FORUMS: list search recent posts

Anybody here selling stock footage? Either as a sideline or a main business....

COW Forums : Apple Final Cut Pro Legacy

<< PREVIOUS   •   FAQ   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Tim Wilson
Anybody here selling stock footage? Either as a sideline or a main business....
on May 4, 2017 at 8:42:02 pm

I'm just curious about this. It's been a while since we've talked about it here, and I know that business has changed for a lot of you over the years, so just laying it out there.

Anybody selling footage?

Is it a sideline? Are you making it part of your core business?

Who are you working with?

What are you selling?

And how's it going?

Thanks for any insight you can provide!

Best,

Tim Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW


Return to posts index

Stephen Smith
Re: Anybody here selling stock footage? Either as a sideline or a main business....
on May 5, 2017 at 2:17:27 pm

Tim,

I hope life is treating you well? I quite my job and started my own production company a few months ago. As per your question.

Anybody selling footage? I have been selling stock footage on the side for a few years now.

Is it a sideline? Are you making it part of your core business? It is on the sideline. I read an article years ago referring to it as "beer money". I only have a little over 100 clips. If you want to make a living at this you will most likely need much more images to sell.

Who are you working with? I love Pond5. They give you a 50% split. If the buyer uses a discount code you still get 50% of the asking price and Pond5 absorbs the loss. I used iStockphoto and hated them. You get 20% of every sell and if you are exclusively with them then 25%. But hey, if you can sell 200 clips in one year they will give you 30%....yeah! Here is the pricing structure: https://contributors.gettyimages.com/article_public.aspx?article_id=5210 I wanted to look into Disolve but I haven't had time.

What are you selling? Here is my Pond5 collection: https://www.pond5.com/artist/dtt#1/ Here is my best selling clip, it sells a few times each year. It is the Roman Colosseum.

And how's it going? I think it has been great. It's fun to get some money here and there. Especially on clips I uploaded a few years ago.

Thanks for any insight you can provide!

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


Return to posts index

Brad Coulter
Re: Anybody here selling stock footage? Either as a sideline or a main business....
on May 11, 2017 at 9:04:29 pm

Thanks for sharing that. That clip is awesome, by the way!

http://www.betherecreative.com


Return to posts index


Todd Terry
Re: Anybody here selling stock footage? Either as a sideline or a main business....
on May 11, 2017 at 9:29:11 pm

Hey Stephen...

Just curious, who sets the pricing for your footatge?.... do you do that, or is it set by Pond5?

I ask because I've always been curious about that, and now doubly so after looking at your page. Some of it is what I'm used to (i.e., I think the Colosseum shot is 55 bucks... makes perfect sense), but some of the other pricing on clips was rather oddly specific (i.e., $43.62, $44.95, etc.). Who comes up with that? And what is it based on?

I'm glad to hear you are having a good experience with Pond5. Honestly in the past we've always thought of them (perhaps unfairly) as sort of low-tier I guess mainly because their stuff is so cheap compared to the other guys (and some of their quality was pretty marginal in past years)... our go-to source was generally iStock, followed by Dissolve and Shutterstock... then we'd hit Pond5 if we just needed something cheap (and frankly, if it was some project where quality was trumped by price). Lately though I think Pond5 has become more of a reliable resource... also, more than once I've found the perfect clip on one of the other sources, and then checked Pond5 where the same clip was available... at at much lower price. It sounds like they are treating their suppliers much better, too.

Good stuff.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



Return to posts index

Stephen Smith
Re: Anybody here selling stock footage? Either as a sideline or a main business....
on May 11, 2017 at 9:54:27 pm

Brad, thanks for the kind words. Italy was a blast.

Todd, Pond5 lets the person who uploads the clip set the price. I played around with some different price points to see if anything would work better than the other. Which would explain some of the more specific prices. Something cool to note. Some of the clips are 4k and HD. All you have to do is set the price for the 4k clip and then Pond5 will figure out the price for the HD clip for you. You just set the % difference once and then it set the percentage difference for you everytime you set a price or change a price down the road.

