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Shutterstock Pricing Explained (2022)

Matic Broz profile picture By Matic Broz Updated July 19, 2022
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Shutterstock has many buying options so everyone can find a plan that fits their needs. But this brings certain complexity to the pricing, making it difficult to find your best option. This guide thoroughly explains the Shutterstock pricing and even provides real-life examples.

Quick summary of Shutterstock pricing:

  • Image subscriptions: $0.22–$4.90/image
  • Image packs: $9.16–$14.50/image
  • Enhanced License (images): $67.96–$99.50/image
  • Video subscriptions: $8.35–$37.80/video
  • Video packs: $51.96–$119.80/video
  • Enhanced License (videos): $67.96–$193.80/video
  • Music: $41.58/month for unlimited downloads; $49 for a single download.
  • Enhanced License (music): $199/music track
  • Sound effects: $16.58/month for unlimited downloads; $5 for a single download.
  • Enhanced License (sound effects): $20/sound effect

Image pricing

Shutterstock image pricing page

Shutterstock sells images with subscriptions and with image packs (on-demand). Subscriptions are the cheaper option, but they bind you to a monthly or a yearly contract, whereas the image packs are more expensive but give you more freedom about when you may use the images. Therefore, subscriptions are better for customers who need images regularly and stock image packs for those who need them occasionally or inconsistently.

Image subscriptions ($0.22–$4.90/image)

Subscriptions come in sizes of 10, 50, 350, and 750 images per month. The larger the subscription you choose (i.e., 750 monthly downloads), the more expensive it is, but the price per image is lower. Therefore, you should always select the largest subscription that makes sense for your image needs, rather than buying a smaller one and then topping it up with image packs.

Subscriptions come in three durations: monthly, annual, and annual prepaid. The monthly subscriptions are the most flexible because you can cancel them anytime, but they are also the most expensive. The annual subscription and the prepaid annual subscription both have a 12-month term. The difference is that the yearly prepaid subscription, as the name suggests, has to be paid in advance and is 20% cheaper, while the regular annual subscription is paid monthly.

Depending on which plan you choose, you will pay $25-249/month ($0.22-$4.90/image) for image subscriptions to Shutterstock. In the table below, we compare prices for all 12 image subscriptions:

Monthly downloadsMonthlyAnnualAnnual (prepaid)
10 images$49 ($4.90/image)$29 ($2.90/image)$25 ($2.50/image)
50 images$125 ($2.50/image)$99 ($1.98/image)$82 ($1.64/image)
350 images$199 ($0.57/image)$169 ($0.48/image)$137 ($0.39/image)
750 images$249 ($0.33/image)$199 ($0.27/image)$167 ($0.22/image)
Shutterstock’s image subscription plan pricing

For all subscriptions, there is no limit on image size or daily downloads (except the size of your plan), but unused downloads will not carry over to the next month. If you run out of downloads before the end of the month, you can wait until the next month, upgrade your subscription, or purchase on-demand packages.

Image packs ($9.16–$14.50/image)

Image packs differ from subscriptions because you don’t pay and don’t get new downloads every month, but only when you’ve used them up. This makes them ideal if you don’t know when you’ll need them.

Image packs come in three sizes (2, 5, and 25 images) and with two licenses: standard and advanced. Depending on which plan you choose, they cost $29-$229 ($9.16-$14.50/image) for the standard license and $199-$1,699 ($67.96-$99.50/image) for the Enhanced License.

Pack sizeStandardEnhanced
2 images$29 ($14.50/image)$199 ($99.50/image)
5 images$49 ($9.80/image)$449 ($89.80/image)
25 images$229 ($9.16/image)$1,699 ($67.96/image)
Shutterstock’s image packs pricing

As with a subscription, image packs are automatically renewed when you run out of downloads or when they expire. You can cancel this service on the order summary page or your account settings after purchase.

Team subscription

Shutterstock offers a subscription plan for images only called Team for $479/month. This subscription gives you 750 monthly downloads at $0.64/image and can be used by up to 10 team members who also get Shutterstock’s planning tools.

Price per image

We researched all of Shutterstock’s buying options for images and compared them in the following table by listing them based on the price per image in ascending order:

Price per imagePlanTypeSize
$0.22/imagesubscriptionannual prepaid750 downloads
$0.27/imagesubscriptionannual750 downloads
$0.33/imagesubscriptionmonthly750 downloads
$0.39/imagesubscriptionannual prepaid350 downloads
$0.48/imagesubscriptionannual350 downloads
$0.57/imagesubscriptionmonthly350 downloads
$0.64/imagesubscriptionTeam750 downloads
$1.64/imagesubscriptionannual prepaid50 downloads
$1.68/imageFLEX25annual prepaid25 credits
$1.96/imageFLEX25annual25 credits
$1.98/imagesubscriptionannual50 downloads
$2.50/imagesubscriptionmonthly50 downloads
$2.50/imagesubscriptionannual prepaid10 downloads
$2.76/imageFLEX25monthly25 credits
$2.90/imagesubscriptionannual10 downloads
$4.90/imagesubscriptionmonthly10 downloads
$9.16/imageimage packStandard license2 downloads
$9.80/imageimage packStandard license5 downloads
$14.50/imageimage packStandard license25 downloads
$67.96/imageimage packEnhanced license2 downloads
$89.90/imageimage packEnhanced license5 downloads
$99.50/imageimage packEnhanced license25 downloads
Shutterstock price per image

Video pricing

Shutterstock video pricing
Shutterstock video pricing

Shutterstock sells stock videos (or footage) with subscriptions and image packs–the same as images. Video subscriptions are cheaper than video packs, but they bind you to a contract.

