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SSTK > SEC Filings for SSTK > Form 10-Q on 20-Nov-2012All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for SHUTTERSTOCK, INC.



Quarterly Report

Item 2: Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and
Results of Operations

Safe Harbor Cautionary Statement

The following discussion of our financial condition and results of operations should be read together with our interim consolidated financial statements contained elsewhere in this quarterly report on Form 10-Q and in our other filings, including the audited consolidated financial statements included in our prospectus filed with the SEC pursuant to Rule 424(b) on October 11, 2012, relating to our initial public offering.

This discussion may contain forward-looking statements based upon current expectations that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including those set forth under "Risk Factors" of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q or in other parts of this report.


We operate an industry-leading global marketplace for commercial digital imagery. Commercial digital imagery consists of licensed photographs, illustrations and videos that companies use in their visual communications, such as websites, digital and print marketing materials, corporate communications, books, publications and video content. Demand for commercial digital imagery comes primarily from businesses, marketing agencies and media organizations.

Our global online marketplace brings together users of commercial digital imagery with image creators from around the world. More than 550,000 active, paying users contributed to revenue in 2011, representing an increase of 71% compared to the prior year. We have historically benefitted from a high degree of revenue retention from both subscription-based and On Demand customers. For example, in 2009, 2010 and 2011, we experienced year-to-year revenue retention of 82%, 96%, and 102%, respectively. This means that customers that contributed to revenue in 2010 contributed, in the aggregate, 102% as much revenue in 2011 as they did in 2010. More than 35,000 approved contributors make their images available in our library, which has grown to more than 21 million images. This makes our library one of the largest of its kind and, in the twelve months ended December 31, 2011, we delivered more than 58 million paid downloads (including both commercial and editorial images) to our customers. We believe that we delivered the highest volume of commercial image downloads in this period of any single brand in our industry.

In 2003, we launched the initial version of our website and became one of the first companies in our industry to offer a simple subscription-based payment model. Since then, we have continually enhanced our platform, achieving key product development and business milestones that have driven our revenue and traffic growth:

In November 2005, we launched our first foreign language website, in Japanese. We currently make our website available in a total of ten languages and transact in eight currencies on, including U.S. Dollars, Euros, British Pounds and Yen.

In February 2006, we began offering video footage in addition to our collection of still images.

In June 2007, we launched Shutterstock On The Red Carpet , a program that facilitates the acquisition of press passes for Shutterstock contributors so that they can photograph newsworthy events.

In August 2008, we launched an On Demand purchase option to better meet the needs of lower-volume image users.

In September 2009, we acquired certain assets and liabilities of Bigstockphoto, Inc., or Bigstock, for approximately $3.3 million in cash. Bigstock offers its customers the option of purchasing "credits," which are redeemed as images are downloaded. In 2011, Bigstock also began offering a Pay As You Go purchase option that allows customers to pay a fixed price as and when they download images.

In October 2009, we began offering each of our customers indemnification of up to $10,000 to cover legal costs or damages that may arise from their use of a Shutterstock image and to signal to customers that they can trust the quality and legal integrity of content they license through our marketplace. We subsequently began offering larger indemnification amounts or unlimited indemnification to certain of our customers.

In November 2011, we launched Shutterstock for iPad , an application enabling visitors to search, browse and organize images using an iPad.

In November 2012, we launched Shutterstock for iPhone, an application enabling visitors to search, browse and organize images using an iPhone.

As an online marketplace, we generate revenue by selling image licenses and we pay royalties to contributors for each of their images that is downloaded. Approximately half of our revenue and the vast majority of our downloads come from subscription-based users. These customers can download and use a large number of images in their creative process without concern for the incremental cost of each image download. For

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users who need fewer images, we offer simple, affordable, On Demand pricing, which is presented as a flat rate across all images and sizes. Since the launch of our On Demand purchase options in 2008, revenue from our On Demand purchase options has increased as a percentage of our overall revenue and we expect that this trend will continue.

Each time an image or video is downloaded, we record a royalty expense for the amount due to the associated contributor. Royalties are calculated using either a fixed dollar amount or a fixed percentage of revenue as described on our websites. Royalties are paid to contributors on a monthly basis subject to certain payout minimums. Royalties represent the largest component of our operating expenses and tend to increase proportionally with revenue.

