Shutterstock is one of the top microstock agencies. It was the pioneer in the market with stock image subscriptions: they introduced this offer when they launched in the industry and were a huge success. Within time, they also added options for on-demand photo buying, in the form of image packs. To know more about this company, check out our Shutterstock Review and their price page here.
This agency has some of the best deals for photo buyers –that's why it's one of the top 5 in our Guide to the Best Stock Photo Sites— and a huge library of over 80 million images. But stock photography pricing can get complicated and sometimes it's hard to tell which one of Shutterstock plans is the best for you. Here you will find Shutterstock pricing explained in a way that will make it easier to know exactly how much are Shutterstock photos priced and what purchasing option works better for your needs.
Shutterstock Image Packs and Subscriptions
Shutterstock lets you buy subscriptions that allow you to pay a flat fee per month and download a limited number of photos. These subscriptions are a good deal if you're a regular photo buyer, if you need lots of photos, or both, because they lower the price per image to as little as cents of a dollar each. But if you don't have a need for hundreds of photos and will never use the download limits, in the long run it's not convenient.
They also offer to buy image packs on demand, this way you only pay for a reduced number of photos. This is a good option if you only need a few images, or if you want to test the waters with stock photo buying before committing to a subscription. Since these downloads don't expire until a year from purchase date, you can download your images whenever you want, without monthly expiration dates, and you don't have to pay for hundreds of photos you won't use. The downside of this is that the smaller the image pack, the higher the price per image.
Shutterstock Image Pack Prices
This is the option to buy images on demand, without any extra payment commitments.
The cheapest image pack is 5 images for $49, meaning you're paying $9.80 per image. Then there's a 25 image pack for $229 that takes individual image price to $9.16 each, saving you a total of $16 from smaller pack individual image price.
Shutterstock Subscription Prices
Professional subscription offer has different image limit options, and it can be hired per month or per year (but they're billed monthly).
Originally Shutterstock focused in high volume plans, and they are still their core offer, but now they also have low volume subscriptions that are perfect to test the waters and for small budgets.
Plans start at only 10 images per month, costing $49 monthly, or $29 a month hired annually. As you can easily see, even hiring it from month to month, this plan costs you the same as a small image pack, while giving you twice as many images. You will pay each photo between $2.90 and $4.90 depending on the extension you choose.
The other small plan is for 50 downloads a month. Priced at $125 monthly and $99 a month with annual subscription, it's a great way to get a considerable amount of photos, paying between $1.98 and $2.50 per image.
Then they have high volume plans for big buyers or any creative needing lots of photos all the time. For 350 images a month, the monthly subscription costs $199 a month ($0.56 per image). And the annual subscription costs $169 a month, taking price per image down to $o.48 and saving you around 20%.
The 750 images a month subscription is at $249 monthly ($0.33 per image), and $199 per month with annual plan, which cuts 20% from monthly price. This is Shutterstock's star plan, and it's amongst the lowest prices available in the market.
Shutterstock has great deals for different buyer needs.
But if you don't want to work within monthly download restrictions, you should check our 99club and Low Volume subscriptions:
- 99club: 200 XXL images for $99 ($0.49 per image). If you use less than 200 images per month, why to spend hundreds of dollars for downloads you'll never use? With 99club plan you get all the images you need and you save up to $150! Click here to get your 99club subscription now!
- Low Volume: 600 XXL images for $199 ($0.33 per image). At the same image price rate than Shutterstock's monthly subscription, our limited-time plan is limited to 600 images, and so it costs $50 less. If you need less than 600 images, this is a great deal for you to save 50% in subscription price! Get your Low Volume Special Offer here!
What if I Need More Than One User in my Account?
All Shutterstock standard buyer accounts are individual: only the registered user can access the account and the photos purchased, and use them.
But what if you need other designer, your company's team or your clients to be able to access your account? You can, but this is what is called “multi-seat”: a license that permits access to a defined number of people (each representing one “seat”) to the same account and to use the photos bought with it. Most agencies offer this as a type of Extended license, for a different price.
