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Old November 21st, 2008, 10:32 AM   #1
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Offering HD Stock Footage?

Greetings all,
I am updating my website and am considering the possibility of offering stock footage from various shoots with my EX-1.
Is anyone doing this successfully? If so, do you allow download from your site, and what web tools are required to make it happen. What kind of footage are people buying, at what cost and what format is most popular.
If you using an ex-1 or 3, are you shooting with a flat picture profile to let the purchaser match the footage to theirs in post.
Any pitfalls or things to avoid? Any helpful hints? Can you say how customers locate your footage?
I realize this may be "trade secrets" and fully respect that. However, it seems there is enough of a market for all of us, and this might be like a tree that bears fruit while we are doing other productions. And of course, we all can have more footage options.
I would guess there is a big market for aerial shots.
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Old November 21st, 2008, 12:02 PM   #2
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Have you considered using iStockphoto? How To Contribute and Sell Stock Photos And Images | iStockphoto.com
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Old November 21st, 2008, 01:42 PM   #3
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Thanks Rob,
I spent a couple hours looking at what sells and what their deal is. 20% royalty does not sound like a lot, but some videographers are getting several hundred downloads at $15 to $65 a piece(gross).
Have you used this service?
Very cool,
CC
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Old November 21st, 2008, 03:11 PM   #4
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20% is pretty bad. Pond5 does 50%. https://www.pond5.com/
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Old December 14th, 2008, 06:15 PM   #5
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The royalty percentage is only part of it. iStockPhoto gets a lot of traffic. You can see this by looking at some of the download figures for some of their footage. I am rather suspicious of some of the other sites because although they offer higher commissions they either don't get much traffic with most clips having zero downloads, or they don't have a counter so that you can evaluate the sites popularity.
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Old December 14th, 2008, 06:44 PM   #6
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Okay, just looked on pond5 and looked at one of the producers with the second most sold clip of all time on that site.

He has 68 clips on there and has been a member since Sept 2007. Out of those 68 clips 40 of them have sold to anybody. He has sold a total of 149 clips at $35 each. so at 50% commission he has made $2607.50 since Sept 2007.

I suppose that isn't bad as a bit of extra pocket money. Most of those clips were cityscape timelapses of traffic or clouds. The same is true of iStockphoto. The difference being that on iStockphoto there is one guy there who has sold over 795 of one timelapse of a sunset since February 2007. I don't know the exact cost of each credit, but this timelapse costs 60 of them. iStock are selling 50 credits at $65. So lets assume that his clip cost 50 credits instead and he is taking a 20% commission. That's $13 per sale. So on that one clip since Feb 2007 - assuming most of his sales were for the 720P version which is the max res he is selling on that clip - he has made $10,335!

Now, bear in mind that this same guy has a whole catalogue of timelapse clips, some of which are almost as popular, and you start to see that 20% per sale at iStockphoto isn't so bad after all. As long as you choose your market carefully and are making clips that people want.

In the case of almost all of that last guys most popular clips, almost all of them were timelapses of sunsets and clouds.

Food for thought.
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Old December 14th, 2008, 07:24 PM   #7
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Thanks Simon,
I realize this. Twenty percent of something is better than Fifty of nutin. This seems like a good little stream to pan. I notice some of the successful downloads can be very simple--just leaves blowing in the trees, and some can be very complicated with fancy compositing. It would be interesting to know more about what kind of material is in highest demand. Are people needing HD broadcast, or just web?
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Old December 15th, 2008, 03:38 AM   #8
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I can't claim to be an expert, but thinking like a customer I'd imagine that most of them are for backgrounds for use in things like DVD menus, titles, or informational screens in corporate and industrial videos. It seems to be the case that the most popular downloads are also the ones with the least clutter.

One of the keys seems to be to have a lot of stock footage shots. Looking at many peoples catalogues it only seems to be less than half of their shots that are actually making any money. It is also interesting to see that often the most creative shots are the ones that sell the least. They get a lot of views and high ratings, but no sales.

One of the main contributors to this forum, Alister Chapman, sells a lot of stock footage of extreme weather events very successfully. So finding an untapped niche can also bring results.
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Old December 15th, 2008, 03:36 PM   #9
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795 sales of one clip is extraordinary. I doubt the average contributor ever sees anything like that, but I don't know the numbers. I get your argument and your math though. One way to deal with it would be to submit to both. I'm new to this stock thing myself, but have put clips on Pond because I like their site and because they seemed to have the simplest submission process, fewer hoops, fewer hassles. A number of their contributors appear to use multiple outlets.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 07:37 AM   #10
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Chip, first you should thank Simon for doing your research. I think you owe him dinner.

As someone who's sold stock footage for over 15 years I can tell you that the guy selling hundreds of time lapse videos is an extraordinary example. The online stock agencies that offer 50% or 20% (absurd) of a $50 sale are playing on your ignorance. If you think that $10 or $20 really compensates you for your time uploading clips, the cost of your software, computer, camera, tripod and tape stock then go ahead. Trust me the guys who run these sights are making out like bandits. Most of the people who put stock clips on these sites are not. Why? Because they're competing with 1000's of other people who have the same sorts of shots who are willing to selling them for a few bucks thinking that they will get rich too.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 09:16 AM   #11
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Rick,
That was my thought initially. But we are not in a position to design the perfect situation, we are here to choose between options. What are the choices: to post clips on our own website, to choose between the sites listed, to build our stock photo site and compete with the sites listed. Yes we spend time and money with gear and experience, and they supply expertise, and considerable investment of time and money to get a successful site working.
An art gallery will often charge 50% commission on pictures sold--and most professional artists have no problem with this.
Sure I would like to pay less commission on the stock sites, but I am not wanting to spend the thousands of hours behind a computer screen to get a stock sit up and competitive.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 03:20 PM   #12
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I think if you agree and are accepted to be an "exclusive" contributor to iStock, you'll get a higher percentage per sell.
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Old February 6th, 2012, 10:29 AM   #13
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Re: Offering HD Stock Footage?

Wow. 3 years since that last post? I've learned quite a bit in that time, and I just wrote a book about my experiences as a stock footage producer. Perhaps it might be a good read for anyone thinking of jumping into the stock footage business. But since we can't "market" on this forum, I won't link to it.

Last edited by James Orlowski; February 6th, 2012 at 12:22 PM.
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Old February 6th, 2012, 12:42 PM   #14
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Re: Offering HD Stock Footage?

You may wish to give this thread a read as this topic pops up periodically;
Shooting for Video Stock Footage?
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Old February 6th, 2012, 01:36 PM   #15
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Re: Offering HD Stock Footage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip Curry View Post
Rick,
That was my thought initially. But we are not in a position to design the perfect situation, we are here to choose between options.
Why is that? There is an alternative niche to fill, one where creators get a fair price for their work and not get ripped off by their vendors. If you had a little more work to do in terms of negotiating rights and managing your data would you participate if your percentage was more on the order of 80-90% of sales price? What if you had to pay for storage of your data or host your data?
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