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Shutterstock Founder And CEO Jon Oringer To Step Down In April


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Shutterstock is always welcome to set up office in my house in Mumbai if things are tough in Manhattan. I'll be happy to charge them the going market rate of 500$ a month. Maybe I'll even throw in a f

Didn't think it would happen so soon when I said this yesterday!

The post I replied to said they didn't know who will take over. So I replied with a screenshot of the part that mentions who will take over. Wow... Amazing how a simple intention of trying to help a f

Posted Images

"While the S&P 500 has gained 23% over the last 12 months, Shutterstock has returned just 7% as investors worry about a slowdown in revenue growth, shrinking margins and increased competition from Getty Images and Adobe. Shares are off some 50% since its 2014 peak." 

 

This is what it's about, and you can bet some things WILL change.

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14 minutes ago, MJD Graphics said:

"While the S&P 500 has gained 23% over the last 12 months, Shutterstock has returned just 7% as investors worry about a slowdown in revenue growth, shrinking margins and increased competition from Getty Images and Adobe. Shares are off some 50% since its 2014 peak." 

 

This is what it's about, and you can bet some things WILL change.

There are only two ways to fix margins .... cut costs or increase prices. And the biggest cost is probably what they pay us the contributors.

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4 minutes ago, Mike Kuhlman said:

Jon's undoubtedly richer than God, will take his money out of Shutterstock and run, put it in CDs, money market and annuities, maybe buy a little AS and IS stock!

Lol. No, if he is smart, he will have a balanced portfolio managed by professionals. The return from CDs, money market and annuities is absolutely terrible. 

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5 hours ago, Charles Lewis said:

Lol. No, if he is smart, he will have a balanced portfolio managed by professionals. The return from CDs, money market and annuities is absolutely terrible. 

Yes, but even a balanced portfolio, managed by professionals, can LOSE money, and take years, if ever, to gain even its original amount of money back, much less generate a surplus of interest.

People worth hundreds of millions are generally not concerned with aggressive growth, just want to protect the money they've got, not lose it.

The difference is, for people worth hundreds of millions, even $10 million is a tiny % of their portfolio, that they can gamble with in violatile markets if they so choose.

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14 minutes ago, Mike Kuhlman said:

Yes, but even a balanced portfolio, managed by professionals, can LOSE money, and take years, if ever, to gain even its original amount of money back, much less generate a surplus of interest.

People worth hundreds of millions are generally not concerned with aggressive growth, just want to protect the money they've got, not lose it.

The difference is, for people worth hundreds of millions, even $10 million is a tiny % of their portfolio, that they can gamble with in violatile markets if they so choose.

You lose money in CD's and Money Market. Interest rates are generally outpaced by inflation. 

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5 hours ago, Charles Lewis said:

And the biggest cost is probably what they pay us the contributors

True enough, but they also do business in one of the most heavily taxed and expensive states in the union in which to do business.  Cost-cutting could also involve moving Shutterstock's headquarters to a state like Texas, Tennessee, or Florida, where the cost of doing business is a lot cheaper, both for the company and its employees.  Alternatively, they could look at moving offshore, to a country like India or Malaysia, where both taxes and labor are cheaper.  Unfortunately, I think they will take the wrong step of cutting contributor pay first, which will drive a lot of people - myself included - away.

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4 hours ago, Phil Lowe said:

True enough, but they also do business in one of the most heavily taxed and expensive states in the union in which to do business.  Cost-cutting could also involve moving Shutterstock's headquarters to a state like Texas, Tennessee, or Florida, where the cost of doing business is a lot cheaper, both for the company and its employees.  Alternatively, they could look at moving offshore, to a country like India or Malaysia, where both taxes and labor are cheaper.  Unfortunately, I think they will take the wrong step of cutting contributor pay first, which will drive a lot of people - myself included - away.

fully agree with Phil. I bet many contributors (already disgruntled) are "on the fence" already, as we speak and should any further cut happen (say a 10%) to the 25 cent (33, 38) commission, they will quickly jump ship. perhaps not remove their port (?), but not upload any new material. especially considering all the hassle recently regarding uploads (initial rejection, acceptance the 2nd time). any "streamlining" or "ffinancial engineering" (my "favourite" BS phrase) should come from elsewhere. wherever it may be. it's true, digital world has no (or little) borders or boundaries. some inconvenience for some employees to move may be more feasable than to annoy and drive away many, many thousands of contributors. just my opinion.

