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selling stock footage - worth it or not?

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RCSAUSselling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Dec 7, 2007 at 7:30:42 am

Forgive me if this has been raised before but I'm wondering if selling stock footage is in any way lucrative. Some qualifiers: I know many would want me to define 'lucrative', and I know stock footage houses might say "It depends on your video" (!) Clearly images of a celebrity in a compromising position would be of more value than, say, images of a flower show --but then 'flower show' images might also find a willing market.

I am also aware of the different types of 'stock footage' - that which is high quality, highly stylised and offered 'exclusively' would be worth more via Getty Images than say something more mundane and offered through those growing numbers of 'Royalty Free' sites.

I further understand the issues related to talent and property release agreements and how this further refines what can be offered for sale.

I am trying to make sense of all this becuse I have looked at my extensive PAL library of Broadcast-Standard SD images and believe that I certainly have images which could be put up for sale. As a freelance videographer with a mainstream TV background, I have much 'generic' footage, well shot and tripoded with good BG sound, across a range of industry and commerce subjects. I believe a lot of my stuff would be useful in many ways, not only for traditional TV use, but also by those who may want some footage to spice up a Powerpoint presentation or other digital presentations, including web-video (this is where I personally see the greatest potential).

I have researched and understand that material most sought after is that with a 'generic' look; ie - a short grab of pipeworks in an industrial setting might be helpfull for a number of different uses in, say, 'heavy industry' videos/presentations, as might a blood-red sunset in the Outback of Australia or a night shot of a generic oil rig be helpful to illustrate 'climate change', as a further example.

The questions are:

What is the experience of forum contributors?

Notwithstanding the issues raised above, has anyone making a sustainable income from stock footage (by 'sustainable', I don't necessarily mean thousands of dollars a month - but I don't mean tens of dollars either). I'd be happy with a modest, regular income - if it works at all. What is 'modest'? .... well, I don't want to spend hours on it for 'peanuts'.

It further seems to me that the 'royalty free' sites take the biggest cut (why am I not surprised?) - and the contributor gets very little?

Has anyone had any good/bad experiences with these stock footage website 'middlemen' and their pricing structures? Can anyone recommend a good one through personal experience?

What would be the best 'clip' length; would I hang, say, 10-15 secs of each sub-set shot within a genre (ie: ship#1 (stand alone), ship#2 (ditto), ship#3 (ditto) -- or would it be better to offer a 'medley' of shots as one long 'complete' video (ship#1,2 and 3 as one 45 second piece)? And do I offer my videos to just one Royalty Free site - or a number of them?

Has anyone set up their own stock website (as a web-designer I understand metatags and other issues about 'Google find') but could this be more effective in the longer term?

There are hundreds of further questions one could list - but they're all summed up by asking: Selling stock footage - is it really worth it or not?

Any comments would be appreciated.

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Rick DolishnyRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Dec 7, 2007 at 3:03:28 pm

Sign up with a stock site that mirrors your corporate culture, get your stuff up there, automate the entire process (download only) and collect small royalty cheques every quarter. Do NOT try to do it yourself. There are processes in place that make it easy for you, of course they charge for the management and google presence they offer, but try it yourself and you'll become a full-time web developer.

The key is to do as little as possible while ensuring producers have access to it when they need it with the minimum of barriers.

You will not make a lot of money, but you will make money on the stuff you put out there; and it sounds like you have a lot of well logged material. It's the practice of long-tail distribution: there is always a market for something. Your sales will never be zero if you have enough obscure stuff out there that someone wants.

Go for it.

And send us a link to your shop when it's up and running.

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RCSAUSRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Dec 8, 2007 at 11:18:56 am

Thanks Rick....

You've confirmed what I thought. I guess I was looking for some 'magic bullet' that made stock footage worth at least something above the poverty line.

I was (and still am) hoping to find stock footage sites that actually pay

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RCSAUSRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Dec 8, 2007 at 11:49:07 am

Sorry people - I meant 'POND 5' as opposed to 'post 5' - Freudian slip!

