The bottom line
Pond5 is the best service for stock footage loved by customers and contributors. They offer a wide variety of buying options that are affordable even for individuals. Overall, it’s expensive, making Pond5 ideal for professionals and teams with large budgets.
Professional video editors, high-end freelancers, companies
- 32 million videos, and 54 million images.
- Price matching if you find the exact assets cheaper elsewhere.
- Credit Packs offer up to 25% bonuses.
- Subscriptions give access to a small portion of content.
- Some videos are very, very expensive.
- One-size subscriptions only.
|Sound effects||1.8 million|
Pond5 was founded in 2006 but experienced a significant surge in success after 2008 when the company received a substantial angel investment of $500,000. In 2011, Pond5 acquired Pixmac, began licensing images, and expanded its collection to over 5 million. In 2016, extended licenses were introduced, making Pond5 accessible to businesses, and more than 15,000 videos were uploaded daily. In May of 2022, Pond5 was acquired by Shutterstock, the largest stock photo agency. Today, Pond5 has several offices across Europe and North America and offers 31 million videos of excellent quality.
Some of the best Pond5 alternatives for stock footage are Artgrid and Videvo, which offer unlimited downloads but fewer than 1 million stock videos in their library. Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, and Depositphotos, on the other hand, all have millions of stock videos and cost about the same or slightly less than Pond5.
- Artgrid – Best alternative for unlimited downloads.
- Videvo – A lot cheaper alternative with unlimited downloads.
- Shutterstock – Better stock video subscriptions
- Adobe Stock – Better for video editors
- Depositphotos – Better for bloggers
Pond5 has more than 31 million stock videos and almost 50 million stock photos that you can subscribe to or buy whenever you want. Although Pond5 isn’t the cheapest stock footage site, it’s the first choice for many media houses, filmmakers, and advertising agencies. Pond5 videos are more affordable than Shutterstock or Adobe Stock but more expensive than Artgrid or Videvo, which offer unlimited downloads.
Type of Content Offered by Pond5
Pond5 is a marketplace for stock footage first and a stock photo site second. In addition, you can get music, sound effects, after-effects, and 3D models.
- Footage: 31 million (16+ million 4K videos)
- Music: 1.6 million
- Sound effects: 1.7 million
- After Effects: 29,900
- Images: 49.4 million
- 3D models: 67,300
Pond5 licenses videos with two subscriptions of 10 monthly downloads for $199/month or $999/year ($8.33-$19.90/video), with credit packs that cost more, but you can get a 25% bonus (starting at $20/video), and with cash (starting at $25/video). Pond5 pricing is relatively simple as there are only a handful of purchase options, but they cover every scenario, so you’re guaranteed to find a plan that suits you.
Recently Pond5 overhauled its pricing system and introduced subscriptions (previously known as Membership). They are available in monthly and yearly durations, with three types (depending on the content) and in one size of 10 downloads per month. Here’s the comparison:
|Music||Music & SFX||Footage Plus|
|You get||10 downloads/month||10 downloads/month||10 downloads/month|
|Choose from||1.5M music tracks||1.5M music tracks;|
1.7M sound effects
|4.2M HD & 4K videos;|
1.5M music tracks;
1.7M sound effects;
12M images, 3D models, and AE templates
|Pay monthly||$25/month ($2.50/download)||$30/month ($3/download)||$199/month ($19.90/download)|
|Pay yearly||$150/year ($1.25/download)||$180/year ($1.50/download)||$999/year ($8.32/download)|
They are the cheapest way to get content at Pond5, but they have a few restrictions.
What we like about subscriptions
Pond5 subscriptions are an excellent way to save a substantial part of your budget. The yearly subscriptions are 50% cheaper than the monthly, plus they grant you an additional 10% discount sitewide.
What we don’t like about subscriptions
The Footage Plus subscription plan gives you access only to a small selection of images (4.2M out of 54M) and videos (12M out of 32M). We also don’t like that they are available in 1 size (10 downloads per month).
You get Pond5 credit (i.e., cash) by purchasing a credit pack. The difference between paying with cash and credits is that by using credits, you also get bonuses of up to 25%. You can spend the credits downloading anything on Pond5, but you may not get the remaining credits back, even if you won’t use them.
There are four Credit Pack sizes and an option to get a custom pack.
- You pay $250 and get $275 in credit (a $25 bonus).
- You pay $500 and get $565 in credit (a $65 bonus).
- You pay $1,000 and get $1,160 in credit (a $160 bonus).
- You pay $2,500 and get $3,000 in credit (a $500 bonus).
What can you use credits for?
You may use credits to buy any media (asset) on Pond5, including 4K and Hd videos, music, sound effects, images, motion graphics, etc.
What are bonuses?
Bonuses are the rewards for using credits. For example, if you buy a credit pack for $250, you get a $25 bonus, meaning you get $275 for paying $250.
Pay per item
If you want complete freedom, you can buy each asset separately. However, this is the most expensive option since you won’t get any bonuses. Here’s how much content costs when you pay per item:
- Video: from $25
- Music: from $5
- Photos: from $1
- After effects: from $5
- Sound effects: from $2
- 3D: from $5
However, the prices often go much higher, up to several thousand dollars per video.
