Payout Overview

Earnings

We give our contributors the flexibility to set pricing for their content and earn an industry-leading commission on all sales. Our payout percentages are as follows:

Video: Exclusive video contributors receive 60% revenue share. Non-exclusive video contributors receive 40% revenue share. Learn more about our Video Exclusivity Program here.

Note that based on the Pond5 Contributor Agreement, Non-exclusive artists are not permitted to price their content higher on Pond5 than on other Marketplaces.

Music & Sound Effects: Revenue share for these media types is 35%. We also offer Pond5 Publishing, an optional free music publishing service that collects performance royalties on your behalf.

All other media types: Contributors who license photographs, illustrations, After Effects, and other templates receive 50% revenue share.

Referral program earnings: With the Pond5 Referral Program, artists earn a commission on every new buyer they introduce to Pond5, no matter what they buy. Referral Commissions are in addition to the regular Marketplace Royalty share. To learn how to earn up to 90% royalty rate click here.

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Payout Date

Payouts from Licensing Activity

We send out payments on the 15th of each month. You must reach a minimum balance of $25 before the 15th to receive a payout.

Referral Program Payouts

Referral Payouts work in the same way as your regular Pond5 commissions. They are processed on the 15th of every month when you earn $25 or more. We’ll roll your earnings into the following month if you haven’t reached $25.

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Payout Methods

You have the option of receiving your payments safely, via electronic transfer. Set your Payout Preferences by choosing the option that works best for you.

To successfully receive payment, please ensure that you have already registered with one of the following payment services.

  • PayPal – A web-based service that allows you to send and receive monetary payments securely and instantly over the internet. 
  • Skrill – Make simple, secure, and quick online global payments for international money transfers.

Note: Due to fees charged by Skrill, 4% of your payment will be deducted at each payout if this option is selected.

  • Payoneer – Whether you are a business owner, professional or freelancer, Payoneer offers multiple ways to get paid by your international clients and global marketplaces – quickly, securely and at low cost.

To ensure you receive your payouts in a timely manner, please make sure that your payout preferences are always current and up to date.

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Foreign Currency

Contributor prices set by you are always denominated in USD.  To the extent items are licensed to customers in a currency other than USD, your Contributor payment will still be based on your revenue share of the USD price set.

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Tax Forms

The W-9 Form

To remain compliant with U.S. tax reporting requirements, we require all U.S. based individuals, corporations, and entities earning $600 or more in any calendar year to submit a Form W-9.  Failure to provide a W-9 may delay your future payouts.

Please keep in mind, we do not provide tax or legal advice. We do our best to make this process as seamless as possible.

 

Keep Your Taxes Organized with a Few Simple Steps:

 
Make sure your account information is up to date

Sign into your account > Hover cursor over account avatar > Click on Dashboard > Account > Account Info & Payout Preferences

Please confirm all information is correct, most importantly, your name, mailing address, email, and phone number.

 
Downloading a W-9 Form

Click Here to download a blank W-9 Form directly from the IRS.

 
Filling out Your W-9

You must first fill out and sign and submit the W-9 form. Form must be exported/scanned into a digital file format, preferably .pdf, but we also accept .jpg and .png.

Note: Attachments that exceed 2MB in size cannot be accepted

 
Uploading Your W-9

Once you have filled-out, signed, and digitized (.pdf.jpg, or .png) your W-9 form, it is time to upload it on your Taxes page.

To navigate to your Taxes page, Sign into your account > Hover cursor over account avatar > Click on Dashboard >Account > Taxes

  •        Click on Choose a file to upload your filled W-9
  •        Find your W-9 and click Open
  •        Your W-9 will upload
  •        Uploaded W-9 will save under YOUR CURRENT W-9 TAX FORM

If you have any further questions outside of this document, please contact your legal and/or tax advisor for further assistance.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Tax Form 1099-MISC

 
What is a 1099-MISC?

The 1099-MISC is a tax document used to report payment information to the IRS and to the person or business that received the payment. When applicable, Pond5 provides this form to the contributor in their user dashboard and sends a copy to the IRS.

 
Who receives a 1099-MISC?

Contributors who are US Citizens or residents who received a payment from Pond5 during a calendar year will receive a 1099-MISC form at the beginning of the following year.

 
When do I receive a 1099-MISC?