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Rick DolishnyRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Dec 10, 2007 at 2:45:01 pm

Another crude way of describing this marketing model is "volume" sales, but that suggests the Wal-Mart mentality and that's not what I'm suggesting. Sure, it's great to get $1500 for a five second clip (I have a library of deep-arctic polar bears that fetches that regularly), but I'm suggesting and you seem to agree that it's not the five dollar sale that matters, it's the hundreds of five dollar sales you might generate each month that really ads up. This model could not exist or be sustained without the nearly-free distribution model the internet offers.

Of course, if you have footage that is just so unique by all means set that $1500 price, you will find a buyer!

Best of luck with your venture.

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Melissa SmithRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Jan 15, 2008 at 3:58:19 am

I've been selling stock media for a year and a half now. I am almost to the point where I can make a full time salary off of it. I do sell mostly animated backgrounds, which I actually think is harder b/c they take longer to create than some footage.

But to answer your question- Yes- it is definitely worth it. Especially if you already have a library of footage stocked up! Right now that footage is sitting, rotting on your shelf-- it could be making you money! I've tried most of the major stock sites and sold on most of them for awhile. However, I got tired of the hassle of uploading to multiple sites so I choose my favorites and stuck to those few.

I upload mostly to They had the easiest and most hassle free upload/approval system of any of the major sites. They also have a wonderful producer community and their technical support is excellent. Their royalty rates are 45% for a non-exclusive clip and 60% for an exclusive clip-- you can choose your exclusivity on a clip by clip basis too! Check out their forums-- they recently had several producers say why they love their site and one of them mentions how much he takes in each month from the site. You can sell audio files and After Effects projects there too if you have them!

Hope this helps give you some more information about the stock business.

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RCSAUSRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Jan 15, 2008 at 2:17:34 pm

Thanks for your advice Melissa - it's good to hear from a producer who is actually turning a buck out of stock.

I do take your point that the more 'generic' animated stuff has opportunities - the more I look on the stock sites, I see more and more of that being offered. I will check out Revostock again - I am also looking at Pond5, so if anyone has experience there, I'd appreciate comments. I do agree that the hassle of uploading (and I know there are 'auto uploaders' out there) seems to offer challenges...but I guess they can be tolerated on the understanding that it might be worth it in the end.

I'd also like to hear from those who may actually use stock footage (any 'customers' out there?) to get an understanding of how they use stock footage and what they may be looking for. For example, are there people out there only looking for a 'grab' to insert in a Powerpoint - or maybe only interested in a 'still' from stock footage? What about 'screen' sizes? Smaller screen sizes at more modest resolutions than may be needed for 'mainstream' television raises interesting selling opportunities - and scalable pricing structures.

I certainly have an extensive library which I am looking at afresh with the notion that some stuff at least is 'offerable' as stock footage; as I see it, this is a new area for many pro camerapersons/videographers like me (particularly those who have never trashed original camera tapes), so I am feeling my way.

I really appreciate your comments - and those of others who may want to contribute.

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RW TaylorRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Feb 12, 2008 at 7:40:30 pm


I have been investigating developing some stock footage products. Mostly shot video footage.

You mentioned that most of your Revostock products were animated backgrounds. If possible I would like to look at some of your products on Revostock. To do this I need your Revostock producer’s name or a link to your portfolio there.



PS: I inadvertently push something about “being a friend”. Not sure what that is all about. I was just trying to see how to send you the above message without posting to this thread. I am really new to this site and do not understand exactly how things work here.

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Craig McCourryRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Feb 24, 2008 at 7:34:11 pm

If you have quality stock footage, we have a new concept on bringing that footage into the marketplace at One of the big advantages with our service is that you have direct contact with the stock footage buyer. This can lead to building a relationship with companies that might need the type of footage you offer on a regular basis - including hiring you to do more shoots for them. Full disclosure: I am the manager of this website.

All the best,

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Charley FernandezRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Apr 17, 2008 at 3:58:32 am

Hello: A bit to late to answer, but definitely you will make money by selling your stock footage. As some have mentioned, your videos are stored, not doing a thing for you.

