Pond5 – Complete Review


Pond5 is an agency founded in 2006 as a marketplace for footage and video makers, but in 2008 there was a radical change, with a deep restyling of the site and an expansion of the services offered. In 2014 Pond5 acquired the agency Pixmac, de facto challenging the bigger microstock agencies on the market of royalty-free images. In addition to images and video, the marketplace of Pond5 also includes vector illustrations, music, sound effects, After Effects templates and 3D models.

To become a contributor at Pond5 is pretty simple: you just need to register on the site and there’s no need to pass through an admission test or through any portfolio assessment. Therefore, after the registration, you can start to upload your works immediately. Uploading can be done either via webform or via FTP, while the submission on the website requires the validation of the files one by one, though it’s possible to use a template to speed up the process, and there’s no need to select categories for each file. Editorial images are welcome at Pond5, moreover without any additional requirement about captions and format (reviewers at Pond5 may independently decide that a file is suitable for royalty-free or editorial license). pond5_big_blueThe time needed for review completion used to be pretty fast until the end of 2014 with a range from 2 to 6 days. More recently, probably due to the growing portfolio and popularity of the agency, to have a feedback on the submitted files it takes more than 1 week or, in worst cases, also 10 or more days. Obviously also the severity of the reviewers became higher due to the dramatically increased portfolio caused by the acquisition of Pixmac by Pond5 during 2014.

Talking about earnings, the particularity of Pond5 is that it allows contributors to fix the selling price of their works (but it is also possible to leave to Pond5 this faculty) with a single and unchangable type of commission of 50%, one of the highest in circulation. It is not yet scheduled a subscription plan for buyers. Payments to the contributors are made on demand, but it’s possible to set them automatically once the minimum threshold ($25) is exceeded. Payments are sent through Paypal, Skrill or bank checks.

There is also a very interesting referral program, which grants a 5% commissions on the sales of the referred contributors or on the purchases of the referred customer for one year. Exclusivity is not available at Pond5.

There aren’t many “extra” at the time on Pond5 website and the few resources available (for example the list of the bestselling files) are still mostly related to video content, which is the historical core business of Pond5, although the feeling is that in the future the website will be increasingly focused on the images. Nonetheless there’s a series of forums for contributors, created for sharing views and get informations about topics related to the marketplace.
Finally, there are several reasons that make Pond5 a surely recommendable agency for microstockers: ease of use of the site, little effort required for uploading and submission your works, the highest commissions per single download and a very efficient referral program. For all these reasons, Pond5 is definitely among the top 10 Microstock agencies in the world and still growing very fast.

Below is the table with the main informations about Pond5:

Logo iStockphoto Logo
Website www.pond5.com
Social Links/Blog Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Forum
Headquarters United-States New York, USA United-States Genève, Switzerland
Portfolio NA
Website Traffic Rank by Logo Button 125x40
Admission Test Not needed.
Image Size Minimum 2 Megapixel
Accepted File Types Photos, Vectors, Footage, Music, Sound Effects, After Effects templates, 3D models
Severity of the Reviewers Medium-High
Editorial Images Accepted, and no specific description needed. Reviewers decide whether an image is suitable for sale with standard license or editorial
Types of Licences Standard License, Editorial License
Price of the Images Credits start from $1
Earnings for Contributors 50% per single download
Payout Minimum Threshold $25
Payment Mode Monthly, upon request or automatic once thresold exceeded, via PayPal/Skrill or Bank Checks
Exclusivity Program not available
Referral Program 5% for each sale of referred contributors or each purchase of referred customers, for 1 year only
Uploading Mode Webform, FTP
Recognition IPTC data from file Automatic
Currency $ US Dollar (USD)
Supported Languages English
Tools Forum on website
Download Release Forms Adult Model Release

Minor Model Release

Property Release

Related Pages:

Liked this article? Would you share it?

Expert in Marketing and Communication in a major company of the Italian FMCG market, traveler by vocation, passionate photographer, contributor at all major international microstock agencies, founder of Marcor$tock, a blog focused on Microstock Market and Digital Photography.