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
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 downloads||Monthly||Annual||Annual (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)|
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.
|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)|
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.
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 image||Plan||Type||Size|
|$0.22/image||subscription||annual prepaid||750 downloads|
|$0.39/image||subscription||annual prepaid||350 downloads|
|$1.64/image||subscription||annual prepaid||50 downloads|
|$1.68/image||FLEX25||annual prepaid||25 credits|
|$2.50/image||subscription||annual prepaid||10 downloads|
|$9.16/image||image pack||Standard license||2 downloads|
|$9.80/image||image pack||Standard license||5 downloads|
|$14.50/image||image pack||Standard license||25 downloads|
|$67.96/image||image pack||Enhanced license||2 downloads|
|$89.90/image||image pack||Enhanced license||5 downloads|
|$99.50/image||image pack||Enhanced license||25 downloads|
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.
|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)|
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
|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)|
Enhanced license video packs
|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)|
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 video||Plan||Type||Size|
|$8.35/video||subscription||annual prepaid||20 videos|
|$13.30/video||subscription||annual prepaid||10 videos|
|$13.44/video||FLEX25||annual prepaid||3 videos|
|$15.80/video||subscription||annual prepaid||5 videos|
|$51.96/video||Std. lic. pack||SD||25 videos|
|$54.90/video||Std. lic. pack||SD||10 videos|
|$59.80/video||Std. lic. pack||SD||5 videos|
|$63.16/video||Std. lic. pack||HD||25 videos|
|$66.90/video||Std. lic. pack||HD||10 videos|
|$67.96/video||Enh. lic. pack||SD||25 videos|
|$71.80/video||Std. lic. pack||HD||5 videos|
|$77.96/video||Enh. lic. pack||HD||25 videos|
|$91.90/video||Enh. lic. pack||SD||10 videos|
|$91.96/video||Std. lic. pack||4K||25 videos|
|$99.90/video||Std. lic. pack||4K||10 videos|
|$103.90/video||Enh. lic. pack||HD||10 videos|
|$107.96/video||Enh. lic. pack||4K||25 videos|
|$119.80/video||Std. lic. pack||4K||5 videos|
|$133.80/video||Enh. lic. pack||SD||5 videos|
|$136.90/video||Enh. lic. pack||4K||10 videos|
|$145.80/video||Enh. lic. pack||HD||5 videos|
|$193.80/video||Enh. lic. pack||4K||5 videos|
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.
|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:
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.
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.
Shutterstock sells music tracks and sound effects with unlimited, FLEX, and on-demand subscriptions.
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.
You can music and sound effects on-demand, but not with packs like images and videos. Instead, you can buy each file separately.
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:
|Asset||Standard License||Enhanced License|
|Sound effects||$5 (or from $16.58/month)||$20|
|Music||$49 (or from $41.58/month)||$199|
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.
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.
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.
- Stock Photo, Royalty-Free Image Prices and Plans, Shutterstock. Retrieved: July 19, 2022.
- Video Clips, Stock Footage Pricing & Plans, Shutterstock. Retrieved: July 19, 2022.
- Royalty-free Stock Music Licensing Prices, Shutterstock. Retrieved: July 19, 2022.
- Editorial Stock Photos and Images, Shutterstock. Retrieved: July 19, 2022.
- Students: Get Free Images, Share Your Creative Work, and You May Win, Shutterstock, Updated: November 15, 2019. Retrieved: July 19, 2022.
- 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.
- Shutterstock Flex, Shutterstock. Retrieved: July 19, 2022.
- Shutterstock Developer Portal – API Pricing Plans, Shutterstock. Retrieved: July 19, 2022.
- Enterprise End-to-end Creative Partner, Shutterstock. Retrieved: July 19, 2022.