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I have always wondered how shutterstock actually make any money. Considering the fact that the vast majority of sales they make is through subs, with their current rates, they make either 27 cents or 48 cents per image. When they pay contributors 25 to 38 cents of that, you wonder if there's any margins worth showing. Of course, they make more when people subscribe to 10 or 50 images per month, but I'm going to guess most of their subscribers are corporations with a 750 or 350 images a month subscription. So yes, I think the first thing they'll do is reduce the money they pay contributors. 

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2 hours ago, Istvan Balogh said:

fully agree with Phil. I bet many contributors (already disgruntled) are "on the fence" already, as we speak and should any further cut happen (say a 10%) to the 25 cent (33, 38) commission, they will quickly jump ship....

Jump ship to where? Where is this amazing place people are moving to where they get a better deal for their editorial pictures and also sell a lot?

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2 hours ago, balajisrinivasan said:

Jump ship to where? Where is this amazing place people are moving to where they get a better deal for their editorial pictures and also sell a lot?

O.K. my bad! I meant that contributors may just throw in the towel. Give up. I am certainly not uploading here any more as it is (only a very few that I am pretty certain about that they may get a grip), never mind after another price cut. I am doing reasonably o.k. at another site (too early to call it out yet). But in general when things get really tight at one location, people find other places to try their luck! "Biggest inventory" is not everything! Just human nature to try other places. I keep hearing AS is reasonably good these days!? But I don't do editorials!! Sorry, I can't suggest any good microsite to you at this point. 

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20 minutes ago, Istvan Balogh said:

O.K. my bad! I meant that contributors may just throw in the towel. Give up. I am certainly not uploading here any more as it is (only a very few that I am pretty certain about that they may get a grip), never mind after another price cut. I am doing reasonably o.k. at another site (too early to call it out yet). But in general when things get really tight at one location, people find other places to try their luck! "Biggest inventory" is not everything! Just human nature to try other places. I keep hearing AS is reasonably good these days!? But I don't do editorials!! Sorry, I can't suggest any good microsite to you at this point. 

Contributors giving up and throwing in the towel might actually be good for the microstock world. That means the ones who hang on get more of the pie. The buyers aren't going anywhere (Well, maybe to the free stock sites but as their volume grows, they'll probably shut down eventually as well). Frankly, I think this slowdown or change or saturation or whatever it is only affects people who either make a living or devote a substantial amount of time to this. Most of my pictures are from my back catalogue, images I have already taken years ago and have never made a penny before. So every little cent is a bonus.

As for suggestions, wasn't looking for any. Just making a point that SS and AS are as good as it gets if you were a contributor :)

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1 hour ago, balajisrinivasan said:

Contributors giving up and throwing in the towel might actually be good for the microstock world. That means the ones who hang on get more of the pie. The buyers aren't going anywhere (Well, maybe to the free stock sites but as their volume grows, they'll probably shut down eventually as well). Frankly, I think this slowdown or change or saturation or whatever it is only affects people who either make a living or devote a substantial amount of time to this. Most of my pictures are from my back catalogue, images I have already taken years ago and have never made a penny before. So every little cent is a bonus.

As for suggestions, wasn't looking for any. Just making a point that SS and AS are as good as it gets if you were a contributor :)

about the assumption of " throwing in the towel might actually be good for the microstock world. That means the ones who hang on get more of the pie"!? I wouldn't rush to that conclusion just yet. suppose (only for argumen't sake) ss cuts the contributor's share from 25 cents to 20. if as a result 10% of contributors close their accounts, that gives the remaining contributors that 10% space. by logic you would get 10% more sales, right? good for you. or is it?? because the 5 cent cut from 25 is 20% in earnings. so what exactly did you gain? minus 10% : ). if however 20% of present contributors quit, then you may be even at the end of the day. I will "gladly" give you the space my potos take up now if you stay to sell for 20 cents. 

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2 hours ago, balajisrinivasan said:

Contributors giving up and throwing in the towel might actually be good for the microstock world. That means the ones who hang on get more of the pie. The buyers aren't going anywhere (Well, maybe to the free stock sites but as their volume grows, they'll probably shut down eventually as well). Frankly, I think this slowdown or change or saturation or whatever it is only affects people who either make a living or devote a substantial amount of time to this. Most of my pictures are from my back catalogue, images I have already taken years ago and have never made a penny before. So every little cent is a bonus.

