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Shutterstock: stock image library

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Search millions of royalty-free stock photos, videos and music. More than 10,000 new images added daily.

Shutterstock is a two-sided marketplace. That means that you can either license its stock images, video and music, or submit your own creative work for sale through Shutterstock.

Founder Jon Oringer created the company with thousands of his own digital photographs in 2003. It has expanded with the addition of Bigstock, WedDAM, Rex Features and PremiumBeat since 2009. As of March 2016, Shutterstock had more than 100,000 contributors and a customer base greater than 1.4 million people spread across 150 countries. You can download 10 images per month with a standard licence for about $62/month.

Prices last checked July 2017

The Shutterstock library

  • Images. Shutterstock offers a number of image subscription plans that allow you to download a certain number of images per month for your own uses. Subscriptions are available either monthly or yearly. There is also an on-demand service that allows you to buy 2, 5 or 25 images within a year of your purchase. There are two different licences that can be purchased – one which allows for unlimited physical reproductions as well as on merchandise for sale and in web/print templates, and one that is more limited.
  • Footage. Shutterstock has more than 7.6 million royalty-free stock videos. They can be purchased as a single clip or as a pack and in four formats: Web, HD, SD or 4K. Videos must be downloaded within 365 days of buying a pack. There are also options for small businesses and enterprises, but they require a lot of user input and prices are not quoted on the site.
  • Music. Shutterstock’s music has songs for all occasions, from corporate presentations to theatrical films. It offers two licences – standard and enhanced.

Shutterstock Editor

Shutterstock editor allows you to alter the size, background, templates, associated text and shapes of an image, along with a storage area called My Content and the ability to create pages of content.

Shutterstock Premier

Shutterstock Premier is an enterprise-level service that is designed to take companies from end to end in the creative process. It involves unlimited users, advanced search tools and assistance from a regional/language-specific support team. Its licensing includes unlimited distribution, third-party rights transfer and enhanced legal protection.

Plans and pricing

Shutterstock’s price structure varies according to product.


On demand
No. of imagesStandard LicenceEnhanced Licence

Prices last checked July 2017


No. of imagesAnnual SubscriptionMonthly Subscription

Prices last checked July 2017

Team subscriptions

Includes 750 images per month.

Number of usersCost per month

Prices last checked July 2017


Customers can purchase a single clip or save by purchasing a pack of 5, 10 or 25 clips in one of four formats: Web, SD, HD or 4K.

No. of clipsWebSDHD4K

Prices last checked July 2017


There are no package deals available for Shutterstock’s music offering, only single downloads available across two licences: standard and enhanced.

  • The standard package is for a single project and its supporting materials. It is limited to one country and up to 1 million TV viewers. Price is regularly $99/song, but is currently reduced to $62/song.
  • The enhanced package is also for a single project and its supporting materials, but has unlimited audience and global distribution. Price is regularly $629/song, but is currently reduced to $528/song.

Prices last checked July 2017

Pros and cons

Shutterstock has a vast collection of images, videos and songs to choose from. It offers a flexible host or pricing options, but some of its enterprise level solutions are muddy when described online.


  • All searches are free, allowing customers to see if their needs can be met before signing up.
  • All video and music clips are playable as previews.
  • A la carte packages make for affordable one-time project purchases.


  • Enterprise-level offerings do not have prices on them. Customers must fill out a lengthy form to get an estimate.
  • Difference between licences can be tricky to understand based solely on the website.

FAQs about Shutterstock

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