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Inside the Shutterstock Zeitgeist

This story appears in the April 2013 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Along with the ever-growing amount of content we consume online--produced by media giants and individuals alike--comes an increasing appetite for images. In barely a decade, a multimillion-dollar industry has blossomed to feed this beast.

Stock photography--images created specifically for purchase by publishers or other clients--has been around since the 1920s. But the digital age has brought with it a new term, microstock, referring to online images, often crowdsourced from amateur photographers and artists, that can be bought cheaply and used by anyone, royalty-free.

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