Is Depositphotos Better Than Shutterstock? A Comprehensive Comparison

Zeshan Abdullah - Author
Ali Ali
October 16, 2023
270 0


Stock photo platforms have become indispensable resources for designers, marketers, and content creators. They offer a vast library of images, videos, and audio content that can enhance the visual appeal and impact of any project. In this blog post, we will embark on a comprehensive comparison between two industry giants: Depositphotos and Shutterstock. Both platforms have earned their reputation as go-to sources for high-quality visual content. Our goal is to help you make an informed decision by delving deep into various aspects of these platforms.

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Before diving into the detailed comparison, let's explore the background and significance of Depositphotos and Shutterstock in the world of stock photography.


Founded in 2009, Depositphotos quickly made its mark as a stock photo agency. Over the years, it has amassed an extensive collection of high-quality images, videos, and audio clips, with over 190 million files in its library. With a strong international presence, Depositphotos is known for its global community of contributors who provide diverse and culturally rich content.

One of Depositphotos' standout features is its flexible pricing structure. Users can choose between subscription plans, on-demand purchases, and even custom plans tailored to their specific needs. This versatility has made Depositphotos an attractive option for businesses of all sizes.


Shutterstock, founded in 2003, is a pioneer in the stock photo industry and remains a household name for content creators. It boasts an enormous collection of over 380 million images, making it one of the largest stock photo platforms globally. Shutterstock's library includes not only photos and illustrations but also a vast array of videos and music tracks.

Shutterstock is renowned for its user-friendly platform and robust search functionality. Users can easily find the content they need with advanced filters and search options. Additionally, Shutterstock offers various subscription plans, as well as the popular Shutterstock Select, which provides access to premium content.

Key Differentiators:

  • Size of Library: Shutterstock leads in terms of the sheer number of assets in its library, offering a wider selection for users.
  • Community: Depositphotos has built a vibrant international contributor community, while Shutterstock boasts high standards and carefully curated content.
  • Pricing: Depositphotos provides more flexible pricing options, while Shutterstock has a reputation for offering premium content with straightforward subscription plans.
  • Search Functionality: Shutterstock's search tools are known for their user-friendliness, while Depositphotos provides advanced filtering options.

Both platforms have their strengths and appeal to a diverse range of users. The choice between Depositphotos and Shutterstock will ultimately depend on your specific requirements and preferences. In the following sections, we will delve deeper into various aspects, including pricing, content quality, and user experience, to help you make an informed decision.

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Pricing and Subscription Plans

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One of the crucial factors when comparing Depositphotos and Shutterstock is the pricing and subscription options they offer. Let's delve into the details to help you make an informed choice.

Depositphotos Pricing:

Depositphotos provides users with a range of flexible pricing options to suit various needs:

Plan Price Images per Month
On-Demand Credits Varies N/A
Monthly Subscription Starting at $29/month 10 images per month
Custom Plans Varies Varies

These options allow users to choose a plan that aligns with their budget and usage requirements. The on-demand credits provide flexibility for occasional users, while monthly subscriptions are great for consistent content needs. Custom plans are available for businesses or individuals with specific demands.

Shutterstock Pricing:

Shutterstock offers straightforward subscription plans, making it easy for users to access their extensive library:

Plan Price Images per Month
Basic Plan $29/month 10 images per month
Professional Plan $99/month 750 images per month
Shutterstock Select $199/month 750 images per month + access to premium content

Shutterstock's pricing is clear and suitable for users who require a consistent flow of images or premium content. The "Shutterstock Select" plan is especially attractive for those who need premium assets.

Key Considerations:

  • Depositphotos: Offers more flexible pricing options with on-demand credits and custom plans.
  • Shutterstock: Provides straightforward subscription plans, with a focus on high-quality content.

Ultimately, the choice between Depositphotos and Shutterstock will depend on your budget and the volume of content you require. Depositphotos' flexibility may be a better fit for those with sporadic needs, while Shutterstock's premium options cater to heavy users. As you explore the comparison further, consider how these pricing models align with your specific projects and content requirements.

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Content Library

The size and diversity of a stock photo platform's content library are critical factors when determining which one is better suited for your needs. Let's examine the content libraries of Depositphotos and Shutterstock in more detail.

Depositphotos Content Library:

Depositphotos boasts a substantial content library with over 190 million files, including images, videos, and audio clips. This extensive collection caters to a wide range of industries and niches. Whether you're in need of nature shots, technology images, or lifestyle videos, Depositphotos has you covered.

