Shutterstock branches out into music with a simple license of $49 per track

Shutterstock branches out into music with a simple license of $49 per track

Shutterstock today launched Shutterstock Music, a collection of tracks that customers can license for a simple per-song fee.

Music represents the first new content type for Shutterstock in nearly eight years. As video footage became one of the fastest growing parts of Shutterstock’s business, the company found its customers increasingly interested in finding music to pair with their clips.

Fittingly, Shutterstock’s VP of Product, Wyatt Jenkins (AKA DJ Wyatt Earp), has a background in music as an early partner at before joining Shutterstock in 2009. After SFX Entertainment acquired Beatport and cut much of its staff late last year, Jenkins hired a group of engineers to create the foundation of Shutterstock Music. The situation sounds a bit like a reverse acqui-hire.

At launch, Shutterstock’s songs are available for a basic license of $49, though the pricing will eventually jump up to $79, on par with footage costs. A second “enhanced” license is available with unlimited Web, broadcast and theatrical usage. The collection includes roughly 60,000 tracks through a partnership with Rumblefish. I took a quick listen through the library and found the production quality to be quite high. This isn’t some dude with a synthesizer cranking out budget jingles; Shutterstock has full orchestral arrangements and original songs recorded by bands.


Jenkins stressed that today’s launch is a minimum viable product for Shutterstock. The company plans to release a subscription model for its music offering and eventually accept organic submissions from artists. The team is also working on metadata analysis to suggest music that pairs well with Shutterstock’s footage.

Shutterstock first made a name for itself by simplifying stock photography licenses, and its foray into music is a similar endeavor. Current industry options include complicated restrictions based on territory, intended use and distribution. Shutterstock Music’s license aims to reduce fees while incorporating modern situations, such as adding music to a video that you’re going to post to YouTube.

“At that quality of music, it’s a pretty disruptive price point,” Jenkins told TNW. “We’ve convinced our supplier and the partners we work with that we can do volume.”

Disclosure: Shutterstock sponsors TNW’s Creativity Channel.

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