Shutterstock also includes Team Subscription option, granting multi-seat access to the buyer account. This is hired annually only, it gives 750 images per month, and the cost increases proportionally to the number of seats needed. For 2 users it's $379 a month ($o,50 per image), for 3 users $479 a month ($0.63 per image), and for 4 users $579 a month ($o,77 per image). For more than 4 users, price gets adjusted depending on quantity of users needed.
What if I Need an Extended License?
All images bought with these plans and packs come with Shutterstock Standard license.
For customers needing more rights that those included in Standard licenses, they offer image packs for Enhanced (i.e Extended) Licenses: 2 images for $199 ($99,50 per image), 5 images for $449 ($89,80 per image), and 25 images for $1699 ($67,96 per image).
A great Shutterstock Alternative is our 99club subscription offer. It gives you 200 XXL images for $99, and you're paying $0.49 per image. That's 47% less than Bigstock's monthly offer, without any monthly restrictions!
Our Special Low Volume membership is also a good option, with 600 XXL images for $199, you're paying only $0.33 per image. With the lower downloads limit, it makes it much cheaper than Shutterstock!
Another good alternative is Bigstock. Bigstock offers a wider variety of on-demand packs and subscription plans than Shutterstock.
Their image credits have a one year validity and go from $35 for 10 image credits to $495 for 500 image credits. Each image is priced from 1 credit for Small size to 4 credits for XL size (and 50 credits for Extended license).
Their subscriptions are very flexible as they have both daily and monthly limits options. Plans are billed monthly, and can be hired per month, per 3 months, or per year.
With daily limits, 5 images a day cost $79 ($0.53 per image) per month, $199 ($0.44 per image) per three months, and $639 ($0.35) per year.
They also have 10, 20 and 50 images daily limit options.
The monthly limit plans are hired by month only. They have 25 images a month for $69 ($2.76 per image), 50 images for $79 ($1.58 per image), 100 images for $99 ($0.99 per image), and 200 images for $189 ($0.85 per image). While offering more flexibility (you can download as many images a day as you want until you reach your monthly limit), these subscriptions have a higher per image rate than other options.
Do you want to try Bigstock? Start your free 7 days trial now.
Ready to buy Bigstock photos? Get your Bigstock Subscription here.
Not wanting a subscription yet? Click here to get Bigstock Credit Packages.
More Details on Shutterstock's Image Packs and Subscriptions
Shutterstock allows to have more than one plan in the same account. This means a customer can have both subscriptions and image packs on their account simultaneously.
If the customer hires a new subscription option (for example, has an active monthly subscription and hires a new annual one), the new subscription starts when the active one expires.
When buying image packs, customers can use their downloads for one year after purchase date. After that moment, all unused downloads expire.
When paying for a subscription, once the monthly download quota has been used, customer must wait until the next month to get the quota renewed. Unused downloads expire from month to month.
The license for images that were not used in a project within 6 months after the end of the subscription expires. This means the buyer can no longer use them in any way. However, all images used in a project before this date are owned by the buyer forever, and can be used in other projects as well.
Shutterstock Standard License vs Shutterstock Extended License
All Shutterstock images are Royalty Free, and all images bought with subscription and image packs come with a Shutterstock Standard License. This license allows you to use photos for commercial purposes, but they have restrictions. Print reproduction is limited to 500,000 copies; use in TV, online video and films is limited to projects with budgets up to $10,000; and copies for web/print templates and items for resale is not allowed.
To get unlimited print run, unrestricted use in TV and film, and rights to use photos in templates and resale products, you need an Enhanced (i.e Extended) license.
Prices for Enhanced license start at $99.50 per image and can go down to $67.96 per image, depending on the Enhanced license pack you buy. This is a higher price compared to Standard licenses options, but you're paying a variety of extra rights to use your photos.
What Shutterstock Plan is Best for You?
If you don't need stock photos regularly, or you're not yet sure of committing to monthly fees, get an image pack: you have a whole year to use it and there's no extra payment commitments.
If you are a regular and/or big volume stock photo buyer, a Shutterstock Professional Subscription is the best deal for you. It offers a super cheap price per image, a very wide download limit, and you can cancel it at any time.
Don't forget to redeem your Shutterstock Coupon Code and save even more!
Save an additional 20% off on annual image subscriptions at Shutterstock.com