Action Required for US-based Artists

Dear Artists,

If you are an artist based in the United States and have not submitted a copy of your 2023 W-9 tax form, please navigate to the Tax Page of your account and submit the form by December 15, 2023.

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service requires Pond5 to maintain up-to-date tax information about contributors who have received $10 or more in cash payments in any given year. We are unable to continue sending payments on accrued earnings from Pond5 if the required tax form is not provided.

Again, this ONLY APPLIES TO ARTISTS BASED IN THE UNITED STATES. If you are not based in the United States, please disregard this message. Please don’t hesitate to contact us anytime at support@pond5.com for any questions or support-related needs. Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.

Best,

Your friends at Pond5

Content Review Guidelines Updates

We want to inform you of several changes to our content review guidelines, effective the week of December 4, 2023.

 

‘Editorial Use’ Updates

To align with the broader stock content industry, we’ve made a few changes to our editorial use acceptance criteria. Starting next week, you will see a new Editorial Use checkbox in the content upload experience that will allow you to designate content specifically for “editorial use.” Additionally, the following changes will take place:

  • Editorial Caption: We ask that you include an editorial caption if your editorial content is newsworthy or of public interest.
  • Releases: Editorial use content will no longer be accepted when provided with model or property releases.

Learn more about writing editorial captions and find instructions and guidance on these changes here.

 

‘Metadata’ Updates

To improve metadata quality so that we can better surface your content in our search and discovery experiences, we are also making some changes to our metadata guidelines. Please take note of the key change below:

  • Trademarked Terms: Specifically for Commercial Use content, please refrain from including metadata with trademarked terms.

As always, our team is here to assist and we will make every effort to guide you through these changes. If your content does not meet the new guidelines, we will return the content to you for revision and resubmission where applicable.

Please feel free to contact us at support@pond5.com with any questions.

Exclusive Program Expansion!

We are thrilled to announce that we are expanding our Exclusive Program! Beginning August 31, 2023, all Exclusive artists can also sell their Pond5 content on the Shutterstock marketplace, allowing our artist community to expand their reach while taking advantage of industry-leading royalty rates on all Pond5 sales!

 

What does this mean for a Pond5 Artist

  • Selling your work on Shutterstock is optional. To take advantage of the new extended reach:
    • Existing Pond5 Exclusive Artists can register as Shutterstock contributors and upload their exclusive content directly to Shutterstock, independently of Pond5.
    • Non-exclusive Artists with content only on Pond5 and Shutterstock can now upgrade their Pond5 accounts to Exclusive using this sign-up link.
    • Non-exclusive Artists can join the program by signing up to become Exclusive and removing their content from all other marketplaces (except Pond5 and Shutterstock) during the two-week buffer period.
  • All Exclusive artists earn an industry-leading 60% royalty rate on Pond5 sales with up to 90% on new customer referrals through our Pond5 Refer & Earn program.
  • Pond5 Exclusive artists still have complete control over their pricing on Pond5.
  • Shutterstock does not have an Exclusive program. Shutterstock contributors will earn royalties for Shutterstock sales according to their regular terms and payout schedules.

For more information contact us at support@pond5.com.

The Future of AI for Shutterstock and Pond5

The landscape of creative opportunity is continuing to evolve, and technology is playing an even more instrumental role. AI is an exciting tool that has quickly become a big part of the discourse on creative production. Our parent company Shutterstock is leading the way by offering tools and experiences that will enable customers to instantly generate and download images based on the keywords they enter. Shutterstock is partnering with the premier AI companies in the world that are building responsibly sourced AI generative content models.

Shutterstock’s Datasets and AI-generated Content: Contributor FAQ provides context about these deals–which range from AI partnerships to other emerging technologies and platforms. Note that Pond5 content is not involved in all of the deals mentioned in the Shutterstock materials, nor is Pond5 content part of the new Shutterstock AI Image Generator. However, as innovation of this ground-breaking technology continues, we’re excited to see Pond5 play an even larger role. Please familiarize yourself with the materials so that you’re aware of the roles that Shutterstock and Pond5 anticipate playing in this space and understand the philosophy on compensation.

