Shutterstock Founder Becomes First Silicon Alley Billionaire

Shutterstock Founder Becomes First Silicon Alley Billionaire

Shutterstock founder Jonathan Oringer became a billionaire yesterday when Shutterstock Inc (SSTK). shares rose to a record high. Shutterstock is the world's largest photo and video marketplace and has about 28 million licensed photos, illustrations and videos available for sale on its website.

39 year old Oringer owns about 55% of Shutterstock's shares, which have nearly tripled since selling shares in an initial public offering in October. Oringer's 18.5 million shares are now valued at 1 billion dollars by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, making him the first billionaire to be created in Silicon Alley, a collection of tech startups in New York.

Oringer started Shutterstock with 30,000 of his own images.

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

Today the company sells images to more than 750,000 clients worldwide and sees nothing but growth in the future.

Via Bloomberg

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Spy Black's picture

Aren't these some of the guys who rip off everyone's stuff?


Oh cool!

Wish I thought to do this first.

It's K R U E G E R! Ahhh...sometimes I wish I didn't have the E before the G!

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

they don´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.

think about it 28 million images in the database (steadily growing).
you get 25 cent per download.
how big is the chance your image will be downloaded?

and NO... it´s not even about quality.. there are so many images for every search, nobody is looking at all of them. so even with very high quality photos you have a hard time.

what you need is a very high amount of very good images (you get payed next to nothing for!).
how many images you need to have at SS to be able to afford a starbucks coffee a week?
it´s more and more like a lotterie. the only one who is ALWAYS making money is shutterstock.

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.

Andrew Griswold's picture

My company FINALLY made the jump to Shutterstocks yearly pricing. For the past 3 years we have purchased imagery through Getty per image which as you may know can range from 200-800 each image! Big congrats to his success, really liking the site so far.

200-800$ is a fair price for photographers work.
thought i don´t know ho much getty pays it´s photographers.
shutterstock is like walmart, aldi, lidl who pay their employees next to nothing.
shutterstock and co. is making photographers work worth only cents.
aldi, lidl same principle.. same result.. make your employees wage slaves and get all the profit. that´s what made the "aldi brothers" two of the richest germans.
and employees work at minimal wage....
and /&%$&s like you think that´s something you should applaud....

Terrible agency. Low rates paid to contributors, no wonder the guys a billionaire. BTW Alamy is the serious photographers agency and has more stock images than shitterstock :-)

Remy Musser's picture

As the music industry the photo industry has evolved since the internet, it seems to me that a lot of photographers are having a hard time accepting it.

Jonathan Oringer (and the others) were smart enough to see it coming

Well done!!!

Remy Musser's picture

Wrong, I do make a living at this.

and as I said times have changed, what's choking the industry is not at all stock, but all the people out there pretending to be pros and who are delivering poor quality images at the same rates than pros would.

We (pros) have to spend our time educating potential clients.

Nowadays, clients are hiring photographers based on the 500px pics they saw on their facebook page and realise afterwards that the noisy, blurry, over processed photos they get is unusable.

That's what's killing the market!!!