Creative Brief: Commercial vs. Editorial Sports

Creative Brief: Winter Sports - Snowboarder

Creative Brief – Special Keyword Code: WINSPORP5BRIEF

Did you know that Beijing is the world’s first city to host both the summer and winter Olympic Games? As the 2022 Winter Olympics draws closer, we’re looking for commercial and editorial footage of all winter sports at amateur and professional levels. Read on for some epic thought starters and key licensing info.


What’s the difference between commercial and editorial licenses?

When our curators review your footage, they’ll decide if the video can be distributed with a commercial license or an editorial license.

  • Commercial licenses allow companies, like advertising agencies, to use footage (or other media) for selling a product or service.
  • Editorial licenses can be used only for communications that do not sell for profit. These are typically news agencies, documentaries, etc.


When is footage marked commercial?

Footage is marked for commercial use when:

Without these forms, the following is acceptable for commercial use:

  • Local and school games
  • Jerseys and other equipment without names
  • Animated clips and illustrations


Face-Off In Ice Hockey Game by MayStudio.

There is no visible team name, therefore a property release for logos is not required. The artist has provided a completed model release on behalf of the recognizable player.


When is footage marked editorial?

Footage that is marked for editorial use features:

  • Recognizable sports jerseys with visible team names, player names, etc.
  • Identifiable buildings, such as a stadium, without a signed property release.
  • Recognizable faces of people without signed model releases.
  • 3rd party intellectual property such as sponsor logos in the stadium, on shoes, shirts, etc.


Scoring A Goal In An Ice Hockey Game by eurospiders.

Here you can see the numbers and names on jerseys, as well as recognizable faces.


When is footage not suitable for licensing at all?

Clips that violate copyright laws or other rights are not suitable for licensing and will be rejected by our curation team.

Examples not suitable for licensing:

  • Live shots from ticketed events of large games like the NHL and Olympic Games.
  • Footage of television sets broadcasting the above games


Creative Brief – Thought Starters:


  • Fan Culture — Think national flags painted on cheeks, crazy costumes and wigs, sunglasses, watching TV games, fan zones at stadiums or indoors, spectators doing the wave, wearing sports jerseys (editorial), culturally diverse fans across the globe, etc.
  • Equipment shots — Hockey sticks, skis, ice skates, goals, pucks, etc.
  • Outside sports — Ice hockey on frozen ponds, skating on outdoor rinks, mountain sports.
  • Parents teaching their kids — How to ski, sled, skate, etc.
  • Training schedule — Parents waking their kids up in the early morning hours to get to practice.
  • Traveling to stadiums — Public transport overcrowded with fans in masks and jerseys, etc.
  • COVID-19 measures at sporting events — Fans having their temperature taken, wearing masks, etc.



  • Stay safe, warm, and healthy, especially when shooting outdoors—keeping up to date with government or public health agency recommendations.
  • Cast talent with real sport skills for believable content.
  • Plan your shoot with licensing in mind, as this will affect your choice of wardrobe, location, and shot list. Check out the guide below for more.

Suggested Keywords: winter sports, winter olympics 2022, skiing, figure skating, ice hockey, snowboarding, extreme sports, adrenaline sports, other sports names if applicable, etc.

Typical Users: News & Media Organizations, Ad Agencies, Lifestyle Brands, Television Studios

Casting Considerations: Race, age, and gender diversity, authenticity with talent and imagery. Accept the challenge to remove artificiality from your setup. In other words, keep it REAL. These considerations will play an important role in the success of your shoot.

Location Diversity: Snowparks, hills, stadium and arenas, frozen ponds, etc.


Before You Shoot:


  • Firstly, please check existing content in the Pond5 marketplace
  • Secondly, think about a visual approach that will result in new and fresh footage
  • Lastly, remember that each shot must communicate a clear message


Submission Checklist:


  • Remember to tag your clips with the keyword code: WINSPORP5BRIEF
  • Also, don‘t forget to submit all completed property and model releases
  • No logos or brands may be visible in any of the clips
  • Don’t forget to add any applicable conceptual keywords to the clips

Top image: A Snowboarder In A Ski Mask And A Backpack Is Riding On A Snow-Covered Slope by yanik88.

