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Shutterstock has paid out a sweet $1 billion to contributors

Ooh pretty pictures.

shutterstock images
Image: Shutterstock

Shutterstock, a stock photography and video warehouse that we don’t use but instead rely on Josiah’s half-assed photo-shopping, is projected to surpass $1 billion dollars in contributor payouts this year. That’s not $1 billion for this year alone, but rather since 2004. Regardless, the growth is impressive as Shutterstock paid out $12K in 2004 and roughly $160 million in 2019.

As its Creative Trend Reports have indicated, businesses and consumers utilizing the platform have longed for diversity and a sense of reality within the stock photography and video database. In that, Shutterstock has relied more and more on its contributors to provide media that reflects the world around us.

According to Shutterstock’s Contributor Earnings Report, media contributors all over the world are benefiting from its payouts. Over 1 million contributors across Shutterstock, Shutterstock Editorial, Shutterstock Custom, Bigstock, Offset, and PremiumBeat are counted in these payout numbers.

These 1 million contributors accounted for over 300 million images, 16 million videos and 24 million music tracks. Each time one of these items is licensed, a contributor gets paid.

“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,” said Shutterstock Founder and CEO Jon Oringer. “We are incredibly proud of the network effect of our platform and this monumental achievement reached by our contributor community.”

The contributor network isn’t some crazy exclusive club either

dark stock photos twitter account

Image: Shutterstock

It contains the work of both amateurs and professionals, just like Soundcloud. There is an in-app contributor registration for iOS and Android making it easy for media producers to utilize their smartphones to contribute to the network. The contributor website and mobile apps are available in 21 languages, so it’s a world thing, not just an English thing.

The earnings report breaks down earnings by region and highlights the high-growth countries. For your purposes, it also has some legit good photos as background. The report also highlights the type of content users are looking for, thankfully being submitted by a worldwide, diverse group of contributors.

The in-demand content is things like diversity, localization, authenticity, and reactions. These speak to a continuing trend on both sides of the stock media marketplace that no longer want to look at the same, stale stock photos that we’ve been suffering through for years. People want real and they are getting real.

And finally, because this really excites [a person], the color trends for 2020 are lush lava (orange), aqua menthe (like, aquamarine) and phantom blue (what?). There, I mentioned the colors.

What do you think? Surprised by these payout totals? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

Editors’ Recommendations:

Writing about consumer technology, social media and the deep layers of psychological torture endured by all of it. The world is changing, but that doesn't mean we can't be cynical about it. It's not all sunshine and roses in Silicon Valley. It's self loathing, pretentiousness and machines that squeeze juice for you. Also, a strong affinity for toasters.Follow on Twitter @cebsilver for them jokes. Chaotic neutral. Pitches to cebsilver@gmail.com

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