Learn about what the new earnings structure means for Shutterstock image and video contributors.

Over the coming weeks, Shutterstock will update the earnings structure that determines how much contributors earn when customers license their work. We are making this adjustment in order to reflect changes in the global market for creative content. This creates fair opportunities for all our contributors, rewarding performance with greater earnings potential.

New Updates to Shutterstock Contributor Earnings Structure — Rewarding Performance with Earnings Potential
Image by Xenia Artwork.

What is the new earnings structure? 

Starting on June 1st, 2020, earnings for each license will be based on a contributor’s Image Level or Video Level.  

See the table below for more information about each level and how they are structured. 

How does the new earnings structure work?

  • These new levels are based on the number of times buyers license content rather than a contributor’s lifetime earnings.
  • All contributors reset to level 1 for both images and videos every year on January 1st. By resetting the royalty levels each year, we aim to provide an avenue for contributors to be fairly rewarded for content that is performing well at the current time.
  • There are separate levels for images and for videos, and contributors graduate through them independently based on their download count in each category.

Contributors can graduate through the levels based on their download count in each category, rewarding content creators for producing quality work that is fresh, relevant, and in-demand by customers. Stay tuned for even more posts that include tips to help contributors quickly climb to higher levels and increase their opportunities to earn money.

Interested in signing up to become a Shutterstock contributor? Join our creative community of photographers, videographers, illustrators, vector artists, and musicians around the world. 


Top image by Bibadash.

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