Why the Stock Footage Agency Model is Broken
2020 has been a tough year in general, and also for stock footage. It was a great business model in 2014, but for contributors that rely on Stock Agencies it is becoming more challenging than ever. Covid 19 kept most people around the world indoors for a few months preventing us from filming. To be fair it didn’t present some new opportunities to sell in the coronavirus niche.
This niche has become saturated with contributors as well as agencies. I think I may have been one of the first instructors in this niche teaching people how to get started making money with their videos in the stock footage models.
In 2020 Shutterstock then decreased contributor payouts. Blackbox is one of the few agencies worth spending time on these days as I’ve discussed on another video talking about the Shutterstock revolt. Blackbox allows you to get around the Shutterstock tiered payout system and other advantages as explained in the video.
I don’t plan on taking down my footage after spending so many years building up my portfolio that still does pay out. It is nice to make $20 or 50 US from a video clip multiple times shot 4 or 5 years ago. The issue is as a contributor we need a more consistent return on time and effort to continue to spend full time on this.
The agency model is not efficient. Contributors often spend a lot of time creating a portfolio and only a portion of the clips sell. The past 3 years I saw this and gradually started licensing footage direct to customers. This was not easy to do at first because I didn’t have the knowledge, resources, or advertising budgets. Eventually I figured out how to build a system to license direct to clients and also increased the amount of stock footage commissioned projects. More on this in the Video and if you’re interested in selling direct to customers
When you provide footage direct to customers you can focus all your time and energy on shooting exactly what the customer wants. You have a direct line of communication to the customer. I believe demand for video content is still there, but if you want to continue to earn by providing broll footage to customers to need to be more tactical. You cannot rely on one platform for your living. Sign up to learn how to sell direct to your customers and build a system to license your footage direct. In essence you need to improve your business and marketing skills.
How much can I earn licensing my footage sets
It's up to you and footage you are offering. I've sold HD sets from an SLR for for up to $50US and annual subscriptions for up to $400US.
What is Commissioned footage
When a customer hires you to shoot raw footage of their shotlist.
Who are these customers
They are primarily business customers that may require media for their marketing purposes or even their Youtube channel documentaries
How do I get Started?
Sign up at the link and I'll arm you with more information to get started