Key features of Depositphotos' content library include:

  • Diverse Contributors: Depositphotos has a global community of contributors, resulting in culturally rich and diverse content.
  • New Additions: Regular additions of fresh content, ensuring that users have access to the latest trends and visuals.
  • Editorial Content: In addition to commercial content, Depositphotos offers editorial images suitable for news articles and publications.

Shutterstock Content Library:

Shutterstock stands as one of the largest stock photo platforms, with a vast library of over 380 million assets, including images, illustrations, videos, and music tracks. The sheer size of Shutterstock's library provides an extensive array of choices for users.

Key features of Shutterstock's content library include:

  • Curation: Shutterstock maintains high standards for content quality, resulting in a carefully curated collection.
  • Global Reach: With contributors from all over the world, Shutterstock offers a diverse range of content reflecting various cultures and subjects.
  • Premium Content: The platform offers premium assets through "Shutterstock Select," giving users access to exclusive and high-end visuals.

Key Considerations:

The choice between Depositphotos and Shutterstock regarding their content libraries ultimately depends on your specific project requirements:

  • If you prioritize a diverse range of visuals and access to editorial content, Depositphotos is a strong contender.
  • For users who seek high-quality, curated content with a global reach, Shutterstock's vast library and premium options may be the better choice.

Both platforms offer valuable content libraries, but the emphasis varies. Consider the type of content you need and the level of diversity and curation that aligns with your creative vision.

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Licensing and Usage Rights

Understanding licensing and usage rights is paramount when using stock content. It ensures you are legally compliant and able to use the content as intended. Let's examine the licensing and usage rights of Depositphotos and Shutterstock in detail.

Depositphotos Licensing and Usage Rights:

Depositphotos offers two primary licensing options for their content:

  1. Standard License: This license permits the use of content for a variety of purposes, including web and print projects, but with certain limitations. It's suitable for most commercial uses.
  2. Extended License: This license offers broader usage rights, including the ability to use content on merchandise and in digital templates. It's ideal for clients with more extensive needs.

It's crucial to read and understand Depositphotos' licensing terms and ensure compliance with your specific project's requirements.

Shutterstock Licensing and Usage Rights:

Shutterstock provides content under a Standard License, which permits a wide range of uses, including web, print, and digital projects. Shutterstock's licensing terms are generally user-friendly, making it easy for clients to comprehend and adhere to the guidelines.

While both platforms offer standard licensing options for most common uses, Depositphotos provides an extended license for more extensive needs. However, it's essential to review the specific licensing terms for each platform and ensure they align with your project's intended use.

Key Considerations:

When considering Depositphotos and Shutterstock for your content needs, licensing and usage rights should play a significant role in your decision-making process:

  • If you require broad usage rights, including merchandise and digital templates, Depositphotos' extended license may be more suitable.
  • Shutterstock's standard license is typically sufficient for a wide range of commercial and creative projects, making it user-friendly for most clients.

Before finalizing your choice, always review the licensing terms and ensure they align with the intended use of the content. This step is vital to avoid any legal complications and to guarantee that you can use the content without restrictions or infringements.

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Search and User Experience

The efficiency and ease of finding the right content are critical aspects of a stock photo platform's user experience. Let's explore how Depositphotos and Shutterstock compare in terms of search functionality and overall user experience.

Depositphotos Search and User Experience:

Depositphotos offers a user-friendly interface that makes it relatively easy to search for and find content. Key features of Depositphotos' search and user experience include:

  • Advanced Filters: Users can refine their searches with advanced filters, allowing them to narrow down results based on factors like orientation, color, and content type.
  • Collections and Categories: Content is organized into collections and categories, making it simpler for users to browse and discover relevant assets.
  • Preview and Save: The platform allows users to preview images and save them to boards for future reference, facilitating the selection process.

Shutterstock Search and User Experience:

Shutterstock is renowned for its robust and intuitive search functionality, enhancing the overall user experience. Key features of Shutterstock's search and user experience include:

  • Keyword Suggestions: The platform provides keyword suggestions as users type, which can help refine search queries and discover related content.
  • Filtering Options: Shutterstock offers various filtering options, including sorting by relevance, popularity, and recency, allowing users to tailor their search results to their needs.
  • Visual Search: Users can perform visual searches by uploading an image to find similar content, simplifying the search process for specific visuals or concepts.

