On June 19th this year, Pond5 will be celebrating our third-annual Juneteenth fundraiser. To honor the anniversary of the final announcement of the end of slavery, each year we raise funds for two organizations whose mission matches our own; to support the marginalized and empower the underrepresented through creative expression. Over the past few years we’ve supported organizations like National Black Arts Festival, Second Chance Studios, and Queer|Art. We’re excited to announce our partner organizations in June.
In addition to cultivating relationships outside of Pond5, support of our own creative community is paramount to our mission. We partner with a diverse range of artists to give opportunities for exposure within the marketplace, and surface inclusive content that creators need to tell their stories.
As we celebrate Juneteenth, we’re excited to put together a collection of clips and tracks by diverse artists in our community. We’d love to hear from you if you’d like to be featured in this collection! Please share your storefront with us and a collection of content that is most representative of your background and culture, and we’ll do our best to include them in this celebratory collection.
Pond5 has teamed up with filmmaker, educator and Pond5 artist Vinnie Van Wyk to offer a signup discount for his new online stock footage course. Whether you’re just starting out and looking to make some passive revenue with your camera, or you’re a seasoned veteran of the stock footage scene, Vinnie’s course delivers tips and strategies that are sure to take you to the next level!
Watch our interview with Vinnie below:
Born and raised in rural Washington State, Vinnie was intensely interested in entrepreneurship from an early age. When getting his first camera at the late age 24, he finally found what he was looking for. Shortly after, he found himself in New York where his love for creating stock footage grew to another level.
Fun fact: his first upload and first sale were with Pond5. Now his work has been in some of the commercials of the biggest companies in the world and his passion to share what he has learned has created the course above.
A few days ago, I captured the photo below, showing New Yorkers waiting in line for coffee while respecting 6 feet of interpersonal distance. These are scary and unprecedented moments we are all currently living through. Pond5 has instituted a work-from-home policy across all three of our global offices, and we hope and encourage all of you to be safe and to respect your local directives on social distancing.
This will mean disruption for us all. I live in a small New York apartment with my wife, who also works full time and our two-and-a-half year old daughter whose daycare is closed. We’ve been sharing parenting duties while still trying to get all our work done in very tight quarters. I’ve been forced to take many work calls in the bathroom! Thankfully, we still have our health, which is the most important thing. Many others around us are not so lucky.
So while these are turbulent times, and everyone will see fluctuations in their business due to the halted global economy, I thought I’d reach out directly to share with you some of the things we’re hearing from within the industry and pass along some info from the buy-side of the market that can help focus your efforts and keep you creating and earning.
Air travel restrictions and limits on the size of gatherings have put a halt to location-based shooting. However, content will still need to be produced to feed the record levels of media consumption on television, streaming and social media that we’re seeing as a result of stay-at-home orders. As a result, TV production is being forced to shift quickly from scripted content to factual programs.
This increase in news, archival and documentary programming will mean a subsequent rise in interest for stock media relevant to those categories. Additionally, networks may lean into programming that relies heavily on CGI. So think about what you can (safely) shoot, render, or might have already sitting on hard drives that fits these criteria.
Also, be sure to include shoot location info in your metadata. Historically, many buyers look for this data when deciding what to license for different reasons like complying with SAG obligations or funding a show by ensuring that content was shot locally. Because we expect to see a significant pivot from the TV production community away from location shooting, providing location data on your media is going to become even more important as buyers want to ensure that they are using content that is factually relevant and geographically specific.
Finally, if you capture media that reflects the current pandemic, or tangential issues like economic hardship, scarcity or social distancing, let us know when you upload by shooting an email to Support@pond5.com – we’ll consider your work for one of our Coronavirus homepage collections.
We’ll do our part, too. Rest assured that in spite of global conditions, you can continue to count on the following things from Pond5:
Our work-from-home curatorial team will ingest and review your content at the same, industry-leading rate
We will continue to be available, as before, through our world-class Support Team
Our Creative Partner Team is remote and firing on all cylinders – pushing and upselling your content to our Enterprise clients
Product and Engineering teams are still hard at work speeding up the site, making U/X enhancements and improving the ease with which e-commerce buyers can purchase your content
Thanks for being a part of our community. Now, stay safe and stay creative!
Greg Andreacchi Director, Head of Artists & Content
Join Pond5’s Ryan McAfee as he explores several commonly held myths in the contributor community to find out what’s fact or fiction. You may learn a thing or two that will help you get ahead of the game.