Video subscriptions ($8.35–$37.80/video)

Video subscriptions come in sizes of 5, 10, and 20 videos per month, with three durations (monthly, annual, and prepaid). Their prices depend on the size and duration of your subscription, costing $79–669/month ($8.35–$37.80/video). You can also use the FLEX25 subscription to get up to 3 videos per month.

ClipsMonthlyAnnualAnnual (prepaid)
5 videos$189 ($37.80/video)$99 ($19.80/video)$79 ($15.80/video)
10 videos$359 ($35.90/video)$159 ($15.90/video)$133 ($13.30/video)
20 videos$669 ($33.45/video)$199 ($9.95/video)$167 ($8.35/video)
Shutterstock’s video subscription plan pricing

Video packs ($51.96–$119.80/video)

Video packs are your best choice if you don’t need stock videos regularly, as they don’t tie you to a contract. You can get them in three resolutions (SD, HD, and 4K) and three sizes (5, 10, and 25 videos), costing $51.96–$119.80/video. You can also choose between the Standard and Enhanced licenses.

Standard license video packs

SDHD4K
5 videos$299 ($59.80/video)$359 ($71.80/video)$599 ($119.80/video)
10 videos$549 ($54.90/video)$669 ($66.90/video)$999 ($99.90/video)
25 videos$1,299 ($51.96/video)$1,579 ($63.16/video)$2,299 ($91.96/video)
Shutterstock’s Standard License video pack prices

Enhanced license video packs

SDHD4K
5 videos$669 ($133.80/video)$729 ($145.80/video)$969 ($193.80/video)
10 videos$919 ($91.90/video)$1,039 ($103.90/video)$1,369 ($136.90/video)
25 videos$1,699 ($67.96/video)$1,949 ($77.96/video)$2,699 ($107.96/video)
Shutterstock’s Enhanced License video pack prices

However, we’re not huge fans of Shutterstock’s video packs because there are just too many.

Price per video

We researched all of Shutterstock’s buying options for videos and compared them in the following table by listing them based on the price per video clip in ascending order:

Price per videoPlanTypeSize
$8.35/videosubscriptionannual prepaid20 videos
$9.95/videosubscriptionannual20 videos
$13.30/videosubscriptionannual prepaid10 videos
$13.44/videoFLEX25annual prepaid3 videos
$15.68/videoFLEX25annual3 videos
$15.80/videosubscriptionannual prepaid5 videos
$15.90/videosubscriptionannual10 videos
$19.80/videosubscriptionannual5 videos
$22.08/videoFLEX25monthly3 videos
$33.45/videosubscriptionmonthly20 videos
$35.90/videosubscriptionmonthly10 videos
$37.80/videosubscriptionmonthly5 videos
$51.96/videoStd. lic. packSD25 videos
$54.90/videoStd. lic. packSD10 videos
$59.80/videoStd. lic. packSD5 videos
$63.16/videoStd. lic. packHD25 videos
$66.90/videoStd. lic. packHD10 videos
$67.96/videoEnh. lic. packSD25 videos
$71.80/videoStd. lic. packHD5 videos
$77.96/videoEnh. lic. packHD25 videos
$91.90/videoEnh. lic. packSD10 videos
$91.96/videoStd. lic. pack4K25 videos
$99.90/videoStd. lic. pack4K10 videos
$103.90/videoEnh. lic. packHD10 videos
$107.96/videoEnh. lic. pack4K25 videos
$119.80/videoStd. lic. pack4K5 videos
$133.80/videoEnh. lic. packSD5 videos
$136.90/videoEnh. lic. pack4K10 videos
$145.80/videoEnh. lic. packHD5 videos
$193.80/videoEnh. lic. pack4K5 videos
Shutterstock price per video

FLEX plans

The FLEX25 subscription, also called “Mix and Match,” is Shutterstock’s subscription that lets you download images, music tracks, and video clips all at once. You get 25 credits per month to use as you see fit. You can get 25 images, 6 music tracks, 3 video clips, or any combination.

PriceMonthlyAnnualAnnual (prepaid)
Price per month$69$49$42
Price per image$2.76/image$1.96/image$1.68/image
Price per track$11.04/track$7.84/track$6.72/track
Price per clip$22.08/video$15.68/video$13.44/video
  • 1 image = 1 credit
  • 1 video clip = 8 credits
  • 1 music track = 4 credits

Shutterstock offers a FLEX subscription for teams and the premium version on its website, but they don’t disclose the price. So we contacted customer support and found out the following:

FLEX150

Companies can sign up for a 6x larger FLEX subscription that includes 150 credits and costs $3,999 if paid in advance. Each image and music track with a Standard license costs 1 credit, while video clips cost 15 credits. This plan allows up to 10 seats/users.

