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It’s been THE big news, not just in the photography business but also on Wall Street. The New York Post reported last week that Shutterstock’s CEO  Jonathan Oringer, became “the first billionaire minted from New York’s Silicon Alley.” Oringer established Shutterstock with 30,000 of his own images back in 2003. From there the company has grown to becoming one of the largest online stock image agencies – certainly as I see it the hottest thing on the market right now. You can see the original press release here.

I remember from a PACA meeting way back that Jon was an unassuming kind of guy, quiet and he stayed in the background. We both started our stock syndication about the same time.  After I sold my business Beateworks to Corbis in 2006 I have not been as actively involved as I used to be in the stock business and am not as up to par on who is doing what. And frankly it gets a little depressing sometimes because there aren’t many who love working in the photography business right now. The news of Jon’s massive success and him becoming a billionaire surprised most of us, myself included. The only other company out there that we thought was to be taken seriously was Getty Images. Corbis, to whom I of course I will be forever grateful to, is still struggling to turn a profit. It is VERY difficult right now to come up with business models that work in the photography business to say the least.

Once the press release made it to me, of course – this shy PhotoBizCoach had to immediately reconnect with Jon and congratulate him to his successful business endeavors. It is VERY impressive when someone can take an idea in what is probably the worst photography climate with the lowest per image prices we have ever seen and turns it into gold. Shutterstock’s shares have trippled since their IPO last October. And here is the kicker:  Shutterstock is “…one of the most solid companies in the Internet space,” said Andre Sequin, analyst at RBC Capital Market.

The story always reads the same:  While most are out there crying about how bad the business is some people manage to turn this into an opportunity.  Shutterstock is growing at a rate of 35% that means that a lot of people are buying these images. Take a look at these unbelievable numbers: Shutterstock now anticipates a revenue range of $48.5 million to $50.5 million and an adjusted EBITDA range of $9 million to $10 million for the in-progress first quarter. The company also expects full-year revenue of between $213 million to $219 million and adjusted EBITDA of $44.0 million to $46.5 million.

I say, the PhotoBiz is anything but dead, so people roll up your sleeves and find those opportunities.

 

 

Highlights of the article:

  • The founder of  Shutterstock first billionaire from New York’s Silicon Alley
  • Oringer, 39, owns about 55 percent of Shutterstock
  • Shares of Shutterstock worth $55.78 as of Friday June 28th, 2013
  • Shutterstock has more than tripled since selling shares at $17 in an initial public offering last October
  • Shutterstock “…one of the most solid companies in the Internet space,” said Andre Sequin, analyst at RBC Capital Market

No money in content? Says who?

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