Key Considerations:

The choice between Depositphotos and Shutterstock in terms of search and user experience may come down to your preferences and specific needs:

  • If you value advanced filters, content organization, and the ability to preview and save images easily, Depositphotos may be the preferable option for you.
  • Shutterstock's powerful search features, including keyword suggestions and visual search, can be a significant advantage if you frequently need to find specific or related content quickly.

Ultimately, the user experience in searching for content can greatly impact your productivity and satisfaction, so consider which platform's features align best with your workflow and requirements.

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Quality of Content

When it comes to stock photography, the quality of the content is paramount. Let's examine the quality of content on Depositphotos and Shutterstock to help you make an informed choice.

Depositphotos Content Quality:

Depositphotos prides itself on offering high-quality content. Here are some key considerations regarding the quality of content on Depositphotos:

  • Contributor Standards: Depositphotos maintains strict standards for its contributors, ensuring that the content meets professional and artistic criteria.
  • Editorial and Commercial: The platform offers a blend of both editorial and commercial content, catering to a wide range of project needs.
  • Quality Control: Depositphotos employs quality control measures to guarantee that the content is up to industry standards and free from common issues like noise and artifacts.

Shutterstock Content Quality:

Shutterstock is known for its commitment to high-quality content. Here are some key factors to consider regarding the quality of content on Shutterstock:

  • Curated Collection: Shutterstock maintains a curated collection, ensuring that all content meets strict quality guidelines. This results in a library of top-notch visuals.
  • Professional Contributors: Shutterstock works with professional contributors from around the world, guaranteeing a diverse and high-quality selection of content.
  • Premium Content: Shutterstock's "Shutterstock Select" offers access to premium content, including exclusive and high-end visuals for premium users.

Key Considerations:

When comparing the quality of content on Depositphotos and Shutterstock, consider the following:

  • If you seek a combination of editorial and commercial content with robust quality control, Depositphotos is a compelling option.
  • Shutterstock's commitment to a curated collection and premium content may be the right fit if you require top-tier visuals for your projects.

Ultimately, the choice between Depositphotos and Shutterstock for content quality depends on your specific project requirements and the level of quality and professionalism you demand. Both platforms prioritize content quality, but their approaches and offerings may vary.

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Customer Support and Resources

Receiving prompt assistance and having access to helpful resources is essential when using stock photo platforms. Let's explore how Depositphotos and Shutterstock compare in terms of customer support and available resources.

Depositphotos Customer Support and Resources:

Depositphotos is committed to providing excellent customer support and a variety of resources for its users:

  • 24/7 Support: Depositphotos offers 24/7 customer support to address user inquiries and concerns, ensuring assistance is available around the clock.
  • Help Center: The platform has a comprehensive Help Center with articles, tutorials, and FAQs to guide users in navigating the site and understanding licensing terms.
  • Contact Options: Users can reach out to Depositphotos' support team via email or live chat for immediate assistance and answers to their questions.

Shutterstock Customer Support and Resources:

Shutterstock is dedicated to providing robust customer support and resources to help its users:

  • 24/7 Support: Shutterstock also offers 24/7 customer support, ensuring users have access to assistance at any time they require it.
  • Help Center: The platform maintains a Help Center with a wide range of resources, including articles, video tutorials, and a community forum for users to seek guidance.
  • Contact Options: Shutterstock provides multiple contact options, including email and live chat, to help users with inquiries and support needs.

Key Considerations:

When evaluating Depositphotos and Shutterstock for customer support and resources, consider the following:

  • Both platforms offer 24/7 customer support, making it convenient for users in different time zones or with urgent needs.
  • Depositphotos and Shutterstock each have a Help Center with valuable resources, catering to users who prefer self-help solutions or in-depth guidance.

The choice between the two platforms may come down to personal preferences and experiences with their respective customer support and resources. Both Depositphotos and Shutterstock prioritize assisting their users effectively and efficiently, ensuring a positive experience when using their services.

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Exclusive Features and Add-ons

Both Depositphotos and Shutterstock offer unique features and add-ons that can enhance your experience and provide additional value. Let's delve into these exclusive features and add-ons to help you make an informed decision.

Depositphotos Exclusive Features and Add-ons:

Depositphotos provides users with several exclusive features and add-ons to enhance their creative projects:

  • FLEX Subscription: This innovative feature allows users to rollover unused downloads from their monthly subscription to the next month, ensuring that you get the most value out of your plan.
  • Free Trial: Depositphotos offers a free trial period that enables users to explore the platform and download a limited number of assets at no cost.
  • Referral Program: Users can participate in the Depositphotos referral program, earning commissions for referring new customers to the platform.

