The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are concluding a three-day tour of New York City Tuesday. The Duke wrapped up his stay by attending a private event held at Shutterstock headquarters in the Empire State Building, but the pair have already had quite the visit this week, meeting Beyoncé and Jay Z at a basketball game in Brooklyn's Barclays Center. Prince William then turned to technology, touring Shutterstock offices and meeting some of the individuals on the frontlines in New York's tech scene.


Prince William visited Shutterstock alongside New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as a means of marking the connection between London and New York's respective tech communities. "Some 70 percent of our business comes from outside the United States. The U.K. is our second-largest market, and 30 percent of our business is in Europe," said CEO Jon Oringer, in an interview. Shutterstock's business is a monster, with third-quarter revenues up 41 percent year-over-year.


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The company can claim some impressive statistics over the course of its 11-year life. It makes all order of digital assets — pictures, video, audio — available for businesses to use in ads, marketing or other media pursuits. This solves a key problem for creatives, who might otherwise have to engage with a complex licensing process or commission original work. Both of these approaches can be quite costly, so Shutterstock invented the subscription model for its services, now commonly parroted by other stock companies.

A screen in Oringer's office shows a live view of where in the world each of its photos are being sold, and it is always buzzing with activity, updating with some four new sales per second.

IMG_3147 A display in the Shutterstock offices shows a live view of where its media is being sold in the world. Photo: Dylan Love

Shutterstock went through a successful initial public offering in October 2012. It now boasts 490 employees in 21 countries, 400 million paid downloads to date, and a gorgeous office on the 21st floor of the Empire State Building. "There aren't many companies still run by the founder," said Oringer, "and I still own a lot of the company, so I have a vested interest in staying. We've proved for the past decade that we can build, now it's time to concentrate on running the business."

As it hosts a luminary such as the Duke of Cambridge today, Shutterstock seems poised to only garner more clout.