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Music Distribution

Pond5 – What Is It And What Does It Offer?

Photograph of the blog post author, Carla Johnson

Carla Johnson


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It can be a minefield when it comes to licensing and copyright for anyone looking for stock footage or royalty free music for their creative projects. Luckily, there are some websites which allow you to get around this issue, one in particular is Pond5. Pond5 is one of the top stock footage suppliers which provides Pond5 music and footage, as well as Pond5 sound effects and images. We are going to review some key features to find out how good Pond5 actually is, including what it is and what services Pond5 offers.


What Is Pond5?

Founded in 2006, Pond5 is a New York based company with offices across the globe. Pond5 is a venture-backed company funded by Accel Partners and Stripes Group.

Originally created to sell stock video footage to other creatives, it has since developed into various other types of video editing effects, music and images. Pond5 is now the world’s largest video marketplace, providing the footage and resources to content creators who want to tell their stories in film, television, advertising, social media, online video, and more.

In 2014, Pond5 collaborated with Adobe and was acknowledged as a key business for the creative industry. Pond5 is driven and proudly provides the creative community with a platform to allow contributors to make a sustainable living by licensing their work to buyers across the globe. Each contributor who licenses their content through Pond5 will receive an industry-leading revenue share.

Pond5 is the go-to video marketplace for filmmakers, media organisations as well as marketers around the world. Today it is used by major brands such as Facebook, Disney and Netflix. Pond5 has the largest collection of footage with over 17 million video clips.  It has award-winning tools such as the patented Visual Search for video, integrations for all major video-editing software, making it the perfect place for content for any project.

YouTube player

What Services Do Pond5 Offer?


Pond5 licenses stock footage, stock music, stock photography sound effects, after effects, images and 3-D models. 

There are 2 ways to purchase material. One way is a ‘pay as you go’ option where you pay an individual price for the content and the licence. There are three different types of licence and prices vary depending on whether you are an individual, business or organisation. Each license has set requirements that it covers, so you will need to check you select the right one to meet your needs. The other option for buying items from Pond5 is to subscribe to a membership. There is a monthly fee, which enables you to download a certain amount of items each month. Depending on your situation, this might be a cheaper and more effective option.

Pros & Cons Of Pond5


  • High quality footage available including HD, 4K and 360 video footage
  • Expert Pond5 music tracks which can be downloaded in various formats
  • Compatible with Adobe After Effects
  • Wide variety of low-priced sound effects
  • Pond5 will price match from any source with their Best Price Guarantee


  • For the right coverage licences can become expensive
  • Amateurs may not completely understand which coverage is required
  • You will need a certain level of software for some items

Royalties & How To Make Money On Pond5 Music

One advantage you can’t complain about as a contributor is royalties on Pond5. They are the leaders in the industry for contributor friendly royalty rates. You will receive 50% of the sale price for everything other than video.

With video, you can go exclusive. This allows you to get 60%, or you will get 40% return on video sales as an independent contributor. Exclusivity was introduced in 2019 and should not impact search rankings.

Using Pond5, you are also able to set your own prices. No matter the media type, you have total control over your pricing, unlike other big agencies. Although, some set their prices incredibly low, most will aim to keep a balance of competitiveness and value. Some recommended the below pricing:

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

There are just guidelines based on what has been selling recently. Ultimately, you have total control over your pricing.

Pond5 sells lots of types of media, so your earnings will vary depending on what you are selling. Video footage and sound effects tend to sell more frequently. However, this may change as buyers become more aware that they sell more than just video, which they are traditionally known for. As you set your own prices, the best part is you are always pleased when you get a sale.

Additionally, Pond5 also has a Global Partner Program. This allows contributors to ‘distribute your works to a group of hand-selected resellers and high-volume customers who have not previously used our marketplace.’ This is similar to Shutterstock, who moved a couple of years ago to specialised packages to gain huge corporate clients. Adobe Stock is also a reseller of Pond5’s video footage, meaning your footage is in front of more eyes.

How Much Does A Pond5 Subscription Cost?

Pond5 subscription cost

Pond5 licencing options may seem confusing, but luckily they have some examples of the type of projects that are covered by each licence. So, if you are creating a background video for a personal blog and you only need access for one person, then an Individual Licence will cover you. However, if you need to create an internal training video to be used for corporate purposes and up to 5 people need access, you should have a business licence. Projects for TV or a streaming service for unlimited users, require the organisation licence.

Monthly / Annual Membership with Pond5

You can also get a monthly or annual membership. Please see below for more info, or you can follow the link here.

As previously mentioned, Pond5 provides a Best Price Guarantee for all of their stock footage, music and after effects. This means that if you were to see an identical clip for sale online at a more competitive price, you can email the support team, who will price match it.

What Does The Industry Think Of Pond5?

The best way to discover the efficiency of a company is by looking at testimonials and reviews from their consumers. TrustPilot allows users to write their thoughts on companies and services. Pond5 has received around 8000 written reviews through Trust Pilot, with most of them being extremely positive. 74% of the reviews are Pond5 excellent, as it is clearly highly rated in the creative community. Reviews state that they have saved money by buying footage and the website is easy to use.

As with most companies, there are some bad reviews. Most of these have been responded to directly by Pond5 in an effort to resolve any problems that the reviewer may have.  This shows their dedication to a high level of customer service and the pride they take in their business.

Pond5 also has a very positive contributor review. It is an established company which has become very successful for their stock video clips, and although it has expanded beyond just stock video, they have still maintained a positive response from contributors. Unlike numerous other agencies, Pond5 has maintained their commissions and not started to reduce commissions as soon as they are successful.

So, if you are just looking to try one agency, we recommend you make it Pond5!

Summary Of Pond5


Pond5 has plenty of music content that is of the highest quality. It will enable you to take your project to the next level, stand out and appear even more professional.

When purchasing the footage or music track as a royalty free download, you can save yourself a lot of money and time, especially if you were planning to produce the content yourself. While the licensing and the membership fees can appear to be rather high, remember, you will be paying for a stand out service as well as professional, high quality music footage or content. The majority of Pond5 users have agreed that by using the Pond5 website, they have been able to drastically improve the projects they have been working on. This being said, they would highly recommend using Pond5!

Through this review, we have found that although Pond5 might be expensive for membership, it is worth every penny. It really is a no-brainer, make sure you sign up to Pond5 today! Here is the link to their website.

Music Gateway – Opportunities

Would you like to get in touch with Music Gateway to see how we can help you? Then please use this link to get in touch with us to discuss any opportunities such as Sync Licensing, Music Licensing, Music Clearance, Sync Libraries or Music Libraries, etc., you may want to take further.

You can book a call with Sam – Head of Sync Licensing – as a potential lead. We are always happy to talk to musicians like you. Please do get in touch.


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