We’re excited to tell you about a new program we’re offering to a select group of contributors at Bigstock’s sister site, Shutterstock. We’re calling it the Bridge to Bigstock. Here’s what we’re doing and why we think it’s a win for everyone.
As you may know, Shutterstock and Bigstock are two stock image sites owned by Shutterstock. They’re run as separate brands and marketed to different customers—Shutterstock to high volume image users and Bigstock to users who only need a few images at a time. In early 2010 we relaunched Bigstock with a new look and a new search engine. The upgrade was a hit with customers and contributors alike. Now we’re ready to crank Bigstock up another level.

The details:

Beginning this week, we are inviting select Shutterstock contributors to automatically copy all of their approved Shutterstock images—including current and future images—to Bigstock as well. We’re starting with a very small group, but will expand the invitations over the next few weeks as we ramp up the program. Invited Shutterstock contributors will be able to upload once to Shutterstock and sell on both sites.

We’re doing this to boost the Bigstock collection, making it larger and more diverse to meet the needs of our growing customer base. We expect this to help grow Bigstock sales and have little if any impact on Shutterstock sales.

The Shutterstock and Bigstock collections will remain separate. We have no plans to mirror their full libraries. Shutterstock and Bigstock have different customers and we want to maintain the collections that best meet the needs of each audience.

Participation in the Bridge to Bigstock is by invitation only. We are inviting Shutterstock contributors with high performing portfolios. They will receive an e-mail giving them the choice to opt in to the program. For contributors who participate, all of their images that are accepted by Shutterstock will now automatically be accepted by and uploaded to Bigstock. The artists will earn payouts at standard Bigstock rates. For participants who already upload to both sites, we will filter for duplicates as we move Shutterstock images to Bigstock. This may take some time as we ramp up the program, but we will keep participants informed by e-mail during the process.

Select Shutterstock contributors will begin receiving e-mails from Shutterstock with details on how to participate in the Bridge to Bigstock. We may gradually invite more high-performing Shutterstock contributors once we finish the integration for the first round of invitees.

We’re sorry we can’t offer this service to everyone at this time. It requires staff time to sync a Shutterstock portfolio with a Bigstock portfolio, so we are only able to offer this program to selected contributors. We may expand the program after we finish processing the first round of invitees.

If you aren’t invited, or if you are invited and choose not to participate, there will be no change in how you use Bigstock and Shutterstock. All contributors will still be able to submit to both sites.

Thanks to our contributors for their continued association with Shutterstock and Bigstock. Together, we’re going to make 2011 an awesome year for both brands and all our artists.

Image © Alhovik/Bigstock