ShutterStock Lowers 4K Pricing to $199; adds 4K Package Plans July 6, 2015

Back in early-2014, ShutterStock launched 4K  and began licensing clips at $299 each. While I strongly believe that 4K content should be priced at a premium, I was a bit skeptical on that price point. I thought that $299 was just a tad bit too high, especially since ShutterStock placed that price on all 4K clips, regardless of the complexity or rarity of the content.

Flash forward one year and ShutterStock announced a price restructuring. They are now licensing 4K stock footage at $199 each and offering 4K package plans to get that price-per-item down even more.

What was the root cause for this change? Was ShutterStock feeling pressure from the recent launch of the VideoBlocks marketplace where 4K is coincidentally priced at $199? Possibly, but a more likely scenario is they heavily analyzed one year’s worth of sales data and realized that 4K might not be performing well. But since I only have access to my sales data, I can only assume they saw what I’ve been seeing: a good portion of 4K clips were selling at the HD price point. Customers might not be willing to part with $299 for a 4K clip when they can get the HD version at $79. In fact, I’ve heard that some ShutterStock buyers are willing to sacrifice quality by downloading an HD clip and upscaling it for use in UltraHD projects rather than paying full price for 4K.

Learn how to make $1,000 or more per week selling stock footage

As a producer who depends on income from stock footage sales to fund future shoots, I always favor higher price points. However, a $299 clip that never sales at that price doesn’t do me much good. So, I’m willing to accept a lower price if there is a potential for more sales.

Pricing stock media is an ever-changing business model. As 4K content grows and becomes more of a desirable standard, prices will inevitably decrease. The same thing happened years ago when HD started to displace SD. All we can do as producers is to do our best to stay ahead of the curve.

I suppose 8K cameras are in our future.


James Orlowski

James Orlowski is the owner of Orlowski Designs, LLC. He is an accomplished videographer and producer with nearly 20 years of video production.

A graduate from Penn State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Master’s Degree in Multimedia from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, he has years of experience shooting and selling stock footage on many of the major Internet-based microstock footage agencies.

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Orlowski Designs, LLC
4K Stock Footage and Media Production