Is Shutterstock Opening the Floodgates to New Contributors?

Tired of agencies cutting your royalties? Upload to an agency that will pay you better, up to 52%. Join Revolucy.

hands holding welcoming sign

Well I don’t think anyone saw this coming. Shutterstock which is a microstock site known for its high standards in accepting contributors, announced yesterday that they have abandoned their age old policy of 7 out of 10 images needed to pass the initial review for new contributors. The new policy is that only 1 image out of 10 needs to pass in order for you to be accepted as a Shutterstock contributor. ONE! I actually checked my calendar thinking that I must have woken up from a coma and that today is actually April 1. To my astonishment it wasn’t.

In their own words. “As the next step in improving the contributor experience we have decided to simplify the sign-up and onboarding process by changing the requirement from 7 to 1 out of 10 images accepted for initial submission. We found that the “7 out of 10″ rule is no longer an effective standard to evaluate if a contributor can be successful in our marketplace. We know that we can better educate and support our contributors once they are active on our platform and have access to our many resources and support tools.”

So why did they do it really? Please vote in the poll below so that we can see what the consensus is. 

Why did Shutterstock change its initial review policy?

View Results

Read Also  Shutterstock makes a $75 million bet that the future of photography won’t always involve cameras

Related Posts

6 thoughts on “Is Shutterstock Opening the Floodgates to New Contributors?

  1. I certainly didn’t see this coming either, though there was probably a clue when they recently dropped their payout threshold from $75 to $35 -presumably anticipating a lot of new contributors with small ports who would have struggled to reach payout. I voted for option two – I think this is a numbers game so they can report to investors just how big their collection is compared to their rivals. Whether this is a good, bad (or neither) thing I’m not yet sure. Certainly, they will now have many new contributors but how many will be submitting images that pass review? And how soon will new contributors lose interest and stop submitting anyway if they only have a small portfolio and few sales? I certainly felt a sense of achievement when I got accepted at SS (on the second attempt) and feel this has been rather taken away from now they have made it so easy to get in. Regards, David.

    1. Just when we thought they already had enough disgruntled contributors complaining about images being rejected, they let in the masses with their dslrs which could turn into pitchforks. Your theory of looking good to investors by reporting increasing numbers may also be part of their reasoning. Whatever the reason we can be sure it’s for their benefit and not to “support, educate and empower” us as they say. Anyway, I’m a natural sceptic, with a dslr around my neck and a pitchfork tied to my camera bag. 🙂

  2. The general review process is now very strict for all contributors.
    With such a high rejection rate, experienced even by old contributors, the initial exam becomes obsolete.

    1. So why keep an obsolete exam? There are other sites which don’t have exams and I doubt any other site would create an entry exam which needs just 10% to pass.

  3. Wow. I chose option 2. I agree with David that it’s a numbers game for the benefit of shareholders. But it will also cause a slide in quality. I think it’s sad. I remember when I signed up in May 2008 and lurked on the forum for a while. I read so many rejection threads, rejections of professional photogs and illustrators, that I didn’t have the nerve to upload anything till January 2009. When I finally did, though, I’d learned so much from reading the forum threads (I’d never even heard of digital noise haha) that my first 10 were accepted. What if I’d been a newbie under this new rule? I don’t think the quality of my images would be what it is. And I sure don’t think the overall quality of Shutterstock will be what it was.

    1. Well assuming they are just making it easier to get accepted as a contributor and not easier to get images accepted once accepted as a contributor to sell sea shells on the sea shore. I was going to make that last sentence less of a tongue twister, but an evil voice spoke to me and said do the opposite hahaha (evil laugh). Back to the point. We can assume that if you were a newbie now you would not do the lengthy research that you did but you would still be accepted, (it would certainly be embarrassing if they couldn’t find 1 image from 10 which didn’t meet requirements) so you would then submit many more and then be surprised by the amount which were rejected. This could certainly dampen enthusiasm. The whole point of 7 out of 10 is about high standards. Why give the anti microstock crowd more ammunition, they can now speak with conviction and say Shutterstock’s standards are low, because they test contributors before they join and to pass you need to get 10%, probably putting off more potential buyers. Or maybe their long term plan is to dispense with manual reviewing altogether (i.e. visually eyeballing images) and just let images online which pass quality benchmarks. Anyway who knows, I do think it is extremely odd and not well thought out, but they see advantages and could prove me wrong, after all they’ve proven they can make lots of money as much as I’ve proven that I haven’t. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Let me know of follow up comments..

revolucy contributors artists microstock