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Stocksy United

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Stocksy United
Company typePlatform cooperative
GenreStock photography
FoundedMarch 2013 (2013-03)
Key people
Brianna Wettlaufer (Co-founder & CEO)

Stocksy United, also referred to as Stocksy or Stocksy United Photography, is a Victoria, British Columbia based platform cooperative[1] that accepts and provides royalty-free stock photography and stock video. Stocksy uses a curated editing approach to select useful and authentic photos.[2] The co-op differs from other stock photography firms by its stated focus on fair pay and creating sustainable careers for its members.[2][3]


Stocksy United was founded April 20, 2012 and publicly launched on March 25, 2013.[2] It was started by iStockphoto founder Bruce Livingstone and co-founder Brianna Wettlaufer.[4] At the time of launch, Stocksy had about 220 contributing photographers, with plans to grow to approximately 500 photographers in its first year.[2] Stocksy now has over 900 contributing members, selected from over 10,000 applications. Its revenue doubled from 2014 to 2015, to $7.9 million. For 2015, Stocksy paid out over half of its revenue as royalties to its contributors, totaling $4.3 million.[5] Revenue for 2016 has grown to $10.7 million, with $4.9 million paid out to contributors.[6] Total for the first four years of business, Stocksy has paid out over $20 million to their nearly 1,000 artists during the period from 2013 to 2017.[7]

Cooperative structure[edit]

Stocksy is a platform cooperative with three classes of shareholders. Class A is made up of advisors, including CEO Brianna Wettlaufer. Class B is made up of staff, and Class C is the artists who contribute content. Currently there are around 980 photographer shareholders in this category. Each member co-owns the cooperative and has one vote. Each class has at least two directors on the board.[6]


Contributing photographers live in 65 countries.[6] After two years of closed membership, Stocksy's Call to Artists is now open.[8] Achieving membership into the cooperative is a single step process whereby interested artists submit a portfolio using Stocksy's Call to Artists webpage. Accepted members license creative content and receive 50% royalties on standard license sales, 75% on extended license sales, and year-end profit sharing in the form of patronage returns.[9]


  1. ^ "Participants: Platform Cooperativism Conference".
  2. ^ a b c d CNET. "Stocksy aims to bring the soul back into stock photography". Retrieved April 23, 2013.
  3. ^ FastCompany. "Istockphoto Creator Bruce Livingstone Takes a Second Stab at Stock Photos". Retrieved April 23, 2013.
  4. ^ TechCrunch. "iStockphoto Founder Returns To Stock Photography With Stocksy, A Co-op That Puts Artists (And Quality) Before Profits". Retrieved April 23, 2013.
  5. ^ Cortese, Amy (July 20, 2016). "A New Wrinkle in the Gig Economy: Workers Get Most of the Money". New York Times. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c "Elevating an industry: the Stocksy United story". Co-operatives First. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  7. ^ "Meet Stocksy United, a photography and cinematography stock media company". TheArtHunters. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  8. ^ "stocksy united call to artists is now open". Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  9. ^ Digital Photography Review. "iStockphoto founder launches Stocksy, an artist-owned stock photo service". Retrieved April 23, 2013.

External links[edit]