Thank you as always for being a valued part of our contributor community. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our team at support@pond5.com.

Contributor Agreement Update

We are updating our Contributor Agreement effective February 22, 2023. We encourage you to review the new Pond5 Contributor Agreement carefully.

The changes include introducing Shutterstock, Inc. as a party to our agreement, reflective of the acquisition of Pond5 completed in May 2022 (Section 13.a.xi), as well as a revised process for communicating your permanent resident address for tax purposes (Section 7.a.xi). Please review the revised process and contact our Support team at support@pond5.com with any questions.

Thank you, as always, for being a valued part of our community.

The “Driving Plate”: Stumbling Upon a Niche Genre

Have you heard of driving plate footage? It’s a type of video taken from the perspective of a person sitting in a moving vehicle. Moreover, it’s a niche genre that might inspire you to freshen up your collection with a new perspective! Check out the host blog post from our Pond5 Artist Andrew Dutton of hh65flier and read on for tips and tricks to capture the best driving plate footage.

 

Want to be the next one?

We are still looking for industry experts to feature as guests on the Pond5 blog and YouTube channel. All topics relating to film production, stock media, video editing, production techniques, visual trends, and content creation are needed.

Send us your article between 1000 – 1500 words, and if you choose to accompany your article with a video, vlogs should be between 1-3 minutes. All content should focus on your area of expertise, be user-centred and benefit the audience by teaching them something, providing entertainment, or informing them about industry trends or topics. Link back to your Pond5 content as examples using your unique referral links to increase the exposure of your content.

Send your article to marketing@pond5.com, and if we use your submission on one of our channels, we’ll add $200 to your next payout! If you have any questions or want to run a topic idea by us before you begin creating, reach out! We’re happy to help you get started.

Calling All Writers! Get Paid For Your Prowess

Are you an ace at using Green Screens? Can you offer time-saving tips on editing techniques? Have you mastered the use of After Effects or cracked the code for social media marketing? 
 
We’re looking for industry experts to feature as guests on the Pond5 blog and YouTube channel. All topics relating to film production, stock media, video editing, production techniques, visual trends, and content creation are needed.
 
Articles should be about 1,000-1,500 words, and if you choose to accompany your article with a video, vlogs should be between 1-3 minutes. All content should focus on your area of expertise, be user-centered and benefit the audience by teaching them something, providing entertainment, or informing them about industry trends or topics. Link back to your Pond5 content as examples using your unique referral links to increase the exposure of your content.
 
Send your article to marketing@pond5.com, and if we use your submission on one of our channels, we’ll add $200 to your next payout! If you have any questions or want to run a topic idea by us before you begin creating, reach out! We’re happy to help you get started. 

Adobe Partnership Termination

On July 29, 2022, our distribution relationship with Adobe Stock will end. The Adobe Stock partnership was part of our GPP program aimed to expand the reach of your sales potential to global partners, Enterprise clients, and creators worldwide. Although our relationship with Adobe Stock has ended, our GPP Program remains strong, offering prospective sales from partners across the globe.

New Music and SFX Subscriptions—Launching June 7, 2022

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our new subscriptions! Beginning June 7th, customers will be able to choose from the following Subscription packages:

Music Subscription – this subscription plan includes all music tracks.
Music & Sound Effects Subscription – this plan includes all music tracks and sound effects.
Footage Plus Subscription – this is the new name for our Membership collection and includes all video, photos, after effects etc. that were previously included in our Membership in addition to the full music and sound effects library.
Custom subscription – This established solution is not self-serve and will continue to be handled by our Sales organization. It is targeted toward high intent buyers with specific needs, and all media types in the Pond5 Marketplace are eligible through this plan.