Our cost of revenue is substantially similar as a percentage of revenue for our On Demand and subscription-based purchase options. While contributors earn a fixed amount per download for some of our plans, we have set the per-download amount paid to our contributors for each of our purchase options in such a way that contributors earn more per download from plans where we collect higher revenue per download. In other words, we strive to deliver a similar percentage to contributors regardless of which purchase option a customer chooses. Cost of revenue for our On Demand purchase options has been slightly lower than that of our subscription-based options; however, this difference has historically represented less than 5% of revenue. As a result, we expect that any shifts in the relative popularity of these two purchase options will not substantially impact our cost of revenue.

We manage customer acquisition costs based on the blended customer lifetime value across our purchase options and so we are able to control our marketing expenses as a percentage of revenue. As a result, we do not believe that shifts in the mix between On Demand or subscription-based purchase options will materially impact our operating margins. In addition, the repeat revenue characteristics of customers whose first purchase was a subscription-based purchase option are substantially similar to those whose first purchase was an On Demand purchase option.

An important driver of our growth is customer acquisition, which we achieve primarily through online marketing efforts including paid search, organic search, online display advertising, email marketing, affiliate marketing, social media and strategic partnerships. Over the past number of years, we increased our investments in marketing as a percentage of revenue. Since we believe the market for commercial digital imagery is at an early stage, we plan to continue to invest aggressively in customer acquisition to achieve revenue and market share growth. We believe that another important driver of growth is the quality of the user experience we provide on our websites, especially the efficiency with which our search interfaces and algorithms help customers find the images that they need, the degree to which we make use of the large quantity of data we collect about images and search patterns, and the degree to which our websites have been localized for international audiences. To this end, we have also invested aggressively in product development and we plan to continue to invest in this area. Finally, the quality and quantity of content that we make available in our library is another key driver of our growth. The number of approved and licensable images in the Shutterstock library is currently over 21 million images to date, making it one of the largest libraries of its kind.

From September 7, 2007 through October 5, 2012, we operated as a New York limited liability company (the "LLC"). In May 2012, in connection with the filing of a registration statement for our initial public offering (the "IPO"), we formed Shutterstock, Inc., a Delaware corporation, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the LLC. On October 5, 2012, the Company reorganized by way of a merger of the LLC with and into Shutterstock, Inc., with Shutterstock, Inc. surviving in the merger (the "Reorganization").

Subsequent to the close of our third quarter on September 30, 2012, on October 16, 2012, we completed our IPO of 5,175,000 shares, including 675,000 shares sold as a result of the underwriters' exercise of their overallotment option, at a price of $17.00 per share. The IPO resulted in net proceeds to the Company of approximately $81.8 million after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions, and before deducting total estimated expenses in connection with the offering of $4.4 million.

Additionally, upon consummation of the Reorganization, we recognized the following one-time acceleration charges for non-cash stock-based compensation:

a charge of approximately $2.5 million, net of estimated forfeitures, in connection with a the removal of the change of control condition for our VAR Plan awards and exchanging them for stock options; and

a charge of approximately $0.5 million in connection with the removal of the change of control condition from the Profits Interest Agreement entered into with a Company employee.

Upon the effectiveness of the our registration statement on Form S-1 (File No. 333-181376) for our IPO on October 10, 2012, we incurred a one-time acceleration for non-cash equity-based compensation of approximately $3.6 million in connection with the accelerated vesting of 50% of the unvested portion of the profits interest award granted to an executive officer and related issuance of shares of common stock based on the exchange date fair value.

On October 29, 2012, we (in particular, our headquarters located in downtown Manhattan) were impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The storm caused widespread flooding and electricity outages throughout New York City and its surrounding areas. Our websites remained fully operational during this time period, as the server infrastructure that operates these websites is located in secure redundant facilities in Massachusetts and Texas. We may file business interruption or other damage claims with our insurance providers to recover any potential lost revenues, additional costs or damages associated with the storm. At this time, we cannot estimate the range of losses or the amount or timing of any insurance proceeds that could potentially be received but we do not believe it will have a material impact on our financial results. This event did not have an impact on our consolidated financial statements for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2012.

