Stock footage is a video segment lasting from 5 to 30 seconds, which is used by television programs, YouTubers or advertisements, despite being made by filmmakers foreign to the production:
- When in an entertainment show you hear the voiceover talking about different topics, the video shows, for example, footage of many places around the world, or maybe of trolleys at the supermarket, people at work, etc.
Those videos are bought on Microstock agencies, where in a few seconds the director can choose from millions of pieces of content.
I sell hundreds of these clips each year. The good thing for you is that footage like mine is created by freelancers around the world who work with low cost equipment. Here’s one of my best sellers:
I filmed it in Paris in 2009 and I’ve already made more than $1000 with it. To be more precise: $1327.50 (50% of the amount below, which is my share on Pond5.com).
Stock footage is the future:
- For those who produce the content, who sometimes can earn with single footage more than the cost of the equipment they’re working with (I shot the Champs-Elysées footage with a Canon HV20 Mini-DV and a low cost tripod!).
- For the productions that can work faster and can use low cost quality content (stock footage is sold usually $50 to $100) compared to what would happen if they had to film by themselves.
This is a perfect example of using stock footage in a Hillary Clinton video aired during her election campaign in 2016 (President Trump also used tons of stock footage). 99% of what you see was bought online. It is not a low cost commercial for a local TV, but a product that had to push people to elect the most powerful person in the world (she raised more than $1 billion for her campaign and she could hire everyone she wanted to).
We are talking about the present and the future of video and you might think about starting to produce it if you like to film. It’s not easy, but if you study how to do that you still can earn a lot of money.