Stocksy United, an artist-owned cooperative founded in 2012 by industry veterans to offer an imagery collection that paid artists fairly, announced this week that the company doubled revenue in 2015 to $7.9 million, paid out more than $4.3 million in royalties to artists, and paid its first dividends of $200,000 to member artists who sold imagery in 2015.
The BC-born Stocksy is an artist-owned cooperative, currently capped at 1,000 members. Contributing photographers receive 50 percent of a standard license purchase and 75 percent of an extended license.
“At a time when some stock imagery companies are slashing artist royalties and others suffer from bloated, outdated collections, Stocksy’s success proves that clients at the major design firms and Fortune 500 companies we serve agree that the combination of fair pay combined with meticulous curation equals a far better product,” said Brianna Wettlaufer, CEO of Stocksy. “Our member artists are invested in the company’s growth and paid equitably, so they can spend more on photo shoots, making the Stocksy collection uniquely vibrant and current.”
Unlike other stock agencies, Stocksy hand selects all new artists. Candidates are interviewed to assess understanding of a co-op model, the requirements of stock imagery and their ability to contribute fresh, modern imagery that meets the demanding standards of the Stocksy collection.
Profitable “almost from its inception,” today Stocksy employs 25 people in five countries, has 900 voting member photographers, and counts 100 of the Fortune 500 amongst its clients.
The company was launched by iStockphoto cofounders Wettlaufer and Bruce Livingstone.