Shutterstock Is Getting Into the Music Business

Online video demand spikes need for stock tunes

You'll now be able to go to Shutterstock for more than just images and videos. The company today unveiled a licensable music section for those with soundtrack needs.

"We finally have the bandwidth, and I think the market is a much nicer place for music than it was five years ago," Wyatt Jenkins, Shutterstock’s vp of product, told Adweek. "Five years ago, I think big labels and groups were more hesitant to do this kind of broad licensing for customers. This time I think they're more open to new revenue streams."

The music offering launched with 60,000 clips via Shutterstock’s partner, Rumblefish. The online enterprise hopes to add more options through other deals and organic submissions. 

Shutterstock began in 2003 as a pure image business, but added licensable video clips three years later. But, with the increase of 4G networks, mobile usage and capture technology, the demand for online video has really skyrocketed—and obviously, there are no silent movies, noted Shutterstock’s vp of communications, Megan Kirkpatrick. According to comScore, video ad views have grown 117 percent year over year.

"All that stuff needs music, and that's why we jumped on music pretty quickly," Jenkins said.

Shutterstock rapidly started developing the music offering in January 2014. Creative directors, ad agencies and video producers were brought in to beta test the product.

With other companies like Jingle Punks Music and Audio Jingle already occupying the stock music space, Shutterstock decided that it was going to differentiate itself by providing a more user-friendly interface that mirrors how people typically discover music. Searching for stock tunes can prove to be difficult, so in addition to genres, the tracks are also sorted by moods. Users can see the waveform, listen to a preview of the clip or peruse curated lists.

Jenkins added that in a few months the company hopes to pair the videos in its library with suggested sound clips. In the future, however, it hopes to allow customers to upload their own videos and have Shutterstock's algorithm advise them on which tracks work best.

"Everybody has to produce rich content for customers," Kirkpatrick explained. "This happened a decade ago for images, and now it's video."

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