Find out everything you need to know about becoming a Pond5 Artist, formatting and submitting your work, and succeeding in the Pond5 marketplace.
GETTING STARTED
How do I sign up?

If you do not already have a free Pond5 account, you can sign up in a few steps:

    1. Go to the Pond5 website
    2. On the top right of the page, click Join Now
    3. You can then fill out your email address, choose a new username, password, and confirm password.

Once you sign up, you will automatically be signed in, and we will send you a welcome email.

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How do I become a seller on Pond5?

To become a seller on Pond5, you will first need to create a free Pond5 account.

To Start Selling:

  1. Log into your Pond5 account
  2. Hover your cursor over your account avatar, prompting the drop-down menu.
  3. Click on Sell Your Media
  4. Click Sign Up Now
  5. Click Get Started
  6. Enter required basic information
  7. Click Next when highlighted
  8. Select the options that apply to you
  9. Upload a copy of your ID for verification
  10. Read through and agree to the  Pond5 Contributor Agreement
  11. If your ID upload is successful, a green check will appear and you will be able to click Submit.
  12. Check your email to confirm your email address
  13. Open your verification email and click Verify Email
  14. When the email is confirmed successfully, click Get Started to open your Uploads page
  15. Once your ID is verified, you will have access to submit your uploads for curator review
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What is the ID verification process?

Prior to uploading and submitting your content, you will first need to provide a valid ID, such as a driver’s license or passport. Currently, the wait time for ID reviews is 24-48 hours. After that time, your Uploads page will be active and you may submit your files to us.

You can find more information here.

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Why can’t I log in to my account?

If you have forgotten your login details, you can simply reset your password.

  1. Please click on Sign In > Forgot Your Password > Send Reset Link.​
  2. From there, check your email inbox for the reset token.

Please note that there is an 8-character minimum required for passwords.

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How do I update my account information?

You can edit and update your account details at any time from your Dashboard page.

  1. Sign into your account.
  2. Hover your cursor over the account avatar > click on Dashboard  > Contact Info & Payout Preferences
  3. After entering your information, click Confirm.
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PREPARING YOUR FILES
How do I mark my clips as editorial?

If your clips contain elements which would classify it as Editorial, the curators will mark them accordingly. There is no need to mark clips yourself. If there is some special reason you need to keep your clip limited to Editorial use, you can include a Curator Note. Keep in mind, marking your clips Editorial will affect the licenses and sales opportunities.


Editorial Use Only usually applies to clips which feature candid shots of people who have not signed a model release. They can also apply to clips which include logos or other copyrighted design or images. For example, the lighting display on the Eiffel Tower is a copyrighted artwork and cannot be used in commercial projects without a property release – so footage of the Eiffel Tower at night are always Editorial Use Only.

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How do I upload and attach a model or property release?

Model and property releases are not uploaded the same way as your clips for sale. They get uploaded under the Releases tab on our on-site uploader, or into the Release folder via FTP.

You can find in-depth instructions here.

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What are templates for metadata?

The template option is a good option for editing and submitting a batch of similar clips at once. For example, if you have many pictures from the same collection or photo/video shoot (which look similar), you can create then apply the template to those files.

  1. Add all the information you wish to apply to several clips: keywords, title, description.
  2. Then click Save. You should now be able to apply this template to multiple files.
  3. Checkmark the clips on Uploads page.
  4. Scroll down to Actions.
  5. From the Actions menu, select Apply Image Template.

The Actions menu also allows you to select a batch of clips and then select from Actions: Submit to Curator Review, Batch Edit, Apply Release, etc.

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How can I batch edit my media?

If you have a large number of clips, there are two different ways to batch edit metadata – Batch Edit and Applying CSV file.

BATCH EDIT

  1. On your My Uploads page, once your files are uploaded, checkmark all clips you wish to batch edit.
  2. Scroll down to the Actions Menu.  There, you will be able to Batch Edit.

CSV FILE

Applying CSV is a powerful option to insert metadata such as titles, keywords, and prices in bulk, to several hundreds or thousands of your uploads at once! For more info, please feel free to check out our article about applying CSV files.

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How do I submit my files to curators?

Once all of the information is added to your file, you can send it to our curators to review.

  1. On your My Uploads page, select the files you want to submit for review. At the bottom of the page, select Send to curator, then Execute. Your can also click Save And Submit For Review at the bottom of each Edit Item page. 
  2. The status of your upload will change to Pending for Review.

Please note that you need to have your ID verified before being able to Save And Submit For Review.