Music Briefs: Cloud Rap, New Jack Swing and Paisley Underground

Music Briefs - Trendy Black Guitarist Playing

New month, new music briefs. This month we’re looking for Cloud Rap, New Jack Swing, and Paisley Underground.

Find the unique code provided in each genre brief, and simply add it to keyword tags when uploading your new project. That way, we’ll know which genre you’ve been focusing on.

Moreover, you have any questions or comments about any of these music briefs, please email Pond5’s Director of Audio Collections, Mike Pace, at


Cloud Rap

Originating from southern hip-hop and trap and composed of chill, hazy, and relaxed beats, Cloud Rap is typically lo-fi and ethereal sounding. Bonus points for including vocal versions!


  • SUGGESTED KEYWORDS: Cloud rap, lo-fi, hip-hop, rap, hazy, ethereal


New Jack Swing

Popular in the mid ‘80s through the early ‘90s, New Jack Swing incorporated elements of hip-hop and R&B to create a fresh, funky and sexy urban sound.


  • SUGGESTED KEYWORDS: New Jack Swing, R&B, hip-hop, 1980s, 1990s, funky, sexy, urban


Paisley Underground

The Paisley Underground was the name of an alternative rock scene happening in Los Angeles in the mid 1980s. It centered on a love of upbeat, jangly, catchy 12-string guitar pop and emulated many of the folk-rock bands of the 1960s.


  • SUGGESTED KEYWORDS: Paisley Underground, jangle pop, 12-string guitar, folk rock, 1980s, 1960s


Don’t Forget:

  • Take advantage of the 50-keyword limit and add both broad and specific keywords. On the other hand, do not use recognizable band or artist names, please!
  • We also encourage you to submit separate :15 and :30 versions of these tracks for social-media use.
  • Moreover, please note you can apply tags to existing tracks in your portfolio.

Top image: Trendy Black Guitarist Playing Classic Guitar In Building by AddictiveStock.

Check out more Music Briefs here.

Storefront Walkthrough with FiveElement

We’ve partnered with RedShark editor Simon Wyndham (also known as FiveElement on Pond5) to walk you through customizing and optimizing your artist Storefront!
In the video above, join Simon as he takes us from shoot to upload. See for yourself how easy it is to use these features, then read on for some key takeaways.


Production Planning

Even before you shoot, start thinking about potential customers. In the video, Simon explains how he leveraged his surfing lifestyle shoot to include landscape scenes, expanding his audience. Like him, you’ll want to consider the following aspects before your shoot:

  • Location
  • Models
  • Props
  • Weather

Remember, the weather can be unpredictable. If you’re shooting outside, it’s a great idea to plan your contingency shots!


Customize Your Storefront

Use your Pond5 Storefront to showcase your brand identity and work. See how Simon:


Let’s Get Exclusive

It pays to be exclusive. Simon decided to become a Pond5 Exclusive Video Artist to take advantage of Pond5’s industry-leading 60% royalty share. You can sign up anytime too!


Refer and Earn

Simon says…take home 90% of your sales. He’s referring to the Pond5 Referral Program—giving you commission for every new buyer you bring to Pond5!
Here’s how:
Click ‘Refer and Earn’ on your Storefront or visit your My Referrals page.
Share your unique link with friends or on social media. Your referrals get 20% off their purchase, and you get 20% too!
When your referrals purchase your work, you get an additional 10% on each referred purchase.
For more info, check out our Referral Best Practices guide.

If you liked this video and article, check out more business-boosting tips, Buyer Requests, and data-driven insights to get the most out of your Pond5 Storefront. We’re looking forward to seeing what you do next!

Upload Status: Needs Edits or Returned

Do your uploads need edits or have they been returned?

If you previously uploaded files to your Pond5 account that are not showing up online, there’s a good chance they need edits.

When an item is in Needs Edits or Returned status, it means one of three things:

  1. Your files are already uploaded and processed by our system, but you still need to add metadata to each item (title, description, and keywords) and submit your work to our curation team.
  2. You’ve already added metadata to your items in the past, but you haven’t yet sent them to our team of curators.
  3. You’ve sent it to curation but it was returned to you for further edits.