As for suggestions, wasn't looking for any. Just making a point that SS and AS are as good as it gets if you were a contributor :)

Well, so far this is all very speculative, but...my two cents is that I think all of the agencies understand that there's a fine balance between remaining competitive and profitable on their end while at the same time maintaining a royalty structure that can continue to attract the kind of content they absolutely rely on to succeed. I agree with Phil, the tipping point is already perilously close - and if you look at a lot of the contributors on the free sites you will see that for many former microstockers that tipping point has already come and gone. You are right that this sort of thing most affects people who either make a living from MS, or devote a substantial amount of time to it. I disagree though that contributors throwing in the towel could in any way be good for the MS world. The opposite actually. And the more that jump ship with nowhere else to go I wouldn't count on those free sites shutting down just yet. 

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28 minutes ago, Foodio said:

...I wouldn't count on those free sites shutting down just yet. 

They won't be shutting down anytime soon but the free stock sites will need to be extremely imaginative to make the sort of money that would pay for the storage, back end and smooth operation of their websites and the more images they hold, the tougher it's going to be considering the fact that they don't make any money through direct sales. 

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4 hours ago, geogif said:

The graphic does not really show much.

It only shows that the cake is getting bigger for the buyers, but at the same time the number of cake bakers is growing.

And so the individual baker's earnings are decreasing. The results are shown at D&G.  

 

Apparently not only can't you read, but you can't see the obvious in a graphic picture. No use trying to explain anything to you.

The graphic shows very much about why anyone who made more in 2012 and before, is now making less and less, every year. First is more images, which is competition. Not that more "bakers" means better quality bread or cakes.

ss-download-per-image.png

From SS data annual reports.

  • Paid downloads increased 5% to 187.8 million.
  • Revenue per download increased 1% to $3.43.

Number of paid downloads  47.7 Million

Revenue per download $3.44

Anyone, feel free to show me how paying us 25 to 38 cents or even 70¢ to $1 per download, makes the biggest expense contributors?

Expense: Sales and marketing $47,182 Million

Revenue of $665 million to $690 million!

Rent: $6 million a month?

https://www.benzinga.com/pressreleases/20/02/n15321705/shutterstock-reports-fourth-quarter-and-full-year-2019-financial-results

But yes, to the others, where's the easiest place to cut expenses and "streamline"? Less services, lower pay to contributors, lower office rental.

There has to be a better place, less expensive, to have the offices than New York City in the Empire State Building.

Consider this:  (2014) "Stock photo and image company Shutterstock has recently moved into an 85,000 square-foot office located in New York City’s iconic Empire State Building." Just a tiny bit of research, and I found the answer.

Pricing for office space at the Empire State Building ranges from $75.00 per square foot on the lower floors to $86.00 per Square Foot on the upper floors where there are more expansive views. 21st floor I'd think is lower floors. Around $6,375,000 a month?


Keep in mind, and I hope you appreciate this, your sales paid for this and continue to finance the rental.  https://www.shutterstock.com/blog/look-inside-shutterstocks-new-hq-in-the-empire-state-building

 

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4 minutes ago, HodagMedia said:

Consider this:  (2014) "Stock photo and image company Shutterstock has recently moved into an 85,000 square-foot office located in New York City’s iconic Empire State Building." Just a tiny bit of research, and I found the answer.

Pricing for office space at the Empire State Building ranges from $75.00 per square foot on the lower floors to $86.00 per Square Foot on the upper floors where there are more expansive views. 21st floor I'd think is lower floors. Around $6,375,000 a month?


Keep in mind, and I hope you appreciate this, your sales paid for this and continue to finance the rental.  https://www.shutterstock.com/blog/look-inside-shutterstocks-new-hq-in-the-empire-state-building

 

I have never understood the need for expensive offices in Midtown New York. 

I used to have this argument all the time with the firm I used to work for. We made our money by going out to client sites. We didn't make money sitting in a fancy office on Madison Av.. So why were we doing that? Why didn't we have cheap offices somewhere in New Jersey or Connecticut which is what a lot of the financial services companies did when they moved out to Stamford (e.g. American Express, UBS).

SS makes its money as the middleman between content providers and content buyers through the internet. SS has zero need to be in expensive offices in NYC.

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