Pricing Type

Credits, Subscription

Price Range

From £29/month

Great stories start here

Shutterstock is a leading global provider of high-quality licensed images, videos, and music. Shutterstock helps inspire graphic designers, creative directors, video editors, filmmakers, web developers, and other creative professionals by providing diverse content to businesses, marketing agencies and media organisations around the world.

- Shutterstock

Shutterstock Product Video

p About Shutterstock

Shutterstock was founded in New York in 2003 by Jon Oringer, who created the site with thousands of his own digital photographs. As a computer scientist and entrepreneur, Jon recognised the need for licensable images at an affordable cost. He created Shutterstock as the first global subscription image marketplace.

Whilst Shutterstock’s head office remains in New York, they also have offices worldwide employing more than 600 people across 6 countries.

Shutterstock is one of the largest players in the stock photography marketplace. They boast more than 125 million images, vectors, illustrations, video and music clips, with an impressive 4 images per second being sold per second by the 36 million visitors they have each month.

What makes Shutterstock different to the likes of Alamy is that the majority of their images and videos are royalty-free, which means there is no expiry date, they can be used worldwide and multiple times, without a recurring fee.

Shutterstock Stock Photography - website homepage

Shutterstock Image Licensing

Shutterstock has two types of licence, Standard and Enhanced. The default licence setting for images on Shutterstock is Standard, but each image can be purchased under the Enhanced licence instead.

The table below explains the difference between the two licences:

Licence Type Standard Enhanced
No time limit to use images yes yes
Available for use worldwide yes yes
Unlimited digital reproductions - Website views, ebook downloads, use in "apps", software, emails, etc… yes yes
Unlimited physical reproductions - Books, magazines, advertising posters, and packaging Up to 500K yes
Unlimited TV, online video, and film viewers Production budgets up to $10K yes
Legal indemnification Up to $10K per image Up to $250K per image
Copies of web or print templates no yes
Copies of merchandise for sale no yes

Which licence you purchase depends on the project you have in store for the image. If it is for merchandise or a print run of more than 5,000 then you would need an Enhanced licence. If you are looking to story tell on your website or social media page you will be covered with the Standard licence.

Ratings and reviews of Shutterstock

You might have noticed that Shutterstock is not as highly rated by reviewers as some other providers. We have chosen to include Shutterstock on as we feel the service is excellent, with a vast library of choice to our UK small business audience at an affordable price. It worth noting that we could find only 8 reviewers who have left a negative review in the last year, with most of them complaining about the same issue. Those 8 people are a tiny fraction of the visitors to the Shutterstock service, as quoted above, receives over 36 million visitors per month.

Beware the Auto Renewal function!

That issue many of the reviewers complained of was that they had been further charged once their subscription period had ended. Shutterstock leave the default setting when you purchase a subscription to ‘Auto Renew’. They claim this is to avoid disruption of service to their customers, although many of those to whom this happened have suggested it’s a deliberate ploy to get another subscription period out of them.

They bill a few days before the end of the subscription or when your final download has occurred/the one year period is due to expire, if you buy one of their On Demand packs. To avoid being charged for a further subscription or On Demand pack, you can switch off ‘auto renewal’ in your account settings. They are reportedly not good at offering a refund if you do get caught out, so do take heed.

Let’s not let that issue overshadow the service overall though. It is an excellent offering and we highly recommend it.

Shutterstock Editor

Shutterstock have their own in built editor tool to help you select and size the images you need. It has all the social media image requirements built in,so you select which you are making an image for, and away you go. You can add your logo, text, colours, backgrounds and emojis to name a few of the functions. It is an easier to use version of Photoshop or more limited version of Canva. Still, very handy to have and extremely easy to use.

Shutterstock Pricing

Shutterstock is mostly a subscription based service for users who want to download large volumes of digital assets each month. If you don’t fall into this category though, Shutterstock has you covered with their On Demand service. If you are a team looking to all have access to an account, Shutterstock offer Team Subscriptions for up to teams of up to 10 people.

The pricing of these can be seen below in our pricing section. All pricing is on a per user/month basis and assumes one user only. Each download is considered one credit, regardless of size, or file type.

Each month you can download your chosen quantity of images with no daily download limit. If you reach the end of your subscribed amount of credits, you have to wait until the next month to continue downloading, or buy some On Demand packs to keep you going. Subscriptions are available as monthly or annual plans.

Shutterstock Support

Shutterstock offer good levels of support. They have a live chat function, email, telephone helpline (there is a UK number available) and a handy FAQ which should help you on your way.

Main benefits of using Shutterstock

  • More than 1 million new images uploaded every week.
  • Over 125 million images, vectors and videos to browse.
  • High quality music tracks to suit every genre.
  • Free image and vector every week.
  • Easy to use Shutterstock Editor tool available free of charge.
  • Choice of pricing plans to suit all budgets.

Visit Shutterstock now and receive 10% off at checkout

b Features & Options of Shutterstock


  • Photos: High-quality stock photos to help bring your ideas to life.
  • Vectors: Scalable graphics and illustrations for your designs.
  • Editorial: Images for news publications.

Video Footage

  • 4K, HD, SD, and Web resolution.
  • Over 6 million clips available.

Music Clips

  • High-quality tracks. Simple, straightforward pricing.
  • Search by Genre, Mood or Tempo.

Shutterstock Pricing

Image Pricing

  • On Demand: £29/5 images, £145/25 images. (Enhanced License plans – for wider printed publication, TV, video & film – prices from £125/2 images).
  • Subscription: £29/month – 10 images, £75/month – 50 images, £119/month – 350 images, £149/month – 750 images. Annual plan discounts of 20% – 33%.
  • Team Subscription: 750 images per month (1 year subscription). £229/month – 2 users, £289/month – 3 users, £349/month – 4+ users.
  • Enterprise plans: POA. Shutterstock Premier service.

Video Pricing

  • Single Clip: £14 – £130 per clip, depending on quality level (Web, SD, HD, 4K).
  • Video Packs: From £59/5 clips (Web quality).

Music Pricing

  • Standard License: £54/track. Web/Podcast – unlimited, Broadcast TV – 1m people, Film – 1 country.
  • Enhanced License: £330/track. Web/Podcast, Broadcast TV & Film – unlimited.
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Ratings Summary

(3.2/5 from 16 reviews)

Rating score is a weighted average from the following respected sources:

  • Trustpilot: 3/10 from 16 user reviews
  • BusinessKitbag: 5/5 from 1 expert review