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Key Business Metrics

In addition to key financial metrics, we regularly review a number of key operating metrics to evaluate our business, determine the allocation of resources and make decisions regarding business strategies. We believe that these metrics are useful for understanding the underlying trends in our business. The following table summarizes our key operating metrics, which are unaudited, for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2012 and 2011:

                                        Three Months Ended                Nine Months Ended
                                           September 30,                    September 30,
                                      2012              2011             2012            2011
                                            (in millions, except revenue per download)
Paid downloads (during the
period)                                    18.7              14.8            54.7            42.5
Revenue per download (during
the period)                       $        2.26     $        2.10    $       2.20    $       2.01
Images in our library (end of
period)                                    21.7              16.1            21.7            16.1

Paid Downloads

Measuring the number of paid downloads that our customers make in any given period is important because our revenue and contributor royalties are driven by paid download activity. For customers that choose our On Demand purchase options, each incremental download results in incremental recognition of revenue. For customers that choose our subscription purchase options, we do not recognize revenue from each incremental download, but we believe that download activity is an important measure of the value that a customer is getting from a subscription and the likelihood that he or she will renew. We define paid downloads as the number of downloads that our customers make in a given period of our photographs, vectors, illustrations or videos, excluding re-downloads of images that a customer has downloaded in the past (which do not generate contributor royalty expense) and downloads of our free image of the week (which we make available as a means of acquiring new customers and attracting existing customers to return to our websites more frequently).

Revenue per Download

We define revenue per download as the amount of revenue recognized in a given period divided by the number of paid downloads in that period. This metric captures both changes in our pricing as well as the mix of purchase options that our customers choose, some of which generate more revenue per download than others. For example, when a customer pays $49.00 for five On Demand images, we earn more revenue per download ($9.80) than when a customer purchases a one-month subscription for $249.00 and downloads 100 images during the month ($2.49). Over the last three fiscal years, revenue from each of our purchase options has grown, however our fastest growing purchase options have been those that generate more revenue per download, most notably our On Demand purchase options. Due to this change in product mix, our revenue per download has increased steadily over the last three years.

Images in our Library

We define images in our library as the total number of photographs, vectors and illustrations available to customers on at any point in time. We record this metric as of the end of a period. Offering a large selection of images allows us to acquire and retain customers and, therefore, we believe that broadening our selection of high-quality images is an important driver of our revenue growth.

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Key Components of Our Results of Operations


We generate revenue by licensing commercial digital imagery. The significant majority of our revenue is generated via either subscription or On Demand purchase options. We generate subscription revenue through the sale of subscriptions varying in length from 30 days to 1 year. Our most popular subscription offering allows up to 25 image downloads per day for a flat monthly fee. In substantially all cases, we receive the full amount of the subscription payment by credit card at the time of sale; however, subscription revenue is recognized on a straight-line basis over the subscription period. We generate On Demand revenue through the sale of fixed packages of downloads varying in quantity from 1 image to 25 images. We also generate On Demand revenue through Bigstock via the sale of both credits plans (which enable a customer to purchase a fixed number of credits which can then be utilized to download images anytime within one year) and Pay As You Go pricing (which provides for simple cash pricing of individual images). We typically receive the full amount of the purchase at the time of sale; however, revenue is recognized as images are downloaded or when the right to download images expires (typically 365 days after purchase). These purchase options include custom accounts (for customers that need multi-seat access, invoicing, higher or unlimited indemnification or a higher volume of images) and video footage (which are sold both individually and in fixed packages). We typically receive the full amount of the purchase at the time of sale; however, revenue is recognized as images or videos are downloaded or when the right to download expires, typically 365 days after purchase. Some of our larger custom accounts are invoiced at or after the time of sale and pay us on credit terms. Some custom accounts pay in quarterly installments over the course of an annual commitment.

Our deferred revenue consists of paid but unrecognized subscription revenue, On Demand revenue, and other revenue. Deferred revenue is recognized as revenue when images or videos are downloaded (On Demand), through the passage of time (subscriptions) or when credits or the right to download images or videos expire, and when all other revenue recognition criteria have been met.

Costs and Expenses

Cost of Revenue. Cost of revenue consists of royalties paid to contributors, credit card processing fees, image and video review costs, customer service expenses, the infrastructure costs related to maintaining our websites and associated employee compensation, facility costs and other supporting overhead costs. We expect that our cost of revenue will increase in absolute dollars in the foreseeable future as our revenue grows.

Sales and Marketing. Sales and marketing expenses include third-party marketing, advertising, branding, public relations and sales expenses. Sales and marketing expenses also include associated employee compensation, commissions and benefits as well as facility and other supporting overhead costs. We expect sales and marketing expenses to increase in absolute dollars in the foreseeable future as we continue to invest in new customer acquisition.

Research and Development. Research and development expenses consist of headcount expenses, including salaries, benefits and bonuses for salaried employees and contractors engaged in product management, design, development and testing of our websites and products. Research and development costs also include facility and other supporting overhead costs except for costs that are capitalized for software development projects that have demonstrated technological feasibility. We expense research and development expenses as incurred. We expect research and development expenses to increase in absolute dollars in the foreseeable future as we continue to invest in developing new products and enhancing the functionality of our existing products.