The link to download your 1099-MISC is posted on the TAXES tab of your account Dashboard by January 31 of each year for your earnings from the previous year. The form is available for electronic download until October 15 of the year following when the earnings were accrued. We do not mail out paper copies of the form. If no link is posted in your account, you most likely do not have a 1099-MISC form issued for the previous calendar year.

 
How are the amounts on this form calculated?

The 1099-MISC reflects all payments made to you during the previous calendar year. So if you made earnings in December of 2022, which were not actually paid out to you until January 2023, the December earnings will not be reflected in the 1099-MISC for your 2022 earnings but rather will be calculated in your 1099-MISC for your 2023 earnings. For further details, you can view your payment history on your My Financials page.

 
How do I access the 1099-MISC?

Log into your Pond5 contributor dashboard, click the ACCOUNT tab, and choose TAXES. You will navigate to the page where you can download a PDF version of your tax form:

 
Can I get a paper copy in the mail from Pond5?

If you cannot download the PDF document, you may request a paper copy by contacting us at support@pond5.com. We will do our best to accommodate your request.

 
What if I still have questions?

Pond5 cannot give personal tax or legal advice. If you still have questions about taxes after reviewing the information in the Tax Center, please contact your legal and/or tax advisor.

If you have questions about the information in your Pond5 account, please contact us.

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Discounts

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 honor our industry-leading share 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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Extended Licenses

What are Extended Licences?

Extended Licenses are an upgrade option we offer buyers when they license content from Pond5. The Extended Licenses allow for additional download use and offer increased indemnity on licensed assets. Read more about our licenses here.

 

How do the Extended licenses make me more money?

By providing more indemnification and extra download use on all of your assets, we can attract larger, more frequent customers, giving you the opportunity to earn even more with every purchase. Along with these new offerings, our growing sales team can better serve these customers, and is completely dedicated to bringing you the business you deserve.

 

How can I calculate what I’m being paid?

Your revenue share is factored out of the Net Revenue for each sale. Net Revenue is the item sale price, plus the Extended License charge, minus a legal guarantee fee to cover our insurance costs for providing higher levels of indemnification, along with any discounts that may have been applied.

 

Where can I see how much I get paid?

You’ll be able to view license purchases in the same area as the rest of your sales. Once you’re logged in, access your payment history via the My Financials tab from your Dashboard.

 

How does our Extended License compare to competitors?

Pond5 offers:

  • Some of the highest levels of indemnification in the industry offered on all media in our collection
  • Unlimited seats for a competitive price, which opens the door to bigger companies that require more collaboration
  • Above industry-average net license revenue share
  • One of the few marketplaces that gives you the ability to set your own prices
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Global Market Earnings

Pond5 engages in programs that expand the reach of your sales potential to a global network of content resellers and creative software tools. You may see sales from these programs noted on your dashboard.

 

What are the Global Market Earnings in my dashboard?

In addition to normal sales through the Pond5 marketplace, artists earn revenue through third party partnerships and incremental revenue programs that Pond5 develops outside of our core geographical markets. These licensing sales are labeled in the ‘License’ column of your sales dashboard as Global Market Earnings.

This program introduces your work to a global network of content resellers and creative software tools, expanding the reach of your content into new markets and emerging creative platforms where content is in demand. Our partners are highly-vetted market leaders with an established following. By uploading to Pond5, your work becomes accessible to an expansive global creative audience.

Examples of Global Market Earnings include: licensing a clip for a Japanese TV show or an internal training video for a large Chinese corporation.

 

How do I know I made a Global Market Earnings sale?

These sales are labeled as Global Market Earnings in the ‘License’ column on the Financials section of your Pond5 Dashboard. Some Global Market Earnings are reported in real-time, while others are paid out quarterly, based on the technical integration with the partner. Quarterly payouts can result in multiple Global Partner Earnings sales appearing on the same day.

 

How is artist commission calculated for Global Partner Earnings sales?

Our partners retain a portion of the revenue for any sale generated through their platform. The artist will receive their usual royalty rate based on the Net License Revenue received by Pond5. Many partners license content at a higher price than Pond5, so the artist payout is often similar to direct marketplace sales.

 
All GPP earnings are part of Global Market Earnings as of May 2023.

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Pond5 Subscriptions

What are the Pond5 Subscriptions?

Pond5 offers four types of subscriptions to its customers:

  • 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 – includes all eligible videos, photos, after effects, etc., and the entire music and sound effects library.
  • Custom Subscription – This solution is not self-serve and is handled by our Sales organization. We target Custom subscriptions toward high intent buyers with specific needs, and all media types in the Pond5 Marketplace are eligible through this plan.

