Shutterstock Acquires Rex Features And PremiumBeat

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Stock imagery, video and music service Shutterstock today announced that it has acquired Rex Features, Europe’s largest independent photo press agency, and PremiumBeat, a stock music and sound effects service that will compliment the company’s recently launched Shutterstock Music service. Shutterstock is paying about $33 million for Rex Features and $32 million for PremiumBeat (mostly in cash).

Shutterstock, which was founded by Jon Oringer in 2003, has always been pretty conservative about its acquisitions. The company only made one acquisition before going public in 2013 (BigStockPhoto in 2009). Last year it acquired digital asset management service WebDAM. Announcing two acquisitions in a single day may seem a bit out of character for the company, but both PremiumBeat and Rex Features have a clear place in its strategy.

2015-01-15_0857Announcing two acquisitions in a single day is a bit out of character for the company, but both PremiumBeat and Rex Features have a clear place in the company’s strategy. Rex Features focuses mostly on editorial imagery with an emphasis on celebrity and entertainment content, a market Shutterstock hasn’t typically serve before and left to competitors like Getty Images. Getty itself had previously tried to acquire the London- and L.A.-based Rex before getting rebuffed by the U.K.’s Office of Fair Trading.

Similarly, the Montreal- and Dallas-based PremiumBeat allows the company to quickly expand its new music service. “”We are excited to add such a complementary business in PremiumBeat, with a fast-growing customer base and an extraordinary collection,” said Oringer in a press release today.  “We understand the intersection between music and video and believe that music licensing will benefit from the same, strong market demand we are capitalizing on with video.” Some of the music PremiumBeat offers has been used by the likes of Apple, BMW and Molson Canadian.

Shutterstock plans to fold both services into its main service, but it looks like both will also continue to operate independently for the time being.