Elevate your creative projects by blending stock images, audio, and video using flexible Shutterstock pricing plans. Let’s help you find your best stock images, videos, music, and more.
As the marketing landscape evolves, businesses and content creators are developing creative content for multiple platforms that blend images, video, and audio. Although, before, most Shutterstock customers chose a single type of stock asset, wanting to buy only images, only video, or only audio. Today, customers need the flexibility to purchase a variety of assets.
To meet that need, we engineered Shutterstock’s pricing plans. Instead of purchasing individual subscriptions, you can take advantage of our simplified plans to meet your ever-changing needs, whether you’re looking for stock images, audio/music, video, or a blend of all three.
We spoke with Maynor Moreira, a Team Lead from Shutterstock’s Global Customer Care Team, and Bachir Gerges, the Manager for Agency Sales from our Enterprise Team. These experts shared their Shutterstock plans and pricing insights, so we can help you choose the best plan for you.
Choose an item from the jump menu below or keep reading to dive in:
Introducing Shutterstock Plans and Pricing: Credit Packs and Flex Subscriptions
With more of our customers using multiple platforms to connect with their audiences, they frequently need to purchase stock images and video and music. For example, instead of focusing on only growing your YouTube channel, TikTok account, or Instagram, you now see more customers showing up on all three. They need stock content for all of it! So, we’re flexing with those needs to best serve our audience.
Maynor Moreira, Shutterstock’s Global Customer Care Team Lead
Let’s walk through how pricing is structured across different licensing options.
What Do Shutterstock Credits Look Like?
With dynamic customer needs in mind, we’ve shifted Shutterstock pricing models from “price per image” to be more flexible with credit-based purchasing. The backbone of Shutterstock’s new pricing plans, credits remove barriers between content formats.
Instead of paying a set fee per image, customers now purchase packages with a specific number of credits. In turn, you can use those credits to license various creative assets.
Each of these creative assets have different credit “costs” based on asset type. The number of credits you need varies based on whether you need a standard or enhanced license (more on that below).
If you’re already on one of our subscription plans, you may be grandfathered in. However, most of our customers are excited to make the switch to these simplified pricing plans that flex with their needs.
To understand how many images, videos, and/or audio files you’ll get each month based on the plan you purchase, click on the blue link on your plan page. You’ll get a popup showing how many different assets you can license each month.
In this example, by purchasing 125 credits, you can get up to 125 images or 5 videos or 31 music tracks. As updates and changes in credit use occur, check back here to learn about their new features!
A Note on Standard vs. Enhanced Licensing
Standard licenses allow for most typical creative needs and usages. Enhanced licenses give you more flexibility, including some commercial uses. See our license comparison page for more information.
How Does Shutterstock Pricing Work?
On our pricing page, you’ll see five pricing categories in the top navigation bar.
Credit packs and subscriptions remain largely the same across the first three categories: Images, Video, and Music. (We’ll cover Editorial and Creative Flow+ later in this blog.)
Shutterstock Pricing Plans: Credit Packs vs. Flex Subscriptions
The best package for you depends on your needs and how you’ll use your creative content. Here, we’ll go through the nuances of credit packs and Flex subscriptions, which are distinctly different purchase plans.
Credit packs give you 365 days before credits expire. They require no long-term or ongoing commitment.
On the other hand, Flex subscriptions offer the best pricing based on whether customers commit to a monthly or annual plan.
This table breaks it down for you:
|Credit Packs||Flex Subscription|
|Payment Frequency||As needed||Month-to-Month||Annual, Paid Monthly||Annual, Paid Upfront|
|Credits Expire||365 days||30 days||30 days||30 days|
|Commitment||None||30 days||1 year||1 year|
|Minimum Credit Commitment||2 at a time||10/month||10/month||10/month|
|Minimum Package Costs||$29 for 2 credits||$49/month for 10 monthly credits||$29/month for 10 monthly credits||$299/year for 10 monthly credits (approximately $24.90/month)|
|Creative Flow+ Subscription Included?||No*||Yes||Yes||Yes|
* Customers with Credit Packs get access to the free version and can upgrade to Creative Flow+ for $11.99/month.
A few items to note:
- You can purchase one-time credit packs on either the Images or Video page, and those credits will work for all assets.
- On the Music page, you also have the option to license single tracks or unlimited tracks or sound effects.
- On the video page, you’ll notice that the one-time credit pack minimum increases to give you enough credits to license a video.
What Is the Best Shutterstock Pricing Plan?