Your file is then added to our curator queue for review. Our review system sorts uploads by order of submission time and date. Please give our curators time to quickly and carefully review your uploads. Review times will vary depending on a type of file, and the amount of submissions.

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UPLOADING YOUR FILES
How do I upload content to your site?

We’d be happy to guide you through uploading if you have issues with the process.

  1. Upload files – make sure to check out our Upload Specifications.
  2. Tag, price, and title them.
  3. Submit to Curator. This is the screening process, where the curator will check your files for quality. If they are rejected for any reason, you will receive an email explaining why. Otherwise, you will receive an email explaining that they have been approved and will be online.

You can also upload your files through FTP.

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What is the “Needs Edits” status and how do I submit my work to the curators?

When your items are in Needs Edits status, it simply means you have not yet submitted them to a curator.

Once you’ve added the information to your file, you can send it to our curators to review.

  1. On your Uploads page, select the files you want to submit for review. At the bottom of the page, select Send to curator, then Execute. Your can also click Save and Submit For Review at the bottom of each Edit Item page. 
  2. The status of your upload will change to Pending for Review.

If you do not see the Send to curator option, it means you have not yet verified your account.

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How do I delete my files from Pond5?

You can remove files individually from your Uploads page by clicking on the trash can icon next to it.

If you need to batch remove files, please contact us with the list of ID numbers and we can remove them for you on our side. This is to ensure files are not accidentally removed.

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What are keywords and tagging?

Keywords are words that are used as an identifier or label for your media files. You can add up to 50 keywords to describe your uploaded file. These are extremely important, because they are the method by which buyers will find your content. So make sure they are as accurate and detailed as possible.

The better you tag your files with useful information, the easier it is for buyers to find and purchase them.

Tagging Your Files:

  1. Sign into your account.
  2. Hover cursor over account avatar and click on Uploads.
  3. Click Edit next to the file that needs keywords.
  4. Scroll down to Keywords.
  5. Type in a keyword.
  6. Click on the matching keyword in the list or hit Enter to add.
  7. After adding all information for file confirm and click Save and Submit for Review.
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CURATION AND REVIEW
Why are my approved files not visible online (indexing)?

Please keep in mind that once files are approved, they still need to be completely loaded in the database and indexed, which is a behind-the-scenes process. This may take a few hours to happen. Rest assured, this is just how the indexing/re-indexing works with multiple servers. Your files will appear in the search results once this process is complete.

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Why did my items get rejected by curators?

Pond5 adheres to a comprehensive set of guidelines established by our Legal and Compliance teams that govern what content can be accepted into our marketplace. If you have had items returned or rejected by our curators, then those items do not meet our criteria for acceptance.

Please review our Contributor Guidelines and ensure that all submitted media conforms to both quality and legal standards. You will have received a message from our curators specifying what the issue is. Once corrected, feel free to re-submit your content for review.

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What is the current wait time or Pending reviews?

Wait times for curator review really depend on how many submissions we get, and since each file type has its own curation team, it can vary depending on what type of media you have submitted. 

To keep this process as fair as possible, files are always reviewed in the order they were received. We try to keep wait times down to a few business days.

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Should I include audio with my video clips?

Most buyers prefer that video clips do not contain audio. This is for several reasons – most importantly, buyers will often want to use audio from their own production. Secondly, some audio will require additional releases (for instance, if footage of a concert crowd contains copyrighted music). Other times, audio just isn’t necessary to warrant licensing along with the video. Some exceptions are made in the case of very high quality audio which is essential for the context of the clip.

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PAYOUT
Why do I have low sales?

Sometimes sales can be slow to start. Our library is massive and if you have a small portfolio to start out with, you can sometimes get lost. This is why self-promotion and accurate tagging is very important to get more views on your content.

To help, we would like to provide you with some nuggets of knowledge to help raise your exposure and ultimately, your revenue:

  1. Buyers are always hungry for amazing content! If you have more high-quality content, absolutely continue uploading more of your files. Our customers seek high quality work, and the larger the collection, the more recognition you can have within our community.
  2. For your clips to be easily found, accurate rich info in titles, descriptions and keywords are essential. How you title and keyword your work is very important. If you spam your keywords or titles, it will only hurt your visibility. So doing this in more detail, but ACCURATELY has a significant 60% SEO weight on the search results.
  3. We always recommend that you promote your content, to up your exposure. You can create a Collection bin showcasing your work, and then simply copy the link, to add that to your website or social outlet. Here is a link to our Knowledge Base article explaining this: What are Collections?
  4. Another option is to perhaps post the links of your items and distribute all over the internet. You can even add some of your clips to our “Free clip promotion”, for this will also help get your name out there. You can do this on the Edit page by choosing Make this item available for free clip promotions.
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How do I request a payout?