Anyway, we are currently developing a stock house and we are in need of videos of all kind...visit us when you have the opportunity.

I also recommend revostock, definitely one of the best, great customer support and great commission. Pond5 is another good option.

There are others out there but to be honest, the upload process is so painful that it becomes unworthy........that's besides their low commission....just 20%....after you do all the work...


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Russ StiggantsRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Apr 17, 2008 at 10:40:30 am

Thanks for this Charley....

I have looked at your site and am interested in exploring the options...unlike other stock sites however, I don't have any clear idea about how you can help me, what your commission is or how I would get my images to you, given you are in Florida and I am in Australia. With Pond5 I can send QT files by disc, rather than attempting long uploads.

While I appreciate your post, Let me say as a weather-beaten ol' journalist, I find that the responses I am getting are from outfits like yours keen to represent my (potential) video-library - but remarkably I am not hearing from fellow video-pro's who have used any of the growing numbers of stock-sites out there in internet-space - and more importantly can report that they are making money, relative to their 'cost-of-acquisition'.

This indicates that either (a) selling stock footage returns 'peanuts' in terms of value to the shooter, (b) it's still the province of amateurs and kids with 'toy-cams' who reckon 20-bucks is really good, or (c) so-called 'hi-end' video sales are the province of Getty Images and the like.

Being self-critical, my stuff is in the middle to upper-end of the range. I don't want to sell stuff for hundreds of dollars a minute, but neither do I want to sell it for chicken-feed.

I am still to find that middle ground.

That's why I started this thread and after 4 months am still not getting the response I've been hoping for.

Is this because the pro's are not interested in selling stock, or is it because the 'fundamentals' still are not right?

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Charley FernandezRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Apr 18, 2008 at 1:55:15 am

Hello Russ:

We are currently working on having a direct page with all the information regarding submitting material in our site. We are still a work in progress, we just opened 2 months ago. We offer 50/50 commission on a non exclusive basis. You can send us the material, we will upload them for you, however you will need to submit the meta data.

In regards of not getting the response you need, I guess are very hesitant to post $$$ number amounts in websites. Also, many pros hardly spending time on forums. Some are also hesitant on sharing there "good experience" with stock houses, at the end, you will probably be competing in some form or the other.

I'm sure many have wanted to sell their stuff, but after the find out the amount of work involved they simply don't go for it, specially if the don't know the happened to me with two websites.....

In response to indications: a) As with everything it will depend on many factors, your stuff may not sell, or sales good. Before opening my site I did a research on 52 stock houses...I found out that there are a lot of people making money even with average material...I know producers making $700 or more a month from just one site!...just think about it...which bank will pay you such amount in interest?

b) In todays market, you will find them all, amateurs and pros...the better you material the more people will like to find your stuff...

c) True Getty Images is one of the big ones with High End material, but even all of them are jumping in to the micro stock....If I'm not mistaken Getty acquired istock video for the "small" sum of 50 million dollars...???

I will say jump for it, again, your video is just sitting in a hard drive. Also, I understand you have SD material, if this is the case, this is your time because in the years to come HD will lead the market.

All best....

P.S. Do a research, here is a good way to start. Go to, let say, istockvideo, do a search on the kind of material you have....then take a look on how many times the clips was downloaded.....then calculate that by the percentage they pay (20%) will give you an idea.. :)

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Charley FernandezRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Apr 18, 2008 at 1:59:35 am

BTW sorry for the misspelling and errors, I was in a hurry ;)

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Mike CohenRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Apr 17, 2008 at 11:15:23 am

Many moons ago we offered stock footage from surgical procedures for sale, however the time needed to find just what a client was looking for made it unprofitable. We sold a few clips to Strong Medicine on Lifetime and to some museums, but our time is better spent making money for production jobs.
It seems there are many many stock footage websites. Have production jobs dried up in your area?


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Russ StiggantsRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Apr 18, 2008 at 2:56:42 am

Thanks for your advice Mike.....

Production work in my town has always been pretty slim, but I've made a living out of it for many years.

That's not really the point however....