Thank you to everyone who was able to attend our YouTube Live Artist Town Hall. For those of you who could not attend, we hope you’ll take the time to watch the recording:
Today, I am announcing an important change that will strengthen the Pond5 marketplace and benefit the many contributors who have made us the most artist-friendly stock-media marketplace in the world. Pond5 was founded on the principle of providing artists with control over the pricing of their content and equitably sharing royalties earned from licensing that content. We are proud to say that we will never waver from these founding principles, even as we adapt to evolving market conditions.
Introducing The Pond5 Exclusivity Program
Our buyers consistently tell us they are looking for unique footage that can’t be found anywhere else. Pond5 is already the preferred destination for video content because of our industry-leading collection size; the breadth and depth of our video content; the significant investments we’ve made in helping users find video content and integrate it into their workflow; and the global sales force we have built to serve creative enterprises around the world. Yet, many of these customers also tell us that a lot of the footage on Pond5 can also be found on other stock-media websites at prices lower than what our artists list it for on Pond5.
Our biggest customers tell us they are willing to pay a premium for the best content and will skip “shopping around for lower prices” if they know the content cannot be found anywhere else. We’ve also seen this in our data where, last year, video content exclusive to Pond5 generated, on average, greater than two times more gross revenue per clip than content that is not exclusive.
Similarly, many of our artists tell us they are concerned with ensuring their footage is sold at an appropriate price. That’s why we give all our artists pricing control, the ability to determine which distribution programs to participate in, and access to a team dedicated to their success. These controls are fundamental to how we operate and core to our artist-first ethos. Some other marketplaces will sell your clips at any price — potentially far below what they’re worth — and ultimately devalue your work. Because buyers shop around, other marketplaces, including Pond5, will be expected to honor or beat these reduced prices, creating a “race to the bottom.” Our goal is to maximize the value of your work, not reduce it.
To incentivize filmmakers to work with Pond5 exclusively and preserve the value of their work, we are increasing our royalty for exclusive artists from an already industry high of 50% to 60%. We hope these higher royalties, plus access to exclusive-artist dedicated sales and marketing programs, as well as branded exposure on search results, will provide you with additional incentive to go exclusive with us.
What if I choose to be non-exclusive?
While we hope to incentivize our artists to contribute exclusively, we understand that many artists have built businesses that require them to distribute their work on other stock-media sites — at potentially lower prices and royalty shares. We understand that, for these artists, enrolling in the Exclusivity Program may not work for their financial situation. Non-exclusive video artists can expect to receive the same level of support they receive on Pond5 today. Additionally, choosing not to participate in the Exclusivity Program will have no impact on any artist’s rank in the search results.
What will change are the royalties paid to non-exclusive video artists, which will move from 50% to a still industry high of 40%. While we would prefer to keep the royalty unchanged for non-exclusive video artists, like any business, our resources are limited, and we cannot continue to pay a materially higher royalty share for the same content listed elsewhere. Ultimately, we believe this new structure appropriately balances higher royalties along with additional benefits for exclusive content with a lower revenue share for artists who prefer to sell their content across a number of outlets.
Can I continue to set my own prices?
This remains a fundamental aspect of our artist-friendly value proposition and will not change. Exclusive and non-exclusive artists will continue to set the prices of their work. Importantly, Pond5 will also continue to allow both exclusive and non-exclusive artists the freedom to choose which distribution programs to participate in, such as our Global Partnership Program (GPP), which distributes your content to select premium-priced markets around the world, and our Limited License Program, which places your work in the fastest-growing social-media tools, at lower prices, but with highly restrictive usage rights. Each of these programs grew by greater than 100% in 2018, and we expect growth rates to continue to accelerate in 2019. The freedom to choose is fundamental to the Pond5 artist-centered ethos. Only Pond5 provides artists with the right to price their own work; only Pond5 allows you to choose which distribution channels to sell your work in; and only Pond5 protects content licensed to social-media markets with a “limited use” license agreement.
The freedom to choose how your work is sold and the ability to preserve the value of your work in the world’s largest video marketplace are critical differentiators. We believe providing artists with the opportunity to go exclusive with Pond5 further solidifies our strategic positioning and heads off the “race to the bottom” we have seen many of our competitors pursue.
When does it go into effect and how do I learn more?
The above changes, including the new royalty structure, will go into effect on April 8, 2019. To learn more about the benefits of the Video Exclusivity Program or to enroll, please visit the Exclusivity Program page. We also want to continue the conversation, hear your feedback, and answer all your questions, so just reach out to us at email@example.com for a personal response.
A significant portion of our artists are already contributing to Pond5 exclusively. We hope that you will join them and other industry leaders, such as Hotelfoxtrot, VIA Films, and ExtremeStorms, who will be part of the Pond5 Exclusivity Program and preserve the value of their work.