Pond5: Paid Stock Footage Library
Pond5 is an immense stock footage library that has been active since 2006. The library has millions of video clips ranging from the newest submissions to historical videos.
Pond5 offers stock video, stock music, 3D models, and After Effects templates. They site does not own the assets and relies heavily on submissions from its contributors. Becoming a contributor is easy. Purchasing videos for your projects and, also, contributing your stuff to the library is an option too.
Pond5 has a rich pricing system. Because it allows its contributors to set their own prices, the price can range from the minimum of $69 per clip to over $500 for cinematic quality footage in 4K.
Pond5 allows to purchase videos on-demand. It also has membership options.
Currently, the collection of historical videos is free. You need to have an active account to start downloading the free footage.
More about Pond5.com
Pond5 is not a free site. From the start in 2006, Pond5 was conceived as a stock video site. With time Pond5 evolved into a multi-asset platform. They acquired a Czech stock photo site several years later. Around the same time, they added a music library to the mix. Today, Pond5 has over 15 million video clips and thousands of images and music tracks. They also have small collections of 3D models and After Effects templates.
Pond5 does offer free stuff. As of 2020, they have a collection of historic media files. They name it “The Public Domain Project“. Currently, the project includes 1,000 video clips, close to 3,000 audio files, over 60,000 images, and over 100 3D models. To start downloading the free files, you will need to sign up or sign in.
Currently, Pond5 remains a private company. It is located in New York, US. The company counts between 120-200 employees. The company has gone through a couple of funding rounds backed up by venture capital over the last 10 years.
Pond5 offers monthly and yearly memberships, which allow to have lower prices on video clips. The lower prices come with a limitation. Members can only have 10 downloads per month and download only the content showing up with the “Membership” filter on. On the bright side, the membership allows to get 4K videos, for example, at very affordable prices.
One should know that Pond5 does not produce the majority of its content. The site relies on contributors. In fact, anyone who is able to shoot videos and upload them can become Pond5’s contributor.
To become a Pond5 contributor, check their contributor portal. The portal has a lot of useful information about the steps to take. Here is the general idea of what you should be ready to go through.
1. Sign up by providing your email, name, and address to Pond5.
2. Submit the required documents to verify your identity.
3. Wait to get your information reviewed by the site’s personnel.
4. Submit several assets and get them approved.
5. With all the above approved, submit more videos or images.
While submitting videos to Pond5, we have observed that their video review practices are not very strict. Certain defects in videos, like shaking and rolling shutter distortions, pass unnoticed. The review teams on other stock video sites capture these, but not Pond5.
Well, it is not ideal as your top-notch footage may stand next to low-quality stuff. This is also an ordeal for buyers to sift through piles of clips to find good ones.
Let’s talk about potential earnings with Pond5.
The payouts are generous – 50% commission on all sold items. There is a caveat, though.
Pond5’s membership may erode some of the potential earnings. If a member with a monthly subscription downloads your clip, your commission will be lower than the regular price. The monthly membership of $275 allows 10 downloads. So each download coming from such a buyer will result in $13.75. Here are the calculations: $275 / 10 = $27.50, then $27.50 * 50% = $13.75. This is way lower your expectations to sell 4K clips at $100+ ea.
Another potential stream of earnings may come with Pond5’s affiliate program. They promise to give you a small percent of your referral’s earnings.
To start submitting videos to Pond5, you will become a contributor first. The you will have to go through the signup steps.
You also need to have a couple of important prerequisites. You need a stable and fast Internet connection. Well, you will be uploading large video files. Also, knowing how to use FTP programs to upload files to a remote server is another must-have.
Editing videos or images in your preferred editor is another needed skill. It’s a default setting to have more chances to sell on Pond5.