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New earnings structure for Contributors

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I don't make enough on any agency that losing one or the other will matter. I was focusing on Shutterstock being one of my two primary. I liked that I had a goal to aim for - it would take me a while, but I would hit the next income level. Now I never will. Even with a rolling year rather than Jan 1st reset.

I will disable all my photos at end of month. I have a payout coming this month, so not deleting my account yet. 

Why is it always contributors who get screwed? Raise your darn prices instead! 

These kinds of amounts is why I stopped with IStock.

I find Adobe stock photo management terrible though - and their keywording painful!

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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 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

Just when you think Shutterstock couldn't completely and utterly screw the contributors and more you've gone and done it. Effectively with a January reset everybody gets a cut of 20% or more of e

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So let’s have a different look at the situation:

Assumption: Shutterstock lost money on the large subscriptions for years.

What does that mean for their business acumen? Either they were just dumb for several years or the calculation is just different: customers don’t use up all subscription slots.

Hey wait a minute: if the customers didn’t use up all images, why will they set us on 15 to 40% of max usage leaving a guaranteed margin of 60 to 85% for shutter plus cashing in 100% on unused download slots? Because they are not dumb - and are now ripping off the contributors with their own guaranteed margin plus bonus for their insanely cheap subscription packages. So in consequence they would even get a higher share on higher plans - the risk of business is now completely on the backs of the contributors. Well done!


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After over 50000 downloads, i am sure i don't want to start all over again trying to climb the levels for 0.1$ commission, every year. I think it's insulting and unacceptable. If they do this now, they can do anything. What's next? 0.01? 0.0001? Where does this stop?

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  • Die meisten Anbieter haben sich bis jetzt täglich ihre Gedanken gemacht um neue Inhalte einzureichen. da es bei mir in letzter Zeit gut lief, hatte ich mir ein neues Workflow für mich ausgedacht pro verkauftes Foto wollte ich 10 neue Fotos auf SS hochladen aber jetzt niemals da 10 Cent (25 Cent waren schon knapp bemessen) den Arbeitsaufwand nicht entschädigt, Ich zahle doch nicht drauf damit eine Agentur meine Fotos vermarktet. Ich schaue mir dieses System dieses Jahr noch an und beurteile dann meine Verdienste, ob ich meinen Account deaktiviere oder nicht. 😡
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14 hours ago, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

I've done the math.

If I haven't made a serious mistake, I'm looking at a triple-digit increase.

But it is an absolute catastrophe for video providers!

I have to apologize for my statement.


At that time I had assumed that all the new features were communicated in the e-mail from shutterstock. I could not know that we were halfway through hiding the truth. There is nothing in this e-mail about a minimum of 10 cents. 

So I guess I'll have to revise my calculations.

It obviously can be assumed that all contributors - no matter which ranking level they have reached - will have significantly less income.

Since they don't want to reveal the truth to us and don't want to provide us with useful and transparent information, but rather remain silent, it is not clear at the moment what this means in concrete terms.

I will look at the figures from June 1 and draw my conclusions. Until then I will stop all upload activities.

If it should turn out that for a sub instead of 0.38 US$ there should be only 0.10 US$ now, my time at shutterstok is over.

In our own Microstock Forum, many contributors have also expressed this opinion. And there are some long-time high earners among them.


Many well-known brand names have already disappeared from the global markets. Is shutterstock the next?


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Shame and Greed! Awful greed! No motivation for the authors. The shutter just wants 85% of the money without offering anything. If you want money - start working! Everything that has happened the past two years is a madhouse! Why you teach people to shoot video on iPhone, and why your agents do not take footages shot on a cinema camera with Iso 800, because of the "noise". They can not distinguish low-quality noise and the "right" light cinema noise, motivating to edit the excellent footages with a noise reduction. Although there is much place for growth, you can make options for buyers, Accreditation cameras like it makes Netflix! But you teach people to shoot on iPhone and want to take away 85% of the profit! Just Shame and Greed!
I know how your agents (checking footages) work and I do not trust the work on the shutter. I buy footages for my films on Adobe because they work. Because you motivate to do low-quality projects, and here it is again! Work! Make a quality preview! Accreditation of cameras! 
You must work on improve the system, not steal from your authors!
I really sold my cinema camera because it is no longer able to earn money. Shutter, what are you doing?!

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3 minutes ago, ngaga said:

It's not clear to me what they want to achieve with this. This will destroy Shutterstock. Many will shut down their portfolios because there is no point in keeping them here without earnings.

A lot of contributors still happily contribute to IS for 2 cents, hence I am sure they will contribute here too.

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2 minutes ago, ngaga said:

But even the factories will not work for free for the first few months of the year

They will.

Because the quality dropped so hard and they are literally accepting anything.

The top quality individuals will move away from Shutterstock and bring their content with them somewhere else.

This is the new AliExpress of Microstock.

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They delete comments on Instagram just because they know what they did is wrong and beyond evil in the times of global pandemic. They keep on preaching values of humanity, diversity and kindness, while ripping off their contributors when we need help and support instead. Spread the word, let everyone know. Tell your clients about this, people should know. I talked to my boss at a design studio and he decided to swtich from Shutterstock to Adobe, as there's no excuse for things like that when the world is in crisis and regular people like us need support.

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