25 Feb 2016 Pond5 Launches AI-Based Products, Subscriptions and Rebranding
Following recent changes in leadership –and a massive $61M capital raising in 2014– stock footage giant Pond5 announced today their new Clarifai-powered Artificial Intelligent image recognition tools, new subscription plans – seemingly rethinking their intended unlimited subscriptions, and a rebranding.
The New AI Software
The company describes their new product as “world’s most effective and intelligent” visual search engine. It uses a combination of image recognition and intelligent algorithms to analyse visual assets and keywords, providing more accurate search results.
The technology is applied via two products:
- NextSense – an auto-tagging tool that analyses content and returns specific keywords for contributors when uploading their content, running on Clarifai’s technology.
- Visual Discovery – a feature that predicts and suggests content to buyers, based in most used keywords, visual similarity and current trends, with added capacity to recognise patterns in angles, lighting and other concepts that are harder to address with a regular search engine.
With these developments the company wants to leverage the breadth and depth of their library and provide customers a better search and content discovery experience. Which they think will be much more valuable since they’re also introducing flexible pricing plans.
The New Memberships
Along with the tech announcement, they’re launching monthly and annual subscriptions. But at Pond5, prices are set by contributors, making it impossible to offer subscriptions for their entire library.
Instead, they’re offering membership plans on the base of new, specifically curated collections, using their new visual analysis technology to find the most valuable content to be included in the selection. So far, they’ve curated 200,000 HD clips.
The new Pro Membership grants 5 downloads a month from this HD collection, for $49 a month or $349 a year. The Premium Membership enables 10 downloads a month from the HD collection plus access to a curated selection of 4K footage, 200k photos and 5000 music and SFX files, for $89 monthly or $599 annually. Both subscriptions include 10% discount over all other Pond5 assets. These prices are a limited-time 50% discount, so will soon double in price.
This time there was no mention to the unlimited downloads subscription, for which they’re already reviewing content and contacting selected contributor, inviting them to opt-in their low-selling files in the upcoming product.
The New Brand
Launched at the same time is a new website and new logo – already implemented as the watermark on all footage!
The new logo is more a word mark in line with current styles, but does include an icon of rectangles roughly forming the shape of a P.
The Future of Pond5
The ousting of Founder CEO, Tom Bennett, who did an amazing job bringing the company to the top of the stock video market from scratch, and with the pressure that comes from $61 millions wanting a return on investment, the company is at a critical point in its history.
It’s being challenged by younger, leaner companies like Dissolve, and revolutionary new business models like VideoBlocks, as well as industry giant Shutterstock putting serious resources into developing their video product.
It definitely looks like 2016 will be a make or break year for Pond5. Given the company has always been far out towards the friendly end of the contributor relations spectrum, there’s a lot of good will for them within the industry. That will help a lot, but ultimately it’s about buyers, so let’s see how these new tools, products and brand fare with them.