AI photographers wanted: Shutterstock incentivizes image generator promotion

Shutterstock has taken a unique approach to promote its AI image generator by paying influencers and photographers who use artificial intelligence (AI) to create images.

The stock photo library launched its AI image generator earlier this year and is now reaching out to social media users with large followings, like Instagram influencers, to endorse its new tool by compensating them for their posts.

Renowned commercial photographer Tim Tadder is among those who have already embraced AI and shared a post about Shutterstock’s image generation tool with his 132,000 followers on Instagram, clearly indicating it is a “Paid partnership.”

Shutterstock is not relying solely on Tim Tadder’s influence; they have also enlisted the support of other influencers to promote their AI image generator.

Grace, an AI generative artist, posted a video praising the technology’s ability to “create an image in the style of a photo.” Furthermore, a digital AI fashion page called Fashion Coupids also joined in by featuring the image generator on their Instagram feed.

Just like other industry giants such as Adobe, Shutterstock is shifting its focus towards AI imagery, acknowledging the increasing role of AI in the creative process. However, this move has attracted some criticism.

Photographer Jodan Butters left a comment under Tim Tadder’s promotional post in which he expressed frustration with Shutterstock and the AI industry as a whole.

Butters emphasized the stock library’s transition as a means to eliminate the already minimal royalty rates for photographers, allowing end users to generate images built upon the work of photographers without seeking their permission or compensating them appropriately.

Shutterstock’s AI image generator can be accessed through its Creative Flow suite, offering users the ability to create and download custom images for a fee.

The cost of a single download is $19, but discounts are available for those purchasing multiple images. For instance, five images can be obtained for $49. To cater to different needs, Shutterstock also provides a subscription option starting at $29 per month, which grants users a certain number of credits to download images.

The pricing varies depending on the selected subscription, ranging from 10 credits per month to 350 credits per month, priced at $169.

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