How much will I be paid as a contributor to Shutterstock?

As a Shutterstock contributor you will earn royalties each time one of your approved images or videos is downloaded by a Shutterstock customer. How much you earn per each download depends on one or a combination of the following: the license and subscription that was used for each download, and your earnings tier. For a detailed breakdown of earnings per download, please reference our Earnings Schedule.

Earnings tiers
The rate you receive for Subscription and On Demand downloads depends on your Lifetime Earnings -- how much you have earned as a contributor with Shutterstock so far. There are four tiers for Lifetime Earnings: $0-$500, $500-$3,000, $3,000-$10,000 and $10,000+.

Subscription packages allow customers to license up to 750 images per month under a Standard License, for a monthly fee. Shutterstock will initially pay you 25 cents every time one of your images is downloaded, with a tiered set of raises to 33 cents, 36 cents and 38 cents per download as you reach the $500, $3,000 and $10,000 lifetime earnings milestones.

On Demand
This plan allows customers to purchase a pack of images under the Standard or Enhanced license, which must be downloaded within 1 year from the date of purchase.  We offer different "On Demand" packs to our customers; some packs have a restriction on size of image you can download, whereas others do not. The plans with size restrictions will generate anywhere from $.81 - $1.24 and the plans with no size restrictions will generate $1.88 - $2.85 per download with a Standard license, depending on your Lifetime Earnings tier. Enhanced license On Demand downloads will generate earnings of 20-30% from the purchase price received by Shutterstock, depending on your Lifetime Earnings tier.

Standard license
The Standard license restricts the way an image can be used, specifically how many times an image can be reproduced in print and it does not allow for use of images on merchandise. The Standard license is offered to customers via image packs, subscriptions and custom products. 

Enhanced license
The Enhanced license allow buyers additional rights to downloaded images for merchandising and high-viewership commercial uses. This license is offered to customers via image packs and custom products.  Your earnings start at 20% of the sale price and increase to 25%, 28%, and 30% based on your lifetime earnings tiers.

All footage clip downloads will earn you 30% of the purchase price received by Shutterstock. These earnings are a fixed percentage, regardless of earning tiers. Customers can purchase footage in packs of clips with a choice of resolution. Footage is sold under one license only.

Custom products
For single images, test products, and new products involving per-image sales, images will pay out on the same structure as Enhanced license downloads. To learn more about Single Image sales, read our blog post.

We also enter into partnerships and deals with other platforms to expand the reach of our marketplace. The resulting sales produce earnings that may be different from the ranges covered in the Earnings Schedule, but they often are covered by special or limited licenses that control how your content may be used.

Learn more about how your work can be used under our licenses. You can also earn additional income by referring other contributors as well as customers. Learn more about referral earnings here.
  • Was this article helpful?