How much will I get paid per download?

In addition to regular sales through the Pond5 Marketplace and the Referral program, artists earn revenue through the Pond5 Subscriptions.

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.

When will I get paid?

All Subscriptions, including the legacy Membership (now Footage Plus), will get paid out on the 15th of every month, together with the Referral program earnings and regular Pond5 Marketplace earnings if they are above the $25 limit for payouts.

Where can I find my Subscription earnings?

Each month, Subscription earnings will appear in the My Financials section of the Artist Dashboard. Those earnings will be for all Subscription downloads in the previous month.

Where can I find what items were purchased through Subscription?

In the Subscription Downloads section of the Artist Dashboard, you can see all items downloaded through a subscription and the number of times each item was downloaded. You can also download a CSV file with all your subscription downloads.

My items are not part of the Subscription collection. Why do I see Subscription sales?

These sales are part of the Pond5 Custom subscriptions handled through our Sales organization. They are not self-serve. We target Custom subscriptions toward high intent buyers with specific needs, and all media types in the Pond5 Marketplace are eligible through this plan.

How can I add my items to the Subscriptions?

We automatically add all music tracks and sound effects in the marketplace to our subscriptions.

Are Subscription purchases included in the Referral Program?

Yes. With the Pond5 Referral Program, artists earn a commission on every new buyer they introduce to Pond5, no matter what they buy. Referral Commissions are in addition to the regular Marketplace Royalty share.

When you refer a new customer who purchases a subscription, they get a 20% discount on their first Subscription billing cycle. And you take home 20% of their purchase.

For example: if your new referral purchases a monthly subscription for $199/per month, they will get a 20% discount on that first $199 purchase, and you will earn 20% of that purchase as the referrer. Only the initial subscription purchase is eligible for commission. Reoccurring monthly payments do not qualify for the Refer & Earn program. 

Learn more about the Referral Program and how to earn up to a 90% royalty rate.

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Partner Earnings

You may see the notation ‘Partner Earnings’ on line items in the ‘License’ section of your Financials dashboard. These earnings apply to partnerships we’ve developed so that Pond5 media can be utilized by platforms offering creative media to their users. Here’s a summary of what the program is all about:

 

What are Partner Earnings?

Partner Earnings apply to programs Pond5 develops to expand the reach of your content to emerging technologies and new use cases. Partnership fees are earned based on a partner receiving access to custom content set for a defined period of time (for example, monthly or annually) and may be in the form of either a fixed fee per period or a revenue share. This means that in certain cases you earn royalties regardless of whether your content was actually used or publicly displayed during the term of the agreement. Partnership licenses are often “streaming” or digital use only licenses for content which appears only briefly on a social media platform, for example. These types of licenses are not “royalty-free” in nature and instead include significant usage restrictions that protect the content from traditional customers and sales channels.

 

How do I know I’ve made a Partner Earnings sale?

Partner Earnings will be noted on the Financials section of the artist dashboard only if your content is utilized in one of the Partner Earnings programs. It will appear as its own line item, separate from other sales you receive through the Pond5 marketplace. The line item will read ‘Partner Earnings’ under the ‘License’ section.

You will also receive an email notifying you of a Partner Earnings payment if you earn $25 or more.

 

How much of my content is eligible for Partner Earnings deals?

All of your content is eligible for Partner Earnings, but not all content is included in every partnership deal. Each partnership is highly customized and may vary regarding media type(s), pricing, resolutions, subject matter, and more. When an artist’s content is licensed through a Partner Earnings partnership, the line item will be reflected in the Financials section of the artist dashboard. We expect the Partner Earnings category to grow quickly over time.

 

How are artist commissions calculated for Partner Earnings?

Each partnership is different and will have varying pricing models dependent on content and usage. Note that the license prices can be lower for these types of sales than regular marketplace purchases, given the highly restricted rights being conveyed and the bulk licensing commitment.

 
All LLP earnings are part of Partner Earnings as of May 2023.

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Dataset Earnings

You may see the notation ‘Dataset Earnings’ on line items in the ‘License’ section of your Financials dashboard. These earnings apply to licensing activity for datasets, a new product offering that is aimed to support emerging technology companies looking for metadata associated with creative assets. Read below for a summary of what the program is all about.

Please note that as of April 2023, Pond5 contributors may opt-out of Dataset Earnings. See the section ‘Can I opt out of having my content included in future datasets?’ for more information about this feature.

