Anyone considering investing in a 4K camera may wonder how they will get a sufficient return on investment. That was certainly a constant refrain at BVE in London last week. However, there is a growing market for 4K material, such as the stock footage library Pond5, which attracted a lot of interest from shooters at the show.
“We have many customers asking for 4K stock footage, but saying: ‘We can’t find any’,” said Andy Goetze (pictured), its director of business development.
Although the 4K library was only officially launched days before Christmas, Pond5 had already sold many 4K files before it opened. Business, lifestyle and nature are particularly popular. “To our knowledge, it is currently the largest 4K library,” with some 23,000 clips, he added.
It is also offering Redcode Raw (.r3d) files, with about 4800 clips currently.
Although there are lots of stock image companies, with huge libraries of photographs, Goetze insists that “the only market that is already saturated is the micro-stock market, but for video it is still the early days.”
New York-based Pond5 was formed seven years ago to specialise in video clips (and is claimed to be the largest selection of royalty-free video on the web, having doubled in size over the past year). It has since added other media, including photographs. It now has more than 150,000 customers, including many European broadcasters.
Goetze advises potential contributors not to look at what is selling. “Shoot what you love, then you will be successful. I have talked to several hundred contributors and that is what they tell me.”
Contributors get 50% of any purchase price (more than other major libraries) and it gives artists the freedom to set their own prices, so they can aim for either the traditionally priced stock footage or micro-stock markets (or both).
“We already have 2.3million video clips on site, mainly selling to post houses and broadcasters, but also to tiny companies and freelancers,” he said.
It accepts content that originates from high-quality cameras, such as DSLRs, professional cameras, prosumer cameras, 3CCD consumer cameras, the iPhone4s and above (at full quality), and wearable cameras such as GoPro or Contour. It will make exceptions for unique content, but only rarely.
It has also started selling audio files (music and sound effects), with about 600,000 files now available. It has also expanded into illustrations, 3D models and customisable After Effects templates (of which there are about 5500).
“If clients have special needs, and don’t have the resources to invest in content research, we can now offer research services, in central Europe at least,” he added.
Pond5 has also introduced a free plugin for Adobe Premiere Pro, so that editors have instant access to its online stock video collection, audio and effects, from within the non-linear editor (CC or CS6 versions).
The plugin allows editors to easily import watermarked comps into a project, edit and add effects, and then - with a single button - automate the entire process of purchasing, downloading, and replacing low-res previews with high resolution files.
The plugin is available for free download at pond5.com/adobe and currently comes with 50 stock media files valued at $1000.
By David Fox