Rather than being paid upon request, our system will automatically pay out your balance on the 15th of every month, as long as your account balance is over the minimum of $25. To be sure this goes smoothly, visit your Payout PreferencesMake sure you have Enabled Payouts and that you have chosen a Payout Method.

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Do I need to submit my tax information?

You do not need to submit any tax information unless you are a US resident who has made over $600USD in a year, in which case we will ask for a W9 and provide you with a 1099 form.

You can find more information here.

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Why did I receive less than 50% from a sale?

Pond5 may extend discounts on content in our marketplace as part of targeted promotional campaigns or as volume discounts to high value customers. The purpose of these discounts is to increase the total revenue opportunity with existing customers and to attract new customers to the Pond5 community.

In accordance with our mission to be the most artist friendly media-marketplace in the world, we pledge to be judicious in offering any such discounts and, as always, Pond5 will share 50/50 in the cost of offering any discounts that we may extend. Our interests and those of our Contributors must always be aligned, and we will never waver from our commitment to do right by our contributors first and always.

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LICENSING
What is my content being used for?

The licenses we offer your buyers is very broad when it comes to distribution, so please keep this in mind when pricing your items.

You can review the different licenses here and  the license in its entirety here.

When a customer upgrades a license, they receive extra indemnification from us. That extra fee we collect from the upgraded license gets shared with you, which is why you may occasionally see higher than usual payouts for certain sales.

Our creative partner team may also negotiate custom licenses for certain clients. When this happens, you will be contacted by them to agree to any terms outside of the license on our site.

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What is the Global Partner Program?

The Global Partner Program allows you to distribute your work to a group of hand-selected resellers and high-volume customers who have not previously used our marketplace. Pond5 has officially signed eight hand-selected distribution partners, including a new partnership with Adobe, the industry-leader in creative desktop and mobile apps.

By participating in the Global Partner Program, Pond5 Artists will receive royalties comparable to selling directly through our partners, while also benefiting from unique sales and marketing opportunities, premium pricing, and the ability to earn additional royalties from enhanced license sales — all through one upload to Pond5. As always, Pond5 artists will receive 50 percent of all revenue Pond5 generates from these collaborations.

If you are opted-in to our Global Partner Program, there is nothing additional you need to do to take advantage of this partnership. If you already contribute content to Adobe Stock or one of our other resellers, no action is needed, as they will be working to prevent duplication on their sites.

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ARTIST PARTNERSHIPS AND PROGRAMS
What is the DJI collection?

Pond5 and DJI have announced a collaborative effort through which drone operators who hold FAA Part 107 Certificates (in USA) and other licenses internationally will have footage they’ve captured on DJI drones curated and promoted in featured collections on the Pond5 website. In order to be eligible to apply for the program, drone operators must have and provide proof of their certification as well as a reel of their aerial content and a list of the DJI drones they own & use. If selected, Pond5 will work with aerial content providers to identify and prepare their most marketable content for inclusion in these new aerial footage collections, offering free clipping and tagging services.

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What is the RED collection?

Filmmakers currently working with RED cameras or who fully own footage shot on RED are encouraged to apply to become a part of the Pond5 + RED Collection. Those selected for the launch of the collection will have their work promoted to a global audience and will also become eligible to receive free footage preparation services from the Pond5 team.

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How does the Pond5 and Adobe partnership work?

As part of our previously announced Global Partner Program, Pond5 has officially signed eight hand-selected distribution partners, including a new partnership with Adobe, the industry-leader in creative desktop and mobile apps.

Adobe is the world leader in creative media-production and editing software, including Photoshop and Premiere Pro, so we’re thrilled to be partnering with them and creating tons of new opportunities for you, our Artists!

If you are opted-in to our Global Partner Program, there is nothing additional you need to do to take advantage of this partnership. If you already contribute content to Adobe Stock or one of our other resellers, no action is needed, as they will be working to prevent duplication on their sites.

Adobe takes a share of the revenue and whatever Pond5 makes, we split 50/50 with you.  The revenue split is comparable to selling direct on Adobe, with the added benefits such as: Pond5 content will receive prominent placement and inclusion in Adobe sales initiatives, special access to their Enterprise Sales organization, plus share any revenue generated from enhanced license, seats, and extra indemnity sold in conjunction with your work.  Any additional revenue generated through the selling of indemnification or seats will be split 50/50 with the Artist.

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