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Traded as NYSESSTK
Industry Stock photography, Stock footage and Stock music
Founded 2003
Founder Jon Oringer
Headquarters Empire State Building
350 Fifth Avenue
New York City
, United States of America
Key people
Jon Oringer, (Founder, CEO), Nick Flynn (VP of Sales and Account Management), Tracy Kim (VP of People Strategy and Operations), Gerd Mittmann (VP of International), Ben Pfeifer (VP of New Business)

Shutterstock, founded in 2003 by Jon Oringer, is an American stock photography, stock footage and stock music provider headquartered in New York City, New York, United States.[1] Shutterstock maintains a library of over 50 million royalty-free stock photos, vector graphics, and illustrations,[2] and 2 million video clips and pieces of music for license.[3]

Shutterstock licenses images, video clips and pieces of music[4] on behalf of photographers, designers, illustrators, videographers and musicians adding 40,000 new images a day from 60,000 contributors in 150 countries, as of 2014.[1]

Shutterstock is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange[5] and the NASDAQ.[6]


Shutterstock was founded in 2003 by Jon Oringer. Oringer uploaded 30,000 of his own stock photos and made them available via subscription, forming the basis of the company.[1]

Originally a subscription site, Shutterstock expanded beyond subscriptions into a la carte pricing in August 2008.[7]

On September 23, 2009, Shutterstock announced that it had purchased rival site Bigstock, a credit-based microstock photography agency.[8]

In February 2011, Shutterstock announced a two-year partnership with the AIGA to provide creative inspiration to its members.[9] One year later, Shutterstock surpassed 200 million stock image downloads, making it the first stock agency to claim such a milestone.[10]

In May 2013, Shutterstock filed for an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, which it completed on October 17, 2012 under the ticker SSTK.[5][11]

In June 2013, Shutterstock launched Skillfeed, an online marketplace to connect the creators of instructional videos with their consumers. The site uses a subscription model and distributes revenue to contributors based on percentage of user time spent with their videos.[12]

As of August 2013, Shutterstock was available in 20 languages including French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.[13]

In September 2013, Shutterstock launched Offset, a boutique, high-end stock photography marketplace that focuses on curated images from established artists. Since this is a service that targets legitimately recognized artwork, Offset's pricing is a notch higher than most stock image services.[14]

In March 2014, Shutterstock acquired WebDAM, a provider of web-based digital asset management software.[15] In the same month, Shutterstock relocated its global headquarters and moved into the iconic Empire State Building.[16] Shutterstock has additional offices in Amsterdam, Berlin, Chicago, Denver, London, Montréal, Paris and San Francisco.[17]

In June 2014, Shutterstock launched a music licensing offering, launching with 60,000 clips via partner, Rumblefish. Users can see the waveform, listen to a preview of the clip or peruse curated lists. In addition to genres, the tracks are also sorted by moods.[18]

In January 2015, Shutterstock acquired Rex Features, Europe's largest independent photo press agency, and PremiumBeat, a stock music and sound effects service.[19]


Contributing photographers must apply before they are eligible to upload their images. The applicants must submit 10 pictures that are screened for quality and suitability. At least seven pictures must be approved for the contributor account to become active. Each image is reviewed by hand by Shutterstock's team of reviewers.

Once approved, contributors can begin uploading their work through the website. They supply keywords, categorize the images, and submit them to the "inspection queue", where each and every image is examined to ensure that it meets the standards of quality, usefulness and copyright and trademark laws. Each time an image is downloaded, the photographer receives a flat rate of 25c (with a tiered set of raises as the contributor reaches lifetime earnings of $500, $3,000, and $10,000, respectively).[20][21][22]


Shutterstock began selling stock video in February 2006, the first site of its kind to do so.[23] Shutterstock Footage operates similarly to their image library, offering video clips by subscription or on a per-clip basis. Shutterstock footage is available in a variety of formats, including DVCAM, HDCAM and Betacam.[24] Today, Shutterstock Footage contains over 2 million royalty-free video clips.[3]

Shutterstock Apps[edit]

Shutterstock for iPad was launched in November 2011,[25] followed in 2012 by a universal iOS app[26] and in 2013 by an Android App.[27]

In May 2012, Shutterstock for iPad received a Webby Award for People's Voice in the tablet app category for utilities and services.[28]

In September 2014, Shutterstock launched an app dedicated to its contributors. The app allows contributors to: upload, keyword and categorize new images. There is also an overview of daily and monthly sales and content requests from customers. The app is available for iOS and Android.[29]

Shutterstock Labs[edit]

In 2012, Shutterstock launched Shutterstock Labs, a site which contains Shutterstock Instant and Shutterstock Spectrum. Both are search tools developed to improve search functionality for Shutterstock customers.[30][31]

In July 2014, Shutterstock launched Palette, an additional layer of search that allows users to add colors to the terms of the search, in addition to keywords.[32]