When I first looked at Pond5 years ago I agree with your observation that is was low-tier. Pond5 has come a long ways in the last few years. I used to only purchase my stock footage from iStockphoto because I felt they had the best quality footage. If they didn't have what I needed I then went down the same road you do.

I just did a job for a big financial institution and bought a lot of business stock footage clips. I used Pond5, Dissolve, iStockPhoto and Shutterstock. I got most of my clips from Pond5 because I thought they had the best selection for the very specific type of shots I needed to find.

A cool side note about Pond5, they have thousands of public domain clips on their site that are free to download. That library saved my bacon a year ago on a project I needed to cover with old shots of New York.

As for your comment about finding the perfect clip on one of the other sources, and then checked Pond5 where the same clip was available. I do that all the time. Typically if you upload to multiple sites it is just too easy to copy and past the title of the clip and the tag data. So I always copy the title and see if I can find it on a different site for a cheaper price. One clip was $300 on Pond5 and I found it for $75 on Shutterstock. Other times I have found a clip on Shutterstock for $75 and found the same clip for $50 on Pond5.

Shutterstock and iStockphoto charge the same prices no matter the contributor so I keep those price points in the back of my head.

I think Pond5 is worth checking out the next time you need stock footage. They treat their contributors better than any of the other stock sites.

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


Return to posts index

Curt LaFurney
Re: Anybody here selling stock footage? Either as a sideline or a main business....
on May 11, 2017 at 10:57:16 pm

I'd recommend video blocks, affordable and extensive. Use the heck out of it myself all the time.


https://www.videoblocks.com/


Return to posts index


Stephen Smith
Re: Anybody here selling stock footage? Either as a sideline or a main business....
on May 12, 2017 at 4:42:59 pm

I signed up for Videoblocks a few years ago and hated it. I had unlimited downloads free for a month and could only find one clip I used. The other ones I downloaded ended up having too much noise and other low-end production problems that are hard to see in a little thumbnail.

I just looked for some clips to fit the specific footage I was just recently looking for and I would say the selection isn't very big. Granted it is very specific but I was able to find many more options on Pond5, Dissolve and iStockphoto.

I think in the end it depends on what your needs are and what level of quality you want.

Their contributor agreement looks great: https://contribute.videoblocks.com/?utm_medium=XSell&utm_source=VBFooter&ut...

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


Return to posts index

Curt LaFurney
Re: Anybody here selling stock footage? Either as a sideline or a main business....
on May 12, 2017 at 7:07:40 pm

I have not had any issues with quality or previews with Videoblocks, maybe they have improved over time. My experience with them has been great. I fill a lot of holes with their content.

Good luck


Return to posts index

Robin Probyn
Re: Anybody here selling stock footage? Either as a sideline or a main business....
on Jul 9, 2017 at 7:37:58 am

Is the cost calculated time wise i.e. shot length.. is there a max/min length .. is everything timelapse or did you find that sold the best..?

Thanks



Return to posts index


Stephen Smith
Re: Anybody here selling stock footage? Either as a sideline or a main business....
on Jul 10, 2017 at 6:58:42 pm

Robin,

The cost of the clip doesn't have anything to do with the length. On Pond5 you pick your own price. (Clips have to be longer than 4 seconds I believe) On other sites like Adobe's Stock they set the price. Which is nice for a buyer since you can budget for the actual cost of a project since each clip cost the same. As for selling the best. I just happen to have mostly time-lapse footage because that is what I love to film. I imagine time-lapse footage sells the least since most videos use footage that isn't time-lapse.

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


Return to posts index

Robin Probyn
Re: Anybody here selling stock footage? Either as a sideline or a main business....
on Jul 11, 2017 at 2:05:33 am

Ok thanks for the info.. sorry to pick your brains .. how do you decide the price then.. just compared to other people..

Thanks



Return to posts index

Stephen Smith
Re: Anybody here selling stock footage? Either as a sideline or a main business....
on Jul 11, 2017 at 3:12:45 pm

Robin,

Ask as many questions as you like. Most stock sites will let you pick a subject and then rank it in best seller order. Then you know what footage like yours is selling the best and for what price. I found if your footage looks better. You can ask for more and you will get it. If you fell your shot isn't more unique and better then I would lower the price a little.