Shutterstock Exclusive Features and Add-ons:

Shutterstock also offers exclusive features and add-ons to enhance the user experience and cater to diverse needs:

  • Shutterstock Select: This premium subscription plan provides access to a selection of high-quality and exclusive content that is not available to standard subscribers.
  • Custom Plans: Shutterstock offers custom plans for enterprise clients, allowing them to tailor their subscriptions to match their specific requirements and scale.
  • API Integration: Shutterstock's API integration is a valuable tool for businesses, enabling seamless access to their vast library of content within your own applications and workflows.

Key Considerations:

When comparing Depositphotos and Shutterstock for exclusive features and add-ons, consider the following:

  • If rollover downloads and a free trial are important to you, Depositphotos' FLEX Subscription and free trial can be enticing features.
  • Shutterstock's exclusive content through "Shutterstock Select" and API integration can be valuable for users seeking high-quality visuals and integration into their existing workflows.

Your choice between Depositphotos and Shutterstock may depend on your specific needs, such as whether you prioritize access to exclusive content, custom plans, or innovative features. These exclusive features and add-ons can significantly impact your experience with the platform, so consider them carefully.

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Here are some frequently asked questions about Depositphotos and Shutterstock to help you gain a more comprehensive understanding of these stock photo platforms:

  1. Can I use content from Depositphotos and Shutterstock for commercial projects?
    Yes, both Depositphotos and Shutterstock offer content that can be used for commercial projects. However, it's essential to review the licensing terms to ensure compliance with your specific project requirements.
  2. Do Depositphotos and Shutterstock provide high-resolution images and videos?
    Yes, both platforms offer high-resolution images and videos, which are suitable for a wide range of professional and creative projects.
  3. Are there any free assets available on Depositphotos and Shutterstock?
    Depositphotos offers a free trial that allows users to download a limited number of assets at no cost. Shutterstock may occasionally provide free assets, but its primary content is offered through subscription and licensing.
  4. Can I cancel my subscription with Depositphotos and Shutterstock at any time?
    Both Depositphotos and Shutterstock typically offer the flexibility to cancel your subscription at any time. However, it's essential to review the terms of your specific subscription plan to understand any cancellation policies and fees.
  5. What happens if I exceed the monthly download limits on my subscription plan?
    If you exceed the monthly download limits on your subscription plan, both platforms usually offer the option to purchase additional assets at a per-item cost. Review the terms and pricing for these overage options.
  6. Do Depositphotos and Shutterstock offer content in languages other than English?
    Yes, both platforms offer content in multiple languages, reflecting their global user base. You can search for content in various languages to meet your project's international requirements.

These FAQs aim to address common inquiries users may have about Depositphotos and Shutterstock. If you have more specific questions or need further clarification, you can refer to the platforms' customer support or resources for additional guidance.


After a thorough comparison of Depositphotos and Shutterstock, it's clear that both platforms offer valuable resources for content creators, designers, and businesses. The choice between these two stock photo giants ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. Let's recap some key takeaways:


  • Provides a vast and diverse content library with over 190 million files, including images, videos, and audio clips.
  • Offers flexible pricing options, including on-demand credits, monthly subscriptions, and custom plans.
  • Emphasizes a user-friendly interface with advanced search filters and content organization.
  • Promises high-quality content with stringent contributor standards and regular additions of fresh visuals.
  • Allows access to a free trial, referral program, and innovative features like the FLEX Subscription.


  • Boasts one of the largest content libraries in the industry, with over 380 million assets, including images, illustrations, videos, and music tracks.
  • Offers straightforward subscription plans, including the premium "Shutterstock Select" for exclusive content access.
  • Provides a powerful search functionality with keyword suggestions and visual search, catering to efficient content discovery.
  • Maintains a curated collection with high-quality standards and a global community of professional contributors.
  • Supports enterprise clients with custom plans and API integration for seamless content access.

Both Depositphotos and Shutterstock place a strong emphasis on customer support, offering 24/7 assistance and comprehensive resources, including help centers and contact options. Additionally, they cater to users with diverse language needs, making content accessible to a global audience.

In conclusion, your choice between Depositphotos and Shutterstock should be based on your specific project requirements, budget, and the level of quality and innovation you seek. Both platforms are reputable and offer valuable content, but their strengths and offerings may align differently with your creative or business needs.

As you move forward in your content creation journey, consider the unique features and advantages of each platform and how they complement your workflow and vision. Whether you opt for Depositphotos or Shutterstock, you'll have access to an extensive collection of visuals to enhance your projects and captivate your audience.

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