General and Administrative. General and administrative expenses include employee salaries and benefits for executive, finance, business development, accounting, legal, human resources, internal information technology and other administrative personnel. In addition, general and administrative expenses include non-cash stock compensation expense, outside legal and accounting services, facilities costs and other supporting overhead costs. We expect to incur incremental general and administrative expenses to support our growth and to support operating as a public company.

Provision for Income Taxes. Historically, we filed our income tax return as a New York limited liability company, for federal and state income tax purposes. As a limited liability company, we recognized no federal and state income taxes, as the members of the LLC, and not the entity itself, are subject to income tax on their allocated share of our earnings. Historically, we generally made monthly distributions to our members under the terms of the LLC's operating agreement, and subject to our operating cash needs. As a result of our reorganization on October 5, 2012 from a limited liability company to a Delaware corporation, which occurred prior to the completion of our IPO, our corporate income tax rate increased significantly as we became subject to federal, state and additional city income tax. See Note 15 to our Unaudited Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part I, Item 1 of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for additional information.

We are subject to taxation on allocable portions of our net income and other taxes based on various methodologies employed by taxing authorities in certain localities.

As we expand our operations outside of the United States, we may become subject to taxation based on the foreign statutory rates and our effective tax rate could fluctuate accordingly.

Our U.S. GAAP income taxes are computed using the asset and liability method, under which deferred tax assets and liabilities are determined based on the difference between the financial statement and tax bases of assets and liabilities using enacted statutory income tax rates

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in effect for the year in which the differences are expected to affect taxable income. Valuation allowances are established when necessary to reduce net deferred tax assets to the amount expected to be realized.

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

We prepare our consolidated financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States, or GAAP. The preparation of the consolidated financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States requires our management to make a number of estimates and assumptions relating to the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the consolidated financial statements, and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the period. We evaluate our significant estimates on an ongoing basis, including, but not limited to, estimates related to goodwill, intangibles, equity-based compensation, income tax provisions and certain non-income tax accruals. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about carrying value of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results could differ from those estimates.

We believe that the assumptions and estimates associated with our revenue recognition, allowance for doubtful accounts, stock based compensation, accounting for income taxes, goodwill and intangible assets and advertising costs have the greatest potential impact on our financial statements. Therefore, we consider these to be our critical accounting policies and estimates.

A description of our critical accounting policies that involve significant management judgments appears in our prospectus filed pursuant to Rule 424(b) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, with the Securities and Exchange Commission on October 11, 2012 under "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates." There have been no material changes to our critical accounting policies and estimates as compared to our critical accounting policies and estimates filed in our prospectus.

Emerging Growth Company

Section 107 of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or the JOBS Act provides that an "emerging growth company" can take advantage of the extended transition period provided in Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, for complying with new or revised accounting standards. However, we are choosing to opt out of any extended transition period, and as a result we will comply with new or revised accounting standards on the relevant dates on which adoption of such standards is required for non-emerging growth companies.
Section 107 of the JOBS Act provides that our decision to opt out of the extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards is irrevocable.

We are in the process of evaluating the benefits of relying on other reduced reporting requirements provided by the JOBS Act. Subject to certain conditions set forth in the JOBS Act, if, as an "emerging growth company", we choose to rely on such exemptions we may not be required to, among other things,
(i) provide an auditor's attestation report on our system of internal controls over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404, (ii) provide all of the compensation disclosure that may be required of non-emerging growth public companies under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act,
(iii) comply with any requirement that may be adopted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or the PCAOB, regarding mandatory audit firm rotation or a supplement to the auditor's report providing additional information about the audit and the financial statements (auditor discussion and analysis), and (iv) disclose certain executive compensation related items such as the correlation between executive compensation and performance and comparisons of the CEO's compensation to median employee compensation.

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

In July 2012, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued a new accounting standard that simplifies the impairment test for indefinite-lived intangible assets other than goodwill. The new guidance gives the option to first assess qualitative factors to determine if it is more likely than not that the fair value of an indefinite-lived intangible asset is less than its carrying amount as a basis for determining whether it is necessary to perform a quantitative valuation test. The new standard is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those fiscal years, beginning on or after September 15, 2012. The adoption of this guidance is not expected to have a material impact on the Company's consolidated financial statements.

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