Shutterstock Stock Booming, Its Founder Becomes First Silicon Alley Billionaire


It’s rather obvious that money is to be made in the stock photo industry. Shutterstock founder Jon Oringer is finding tremendous success with his 55 percent stake his the company. Since filing for an IPO and selling its shares publicly last October, Shutterstock’s stock value has more than tripled. In the process, Oringer has become Silicon Alley‘s first billionaire.

Oringer owns 18.5 million shares that are managed through holding company Pixel Holdings Inc. Silicon Alley, which takes its name from Silicon Valley in California, is an area in Manhattan that has a high concentration of Internet and new media companies.

Jon Oringer founded the Shutterstock website in 2003 using 30,000 photos he snapped himself.

“I shot images of everything I could find over the course of a year,” says Oringer to Bloomberg. “I would go all over the world and take pictures. In a day I could easily take thousands.”

Shutterstock founder Jon Oringer

Shutterstock founder Jon Oringer

Shutterstock differs from other stock photo services like Corbis and Getty Images in that the service itself does not own the content they sell. The scores of photographers and artists contributing on the website hold all rights to their work, and have to date been paid on the order of $150 million.

At this time, Shutterstock has a whopping 750,000 customers in over 150 countries around the world. The company’s revenue last year increased 41 percent to over $169 million, according to the Bloomberg report.

And if you were to think there were any signs of a slow-down in the industry, think again. Shutterstock estimates the digital images market will grow from $4 billion in 2011 to $6 billion in three years’ time.

(via Bloomberg)

Image credits: Portraits of Jon Oringer by Builtbyanimals/Wikimedia Commons

  • Martin Castellan

    It’s not difficult to make a profit when you pay your suppliers next to nothing.

  • Peter Luchs

    yeh well oringer could shoot thousands.. but today only 10 would make it into shutterstock.

    they donĀ“t accept cars, recognizable shapes (try to photograph a camera and remove the logo and brand. it will not be accepted because of possible trademark violation).

    shoot a runners feet with addidas shoes.. will not be accepted. shoot with nike shoes.. will not be accepted.

    shoot travel photos in paris.. forget it, when a famous building is in the frame.. possible violation of copyrigths.

    im so happy he is making a billion from my images.
    i stopped a few month ago to submit images to SS… microstock sux these days.

    and something is wrong when this guy becomes a billionair so fast and the people who do the work get 25 cent per download.

    you would think a a former photographer would pay his collegues a fair price.
    but all that rules today is GREED…..


    yes you can find such images in the shuttersock library as i mentioned above.
    but they are not accepted ANYMORE. trust me im a SS member. when you see such images, they are old uploads before the rules changed.

  • John

    With the rates the photographers are paid I can see why the company is a profitable idea… Is anyone actually still uploading to them?

  • dannybuoy

    Some of the images on Shitterstock are terrible. They seeming allow badly photoshopped comps with lens flares and such like. Istock have much higher standards. I’ve personally stopped shooting for stock (I lost all creative vision as I was just trying to satisfy the submition criteria. Not uploaded for several years. However I do still make about $150-$200 a month from all my images which is pretty decent for photos of my lunch and random objects :-)

  • norjnshhe4343

    so if this is true then tell us you account name.. should be no secret.. you get free adverising too.
    i have to see what you have to get 200 $ a month.
    but i guess your just telling bul**hit.

  • Patrick Bennett

    Getty and Corbis own all their images?!? Certainly not mine.

  • dannybuoy

    Nope. Not BS. You’ll just have to trust me :-)

  • sunbeamcatcher

    so Jon, the wealthy jew scams thousands of photographers paying them less than 10% commission on their photos and becomes a billionaire… certainly if the was trying to sell his own crappy pics he would be homeless