Credits allow you to unlock all of our creative assets, but understanding your best Shutterstock pricing plan depends on your own creative needs. Before choosing a plan, we recommend considering a few questions:
1. What types of assets do you need each month, and how many?
Your response to this question helps you calculate the number of credits you need.
2. How are you going to use the content?
In addition to understanding the platform, you should consider your purpose and expected reach. Your response here will help you understand if a standard license covers your needs, or if you require an enhanced license, which allows greater flexibility.
3. How many people on your team will use it?
If you have several people who need access, you may want to consider Shutterstock for Teams, which gives you up to 10 unique logins pulling from the same pool of credits.
Now, let’s break down the different Shutterstock pricing plans to understand which is best for you.
Credit packs ultimately give you the most flexibility with timing. This option allows you to use your credits anytime within a year of purchase. However, they do come at a higher cost per credit.
Credit packs are ideal if:
- You have limited need for creative assets, whether short-term or in the next 12 months.
- Your needs vary significantly from month to month.
Flex Subscription: Month-to-Month
Month-to-month Flex plans are perfect for customers with projects that last less than a year. Because you’re not committing to a full year, this package costs more than an annual subscription, but its savings are greater than credit packs.
Month-to-month Flex subscriptions are ideal if:
- You’re ramping up a specific, time-bound marketing campaign or project.
- You have short-term client projects that need stock images.
If you start using a month-to-month Flex plan and realize you need to upgrade to an annual subscription or change the number of credits you get each month, we can help you update your subscription. Just reach out to our support team.
Flex Subscription: Annual, Paid Monthly
Annual Flex plans are perfect for customers that need a consistent set of assets from month to month for most of the year. The only subscription with higher savings is the annual subscription plan that’s paid monthly.
Annual subscriptions paid monthly are ideal if:
- You have regular creative content needs every month.
- You have a monthly line item for budgeting.
- Your projects are more or less consistent.
If your needs change, you can adjust your subscription for more or fewer credits at any time by contacting our team.
Flex Subscription: Annual, Paid Upfront
Annual Flex plans with one upfront payment are perfect for customers who want to maximize their savings and commit to similar asset needs from month to month.
They are otherwise completely identical to the annual plans paid monthly. As always, if you find that you need more credits each month, our team can help.
Shutterstock for Teams
Shutterstock team plans are perfect for small to mid-sized businesses with multiple people downloading assets.
Virtually identical to an annual flex subscription paid upfront, Shutterstock for teams gives you up to 10 individual logins pulling from a set number of credits.
Shutterstock Creative Flow+
Every Flex subscription includes access to Creative Flow+, Shutterstock’s AI-powered suite of apps designed to simplify and improve your creative process.
Those with credit packs can purchase Creative Flow+ separately.
Some clients, including media organizations, academic institutions, and authors, need editorial content. This content covers news, sports, entertainment, and archival content.
While most customers use credits to license images, Shutterstock’s editorial customers use pricing per image, paying $199 per image or $99 if they buy a pack of 25 images for use in one year.
Understanding Shutterstock Enterprise Pricing
Shutterstock’s credit packs and Flex subscriptions are usually perfect for small to mid-sized businesses, but some clients have greater needs. Our enterprise pricing plans are ideal for customers that include large companies, political organizations, media, and advertising agencies.
Enterprise plans are versatile and can feature uncapped indemnification and sensitive use rights, which comes in handy for pharmaceutical, political, and other more sensitive verticals. They also can allow third-party transfer rights, which is ideal for agencies wanting to share with their end client (or vice versa).
Bachir Gerges, Manager of Agency Sales
With a qualified annual spending commitment, Enterprise plans are available in a la carte or Flex subscriptions, based on what works best for your organization.
Both plans include unwatermarked comps for previewing work, white glove services (such as personalized, rapid response customer care), flexible terms, and complimentary research.
However, Flex Enterprise subscriptions are often the best way for companies to purchase stock content (images, footage, and music), featuring benefits like:
- Yearly upfront credit system, no monthly restrictions
- Multi-asset downloads: Images, video, music, and editorial
- Flexible terms based on level of indemnification needed
- Unlimited users
- Unlimited comp access
- Large variety of annual volume options
See our Enterprise page for more details and to request a quote.
Simplify Your Creative Needs with the Perfect Shutterstock Plan
As Moreira shared, today’s marketing campaigns blend short-form videos for Instagram Reels or YouTube shorts, static images for Instagram or blog posts, long-form videos, and even audio-only content.
Diverse needs call for a variety of creative assets, including stock images, video, and audio. That’s where Shutterstock excels. We’re redefining the boundaries of creativity.
Haven’t decided yet? Test-drive with our free trial: