25 Feb 2008 Selling Video Footage in the Microstock Market

StockXpert have just launched their video footage service joining only two other microstock agencies currently selling footage alongside photos and illustrations. I haven’t written much about footage in this blog, so let’s explore this alternate medium a little.

At Which Microstock Agencies Can I Sell Video Footage?

StockXpert Footage Logo iStockvideo logo Shutterstock Footage logo

iStockphoto and Shutterstock are the other agencies currently selling footage. Here’s the details:

Agency Royalty More Details
iStockphoto 20% + exclusivity bonus Video FAQ
Shutterstock 30% Submitter Guidelines
StockXpert 40% Selling Footage

All these agencies:

  • Sell footage at $10 – $50*
  • Accept all the usual formats: HD; NTSC; PAL; and CG
  • Sell footage with a Royalty Free license

*Credit prices vary at iStockphoto with volume discounts and currency differences, though the standard credit price is currently US$1.30 and footage sells for 10 – 50 credits.

How Much Can I Earn Selling Video Footage?

Video footage sells less frequently than photos, but with much higher prices contributors can earn well. StockXpert have trumped the commission rate of both iStockphoto and Shutterstock, offering 40%. For a sale of HD 1080 type footage, the contributor will receive $20.

The current top selling video file at iStockphoto has sold 626 times and was uploaded November, 2006. The contributor is Gold level and an exclusive videographer, so earns 35% on sales that range from $13 to $65. This is, of course, an extreme example, but demonstrates that high quality video footage can earn much faster than photos despite selling much less frequently.

What Sells?

Based on their knowledge of the market for photos and the other Jupiter entities, StockXpert have listed timelapse, traffic, nature, business, technology and people clips as their most desired.

Looking again to the list of most popular video files at iStockphoto (you need to select video from the File Type dropdown), nature clips dominate the list.

Video Footage Poll

How many microstock contributors are already contributing footage? Let’s take a poll.

Do you sell video footage in the microstock market?

View Results

Update: Since this post was published Fotolia have also started selling microstock video.

  • john
    Posted at 13:42h, 02 April Reply

    No loveeeee Lee 😉 JK.

    We are selling footage as well as photos over at Cutcaster. Our algorithm and bidding platform will help those that want to find the correct market price for their content and not lose sales because their content in priced too high. We have found nature and time lapse to be the most common uploads/downloads.

  • taavi
    Posted at 07:13h, 24 April Reply

    Hi, there is actually another newcomer too: pond5.com 🙂

  • Taylor Davidson
    Posted at 02:11h, 05 April Reply

    Who are the main buyers for microstock video? What do you think about the potential of the market?

    • Lee Torrens
      Posted at 02:27h, 05 April Reply

      Hey Taylor, I think there’s a massive range of video buyers for microstock from film and documentary makers, through TV ads, right through to web ads and corporate presentations.

      I also believe the potential is massive. I’ve only heard good things about video sales from those engaged in it, though I’m still waiting for it to overtake stills like some of them said it would by now. So yes, it’s big, but some people hype it up more than is appropriate.

      • Taylor Davidson
        Posted at 02:35h, 05 April Reply

        Thanks, I was curious for your informed take: I was talking to iStockPhoto at their booth at the tradeshow at SXSW about their stock video options, meta-data tagging, submission process, etc, but didn’t get a good picture on who the buyers are and how much they are buying.

        Everyone says video is the big opportunity, I’m just trying to understand who the big buyers are going to be 🙂

        • Lee Torrens
          Posted at 03:02h, 05 April Reply

          I’m not so ‘informed’ on the buyer side – that was just what I’ve read. Microstock video seems to be following a similar path to microstock stills in a lot of ways, and the buyer side of the market is part of that. There are still relatively few buyers, but enough to keep the relatively small number of contributors earning handsomely. Today, microstock photo buyers are at record numbers, having moved down from traditional markets, sprung up from previously non-existing or disorganized markets (small business, personal use, blogs), and moving across to more microstock-friendly media (newspapers and magazines going online-only). Perhaps microstock video will follow the trend of still and witness buyers coming from all directions too.

        • Taylor Davidson
          Posted at 17:12h, 09 April Reply

          The shift and expansion of buyers is the most interesting aspect of microstock imagery (photographs and video); even though microstock buyers are at record numbers there are still many inefficiencies limiting microstock sales. It will take a little time and experience for the microstock video market to develop; both creators (sellers) and buyers will have to learn what each party really wants and how to market and sell it (metadata, subject matter, timing, etc.). Just a guess on my part, of course…

  • VideoJunkie73
    Posted at 01:16h, 26 February Reply

    There is an alternative method to selling your stock footage. Just try to get away from the idea of a microstock company where full control over your stock footage is relinquished. Try to picture owning your own microsite/microstock site without the high costs of development, high bandwith costs, and hosting fees. Emerging web technologies make it possible to own an e-commerce site specifically designed to present and sell stock footage with all of the back office functions to track sales, set prices, and even editing the licensing agreements on each clip sold.

  • VideoJunkie73
    Posted at 03:47h, 07 March Reply

    No need to replicate…we have done it for you. Be clever, you have the entire internet’s resource tools to market with. Absolutely correct…your stock footage is a form of art and should be completely controlled by you. Which leaves it up to the artist to put together collections of clips (niche) and direct your clients to your own showcase e-commerce site with instant digital download capability. Take back control of your artwork videographers.

    • Paul Simon
      Posted at 12:35h, 10 May Reply

      I agree with you. Any creator values his/her own autonomy. Also when you do things by ourselves we learn a lot.

  • Peter
    Posted at 13:03h, 09 March Reply

    Does anyone know if a 500d is capable of capturing image in the correct format for video upload? I’m suspecting not. Pd

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