Online design and publishing platform Canva announced two milestones that will accelerate its vision to democratise design: making an additional collection of more than 1 million free stock photos, vectors and illustrations discoverable in Canva by joining forces with Pexels and Pixabay, and the launch of Photos Unlimited, a new “Netflix-style” subscription model for more affordable paid stock photography.

Melanie Perkins, CEO and co-founder at Canva said that with the rise of design literacy, people needed more options for stock content to suit their needs.

“We believe everyone should have access to great design ingredients for their visuals; this is why free content will always play a central role in Canva’s vision of democratising design. Together with Pexels and Pixabay, we’ll be able to help people discover a whole new world of amazing, fresh content,” Perkins said.

“With over 1 million images downloaded over 500 million times on their platforms combined, both Pexels and Pixabay have proven that there is a huge demand for free, quality content from small businesses, social media marketers and others — not just from designers and companies with big budgets.”

Both the founders of Pexels and Pixabay said they were inspired by their collective vision to democratize content, and the potential of Canva’s strong global presence.

Pexels co-founder Ingo Joseph said, “There’s a lot of synergy between Canva and Pexels – it’s a perfect match. No other design platform truly believes in the mission of empowering the world to design like Canva, and providing free stock content is central to their mission. Today’s announcement signifies a huge step forward in the right direction. We’re on our way to put an end to cheesy stock photos and open the doors to more authentic, trending content for free.”

Pixabay cofounder Hans Braxmeier said, “The vision of Pixabay is to become the Wikipedia for free media. Therefore, community has always been our core focus and a testament to our continued success at Pixabay. We knew right from the start that we wanted to expose our talented contributors to highly engaged audiences and showcase their work. We also knew that we wanted to empower creators who are hungry for content sourced from all around the globe — this is why we’re thrilled to partner with Canva to continue on our mission of revolutionizing the free stock media space.”

Content from Pexels and Pixabay will be discoverable in Canva, and completely free under a Creative Commons CC0 licence.

According to Perkins, “There’s never been so many people with a need for great photography. We’re incredibly excited to profile the Pexels and Pixabay community of talented contributors by having their work seen, loved and used by millions of Canva designers around the world.”

On top of providing free stock content, Canva has also announced the roll-out of Photos Unlimited, a world-first stock photography subscription model offering unprecedented “all you can consume” access to a library of an additional tens of millions of premium stock photos, at an affordable monthly subscription of only US$12.95 (or US$120.00 per annum) — as opposed to paying hundreds of dollars for a single image sourced from other libraries – giving designers even more choices, and the freedom to use any photo for anything, anywhere.

The new subscription model from Canva rivals traditional stock photography services from Shutterstock and Stocksy, and boasts an industry leading 50/50 revenue share agreement with their contributors.

With over 15 million monthly active users who have collectively created over 1 billion designs since Canva’s launch in 2013, the introduction of Canva’s Photos Unlimited further propels the design startup towards its strong growth trajectory by cementing its market positioning in the stock media space.

Perkins said, “In this day and age, professional photography can make or break a design. At Canva, we believe everyone should have access to all the ingredients needed to design – and not just for the few who can afford it. With these two announcements today, we’re empowering everyone to communicate their ideas visually in the best way possible – the potential is limitless.”

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