Does it pay to sell your work through an agency? Well, Shutterstock just released its Contributor Earnings Report, which reveals that its contributor base has reached $1 billion in earnings paid.
Should I work with an agency? That’s a question many photographers, videographers, musicians and other creative artists ask, and the answer is not always clear. Working with an agency is not a fast path to richness, but for some of those who have invested in such a relationship, it may represent a step in the right direction. For the contributors featured in the recent report from Shutterstock, it seems to have worked well. Alexander Kirch, a videographer from Germany, says this: “Shutterstock gives me and my small company the freedom to work creatively, and the increasing sales confirm our direction is working. Most of our footage is shot in towns throughout Europe, from the tiny to the sprawling, and the historic to the modern.”
North America contributes with a total of $23.7m total earnings for 2018, with the United States being responsible for $18.6m of that total.The report is rather interesting to explore, as it showcases an overview of earnings by region, a snapshot of high-growth countries and features a selection of contributors who helped make the achievement possible. In North America, Costa Rica reveals a year over year increase of 64%, Mexico 25% and Saint Martin 24%. Those wanting to try their hand at working with an agency may learn a few things browsing through the data and reading about the experience of the featured contributors.
Six images downloaded every second
Over 1 million contributors across Shutterstock, Shutterstock Editorial, Shutterstock Custom, Bigstock, Offset, and PremiumBeat are responsible for making more than 300 million images, 16 million videos and 24 million music tracks available on the platform. Each time an image, video clip or music track is licensed through Shutterstock, the contributor behind that content earns money.
Commenting on the milestone, Shutterstock Founder and CEO Jon Oringer said, “our 1.9 million customers around the world rely on the inspiring work provided by our contributors to create effective promotional campaigns, social posts, websites, movies and other creative projects for their organizations, ranging from Fortune 500 brands to the mom and pop coffee shop on the corner. We are incredibly proud of the network effect of our platform and this monumental achievement reached by our contributor community.”
With over six images downloaded every second, Shutterstock’s platform provides contributors with real-time information on the performance of their content, as well as trending topics to help them deliver fresh images, video and music to meet current market demands. Another contributor featured, photographer Nzewi Confidence Chukwujekwu, from Nigeria, says ““There are many reasons why I love doing what I do at Shutterstock. It’s fun, it’s adventurous, and I get to meet lots of people who brighten my day. I also learn a lot from the process, pushing unexpected boundaries as a photographer.”
Sell your mobile photos and videos
Curious about the numbers and the stories? Then maybe you want to give Shutterstock a try? Well, becoming a Shutterstock contributor has never been easier, according to the company. With the recent launch of in-app contributor registration for iOS and Android, image and footage contributors can start earning money from their mobile photos and videos right away. The contributor-facing website and mobile applications are also now available in 21 languages and a newly upgraded contributor portfolio page offers an enhanced experience for these users to showcase their image and video content in one place.
The announcement comes at the same time the report shows how Shutterstock’s global network has a new breakthrough to celebrate: $1 billion in earnings paid to contributors! In addition to the report, Shutterstock is celebrating this impressive achievement by increasing the contributor commission for new customer referrals. Contributors will earn 50% commission on all net new customers they refer for a 30-day period.