Shutterstock new prices for “high volume” sales is an answer to price wars

Not that long time ago we were writing that stock footage prices will go lower and lower because of many contributors stupid decision selling their works on low priced agencies. Because other agencies want to be competitive against such dumping prices they lower their own prices too. And this cycle of lowering stock footage value will continue.

Shutterstock is not the first one to answer with price wars. iStockphoto/Getty Images has disaster prices for 4K footage too. This time Shutterstock sent a newsletter to contributors stating;

We will only be offering this package to large business customers who are guaranteeing bulk purchases of footage. … As with our other footage products, your earnings under this high-volume footage package will be a percentage of the purchase price of each download, with payouts between $3 and $6 per clip.

There are some words about changing overall pricing structures and other pretty words saying “we” will earn more too. Well, you might earn more, we wont. If iStock would have your existing pricing structure, we would almost earn as much as we do currently on Shutterstock. But after price dropping and small contributor percentage on iStock, it has become one of the lowest earners. Will Shutterstock follow iStockphoto/Getty Images path?

We don’t like pricing changes. It only confuses buyers and bounces them away. We’ve seen this on Pond5 last year after they started with Membership and some other pricing changes. Our sales dropped noticeably.

The second you start a new pricing changes you can’t go back to old system. Buyers will hate you. You have to eat what you cooked (it’s a saying in our country). But, for what purpose? Getting more revenue or selling more footage? Because technology is improving, clients want to obide many costs that video production are making. Stock footage is a reply to more affordable video footage.  Instead paying more thousands of dollars to make a clip or two, you buy them for hundred bucks. The next logical step would be making post-production more affordable. Clients could use tools to make their own simple finished products without costly post-production company. Is there any such tool already integrated in stock industry? No? Start working on USER EXPERIENCE, not PRICE DROPPING.

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