Like many pro's, I've kept just about every camera tape I've shot (over more than 25 years) and have some very interesting vision some of which has never seen the light of day (you know how it is - shoot x-number of tapes for a 10-min 'corporate'). For example, I've done a lot of stuff for the mining, oil and gas industry in some of the most remote parts of Australia, as well as a lot of agricultural/horticultural stuff (and a whole lot more). It just seems to me that this is an untapped resource that could spin off some dollars.

I do agree with you that production is still where the real money is (and I'm doing that increasingly with video-on-the-web) but I'm still keen to explore the stock 'option'.

Like you however, I agree there's got to be a profit to it. If in the end I'm spending $100 dollars of my time for only $10 return, that really doesn't make much business sense.

That's why I'm keen to hear from 'suppliers'. No offence to the middlemen; I understand it's in their interests to talk-up stock sites.

At the end of the day, I guess I'll only find out the truth by spending a day or two pumping up a number of shots and passing them on to a number of stock 'houses'. If it doesn't work, then I'll chalk it up to experience.


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Russ RayburnRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Feb 5, 2009 at 10:31:29 pm

I have a few stock footage contracts up for renewal. Most are offering as low as 15% now, but I was getting 40 and 50 % before Has anybody had any luck with these footage houses, seems like they are making buckets of money. Anybody know which ones are worth dealing with ? Any self posting sites good to deaL with?


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Russ StiggantsRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Feb 5, 2009 at 11:29:51 pm

Hi Russ...

Interesting to hear that the prices paid for stock footage seem to be going down, which only goes to confirm why I started this thread in the first place.....selling stock footage does not really make economic sense unless you're sitting around with nothing else to do. After a year since I created the thread, you'll notice a paucity of people reporting wild success. If I were you, I'd being going with those who return as much money as possible to you. But given the state of the world economy, I don't think I would be holding my breath.....

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Randy WheelerRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Feb 8, 2009 at 3:44:11 pm

How do you audit these stock footage websites that sell your footage to know if they are accurately reporting sales of your footage? Or, are we just supposed to trust them?


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Russ RayburnRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Feb 8, 2009 at 9:47:23 pm

Some contracts allow for audits, but at your own expense, unless you find a certain percentage of error, then they will pay for the audit. Some contracts do not address the issue of audit at all.
I have had the experience of seeing one of my shots on a national commercial,(Channel surfing is good for something) and was only paid once I brought it to the attention of the stock house, they were sorry for the mistake. I do have my suspicions, but it is expensive and difficult to prove anything. Now that shots are sold on the World Wide Web, I think the Wild West mentality is everywhere, most people think they can't be caught. I have registered some of my copyrights, since I found out you can't bring an infringement suit without it. Let me know what your experience has been. I do have a meeting with a forensic accountant later this week, so should know more soon. I would like to hear of other peoples experience with stock houses.



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Russ StiggantsRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Feb 9, 2009 at 11:17:12 am

Randy does make a good point - and good on you Russ for going into it further.

here's a what if....

What if you make a stock-footage sale to client x who uses the footage in his TVC or corporate docco. So far, so good - you get a payment (peanuts usually by the looks of things) and the deal is done. But client x later gives his video (including your stock footage) to some other party who wants to use portions of it in another, unrelated video. Client x thinks he owns all the footage (and he does to the edited tape) but he effectively hands on your stock footage (edited as it may be). Thus your footage may be used in another production without your knowledge - and without payment to you.

And here's another what if....

Production House n buys your footage and uses it in production b. Now another client pops up and could benefit from the same footage, albiet edited in a different way. Does the production house acknowledge that? The good ones will - but what about the not-so-honest?

Some points to ponder....


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Russ RayburnRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Feb 10, 2009 at 3:09:43 pm

You have some very good points. Once the footage is sold by the stock house to the client, they are supposed to only use it in their productions and not resell it or give it away to others, of course as you pointed out, it is possibly making the rounds and being passed from person to person and company to company. Many people in the business seem to ignore copyright, even if they agreed and signed the licensing agreement of the stock house. While this is very difficult to detect and enforce, I have been told that those who ignore copyright are taking a big chance, although they rarely get caught. Statutory penalties can be up to $150,000.00 per occurrence plus statutory award of legal fees.

