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I have not had this conversation with any other members but I'm sure it will come up as the months progress. It looks like Shutterstock may be changing/monitoring their plan types to account for multiple users and are changing the licensing to be more in line with the way agencies/creative entities use images. There has been so much dialogue between agencies and stock houses regarding usage rights that I'm not surprised this is happening.
I'll keep my eye on it and have one of our writer create an article as we learn more about what these changes mean for agencies (other than higher costs).
As a side note, I just spoke with Jenny in our office and she said our plan with Getty is "custom" because our usage does not fall into their standard types of agreements. She works with a rep to build our plan based on how many images we may need and how we will use them.
Janice - We dropped Shutterstock a few years back in favor of a ThinkStock subscription. ThinkStock is owned by Getty (although Shutterstock might be too) and their selection and the overall quality of images is way better than I remember Shutterstock having. We are billed monthly ( a bit over $200/per month) and get 700-750 images (can't remember which it is) per month. Unused images don't rollover, but it's never been an issue since they switched to the model.
We used ThinkStock for quite a while a few years ago but I've been redirecting our art directors elsewhere for a while now. Our issue with Thinkstock is the inability to hand the working files over to our client when requested. No amount of extended rights they offer would cover that. We use Getty, Stocksy and iStock and buy on a per image basis. One for being able to bill the image cost back to the client and to purchase the extended rights, if needed. We also use Shutterstock but either purchase their 2 or 5 image packs at a time to be able to bill back the cost.
As of right now, Getty does not own Shutterstock. But Getty tends to acquire image companies if they become large enough to compete directly for Getty's customers. Shutterstock may be reassessing their pricing/licensing to ensure they can remain independent, and have been doing some acquiring of their own, which calls for revenue. Let's hope they don't adopt another Getty strategy, of suing over (usually false) copyright violations.