Stock photo agency Shutterstock has announced a new billing model for photographers that is drawing harsh criticism from stakeholders. The new pricing model provides for a graduated percentage of revenue share. Until now, Shutterstock has paid out fixed amounts per image download. The creators of the photos and graphics are now afraid that their income will be significantly reduced by the new percentage model.
The revenue that photographers can make from selling their images through a stock agency is negligible anyway. In general, to achieve revenue in the higher range, a picture must be sold very often. Currently, Shutterstock, for example, states that for downloading an image (without an extended license), a vendor receives $0.25 to $2.85. The higher the total revenue of a photographer, the higher also the debris per download.
Photographers criticize pricing policy
From Shutterstock’s point of view, this should now be because of "Market changes in terms of creative content" and for reasons of "fairness" be changed. The billing model is expected to be updated in the coming weeks, according to the publicly traded company. According to an email sent to photographers, the new system includes six tiers: At the lowest tier, 85 percent of revenue goes to Shutterstock and 15 percent is paid to the photographer.