The reality of this, as you pointed out, is that the shots scatter to the wind, and the world is a big place, but at least we should be able to hold the stock footage houses accountable to our contracts and to copyright law, it won't be cheap and will take a few years.

Let me know if you have any experience with this.


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Russ StiggantsRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Feb 10, 2009 at 11:34:42 pm

I don't have any experience with this personally as I have not ventured into selling stock footage for all the reasons discussed in this thread - despite having some images which I think would be worthy of making available. I just can't wrap my head around (1) selling my images for peanuts and (b) a stock house taking an exhorbitant amount for the pleasure.

Now I know the stock houses say that they give you great exposure and we the videographers should be grateful that they're providing the service for us to make money - any money - on the back of their hard work.....but at this stage I can't see anyone making enough money to make it worth their while. from my look at stock houses, I see that those who make 'generic' backgrounds and the like seem to be doing better than videographers hanging up 'reality' vision -- either way, I see an awful lot of good shots with no buys....

As for the copyright issue - sure the law is on our side - but (a) you've got to find copyright infringement in the first place, as you say, and (b) do you seriously think the average videographer is going to mount a legal case costing thousands of dollars over 10 seconds of vision for which he might get $25???? Nah - ain't going to happen.

I think the answer might be to establish your own website - do your metadata properly - and flog your own clips direct. That way you can keep tabs on your client/s and make him/her aware of the issues of copyright infringements. What with good search engines these days, the ability to build very cost-effective websites - and Paypal, there's no reason not to give it a try. Then you can charge what you like! In Australia for example, you want stock footage out of the Australian Broadcasting Commission? You pay scores of dollars per second!

Maybe that's the way to go.....


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Milton WershowRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Jun 8, 2009 at 2:03:32 am

Great topic. you know with all programers they put inside the content a signiture. Very difficult to find unless you are a programmer.. Well if you sell a clip there can be a code written into it which would clearly resolve this issue.

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Russ StiggantsRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Jun 10, 2009 at 2:47:04 pm

Good on you for giving it a go, Milton! I have looked at your site and can see what you're attempting. Keep this thread advised of your success - I am sure everyone will be interested in whether you make sales, comparative to your effort. I agree with your theory that if all those who have images to sell could band together to form a 'viral co-operative', for the want of a term...well, it certainly would provide an alternative to the traditional 'stockhouse' way of selling clips.

I'm sure a version of what you suggest has already been suggested (in fact, I think it may have been proposed even in this forum from memory), but in theory it could work if as you suggest, everyone was dedicated to making it work.

I still think the underlying flaw in the 'stock' footage argument overall is that you need to have the 'stock' that someone wants. It may be great to have a really good shot of a yellow flower against a green background, when someone may want a blue flower against a black background. You understand what I mean. As I said in an earlier post, many excellent visual sequences seem not to have sold at all - while those who are making generic graphic backgrounds seem to be having moderate success.

Clearly 'reality' stock is difficult to move. This may be because advertising/PR types (a) may not have the imagination to use stock shots effectively (b) loathe to use something being 'in the public domain', or (c) want to shoot it themselves (and make a bucket of money out of the client for doing so). For example, I was recently in a briefing with an advertising agency (I was a bemused observer on the 'client side') and was amused when the agency showed some stock still photos (which would have done the job) only to watch them convince the client that the photos had a 'stock feel' and were not worthy. The client didn't look at the bottom-line cost. The agency appealed to his ego and succeeded in 'selling him up'. Thus the ad cost him several thousands of dollars, whereas he could have opted for an equally good ad, literally for hundreds of dollars (maybe not as 'tailored', but good enough to have sold his products). Go figure.

Thus I am contemplating new models to maximise stock footage by jumping the divide between being a mere 'provider' to being a 'producer' utilising my stock shots in a way which might be interesting to various clients. I think the weakness in stock shots is that they are a 'solution looking for a problem' in world markets. If you reverse that equation and identify a local 'problem' and provide a local 'solution' based on your stock footage, the chances are greater that you'll make money from your library. Better to make $1000 locally (or by industry sector), than nothing at all by appealing to a disinterested 'world'.

