|// sorry if I'm wrong but I believe that a significant number of tech companies buy Shutterstock's packages or subscriptions|
// throwaway because I'm involved with stock image production
Today Shutterstock announced their new payout levels where they now start to reset authors' commission rates every year. Level 1 starts at 15% per sale, then it goes to 20%, 25%, 30%, 35%, and finally 40% per sale after 25,000 sales which most photographers and illustrators will never achieve in a single year.
They are also switching from the $0.25 flat-rate commissions per image bought via subscription packages to a percentage fee that will result in payouts as low as $0.10 per image. And with the aforementioned yearly commission reset, even popular authors are going to receive these miserable royalties during the first months of each year.
In other words, total payouts are going to drop for 50% or more for the absolute majority of authors (who are usually from low-income countries like Ukraine and Thailand). There is no good reason for this except for Shutterstock being a stagnating rent-seeking company in need of higher quarter earnings. Of course there's no way to influence them because the contributors can't simply delete their portfolios from the largest stock platform out there, even if it pays peanuts per sale.
Most authors upload their content to multiple stocks at once, so please switch to any alternative out there to help them earn more (except for Bigstock because they're owned by Shutterstock).