Pond5 Contributor Review

Our Pond5 Contributor Review contains everything you need to know about selling stock media with Pond5.

Make informed choices about where to sell your stock images. Is Pond5 right for you as a contributor?

Read on to find out.

Part 1: Pond5 Contributor Royalties

You really can't complain about contributor royalties on Pond5. In many ways they lead in the industry in contributor friendly royalty rates.

For everything other than video you will receive 50% of the sale price.

For video you have the option of going exclusive, which will get you 60%. Otherwise you will receive 40% return on video sales as an independent contributor. The option of exclusivity at Pond5 is too new (introduced in 2019) to comment on the effectiveness of it. However, they did explicitly state that it would not affect search rankings. Time will tell if that remains the case.

Pond5 are different from the other big agencies in another area too. There are no subscription plans. So you won't ever find yourself getting a few cents for an image. This may mean less overall sales, but at least you get a decent amount for each one.

The last key thing to mention is that you can set your own prices. Regardless of the media type, you have full control over pricing. Yet again, another welcome change from the other big agencies. Yes, some set their prices ridiculously low. But most try and maintain a balance of competitiveness and value. Some examples of recommended pricing are:

  • Photos: $10
  • HD Footage: $59-$79
  • Vectors: $8
  • Sound Effects: $3

Remember, these are simply recommendations based on what has been selling recently at Pond5. In the end, you have total control.


40 - 60%


Stock photos
Editorial photos
Vector illustrations
Footage (including 8k)
3D Models
After Effects


On Demand
Credit packs
High-volume corporate rates

Part 2: Pond5 Contributor Website & Apps

Pond5 have received some huge funding of around $60 million in recent years. With that kind of money behind them, they have steadily improved the website and their sales approach.

For a long time, the website was very video footage focused. This presented problems on product pages for photos and illustrations for example. But they have cleaned that up, and now it is a cohesive experience no matter what media you are buying or selling.

Navigating the site is quite easy, and the contributor dashboard has all the tools you need.

Features include:

  • FTP & browser upload
  • Simple model release attachment
  • Pre-made templates for submitting different media types
  • Fast review times

At this stage they don't have an app for contributors, but I would expect to see one in coming years.

Watch The Pond5 Contributor Video


By loading the video, you agree to YouTube's privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video

Part 3: Pond5 Contributor Earnings Experience

Pond5 sell so many different types of media that your earnings on Pond5 will really depend on what exactly you are selling.

For me, it's a mixture of photography, vectors, video footage and sound effects.

Based on those media types, I can say that Pond5 seem to be increasing their market share and sales. Video footage and sound effects sell the most frequently for me. But I would expect that to gradually change as buyers come to realise they sell more than just video, which they are traditionally known for.

The really nice part is that since you can set your own prices, you are always pleased when you get a sale. Literally as I write this review update, I just sold a video license which netted me $55. That's the great part about Pond5 – set your own prices, and get a reasonable amount of sales. Win, win.

In addition to their regular sales, Pond5 have a Global Partner Program. What does that mean? A few things.

In their own words it allows contributors to “distribute your works to a group of hand-selected resellers and high-volume customers who have not previously used our marketplace.” So basically it seems somewhat similar to Shutterstock’s move a few years ago to gain massive corporate clients with specialised packages.

An unusual addition though is the announcement in 2017 that Adobe Stock would now be a reseller of Pond5’s video footage. Ultimately it puts your footage in front of more eyes. It just seems odd that Adobe couldn’t source the amount of footage they wanted directly. But perhaps this arrangement is temporary until Adobe can do just that.

Pond5 Contributor Review Highlights


Regular sales without subscriptions


Between 40% and 60%, no tiers to reach


Modern website, no mobile app


Video producers, photographers & illustrators

Part 4: Pond5 Contributor Recommendations

As you have noticed, our Pond5 Contributor Review is very positive. That's no mistake. This is not ‘just another’ agency.

Pond5 is an established player, who has made a huge success of their stock video clips. Now that they have grown beyond just stock video, they have still kept things good for contributors. This is very different to many other agencies that start reducing commissions as soon as they are successful.

If you have any video clips in your stock portfolio, this one is a no-brainer: Sign up with Pond5 now!

Perhaps you focus on photography alone. Should you join? It depends – are you ready to give another agency a go? My advice – if you are with all the major agencies and are willing to try just one ‘new’ agency this year, make it Pond5.

If they do half as well with photos & vectors as they have done with videos then we will all be glad they entered into the stock photography market. Plus, why not support an agency with 40-60% royalties?

Show Your Support

Like the article? If you found it helpful, please show your support by purchasing a great stock image from just $5.

We rely on on your generosity to continue to provide useful and up to date content for stock contributors.

Image Categories