount of money. This is especially true with travel photographers who cannot create content due to travel restrictions. This is also true with other kinds of photographers who have increased difficulty in obtaining materials and models for their shoots.

Here in Southeast Asia, we are on lockdown for more than 100 days. Lots of people lost their jobs and they are only depending on alternative ways of earning money. Our earnings from being a Contributor for Shutterstock for a long time really helped us in paying our bills before the implementation of the earnings structure. Now, what can 12 USD per month pay?

Please have some compassion and respect to creators and artists who have been with you and helped you grow through the years. Thank you.


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I disabled my account a couple weeks ago. What surprises me with this being such a slap-in-the-face is the number of contributors complaining but are still active selling on SS. Simply complaining without taking action does little.

A bit reminiscent of the movie Animal House. "Thank you sir, may I have another."

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11 hours ago, Photographynet.co.uk said:

Hi Mirko/Tony, It makes you wonder what thought (if any) Stan Pavlovsky gave to the long term business model when he made the decision.

Let’s face it, contributors broadly fall into three categories:

The hobbyists ‚Äď don‚Äôt need to make a profit, do it for fun, are just happy to see their pictures used. Typically seen with cheap DSLR/lens tight to chest with both hands whilst clueless as to what to shoot. Love to tell everyone about the rule of thirds. Usually found at events walking around telling everyone they‚Äôre a pro on assignment from Shutterstock whilst taking photos in auto mode so bad most are rejected. No business acumen, could not turn it into a living wage if they tried, very low skill level (with a few talented exceptions).

The freelancers ‚Äď semi-pro/pro one man bands. True creatives who love the job, create some great content using quality kit. Pretty comprehensive knowledge of photographic and or video technique and knows how to use the medium to tell a story. To identify these, ask them what their favourite lens is. If they reply without pause and sound like their actually having an affair with the lens, they‚Äôre a true freelancer. 70-200mm F2.8 if you‚Äôre interested!

The others ‚Äď top end studios employing several photographers churning out volume and stunning quality day in day out. The type who get decent commissioned work. Very rare to see in real life. Usually only seen in print or video when they give interviews just to prove they‚Äôve made it as video or photography Gods. If they‚Äôre using kit you can only dream of and flying in models from Russia, you‚Äôve spotted one.

So for the most part:

Hobbyists produce garbage (mostly, again I recognise there are exceptions).

Few freelancers could constantly churn out the volume of sellable content to make 10 cents work as a livable income.  How many have already turned off, stopped uploading and are moving elsewhere? Stock is becoming less important to me. Funny how things come back around, one print sale beats my six months income from Shutterstock. 

The studio gods produce such quantity and quality they can ultimately operate as exclusive agencies in their own right. By nature, these are pretty successful business people. The industry wants their images and will pay so they will migrate to the better paying agencies and cut Shutterstock loose. Google ‚ÄėYuri Arcurs‚Äô, the micro-stock millionaire who did just that some time back.

I can’t see a way back from this for Shutterstock which is why I did not hesitate to pull my portfolio (albeit small). I do not want my work seen as cheap content.

My prediction is a two tier stock industry.

  • Shutterstock (and the like forced into merger to survive) rebranded as Gutterstock. Relies solely on good will of hobbyists and caters for web editors/online marketing who only need low quality, low res images for the web. Thanks to Stan‚Äôs failures, they can‚Äôt afford the space in the Chrysler building and have to relocate to Detroit.
  • High end marketing needs are then met by the studios and shrewd freelancers for quality. This market served by the likes of Adobe and directly by the few who can successfully self-represent.

Thanks for your message. You make some good points.  My prediction long-term for Shutterstock is a short term profit followed by a long-term decline. You can already see the quality of new uploaded content is in majority low quality. 

And as you already mentioned, Shutterstock most likely will have to merge to survive. Getty would be my best bet and with his new price structure, they are equally poor.  Adobe will clearly take over. 

I really don't understand why Shutterstock would surrender their Top Position only to become a low quality supplier.... Oringer obviously knew that this is the wrong decision. Her left as CEO and sold his Shutterstock stocks. So, what is this behavior telling you? He has very little faith into Shutterstock's future! 


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