Hope this helps - and as I say, please keep us advised of your success or otherwise.


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Milton WershowRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Jun 8, 2009 at 1:55:54 am

The costs of having a web site with unlimited amount of space is not dear.
The time to build it and work it is another aspect which is human hours needed to build and maintain the site.

With the big search enignes and directories unlike years ago they now charge and if you spend 3000 to 5000 well you can be on top of the search results. Now that is said this does not mean that the world is knocking at your door.

It is who you know and know you and its networking with numbers all working together so to be a driving force. Cooperative Marketing.

I think that the owners of stock footage should get 70 to 60% of any dollars that is realized having the stock houses being just the opposite is not fare but yet is the world fare.

There is a bunch of us and if we organized and workded together we can create a hub that will compete with these big houses. Now that is said the integrity and characters must be in tact.

It is not difficult to develope a program as to when there is a request for quote it is discuessed with the task manager of site and owner of intelectual rights. There is another thought about logged footage there are also dvd storage where when a clip is desired and clicked it pulls out your dvd and then goes to the file they desire.

Fact is know one does anything by themselves. It takes team work, organization and everyone puts in for a honest budget then you get the results. The Hollywood Reported for one page ad for example is thousands of dollars. Well if there was a cooperative effort and enough people then the amount each person had to pay into for the ad would be dear for the indiviual. There are the ways together we can come up with one Internet presence representing us all but instead of the costs incurred for your own site, the time, the meta expierence and other advertising venues.

It has been to my expierence is difficult to bring enough of us together so we can compete and be treated honorably with each of us recieving the majority of revenue. Oh I have ideas where we can penetrate and achieve but again at this moment I am alone offering my video wears and helping my friends that compose music.

There is the market waiting and in time I feel that I will become polished enough where I am no longer waiting.

There has to be respect and value for the product we have taken.

Interesting posts here I must say

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Irene TrapperRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on May 5, 2010 at 6:38:53 am

stock footage is totally worth it now (2010) with sites like pond5 and revostock taking off like hot cakes it's a great time to publish your footage.

For those that think it takes too long, there's iSyndica ( - a superb platform to sell stock footage. Works with almost all major stock footage sites and gives great daily reporting.

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Milton WershowRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Jun 8, 2009 at 12:31:03 am

I read your post and like you I have a video vault of broadcast quality footage which I have cut down to 10 to 20 second clips on the average.

I just started two months ago and I have undertaken building my own site.

With regard to these middlemen for them to take such a large take of purchase seems to me to be a bit off balance and not forthright.

This is why I have built my own site and have it up and running. I still though sweetening the site but keeping it simple till I learn more as to how to market my clips. Organization of the clips so they are easy to find subject content is a real challenge but getting better at. I convert my footage into flash files so it reduces the data amount and time for clips to play. You do need fast bandwidth and so true with the viewers or possible clients.

I have a background in the motion picture buisness as a stuntman and behind the camera I have produced and directed small video documentaries and travel logs. I am up there in years and it has been quite some time sense I have been involved. With this economy as it is today I feel the need to jump back into the market place.

Do to the Internet the world is quite different for me and requires me to step up to the plate and adjust and adapt. That is my question how to adapt so I get cash flow coming.

Google stats claim that there are over 6 million across the world seeking the same objective. So if that does not just scare the hell out of you then I do believe that there are answers to the questions you ask.

I feel that it is worth pursing for what are we really speaking of? We need to build a foundation of clients whether the youth building their ameteur flicks, or advertising agencies and productions, or the 3D developers who need specific footage to transpose into video games.

Lets not forget music videos and local tv commercials. Local cable station advertising has some of the worst commercials I have ever seen. Where there are problems there is the opportunity.

I believe that with the Internet explosion of video, there is a market and our footage does have a contibution worthy of compensation.

I agree with you that video Power Point Presentations can be a great market. I also believe that there is a market with the educational industry, Internet video presentation, and young film makers that use video format for their projects. Documentaries is another market.

