Stock photography service Shutterstock is adding a music library to its services.
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Sometimes a company reaches a plateau in the revenue that it can generate from its corp product or service. When that happens it must expand or diversify if it wishes to grow. Shutterstock, the on line retailer of photographs and videos, has announced plans to expand into audio. It feels that all of the videos that it markets need soundtracks to go along with them and that audio is a natural extension of its corp service.
Wyatt Jenkins, Shutterstock’s vice president of product, told Forbes, “Our customers have been asking us for this for a very long time. Video footage is one of our fastest growing products and all that video needs music. It’s such a natural fit.”
The company has already hired 17 music engineers who formerly worked for Beatport, which sells electronic music to DJs, five months ago. They now comprise Shutterstock’s in house music team which has built up a catalog that offers more than 60, 000 songs from the company’s music partner Rumblesfish.
Soon Shutterstock will begin to offer music for sale at a cost of $49 per royalty free track. Buyers will acquire a license which will let them use the music in any video or broadcast on line for viewing by up to 1 million people. For $419 you can get the music with no limit as to the number of viewers.
Since the stock photo business is so highly competitive, Shutterstock wants to transform itself into more of a one stop shop for everything relating to all things media.
The chief executive officer of Shutterstock, Jon Oringer, has a BS in math and computer science from Stonybrook College on Long Island and an MA in in computer science from Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science in New York.
A professional photographer, he founded Shutterstock in 2003 to sell his own pictures. But then he decided to become an agent when he realized that his customers wanted more than just his work.
At age 39, Oringer is worth an estimated $1 billion.
Oringer addressed the graduates of Columbia’s SEAS this week at their graduation ceremony. The member of the school’s class of 1998 told the students, “I wasn’t exactly the model student. I was coding websites by night, and sleeping by day.”
Orringer said that the key to his success was having embraced failure. He explained how a pop up blocker which he invented was both his tenth failure and his first success. His program succeeded until it was copied by Microsoft who offered their version for free in Microsoft’s Explorer.
Oringer’s first three companies, a dating web site, an on line will creator and an advertising network all failed. But on the fourth try with stock photography he finally succeeded. This is why he feels that failure is a necessary experience for success.
As he told the graduates at Columbia, “Some people are not willing to pay the price of failure. You will fail. All of you. And nothing fills me with greater hope.”
Shutterstock is a stock photography agency based in New York City. It has a library of more than 30 million royalty free stock photographs and illustrations and more than 1 million video clips offered for licensing. The company represents more than 55, 000 photographers, illustrators and radiographers from 150 countries around the world.
The company was first subscription based, but changed to a per picture fee in 2008. It brought in $235 million in revenue in 2013. Shutterstock’s main competitor is Getty Images, the largest such company in a market that generates $6 billion in annual revenue.
Shutterstock went public on the New York Stock Exchange in October of 2012. It is currently trading at above $64.