When I personally look for stock footage to purchase for my project I don't look at the price. I only look at what image is the best. The only times I don't get the image is when it is an outrageous price like $300. In that case, I'll go with the clip I thought was the second best for $75.

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


Return to posts index


Brian Alves
Re: Anybody here selling stock footage? Either as a sideline or a main business....
on Jul 11, 2017 at 9:03:51 pm

Steve and I talk about this topic on the latest podcast recorded today:

http://www.thedvshow.com/the-dv-show-podcast-for-july-11-2017/

Thanks for joining us Steve!

Brian Alves

Listen to the new podcast
for DV creators- The DV Show!
http://www.thedvshow.com


Return to posts index

Robin Probyn
Re: Anybody here selling stock footage? Either as a sideline or a main business....
on Jul 11, 2017 at 11:17:55 pm

Ok great, thanks for both replies ..will check out the pod cast too



Return to posts index

Scott Campbell
Re: Anybody here selling stock footage? Either as a sideline or a main business....
on Aug 11, 2017 at 10:34:01 pm

I've sold my footage through most of the sites: from Getty and Corbis (when it was around), to the "lower tier" companies, including Pond5. Pond5 is by far the best. I think they are close to taking most of the business away from the other stock houses (even Getty) - and, in my opinion, they would definitely succeed if they introduced an "exclusive" clause for their footage, which they currently don't have. I love setting my own prices. I have a couple of clips priced at $290 that sell a couple of times a year. The pricing for my various shots goes all the way down to $25. But folks that believe you can make a living only selling stock footage are just hoping and wishing, in my opinion (unless you are the owner of the company). I don't see how that can ever happen. It will always be a side business (i.e. "beer money, as mentioned earlier). If people are making rent and mortgage payments from stock footage, I'd love to hear about it and be encouraged by that. I find, having working in advertising over 3 decades, that footage of visuals that can be used as metaphors sell the best and are used most often (i.e. flowers blooming = life, waves crashing = turmoil, young hands holding = puppy love, etc.). Footage with people in it can sometimes be a problem because the images are too "specific," often being too time, age or location specific (except for babies, scientists and engineers). I can't count the number of times I had to remind production companies NOT to include ANY palm trees in the shot when shooting national commercials.


Return to posts index


Ivars Berzins
Re: Anybody here selling stock footage? Either as a sideline or a main business....
on Sep 6, 2017 at 2:05:36 am

Pond5 have just rejected two clips of mine that were taken in historic Cathedral Square in Christchurch, New Zealand before the devastating earthquakes that changed the Square forever in 2010.

And the reason the clips were rejected? Because the audio track was "distracting and not useful".

I find this absolutely laughable as the shot features pictures and sound of a streetcar (tram) wiping through frame to reveal the Cathedral. Theres no other audio other than street atmos, and tram sound. Theres nothing distracting at all, just audio of whats in the images.

Sure I could easily strip off the audio and sell it as a mute track, but why on earth would anyone buy a shot of a tram without audio? I'm trying to give them choices here, not take them away before the client has made up their own mind.

I've asked for a second opinion from Pond5, otherwise I will have to go shopping for a site that better understands tv post production.

_______________________________________________
I specialise in shooting, editing and uploading quality footage from New Zealand for clients all over the globe.


Return to posts index

Stephen Smith
Re: Anybody here selling stock footage? Either as a sideline or a main business....
on Sep 6, 2017 at 2:31:47 am

That's crazy unless the audio is really loud. Can you just drop the volume level and re-submit?

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


Return to posts index

Ivars Berzins
Re: Anybody here selling stock footage? Either as a sideline or a main business....
on Sep 6, 2017 at 3:36:23 am

I know its crazy, but certainly not loud, or over-modulated at all.

If I was cutting this I would want audio on the shot, even if turned right down.

But they were able to accept a shot with the fountain at Oriental Bay with audio of the fountain and some street sounds. Inconsistent.

_______________________________________________
I specialise in shooting, editing and uploading quality footage from New Zealand for clients all over the globe.


