The questions of the listeners
In the last episode, I only aired two questions because I spent a lot of time talking about other important topics, so today I would like to give you more answers than usual.
I start with one of those technical questions that I like more.
Dropstock.io to understand if a subject is worth it
I just bought your course.
I was studying the Dropstock.io keyword tool, and your explanations are very clear. There is one thing, however, that I don’t understand.
I simulated a search based on the main keyword "coffee" combined with the secondary keyword "breakfast", and it seemed to be a good subject to produce new stock footage.
But when I type "coffee breakfast" on the Pond5 search engine, I get 90,000 results, which I think means too much competition to be worth it.
What should we do in these cases? Give it up and move on to something else or try it all the same?
The results of an agency like Pond5 are rising. They now have 30 million videos for sale.
Ninety thousand results for those two keywords together are a lot. I also checked the single words “coffee” and “breakfast”, and they both have more than 300 thousand hits.
But try to consider one important thing: dropstock.io measures supply and demand together; it is the only tool on the market that does this. So when you get a high dropstock.io rating and a lot of supply, it means that there is also a lot of demand.
If I were you, I would try to create something on those subjects, but first find a good idea if you want to earn. Combine those subjects with people, because when there is a lot of competition, using people gives you something more.
So, let's get to the point: recruit a family member / a friend of yours and have them simulate a breakfast situation. Light up the scene and, before shooting, write down a plan with 20-30 situations related to breakfast and coffee, like:
- the person who drinks coffee normally
- drinking coffee fast while eating something, maybe while standing up
- the coffee spilling on the table for a distraction
- the person checking the laptop and smartphone while drinking coffee
The limit is your creativity, and that's what we all love about microstock. Being free to produce what we decide and knowing that sales depend only on how good we have been.
Coming to your other question: it is difficult to come up with a number of Pond5 results that suggest that the subject is not worth it. Indeed, it is wrong to do it, in my opinion, because you always have to measure supply and demand together. So if there is a lot of supply, but there is also a lot of demand, it can still be worth it.
The favorable relationship between supply and demand is told only by dropstock.io.
There are some subjects that have very few results in agencies, but they are not convenient to shoot, because only a few buyers want them. If I typed in the name of the small town where I live today on Pond5, I don't think any results would show. But I'm not interested in shooting it, even if it’s outside my door, because there aren't any buyers looking for images or footage of the city where I live.
Pond5 and the sale of stock images
Pond5 is not worth uploading stock images, is it?
That's right. I can tell you that mages don't sell on Pond5, even if the agency sells them. So it's best to avoid wasting your time on uploading photos there.
Remember that you can’t consider free something just because you don’t pay to do it. I imagine that you already sell the stock images you now want to sell on Pond5 on other agencies, but even if it is free to upload content on Pond5, as they don't ask contributors for money to sell their content, you will spend your precious time doing it, even if you use software like Stocksubmitter or Microstock Plus.
This means losing money, because at the same time, you can do something that can give you an income instead, like producing new content.
Consequently, the agencies where you sell your content must be carefully selected, and Pond5 is not worth selling anything other than stock footage.
The best codec for selling stock footage
The videos that my Canon Eos M50 creates are mp4 files that are not so heavy. I edit them with Adobe After Effects and export them as Apple ProRes 422 HQ. By doing so, they become too heavy: a 150 Mb video becomes 5 times heavier.
If I export on Apple ProRes 422 (but not HQ), do you think it will be ok for stock footage?
This is a question for those who produce stock footage, so I will answer quickly before the listeners run away, as I know most of you are photographers, who do not like shooting videos. Please, change your mind.
My friend, you can safely use the non-HQ Apple ProRes 422, which weighs slightly less, but don't expect to produce half-size files. Unfortunately, professional formats are large.
To change something, you should switch to H.264 codec, but many editors still don’t like it, because in color correction operations, it creates images with more artifacts compared to less compressed formats such as the Apple ProRes or Photo Jpeg,.
Time-lapse 8K at 60 fps
I am in love with time-lapses. I would like to produce something in Rome in 8K, 60fps.
Do you think I have a few competitors in today's market?
Could it be attractive for those who buy content for producing documentaries or feature films?
There are still a few competitors on 8K today, especially at 60 fps. The problem is that currently there is also little demand from buyers, and nobody knows whether 8K will actually replace 4K within a few years or not.
However, the downscale from 8K to 4K is in the same aspect ratio. As a result, if you upload in 8K, the customer can buy 4K as it would have if you uploaded directly at that resolution.
The only problem for you is that the render times are much longer, because the resolution is 4 times greater.
The sale of fractals as stock images
Thank you very much for all the advice you give us.
I have a question related to the world of microstock (in which I am planning to start selling). Do agencies accept abstract images like fractals created from photos shot by me?
Agencies accept abstract photos, but in the example you make, fractals, the saleability is very poor. So you risk wasting time to earn nothing.
Again: read the story of Daniele Gay, the contributor I mentioned earlier in this same episode: he has always been a photographer too, but he found a good niche on 3D graphics.
You could try to do like him, taking inspiration from his story.