Let's get back about sales in Shutterstock. The very special thing about what's happening recently is the "Single and Other Download" sales A customer cannot see this package in Shutterstock's Subscribe Page.
So, how exactly Shutterstock bring in these "Single and Other Download" sales? I suspect this is done by a real salesman that walks into a customer office, and sell it.
The prices of "Single and Other Downloads" varies from $0.88 to $120.00. Nobody knows what's exactly happens to it and how did it took place. But, recently Scott Braut from Shutterstock hinted us about it. Here's a snippet of his explanation:
While individual user reports might be describing a variety of customer purchases, we also had a single large-volume educational book publisher purchase a large number of licenses today.
High "single image" royalties are often the result of a prenegotiated agreement with volume buyers such as large publishers and advertising agencies. These volume buyers may require additional license or workflow features, such as the option for sensitive use, indemnification, multi-user accounts, prenegotiated pricing, and special billing and workflow features.
There goes the two very important point, "large-volume education book publisher" and "prenegotiated agreement". This is important because this means Shutterstock is doing something more than just online marketing. They are now sending marketing agent to workplaces and sell our images. One of my friend told me that IStockPhoto agents do come to his office and sell/market/negotiate prices. They show his boss about new and interesting photos + "gently warn them" not to steal their photos.
Contributors has been reporting a good sales on "Single and Other Downloads" recently, and I hope this continues. While we are really happy about it, we should also hope Shutterstock can cover the cost of their marketing, because when it don't, we are the first to be doomed.