I have great air to air footage of helicopter in flight. I have not seen many who have the length and quality of footage that I have. There is no question as to the cost savings purchasing helicopter in flight footage where you can obtain 5 minute durations and longer if needed. 10 20 second clips surely is more sensible. My point your footage I am sure is great and there are shots to pull out of footage that will help business presentations such as close up for transitions.

I believe it is worthy business and I do believe that there is room for the small guy not just the big boys. This video evolution is not over and truly just beginning.

I recommend get your clips well organized and easy to find when someone has the need. I do believe with exposure and communication that your Good Faith and qualty of product will be respected by those in the industry where they will open up their doors and give you business. I am still learning how to carve out the market and prove the worthiness of my product and character. If I can be of any assistance Good Luck. Just email me if I can help or you wish to join forces. Visit my site and get a sense of what you might wish to do. If you do visit hay drop me an email.

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Guy ThompsonRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Feb 16, 2010 at 3:57:16 am

The main issue is criticial mass. I worked out that you need 3000 clips online to be making $150,000 US a year. Popular clips average out across the zero earners. Its called cost based averaging and its how supermarkets make money. Get it - stock footage really is a supermarket....

Ok but who wants to sit around uploading 3000 clips and adding all those tags when you could be working on production jobs which pay up-front?

This is an investment process, you are building something which will make money over time

But here's a different business model idea, if you have literally hundreds of tapes, would you be prepared to work with a freelancer who would upload and tag all of your clips for you and take a percentage of the stock earnings? Or would you rather sit on a pile of "potential revenue" and keep the "potential earnings" all to yourself.

You have got to actually be IN the market to make money, you can't just dabble on the side like a weekend trader. Like any kind of investing, just dipping your toe in will earn you no sizeable income. Dump EVERYTHING you have on the market and see what happens, you will most certainly earn something, but if you sit on your tapes, you will most cetainly earn nothing.

Have faith any go for it. One day you'll get a cheque from Getty offering to buy out your entire library and you can pay off your house...maybe.

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Jonathan ZieglerRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Jun 27, 2010 at 6:11:33 pm

Hi all, I'm researching avenues for selling stock footage as a way to grab a little extra income. I shoot b-roll all the time and with the new DSLRs, the footage is coming out great. I'm looking into selling some on a few sites. In a day I can shoot 5-10 good b-roll clips in my town alone and could be making something from them instead of sitting on them. Sites like pond5 have a self-priced format and the prices seem to be pretty low (but higher than nothing), but you keep the footage to sell elsewhere. Sites like istockphoto get you about 15-20%, but the prices seem pretty low so volume is the key.

Is anyone making any money (no matter how big or small) from stock video/photo? What's a good price to charge? Where to promote/advertise? I want to keep the rights to my footage so I can put it on my websites for promotion and make $ multiple times. Multiple revenue streams likely? Better to specialize? What about selling Motion or AE templates? Anywhere to sell them like pond5 or istock? or do they have those, too?

I'm thinking I'm gonna capture whatever I can so I may not go out hunting for specific footage unless a client pays me to, but I'm thinking that the selling of stock footage should now be a basic part of my business model whereas it wasn't before. Any help is welcome on this one.

Jonathan Ziegler

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Paul JakovichRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Jun 9, 2011 at 7:02:09 am

I personally tried selling stock footage on my own site but in the end gave up because the profit I made from selling my footage on sites like iStockPhoto, Shutterstock and Pond5 far exceeded the profits I was making on my own site.

I wrote an article about selling stock footage check it out >> Making Money Selling Stock Footage.

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Paul HarrisRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Sep 11, 2012 at 7:37:02 pm

For a Up to date list of Stock Sites try here

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Bob MarkRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Oct 10, 2012 at 3:26:17 pm

I just got an inquiry from someone who saw one of my time lapse clips online.
He wants to license it for a film. It's about 15 sec. long. Any idea what I should charge? Thanks.


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Chris WardRe: selling stock footage - worth it or not?
by on Mar 23, 2015 at 5:16:46 am

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