Shutterstock’s announcement to acquire WebDAM was big news across multiple industries. You can check out the details here, but suffice to say it’s a pretty major development for everyone in media & entertainment and digital asset management. That a company like Shutterstock would place such a priority on asset management is proof these considerations need to be taken into account.
To find out more about what this means for both Shutterstock and WebDAM, we talked with Jody Vandergriff, CEO and Co-Founder of WebDAM. We asked her about what this news means for the future of both companies and how individuals can look to grow and develop in similar terms.
DAM Coalition: Shutterstock’s acquisition of WebDAM is big news. Can you give us any details around how this came about?
Jody Vandergriff: Shutterstock evaluated the DAM industry seeking out a potential partner to help solve the asset management and distribution needs of their enterprise customers, a segment of their overall business that has grown rapidly in recent years. It was clear very quickly that we are incredibly well aligned in vision, culture and customer base. It just made sense to combine efforts to accelerate growth.
Asset management is something Shutterstock must deal with on a daily basis…how did that influence this acquisition?
Shutterstock has been focusing on enterprise customers for a couple of years now and has been very successful growing an enterprise sales team. The primary influence in the decision to acquire WebDAM was the asset management needs of their enterprise customers, a need they were hearing about more and more frequently.
What’s the biggest change that you see coming out of this for both Shutterstock and WebDAM?
For the most part, it will be business as usual. WebDAM will operate as an independent business unit from its Silicon Valley offices and our entire team will be retained. Longer term, we will be able to leverage new resources, sales channels and global markets and work with Shutterstock to deepen their relationships with its enterprise customers.
How do you see this impacting both sets of customers today and into the future?
There is a natural synergy between WebDAM and Shutterstock, especially with respect to customers and product. The products will remain independent, but with various levels of integration to provide for easier licensing of imagery, centralization of assets and control over rights management.
What sort of global capabilities will you be able to capitalize on with the new hierarchy?
Shutterstock operates in 150 countries and 20 languages. At WebDAM, we have seen an increasing demand for our product internationally, but have not invested heavily in growing our global presence. We see this as a great opportunity to expand into new markets much more quickly than we would have been able to do alone.
Any immediate challenges that will be resolved with this news?
As a bootstrapped startup, we have been incredibly successful at rapidly growing our customer base while investing in product. However, there is so much more to do. With the increase in rich media content across marketing channels fueled by the growth in digital marketing initiatives, DAM is undergoing a transformation. As a cloud solution, WebDAM is well positioned to lead the growth. With Shutterstock, we have additional resources available to us that will allow us to more quickly execute on our vision.
In long term, does this acquisition change the outlook and goals for either company?
For WebDAM, the mission remains the same – to help brands grow, thrive and succeed. We now have a strong partner to help us accomplish this goal to an even greater degree.
Shutterstock is a leading global provider of high-quality licensed photographs, vectors, illustrations and videos but this acquisition is proof that they’re looking at a bigger picture. What are some ways that individuals can look at their own “big picture”?
One of the things that most attracted us to Shutterstock is their long term vision and broader focus. For instance, they have recently expanded beyond licensable media with Skillfeed, a learning platform for creatives. Their overall mission is to be a resource for businesses of all sizes everywhere in the world.
This is very much how we operate at WebDAM. Our strategies are less focused on historical trends and opinions in the industry and much more focused on where we can make the biggest positive impact to marketing and creative teams worldwide. This has very much been the key to our success.
Whether you are an individual, growing startup or thriving publicly traded company, focus is critical to success. In order for individuals to stay focused on the “big picture”, they need to be free of traditional business approaches and empowered to succeed in today’s digital world with a better way to work.