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Pond5 Makes a Big Splash in the Stock Footage World

Pond5 announces the launch of version 1.0 of its next-generation online footage marketplace, which includes several groundbreaking features and a site design that sets a new standard for speed and ease-of-use.  The launch coincides with another milestone: the fast-growing collection now offers more than 50,000 broadcast-quality SD and HD clips available for instant download, starting at $5 per clip.

Pond5.com is an open marketplace for stock footage, where any video creator with professional-quality video footage can make it available for use in productions ranging from feature films, television programming and corporate videos to wedding and web videos.  Stock footage from Pond5 has been licensed to productions at all levels of the content spectrum, including well-known broadcast and feature producers Dreamworks, The History Channel, NBC, PBS, and HDNet.

Uniquely, prices on Pond5 are set by the artists themselves, and range from $5 upwards, with an average price of around $40 for HD and $20 for SD footage.  For each sale, the artist earns 50% of the selling price, a much higher percentage than the 20-40% that is typical in the industry.

“This is a new model for stock footage,” says co-founder Tom Bennett.  We’ve brought an efficient, open marketplace to an industry that’s been dominated by closed collections, low royalties, high prices and outdated technology.  Because Pond5 offers artists the highest royalties in the industry and lets them set their prices, we attract the highest quality, freshest footage, and make it available at the lowest prices.  Combine that with the fastest, easiest interface on the web, and we think it’s a game-changer.”

The rapidly growing collection features the work of more than 400 artists and libraries from around the world and spans all categories, including lifestyle, aerials, motion backgrounds, editorial, and effects.  Footage can be uploaded directly to the site, or mailed in.  All footage is reviewed for content and quality by Pond5 staff; approved clips are made available for instant search, preview, licensing and download.  Clips on Pond5 are licensed under a simple, industry-standard “royalty-free” license agreement, and can be used in virtually any production for a flat fee.

The 1.0 website was first previewed at NAB 2008, where it garnered rave reviews from the experienced video professionals in attendance.

New features released in the 1.0 launch include several industry firsts.  One is a persistent on-screen Clip Bin and Cart which streamlines the process of finding, organizing, sharing and selecting footage by letting users review and act on their clip choices immediately, from any screen on the website.

Another innovative feature is the Pond5 Stock Footage Widget.  It offers a fully customizable selection of continuously updated clips that can be created by any visitor at Pond5.com.  The Widget can then be embedded anywhere on the web, from Facebook and Myspace pages to blogs and websites, or even to the desktop.  The Widget works hand-in-hand with Pond5’s referral program, which offers referrers 5% of sales or purchases made by referred users (i.e. sellers or buyers who click through the widget) for a full year.

As Bennett sums it up, the Pond5 value proposition is simple: “If you are a moving image artist, we are committed to offering you the best palette of stock footage to work with, the highest royalties, and the easiest, fastest interface on the web.”

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