In August 2013, Shutterstock and Facebook announced a partnership to integrate Shutterstock's library within Facebook's Ad Creator, allowing advertisers to select from Shutterstock's millions of images when creating their ads.[33]

In May 2014, Shutterstock and Salesforce partnered to integrate Shutterstock's image library into Salesforce's Social Studio.[34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Steven Bertoni, "Silicon Alley's First Billionaire Aims To Dominate Images On Web", Forbes, October 28, 2013
  2. ^ "Shutterstock's Collection Exceeds 50 Million Images", Shutterstock Press Release, March 9, 2015
  3. ^ a b "Shutterstock Surpasses 2 Million Video Clips in Its Marketplace", Shutterstock Press Release, September 2, 2014
  4. ^ Steve Bertoni,", Forbes, May 20, 2014
  5. ^ a b "Shutterstock Celebrates IPO on the NYSE", NYSE Press Release, October 17, 2012
  6. ^ "Shutterstock, Inc. Stock Quote & Summary Data", NASDAQ, January 06, 2016
  7. ^ "Shutterstock Launches New "On Demand" Subscription to Serve Full Spectrum of Stock Image Buyers", Shutterstock Press Release, August 5, 2008
  8. ^ Stephen Shankland "Shutterstock Buys Rival, Shifts Photo Sales Strategy", CNET, September 23, 2009
  9. ^ "AIGA partners with Shutterstock to provide creative inspiration to members", Shutterstock Press Release, February 15, 2011
  10. ^ "Shutterstock Surpasses 200 Million Image Downloads – Celebrates with Global Design Trends Infographic", Shutterstock Press Release, February 1, 2012
  11. ^ "Form S-1, Shutterstock, Inc.",
  12. ^ Stephen Shankland, "With Skillfeed, Shutterstock aims to rework online training", CNET, May 29, 2013
  13. ^ "Shutterstock Continues to Meet Demand for High Quality Imagery in Asia and Launches Website in Korean and Thai Languages", Shutterstock Press Release, August 8, 2013
  14. ^ Tom Cheredar, "Shutterstock launches new high-end photo service ‘Offset’", VentureBeat, September 24, 2013
  15. ^ Frederic Lardinois, "Shutterstock Acquires Digital Asset Management Service WebDAM, Goes After Enterprise Market", TechCrunch, March 3, 2014
  16. ^ Will Yakowicz, "How Shutterstock Used Data to Cut Staff Commutes", Inc., May 5, 2014
  17. ^ "Shutterstock Opens European Headquarters in Berlin, Germany", Shutterstock Press Release, October 31, 2013
  18. ^ Michelle Castillo, "Shutterstock Is Getting Into the Music Business", AdWeek, May 20, 2014
  19. ^ By Frederic Lardinois. “Shutterstock Acquires Rex Features And PremiumBeat,” TechCrunch, January 15, 2015.
  20. ^ Eric A. Taub, "When Are Photos Like Penny Stocks? When They Sell", New York Times, June 5, 2007
  21. ^ Kate Torgovnik "Make Money", Time Out NY, January 22, 2009
  22. ^ Taylor Buley, "A Snappy Way to Make Money In Stock", Forbes, September 2, 2008
  23. ^ "Introducing Shutterstock Footage – A Stock Video Resource from Shutterstock", Shutterstock Press Release, February 9, 2006
  24. ^ Tom Skowronski, "Shutterstock Footage", Videomaker, November 4, 2008
  25. ^ Brad McCarty, "Shutterstock brings its 16 million images to the iPad with a dedicated app", The Next Web, November 3, 2011
  26. ^ "Shutterstock Announces Universal iOS App", Shutterstock Press Release, November 6, 2012
  27. ^ Martin Bryant, "Shutterstock launches an Android app to let you browse its 31m+ images on the move", The Next Web, December 10, 2013
  28. ^ "Shutterstock for iPad Won a Webby!", Shutterstock Blog, May 1, 2012
  29. ^ Amos Struck, "Shutterstock launches Contributor App", My Stock Photo, September 23, 2014
  30. ^ "Shutterstock Re-imagines Image Search with a New Discovery Tool: Shutterstock Instant", Shutterstock Press Release, May 31, 2012
  31. ^ "Shutterstock Introduces Spectrum, A Breathtaking Way To Explore Millions Of Photos Using Color", Shutterstock Press Release, March 21, 2013
  32. ^ Sammy Maine, "New multi-colour tool will make image search even easier", Creative Bloq, July 15, 2014
  33. ^ Josh Constine, "Facebook Makes Ads Prettier With Shutterstock Partnership To Offer Free Stock Images In Ad Creator", TechCrunch, August 22, 2013
  34. ^ Anthony Ha, "Salesforce Launches Its Social Studio For Marketing Collaboration And Custom Integrations", TechCrunch, May 6, 2014

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