All Pond5 licenses are royalty-free, meaning you may use them for commercial and non-commercial projects worldwide forever. Three licenses differ in price, the number of team members that may use them, and the indemnification amount.
|Use case||Social media, sizzle reels||TV broadcasts, local advertising||Feature films, national advertising|
|Allowed use||1 individual||5 individuals||Everyone on your team|
|Indemnification||Up to $15K||Up to $250K||Up to $1M|
With the recent pricing update, Pond5 increased the price of Business and Premium licenses by more than twofold without increasing the rights. Previously, the Business and Premium licenses cost $60 and $120, respectively.
What is the Individual license?
The Individual license is included with every content purchase on Pond5, including subscriptions, credits, or pay-per-item. The most basic royalty-free license allows only one person to use the licensed asset and ensures up to a $15,000 indemnity.
What are Business and Premium licenses?
The Business and Premium licenses are the extended forms of a royalty-free license that grant you additional rights. They can be used with up to 5 and 10 individuals and grant up to $250K and $1M indemnification, respectively.
When do you need an extended license?
You should get an extended license (Business or Premium) when you need one of all of the additional rights they offer. Many customers choose extended licenses to get higher indemnity, which grants them additional protection. This is useful when you work in larger productions or on behalf of businesses, where you must comply with their legal or insurance policies.
Extended licenses are also necessary when you want to share them among your team members. If your team has more than 10 members, you can get a custom extended license by contacting customer support. They can also arrange additional rights, such as prohibited use, using editorial content commercially, higher indemnity, and even use in logos.
Pond 5 Buying Guide
Here we answered the most common questions we get from our readers inregardingond5 pricing and licensing. If you still have a question, get in touch with us and we’ll help you.
1. I want to buy one video. Which Pond5 option is the best for me?
If you need only 1 video, your best option is to buy it independently of all plans. Simply pick the video, click on the “Add to cart” button, and proceed to the checkout. Videos purchased this way cost $25+, so pick this option if you really need just one video.
2. My client will use the video for commercial purposes online. Do they need to buy a license?
If you’re working for a client, only you buy the license because you’re the one using the video. Once you’re done, you can send them the final product than includes the video and they don’t have to buy the license. However, you may not send them the standalone video file.
3. I need videos regularly. What is my best option?
When you need video regularly (around 10 downloads per month), the best option for you is Subscriptions that cost $199/month or $999/year ($8.33-$19.90/video).
4. I am not sure about Pond5; is it safe?
Yes, Pond5 is a 100% safe stock video website. Hundreds of thousands of users have successfully bought and used video from Pond5 without any complications. Likewise, we have never had any issues with Pond5 either, so we can confidently recommend it to you. In addition, Pond5 has one of the highest indemnifications in the business, with up to $1M in legal coverage with the Premium license.
Best Price Guarantee
If you find the same clip elsewhere, reach out to Pond5 and they will match it. However, that will work only if the clip is identical.
- Identical format, length, and other specs.
- The licensing terms must be as broad as Pond5’s Individual license.
- Subscriptions or discounted prices don’t count.
- The price must be publicly displayed.
- The competition must have the right to share the clip.
- Price matching is done in USD ($).
- Pond5 will not reduce the price below their “Pay per item” prices.
How to get the price matched?
Pond5’s catalog of royalty-free content is integrated into several popular platforms, including Adobe, Filmora, ByteDance, Vidmob, and Frame.io.
If you’re a developer, you can reach out to Pond5 and ask for a bespoke solution for your platform or app through their API.
Pond5 is one of the highest-rated stock footage/photos sites, with over 11,400 reviews with a whooping 4.7 average rating on Trustpilot. 78% of reviews on Trustpilot rated Pond5 as excellent, and only 1% as poor or bad, which is also why I’m comfortable recommending Pond5 to you.
Additionally, Pond5 takes good care of its dissatisfied customers. Every single bad review on Trustpilot has been addressed by the Pond5 PR team, which made a good effort to take care of any issues the customers had, often even refunding their payments.
However, I noticed a similar issue with other products on Trustpilot; the majority of bad reviews come from customers who didn’t read the terms and agreements carefully before jumping right into paying.
Is Pond5 a legit website?
Pond5 is a safe website used by thousands of businesses worldwide, including Disney, BCC, and Discovery Channel. Pond5 also offers indemnification of up to 1 mil for its licenses, thus protecting you against legal issues.
Is Pond5 free?
No, Pond5 is a marketplace where photographers, videographers, and other artists sell their content. But the Pond5 team will help you by putting together a customized media collection for you for free.
Who uses Pond5?
Pond5 is used by media organizations, filmmakers, and marketers from all over the world. It’s also used by renowned brands like Discovery Channel, BBC, Snapchat, Facebook, Netflix, and LinkedIn.
If you need quality stock footage at reasonable prices, Pond5 is the place for you. Credits If you opt for credits packages, you can save a lot more than on other stock footage sites and spend your budget on even more videos or better effects. However, I don’t like the restrictions placed on you by the memberships that only give you access to a small portion of the marketplace.
Countless positive reviews from satisfied customers are another proof of how good Pond5’s services really are. More importantly, the contributing videographers and photographers at Pons5 are very happy because they can set the prices for their content themselves, giving them the opportunity to earn a living. And this is also very important for you as a customer, because it means that you get to enjoy fairly purchased content.