2 December 2021 – 5 minute read – Stock footage article


In the world of video production, spontaneity is just as welcome as detailed planning.

It is important that you are creative, that you know how to imagine what the customer would be looking for and that you offer solutions for the search intent, but at the same time you can be well paid for it and maybe make a living from it. The best thing about (micro) stock footage video market is that you can record anything and make good money by simply filming what is happening around you.

Our experience shows that it is possible making money on stock footage market even with a cheap device such as the Gopro, Osmo action camera or even a smartphone. You really don’t need the most expensive equipment if you’re just starting out or if you happen to not have your gear with you. Shots taken spontaneously often become a gold mine and for us, some of the clips taken with cheap video device have been sold more than 60 times, meaning that one random video clip paid for the entire device. Another example of spontaneity is a video we made where we threw stones in a small puddle on a gravel road while we waited in between commercial video shoot and that video alone brought us over $500 in a few months.

Planning of course bears even more fruit. If you follow trends or are lucky enough to live in a place where there is a lot of industry, then this is a gold mine. If there are many floods or other natural disasters in your area, then you sit on a golden vein of stock video. Videos based on ecology are currently trending and are in high demand, considering the planet is going wild due to pollution. If you know people who pursue interesting professions, just ask them if you can film them. Creativity, quality and diversity are important in stock footage but always remember to watch what the latest trends are in search intents.

If you love filming sporting events, nature, the hustle and bustle of the city, time lapse, transportation, fashion, then you’re probably wondering if there’s still time to make money with these kind of videos as well. Are you a beginner or a professional? Uploading videos to stock sites has been good money in the past, but now we’ll find out if it’s still worth the effort and which site is the best to make that money rain (figuratively).

It might happen that some video clips will be hard to sell in the micro stock footage market while other videos will be sold quickly. The market, or more precisely the buyers determine what is bought and what is not. Meaning that selling clips is actually dependant on many different factors, such as events where certain clips sell better. For instance, gay related content sell better when there is a gay pride month, or businesswomen themed videos sell great when there are women related business events. When there are climate change catastrophes, then clips that are themed around it will sell greatly.

When selling short videos on the stock market however, all is not as it seems as some stock footage selling sites are not contributor friendly.


If you sell videos on sites that don’t pay you fairly, then we advise you to leave them as soon as possible. There are sites that will pay you a ridiculously low price for a video. Sometimes also less than $ 0.25. Here the effort is certainly superfluous and there is no point in insisting on torturing yourself. You should always value yourself and the work you do and never accept someone selling you short. As a human and content creator, you put your soul into your craft so do not insist on joining video stock sites that pay you peanuts such as Shutterstock.

If you are just thinking about entering this type of market, you are probably wondering if it is worth entering now and how much you will earn. In our many years of experience in this field, we can say it still pays to invest time and money in selling videos on the stock market. We do advise beginners to focus on the two sites where they will get the most money for their effort and time. So in other words, the most bang for you time.

zdravniki in video publika

In a funny twist of things, in the time of us writing a story about Shutterstock pricing taking a nose dive, someone uploaded this picture to Shutterstock and it was actually accepted. You can read the article and the backstory about this picture here.


We’ve made a comparison for you between the two video stock sites which we believe to be at the top in terms of sales and the share they dedicate to contributors.

We compared the following:

  • Market share of sales
  • Ease of use
  • Approval rate
  • Sales potential
Adobestock stock footage Spartaq video productions

Market share:

In our experience,  micro stock footage sites such as Adobestock and Pond5 are at the very top in terms of video sales. Statistics may show otherwise in some online forum sites, as some contributors still insist on earning peanuts on Shutterstock, but we advise you to avoid that stock agency in a big way. Adobestock leads, but Pond5 follows well. Dreamstime, iStock and others are not worth mentioning unless you enjoy wasting time and throwing away profits. We don’t want to influence your decision on which site you want to be, but we do want to give you balanced information where your effort and time is most appreciated. That is why we will be focusing mainly on the benefits of using stock footage sites Adobestock and Pond5.

Ease of use:

User experience of any micro stock footage site is of course important. Both Adobestock and Pond5 have a transparent and easy to use interface where searching is very fast and efficient. Adobestock, in our opinion, prefers photos, but customers can easily find videos as well. Pond5 is known to be video-oriented. Their interface works great and with a few keywords we get to the right video quickly. Another strong point of Pond5 is music and SFX which are of high quality. They also work more personally and this is definitely evident in sales.

Approval rate:

Adobestock has a rather large disadvantage in approval because they do not allow editorial clips. Editorial is only possible for photos, but only for contributors that reach Silver Level, ie those who have more than 100 sales. This is not (yet) the case for video. We don’t know if that will ever change and if, when. Adobestock curators have stricter criteria when accepting clips, while Pond5 on the other hand is much friendlier and has a higher approval rate. They don’t reject every clip, even if it has some grain, isn’t well stabilised, or is similar to other related videos that you upload. Another good feature of Pond5 is the acceptance of editorial clips, which is extremely welcome. In our experience, the editorial sells very well and it is a pity that this type of footage is not accepted by Adobe. The reception speed is faster with Adobe, but Pond5 also reviews the clips we upload in a few days.

Pond5 stock footage Spartaq video productions

Sales potential:

Basically the sales potential comes down mostly to what type of content you upload and what the quality of it is. It is generally a good idea to have balanced content with some niche stuff in it. But it is advisable that you research what niche content people would want to buy, by looking at the search intent volume that Google and stock sites provide. However when it does come to sales potential, Pond5 and Adobe Stock are different from each other. They do have some similarities such as that both stock footage agencies have a minimum payout rate which is $25.

Pond5 is brands itself as a contributor friendly platform, by being the stock video platform that gives the highest commissions rate. It also allows you to set your own prices to the stock footage you uploaded, or allow them to set the price for you at the “optimal market price” as they call it. Pond5 has two different commissions rate: 40% if you choose to be non exclusive (meaning you can upload clips to other stock providers) or a 60% share if you decided to become and exclusive contributor, but that also prevents you to upload clips to other agencies.

Adobe Stock on the other hand offers 35% commissions rate for your videos but they do offer a bonus program if you stick with them such as giving you a years worth of access to the Adobe Creative Suit programs, depending on how many uploads you have. As for sales volume and pricing, Adobe Stock is behind Pond5.


In summary: Pond5 has lower sales volume but higher average selling price while Adobe Stock has a good balance of both. Which one to pick then? Well if you don’t mind the lower commissions rate and feel like you want to spread your content in order to maximise your sale chances, then it would be advisable to use both Pond5 and Adobe Stock to put your clips on. But if you want to upload editorial clips as well, then it might be a good idea to be predominately on Pond5. In our own experience, we like Pond5 the most as it is also bringing us the most money.

Whatever you end up picking remember: have fun while creating content and hopefully earn some serious money! Even at the end of 2021, micro stock footage sites are a great stream of revenue.

Note that the link above are referrals and help us write more such articles in the future, bringing you the best information about micro stock markets.