FLEX Premium

For $5,000 per year, you get 1,000 credits that can be used by an unlimited number of users and 200 compositions without watermarks. Images, footage, and editorial images cost 5 credits, while music costs 20 credits. Each asset has the same rights as the standard license.

The reason for the price jump is directly related to the licensing aspect of the agreement. It’s a transition from a natural person (sole proprietor) to a company with more than one employee.

Music pricing

Shutterstock music pricing
Shutterstock music pricing

Shutterstock sells music tracks and sound effects with unlimited, FLEX, and on-demand subscriptions.

Unlimited subscription

The Unlimited Subscription, as the name suggests, gives you unlimited downloads of music and sound effects at a fixed monthly fee. You can choose between three durations (monthly, annual, and annual prepaid) and two track types (Essential and Premium). The main difference between the two is that the Premium Unlimited Subscription also gives you access to the PremiumBeat tracks.

MonthlyAnnualAnnual prepaid
Essential$29/month$19/month$199/year
Premium$69/month$49/month$499/year
Shutterstock’s unlimited subscription plan pricing.

On-demand

You can music and sound effects on-demand, but not with packs like images and videos. Instead, you can buy each file separately.

MusicSound effects
Standard license$49$5
Enhanced license$199$20
Shutterstock’s on-demand pricing for music and sound effects.

Editorial pricing

Shutterstock editorial pricing
Shutterstock editorial pricing

You can buy any of the 50 million Shutterstock editorial images as a single download for $199 per image or with a Multi Pack of 25 images for $99 per image. You can use the downloads within one year of the purchase.

Standard vs. Enhanced license cost

The Standard License costs $0.22–$14.50 for images, $8.35–$119.80 for videos, $5 for sound effects, and $49 for music. The Enhanced License costs $67.69–$99.50 for images, $67.96–$193.80 for videos, $20 for sound effects, and $199 for music. The Enhanced License is more expensive because it allows you to use the asset more extensively.

In the following table, we compare the pricing of the Standard and Enhanced licenses across all assets:

AssetStandard LicenseEnhanced License
Image$0.22–$14.50$67.69–$99.50
SD video$8.35–$59.80$67.96–$133.80
HD video$8.35–$71.80$77.96–$145.80
4K video$8.35–$119.80$107.96–$193.80
Sound effects$5 (or from $16.58/month)$20
Music$49 (or from $41.58/month)$199
Shutterstock’s Standard vs. Enhanced licenses cost comparison.

Education pricing

Shutterstock does not offer education pricing as Adobe Stock does. However, students may get 40+ free images when they share their creative work with Shutterstock. What is more, submitting your work to Lecture In Progress may win a MacBook air as a student.

Enterprise pricing

Shutterstock offers special Enterprise pricing options in all main categories, including images, videos, music, editorial, and even API for developers. Since the pricing and plans are tailored to each company’s needs, the is no predefined cost for these plans, and there is no point in discussing them as it differs for each situation.

Frequently asked questions

How expensive is Shutterstock?

Shutterstock subscriptions are priced at $49 to $249 per month and are the best and most affordable way to get stock images at Shutterstock, paying between $0.22 and $4.90 per image.

Is Shutterstock worth paying for?

Shutterstock is a great option for individuals, small-to-medium-sized businesses, and corporations. It has diverse pricing, is easy to use, affordable, and provides you with a large database of images, videos, music, and sound effects.

Conclusion

Shutterstock is a relatively inexpensive stock photo site with pricing starting as low as $0.22 per image. It’s also a good place to buy royalty-free stock videos, music, soundtracks, and even editorial images.

Sources

  1. Stock Photo, Royalty-Free Image Prices and Plans, Shutterstock. Retrieved: July 19, 2022.
  2. Video Clips, Stock Footage Pricing & Plans, Shutterstock. Retrieved: July 19, 2022.
  3. Royalty-free Stock Music Licensing Prices, Shutterstock. Retrieved: July 19, 2022.
  4. Editorial Stock Photos and Images, Shutterstock. Retrieved: July 19, 2022.
  5. Students: Get Free Images, Share Your Creative Work, and You May Win, Shutterstock, Updated: November 15, 2019. Retrieved: July 19, 2022.
  6. Students: Show us where you’ve used Shutterstock assets for the chance to win a MacBook Air!, Creative Lives in Progress, October 29, 2019. Retrieved: July 19, 2022.
  7. Shutterstock Flex, Shutterstock. Retrieved: July 19, 2022.
  8. Shutterstock Developer Portal – API Pricing Plans, Shutterstock. Retrieved: July 19, 2022.
  9. Enterprise End-to-end Creative Partner, Shutterstock. Retrieved: July 19, 2022.

About your guide

Matic Broz profile image
Matic Broz

Matic Broz is a photographer, graphic designer, and stock photographer. For over ten years he's been helping photographers improve their photos and graphic designers find the best images for their designs. His work has been featured by Lifewire, Skylum, and PetaPixel. In his free time, he enjoys photography, hiking, and petting random dogs. Read more

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