If your files are Returned by our curators, that means that we’re almost ready to approve your files but there is something missing. Common reasons items are returned:

      • Missing a title, keywords, or description
      • Have a title or keywords in a language other than English
      • Missing a necessary attachment, like signed model or property releases (Make sure to check out our requirements for Model and Property Releases here.)
      • You can find the specific reason in your return note from the curator.

Below you’ll find step-by-step instructions on how to edit your metadata, send your media to our team of curators, and start earning on Pond5.


How do I know which items need edits?


    1. Navigate to your My Uploads section by clicking on your avatar and selecting Uploads from the dropdown menu.
    2. In the Status dropdown menu, select Needs Edits or Returned.
    3. In the Type dropdown menu, change the media type to All.
    4. Voilà—Here’s the list of your items that need edits!
    5. PRO TIP: Navigate to your Tech Data tab and click Date Uploaded to filter your results from oldest to newest.


Let’s add metadata to your items!

The more thorough your description, the better your chances of appearing on customers’ screens! All metadata should be in English. Avoid keyword stuffing (adding irrelevant keywords or an excess of keywords), and remember not to add any special characters or symbols.


      • Title – Nothing fancy. Should convey exactly what is depicted in your work. Character limit: 80.
      • Description – Be as informative as possible. Wherever you can, include the date, time, and location, event name, and overview of the scene. Character limit: 2000.
        • Suggested format: PLACE, CITY, COUNTRY, (MONTH, DAY, YEAR)
        • Use English names for months, use words in place of numbers
        • Example: Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England‎, United Kingdom (August 15, 1985)
      • Keywords – These are words that are used as identifiers or labels for your media files.
        • Please note that you should always include 40-50 keywords for each item. Ask yourself, “What will a buyer have to search to find my clip?” Relevant keywords play the most important role in our search algorithm.

You can add all of this information on the Item Detail Page for each of your items.
Shortcut: You can click Save and Submit for Review at the bottom of each Edit Item page and skip the steps below.



PRO TIP: Do you have a lot of items in Needs Edits or Returned status?

If you have a lot of items in Needs Edits or Returned status, it may be easier for you to bulk add metadata using a CSV file with multiple items rather than adding the information for one item at a time. To do this:

      • Navigate to Uploads>Apply CSV>Video (or other media type)
      • Click Download CSV. This will download a CSV file with your entire portfolio. It will contain columns for both mandatory and optional information. Mandatory fields are Originalfilename, Title, and Keywords. All other fields are optional. Any information you previously added will be displayed.
      • Add or modify metadata for the items in the CSV that you want to change.
      • Once your metadata CSV is ready, you can re-upload it via the APPLY CSV page. (See step by step instructions for bulk applying here)


Last step: Submit your work to our curators!

You’re in the home stretch! Once you’ve added metadata to your file, you can send it to our curators to review.

    1. Start by selecting the files you want to submit for review.
    2. Then, scroll to the bottom of the page. In the Actions dropdown menu, select Submit and click Execute.
      • Note: If you do not see the Submit option in the Actions, it means you have not yet verified your account. To learn more about our ID requirements, please, click here.

    3. The status of your selected uploads will change to Pending for Review.


When will my work be online?

Our curation team is one of the fastest in the industry. Your items will generally be reviewed within 1 to 10 days depending on volume.

When our curators review your items, they will be marked (1) Online, (2) Rejected, or (3) Returned.

If you’ve opted into email notifications, you’ll receive an email letting you know when your item changes status.

    • Online: This status indicates that your files have already been reviewed and approved by a curator. Congratulations! It may take up to a few hours, and in some cases up to a week, for them to appear online while the site indexes.
    • Rejected: If your files are rejected by our curation team for any reason, they’ll include a note in their email to you explaining why. They’ll often ask you to re-upload the file due to glitches, unsupported formats or codecs, etc. (See our spec requirements here).
    • Returned: Your files may be returned by the curation team again if there is something missing.