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SS and the drive towards video subscriptions.

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If anyone doubts the way SS want to go slashing video prices with subscriptions, just try the process as a buyer...

You go to a clip, add it to basket.

The second you do that, this pops up:



A huge popup trying to sell subscriptions, then in tiny writing below "discover our other plan options".

Click on that you get ANOTHER screen:


Another HUGE advert for subscription videos on the cheap.  If that isnt your thing, the old clip packs are below that.

Down from there the "Need a single 4k clip?" is mentioned *but its not even a hyperlink to do it*.  The only way is to ignore all that then click on basket.


So for any of us selling video this looks to be the way things are going and the insultingly cheap commissions - SS are massively trying to force people onto sub packages and bombarding them with adverts whilst at the same time hiding the ability to buy a single clip totally and even making clips hard to find.

Its pretty clear they want as many people as possible onto video subscriptions and from our point of view, only get payouts of $3.30 or so instead of the $30+ we used to have.

This is worse than the levels change - THIS is where almost all the earnings are being deliberately wiped out.

Wonder how long before they go full Envato and become subscription only...

On and SS Select cannot be sold on sub - they're protecting that selections income and just screwing everyone else.

Even on the pay monthly, cancel ANYTIME we're looking at $13 commission for a clip.  And no buyer is going to use the old clip packs because it works out far cheaper for them to sign up for a month sub then cancel than to buy a pack or single image.

.....im sure just like for images if they dont use all their package, we'll still only get paid as if they did.


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The introduction of subscription plans and the aggressive marketing of them are a greater threat to full-time producers than the annual levels reset. The severe drop in income will potentially force full-time producers away from SS or out of the industry. SS, its seems is happy with or wants content from part-time content creators.

The move to subscriptions would be ok if it was offset by an increase in downloads, but at this point for me its been less downloads for less return.

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I think the subscription model is good for Shutterstock if they own all the contents.  But it'll backfire when video contributors start un-licensing videos and buyers start buying from other sites with higher quality and trendy contents from many many more contributors who left Shutterstock.  We need big video sellers to unite and un-license videos on Shutterstock together for at least 3 months to inflict damage to Shutterstock to let the management know this subscription scheme is bad.  

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Stan's own words:

'In order to provide more insight into the evolution of our business, we are introducing three new KPIs to investors this quarter that we track internally and believe are important for our business, particularly as we transition primarily towards a subscription-based model. We expect to always have some meaningful non-subscription component of our business, including Editorial and Custom, but expect that it will become a minority of our revenues over time'.


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The word 'subscription' occurs many times in that article.  I think these excerpts are interesting too:

'The other area that I would say from a longer-term perspective does have operating leverage is in the sales and marketing line. You'll see that we've gotten a bit shrewder on sales and marketing expense. The flip side of that is there are long-term systemic reasons why sales and marketing should also decrease as a percentage of revenue on a go-forward basis which is really the evolution of our business towards a subscription model. As more and more of our business becomes subscription, the need to acquire new customers via performance marketing efforts become less and it really becomes more of a retention challenge in terms of growing your business and expanding your business'.

'Second, as I mentioned previously, clients increasingly prefer to purchase content via subscription model, digital advertiser' space and accelerated demand for fresher creative content in order to capture and retain attention from their audiences. In order to drive towards higher-performing and fresh content in the beginning of June, we evolved our royalty structure to better align our contributor incentives with our own, and we expect this will result in a content library enabling the growth of current and future subscription product sales'.

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Basically admitting the core SS library and product will be gutter level giveaway subscription and offet/custom/premium will be the non-garbage products.

Just wait for T&C changes so subscriptions can include what used to be SOD/ODs.

I've got nothing but complete and utter contempt for the guy.  The worst kind of corporate leech.


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