 

What are datasets?

Datasets are a product offering developed to support companies building computer vision and Large Language Models (“LLM’s”). Datasets are sets of content and metadata organized by a specific theme or topic that can include images (including photos, illustrations, and vectors), videos, music, and sound effects. Datasets are comprised of various metadata, including keywords, titles, and descriptions.

Datasets provide a potential new source of revenue by expanding our reach to new customers and industries, including AI researchers, and leading technology developers and manufacturers.

Some of the datasets Pond5 licenses are in collaboration with Shutterstock and include both Pond5 and Shutterstock content. You can find supporting information on Shutterstock datasets, also known as data deals, here.

 

What is computer vision?

Computer vision is a scientific discipline that seeks to develop techniques to help computers “see” and understand the context of digital images such as photographs and videos. A model is the engine that governs the behavior of the computer vision system. Researchers train machine learning models to identify visual objects within imagery and to improve computer assisted labeling techniques.

 

What are datasets used for?

In general, companies use content datasets to power computer vision applications such as:

  • Visual search: People can easily search images on their smartphone library by entering a keyword like “cat” or “sunset” to find all relevant photos.
  • Autonomous vehicles: Self-driving cars can operate safely by understanding their specific surroundings — including other cars, people, roads, stop signs, and more.
  • Content moderation: Social media companies can rapidly identify, review and remove content that is violent or extreme in nature.
  • Product categorization: eCommerce and retail companies can recommend relevant products to their customers.
  • AI content generation: AI platforms can train systems to automatically generate new images based on text prompts.

The goal is to help companies easily build, train, and automate their object recognition models to improve their technology and better serve the needs of users.

 

How is my content used? What kind of license is provided for datasets?

Each dataset consists of content based on the customer’s specific model training needs and a limited license that covers usage only within the scope of training machine learning technology. Companies purchasing datasets (content and metadata) may only use them to train machine learning and computer vision models. The use of content for commercial or public applications such as marketing, advertising, etc., is strictly prohibited, and companies are required to have appropriate security measures in place to ensure there is no unauthorized distribution of content.

 

What type of content is included in these datasets?

All media types on Pond5 are eligible, however, the content used in datasets varies depending on the client’s need.

 

What type of metadata is included with datasets?

The specific metadata provided within datasets varies based on the needs of the partner and can include a combination of information provided by contributors or sourced by Pond5 assisted technology.

Contributor-provided metadata may include the asset description, title, and keywords, describing objects depicted in the assets. In certain cases, metadata may include some geolocation information provided by contributors. Broad demographic information about the models featured in photographs, including age, gender, and race/ethnicity, may also be included in metadata labels.

 

Is any personal data being shared with partners?

No. The metadata included in datasets is anonymized for any personal information and only includes descriptive information about visual or audio assets. Model releases are never shared, and the identity of models and contributors is not disclosed.

 

Artist Earnings from Datasets

This is a new form of earnings for contributors beyond normal marketplace earnings, and an exciting opportunity to expand into emerging markets. We are firmly committed to including our contributors as partners on this journey, and ensuring they receive a share of the proceeds from computer vision datasets.

 

How do I know I’ve made a Dataset Earnings sale?

Dataset Earnings will be noted on the Financials section of the artist dashboard only if your content is utilized in one of the datasets. It will appear as its own line item, separate from other sales you receive through the Pond5 marketplace. The line item will read ‘Dataset Earnings’ under the ‘License’ section.

 

You will also receive an email notifying you of a Dataset Earnings payment if you earn $25 or more during a given period.

 

How are artist commissions calculated for Dataset Earnings?

Each partnership is different and will have varying pricing models dependent on content and usage. Note that the license prices will be lower for these types of sales than regular marketplace purchases, given the highly restricted and special purpose only rights being conveyed.

 

Can I opt out of having my content included in future datasets?

Yes. As AI and other emerging technologies continue to evolve, we believe that Dataset Earnings will provide an exciting opportunity for additional revenue for our contributors. However, we understand if you do not wish to include your content in these deals and, as of April 2023, we have added an option in the contributor account settings (under Preferences) that allows you to opt out of future datasets. You may see Dataset Earnings in your dashboard connected to deals that have been closed prior to opting out.

 

AI-generated Content on Pond5

You can learn more about AI-generated content in our marketplace by viewing our Legal Guidelines, and read about the future of AI for Pond5 & Shutterstock.

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