Pressure group formed as anger grows over image payment cuts by major stock libraries

It’s hardly big news that making money via stock image sales has got harder and harder in recent years, as image libraries cut their payment rates. Aggrieved users of major international stock image service, Shutterstock, have now banded together to protest against the company’s controversial pay cut for contributors.

“Shutterstock D-Day is an effort by the newly formed Stock Coalition, which has over 4000 members united against… the contributor pay cut,” Dimitar Gorgev, a photographer from Macedonia, told Inside Imaging. “On May 26, Shutterstock announced a new contributor earning schedule, effective from June 1, which determines contributor payments based on the volume of images licensed each year,” he explained. “Contributors across the board reported record low payments of US$0.10, a drop compared with the typical US$0.25-0.38 fee previously earned.”

The stated goal of D-Day is to dent Shutterstock’s financial results for the second quarter of this year, as one way of measuring the company’s quarterly performance is by its contributor and archive growth. “Many of those deactivating or deleting their portfolios are high-quality stock producers,” Gorgev adds. “Those frustrated by low royalty rates are often those who rightfully value their work. It’s critical that agencies are able to keep these high-quality producers on their books, because it’s their content the buyers are looking for. Buyers will be left with limited choice and will have to look elsewhere for the top-notch, quality material they used to find at Shutterstock.”

For more information, see the pressure group’s website (it is also fighting its corner with other big stock agencies, not just Shutterstock).