All subscriptions will offer ten downloads per month with monthly or annual commitments. We will automatically include all music tracks and sound effects in the marketplace—both preexisting and new uploads—in our subscriptions.

Customers will continue to have the option of licensing tracks a la carte, which we expect most to do, but subscriptions allow us to compete for those customers with frequent licensing needs (such as YouTube creators, social media marketers, and advertising agencies). Pond5 Artists can now earn through traditional marketplace sales, our Refer & Earn program, and Pond5 subscriptions. We are very confident that subscriptions will significantly increase licensing activity in our marketplace and increase artist earnings.

Additionally, Artists can earn referral bonuses on Subscriptions. By referring a new buyer to Pond5 an artist can earn a 20% commission on any Subscription plan they purchase while also giving the buyer a 20% discount. See our Refer & Earn program for more details.

All Artist royalty rates and the Contributor Agreement will remain unchanged. A new section, Subscription Downloads, has been added to the Dashboard where Artists can see which items have been downloaded through Subscriptions. Additionally, monthly Subscription commissions will now appear in the My Financials section of the Dashboard together with a la carte Marketplace earnings and Referral Earnings, which will all be paid out on the 15th of each month.

Subscription payouts are based on the price paid for each item downloaded through a subscription. A commission rate is then applied depending on the media type to calculate the artist’s final payout for the item.

These new subscriptions are essential to Pond5’s future – we can now compete far more effectively for customers with recurring licensing needs. By acquiring these customers and consolidating their licensing activity within our marketplace, we can increase earnings for our artist community.

Everything You Need To Know About Pond5 + Shutterstock

Pond5 is now a Shutterstock company! We’re thrilled to become part of the Shutterstock family. Along with previous Shutterstock acquisitions – such as PremiumBeat, Turbosquid, and PicMonkey – we form an unrivaled creative platform with unprecedented reach.

 

Why is Pond5 being acquired by Shutterstock?

With more than 31 million licensable video clips – and 15,000 new videos uploaded every day – and a best-in-class search experience, Pond5 is uniquely positioned to meet the content needs of multimedia creators. Additionally, Shutterstock recognizes what an amazing community and brand we have built – thanks to our remarkable artists – and they want to support us in the next phase of our journey.

 

Is Pond5 being rebranded as Shutterstock or some other name?

The Pond5 brand stands for something special – a one-of-a-kind community of millions of buyers and sellers interacting, transacting, and creating together. There are no plans to change that – Pond5 will continue to operate as a standalone marketplace for the foreseeable future, under the same brand and team.

 

What if I’m already licensing my content through both sites? Will my accounts be merged?

Nope, your accounts will not be connected – your content will exist on both Pond5 and Shutterstock and you will continue to receive payouts from both companies as you currently do. In time, we’ll find ways to simplify the experience for you but nothing is imminent.

 

Should I continue uploading new content to Pond5?

Yes! Pond5 isn’t going anywhere – keep uploading content and referring traffic as you normally would! If you also contribute to Shutterstock, continue to upload new content to that marketplace as you would normally.

 

Has the Pond5 Contributor Agreement changed?

Nope.

 

Has my Pond5 royalty rate changed?

Your Pond5 royalty rate remains unchanged. If you happen to license on Shutterstock as well, your royalty rate there also remains unchanged.

 

Will my content now appear on Shutterstock?

We expect to distribute some content through Shutterstock’s marketplace. If your Pond5 content is distributed through Shutterstock, you will still receive payment through Pond5 (the same way our other reseller partnerships function).

 

Do I need to take any action?

You don’t need to take any action whatsoever. Your experience on Pond5 remains the same, and we will continue to operate in the same way that we do now.

 

Do I now contact Shutterstock instead of Pond5 when I have questions or issues?

Nope, you should continue to contact Pond5. If you have any further questions, please reach out to Customer Support at support@pond5.com .