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Shutterstock Announces New Earnings Structure Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

27 May 2020

In a post today on its forum for contributors, Shutterstock announced it will be "updating the earnings structure that determines how much you get paid when customers license your work."

"We are making this adjustment in order to reflect changes in the market for creative content, help to create fair opportunities for all our contributors and reward performance with greater earnings potential," Kate Shutterstock wrote.

The company is sending an email to contributors today with the details, including which commission level the contributor is entitled to.

Shutterstock described how the new scheme, based on achieving up to six levels determined by annual sales, works:

  • Levels are based on the number of times your content is licensed rather than your lifetime earnings.
  • All contributors are reset to Level 1 for both images and videos every year on Jan. 1.
  • There are separate levels for images and for videos and you graduate through them independently based on your download count in each category.

The second provision, demoting every contributor to a 15 percent commission each year, has raised concerns. The effect of the reduction may last months for many contributors.

Under the new scheme, still photographers would earn 15 percent up to 100 licensed images per year, 20 percent up to 250, 25 percent up to 500, 30 percent up to 2,500, 35 percent up to 25,000 and 40 percent over 25,000.

Videographers would earn 15 percent up to 10 licensed videos per year, 20 percent up to 50, 25 percent up to 250, 30 percent up to 5,00, 35 percent up to 25,000 and 40 percent over 25,000.

The changes are effective June 1.

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