Return to posts index


Ivars Berzins
Re: Anybody here selling stock footage? Either as a sideline or a main business....
on Sep 6, 2017 at 4:57:00 am

Here is the response I have received from Pond5


"First I must say these are amazing shots. Clearly you took these with care, and quality was your focus.

Please know when your customer purchases this clip, they demand the option to layer in their own sound. Creating an additional step for your customer is a big detractor for sales, and could prove difficult for your customer without the right software. As a policy we are moving away from footage with sound. Please resubmit without the sound track, and I'll be more than happy to request a secondary review of your clips."

(The bold font is my emphasis)

They are kidding right, removing audio is one the simplest things you can do in post, as opposed to creating audio from nothing.
Surely even a guidetrack could be useful. Huh?

_______________________________________________
I specialise in shooting, editing and uploading quality footage from New Zealand for clients all over the globe.


Return to posts index

John Wildgoose
Re: Anybody here selling stock footage? Either as a sideline or a main business....
on Sep 6, 2017 at 8:10:36 am

For what it's worth I've been shooting stills for a friend's stock library for a few years now but they have recently got very excited about video. So on my last shoot I split it 50/50 stills/video and the returns have not mirrored the agency's excitement, coming in at just 20%+/- of sales from that shoot. They syndicate through Getty amongst others.

This is a typical example, and shot in a very similar way to stills, but it generates not enough revenue to warrant the time taken away from shooting more profitable stills.

If you are thinking about Getty, be warned. They currently have the terrible habit of demanding everything we supply is 4K, and then insult us by discounting the 4K to the same price as HD. I am not happy about that. It means the contributors have to up their game and invest in 4K delivery without any payback. Pretty Getty-esque I'd say.

I'm going to look at Pond5. On down days I like heading out and shooting generic, it helps with process/workflow and if I can turn 'personal work' into a revenue stream all the better!

John


Return to posts index

Jason Watson
Re: Anybody here selling stock footage? Either as a sideline or a main business....
on Sep 7, 2017 at 2:35:58 pm

In my experience with friends and colleagues who have tried their hand at stock footage, it's not been a very pleasant nor profitable experience, both in terms of jumping through the hoops of any particular site's guidelines and then the rather paltry returns on their time.

My thought is that stock video is probably getting ready to (or desperately needs to) have some sort of model turnover that's going to more heavily favor a curated subscription based model. It just seems that there's a huge middle market who could use lots of great stock footage, but are unwilling to drop $75-$200+ a piece for a 15 sec. clip. Notwithstanding the amount of work, expertise and such that goes into great stock footage, I think the reality is that it's largely overpriced for what a significant portion of the market is willing to pay right now (and that's not likely to change in the future), and will probably have to adjust.

I see entities like Soundstripe and Artlist providing a potential model for this, in which they have a more limited, well curated and high quality selection but are able to bundle it into one price and really flexible licensing. Most of the clients I work with who were using places like Firstcom or even MusicBed have pretty much all switched over to places like these.

I know some people who are embarking on something like this for stock footage, in which it's heavily curated (I think there's about 5-6 people involved). Not sure if it will be successful or sustainable (nor yet what the licensing will be, which for me would be make or break), but I think it's an interesting (and probably inevitable) approach. Like most of these types of things, it definitely tends toward certain moods and looks. Check it out if you want: https://www.storytape.com/


Return to posts index


Bob Mark
Re: Anybody here selling stock footage? Either as a sideline or a main business....
on Sep 9, 2017 at 12:49:42 am

Can you say what types of clips sell the most? I have heard that "lifestyle" and "business" clips with people are the most sought after.

Thanks.

Bob


Return to posts index

Stephen Smith
Re: Anybody here selling stock footage? Either as a sideline or a main business....
on Sep 12, 2017 at 3:02:26 pm

Occasionally sites like Pond5 and iStock photo e-mail out lists to contributors the terms that are the most searched. At the bottom of https://www.pond5.com/ they have a list of some of their most searched keywords.

As for me, I purchase a fair amount of stock footage and the footage I purchase the most is business footage with actors and lifestyle footage with actors. Great business footage is hard to come by since I'm looking for actors to be dressed a certain way.

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]