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Stock Footage sites vs Personal website

PJ_la

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I did a search and only saw a few older posts on the subject, so I wanted to bring it up again to see if anything has recently changed. (and yes I'm 107 certified)

From what I've read on this forum, selling stock footage (video/photo) is a long-game where it takes 6-12 months to gain any real momentum in profit, which is understandable. But I wanted to see if that was still the case now, especially for these sites I keep hearing about: artgrid, blackbox, adobe stock, pond5 (I've found through certain stock websites, once you upload footage through them you can't use the same footage with another stock website, which sounds limiting)


But I was also curious to know if anyone has found success with selling footage from their own website? And if so, how long did it take you for your first sale to come in?
 

Fred Garvin

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The competition is intense and if you hope to have any sales at all, your footage must be exceptional, cinematic quality. You gotta be way, way more than great. There’s just so much available, it’s completely saturated.

You can do a lot of research and find the niche that’s not so saturated, focus on it and load up clips, hoping for the best...but usually there’s a reason it’s not so saturated: No Demand.

The heyday of stock photo/video sites providing a nice residual/passive income are long, long gone.

Unless, of course, you are super-talented, have a ton of amazing images/footage, a strong reputation and name recognition...
 

PJ_la

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Thanks for the replies. I figured that would be the case but I wanted to be sure.

I'm going to find my niche and lean into my own style moving forward and do self-promotion via social media. That seems to be the best calling card these days.
 

Ilan Yusim

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Thanks for the replies. I figured that would be the case but I wanted to be sure.

I'm going to find my niche and lean into my own style moving forward and do self-promotion via social media. That seems to be the best calling card these days.

That might actually be a very good thing to do.
Find a niche, work on Instagram (no website) to establish a personal brand and build your own unique and recognizable style.

It's a long way, but there are some good examples out there.
 

HOsiHO Drone Stock Images

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Hi PJ_la,

I'm Sami, founder of a drone stock agency, and would behappy to try to help you since I've just released an Image Bank Survival Guide with a point treating your specific question about Stock Footage sites vs Personal website.
If you don't want to read the whole guide, jump to point #13.
Here's a quote of the beginning (huh, quoting myself is so weird!): '

'Direct Selling: Panacea or Chimera?

Every artist may, at least one day in his life, have wanted to sell his art and creations himself. One can obviously understand this desire to do without a middleman who, through his network, his address book and his sales force, may have some facilities to represent you. Still, it is necessary to choose him well and that he corresponds well to your expectations, your style, your personality, as we have been able to underline throughout this guide. This is by no means a sure thing, far from it, so why not try a sideline adventure by addressing the market directly.

As tempting as it may seem at first glance, and despite the apparent ease of direct selling in this age of the Internet and globalization, there are a number of tasks and requirements that must absolutely be taken into account before imagining yourself setting out alone to conquer the world via social media, with a website that is undoubtedly packed with the best of your visual production. We are not going to discourage you, but we are going to lay down a few milestones in a detailed and pragmatic way by listing what selling your images live on the internet means, step by step, day after day. Then it's up to you to judge the pros and cons, and measure the degree of your motivation.

Please note that by Selling directly, we mean the granting of rights to use images, clearly defined by a license in proper form. For the art prints sale on various media, see the following point #14.' ....


Let me know if I can help more and if you want to join us, you are welcome to apply if you shoot legally drone/aerial images!
 
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DroneOutlook

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I've been a Getty Images contributor since 2007, but only recently started to shift my submissions to include aerial imagery. Most stock sites give you the option to be an exclusive contributor. In exchange you typically get a higher rate and, in the case of Getty, you get access to custom client requests. Exclusives will also get more information on trends and guidance on what to shoot.

@Fred Garvin is right in the sense that today's market is very different than it was ten years ago. Stock agencies accept creators more freely to feed their client's overwhelming need for imagery.

I'd agree that the photography side of stock is saturated and profits are hard to get without a very large portfolio (10,000+ relevant images). Aerial video, however, still has some life left IMO. Almost every creative brief or trends report I get from Getty includes some demand for aerial video.

At some point I'll write a detailed article about the whole process and share more of my personal experience. What kinds of questions would you want answered in that sort of article?
 

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