How to work with stock footage agencies

If you want to produce stock footage for sale, it is quite important to have a clear picture of how the world of stock footage agencies works.

To make an informed choice about which agency is best suited to your needs, it is not only useful to know which are the best on the market and their strengths, but also how licenses and subscription types work, as well as commissions.

Otherwise, you risk getting involved with the wrong agency or being disappointed by the terms of sale, wasting a lot of time that could be devoted more profitably to the production of clips.

What are the best stock footage agencies?

Today, in a growing market such as the video and image market, stock footage agencies are increasingly numerous.

However, your choice of the platform or platforms onto which to upload your videos is not a secondary issue, but rather part of the marketing strategy you want to adopt.


There’s a reason why it’s one of the most famous and well-known platforms in the world: it’s one of the best. Those who want to earn money with their videos certainly can’t ignore it.

In fact, it has many strengths: after passing the entrance test, it offers a very convenient platform for both loading and producing material. As a very popular and well-known platform, it offers ample opportunity to generate sales, especially as Shutterstock customers who want an exclusive clip are not uncommon.

Adobe stock

It is part of the Adobe group and is one of the newest stock footage agencies. Although it arrived on the market later than many other agencies, it has become very popular and offers favorable conditions. Thanks to Adobe’s experience, it is a well-built and easy-to-use platform.


This is another very well-known agency, one of the oldest in the sector. Without a doubt, using iStock is a guarantee of seriousness and visibility, thanks to the fact that it is one of the best known and most used by users.

The limitations of iStock are twofold: the platform is not easy to use because its interface is quite different from traditional interfaces and tends to break the workflow. In addition, commissions are not particularly favorable for contributors.


Known among insiders as a video-only agency, it has recently increased its area of interest to also deal with photographic and musical content. Initially one of Shutterstock’s most important competitors, today it has lost some interest and is paying for the fact that it has not evolved over time.

One of the advantages of this agency is to possibility set the price of your videos independently: this is an important possibility that allows you not to devalue your product. Another special feature is that it does not currently have a subscription, but is managed through the sale of individual clips.

Other minor agencies

In addition to the major agencies, there are other, lesser-known ones, such as Artlist and Storyblocks. Both of these platforms offer the possibility to download videos, music and photos. They have premium monthly/annual plans that allow a certain number of downloads per month. They also have plans with unlimited access, which means that the user can download anything they want for a fixed monthly payment.

These agencies are not very favorable from an economic point of view for contributors: we explain why in greater detail in our video course.

How stock footage licensing and pricing work

Another aspect that you need to be clear about before you throw yourself into the world of stock footage is that of commercial licensing and pricing, otherwise you risk losing out economically.

What are editorial and commercial licenses?

One of the risks you run when you decide to upload your video to a stock footage platform is that it will be rejected, not because of poor quality or other technical errors, but because it does not comply with copyright laws.

Not all agencies use the same guidelines and this complicates matters even more. It must be said, however, that there are basically two types of licenses, according to which videos can be cataloged and assigned two different types of use.

The commercial license is aimed at clips designed for promoting a project or a commercial product, while the editorial license has less restrictive rules and is for videos that are used for editorial purposes, but without advertising products or services.

Although they may seem like very simple concepts, in reality, unraveling complex legislation which is not uniform in all countries is not always easy and it is not uncommon to see your videos rejected just because, for example, a brand appears in passing.

Not everyone knows that even monuments and public events can create difficulties. But that’s not all: people’s privacy must also be protected, so you need to know what releases to sign and not forget to bring them with you when you’re planning to shoot clips.

Making the most of stock footage agencies

To profitably use one, or more, stock footage agencies, it’s not enough to just upload your clips and wait for them to sell.

The strategy you use to maximize sales is not only about marketing aspects, but also about which agency to trust.

Want to get to know the different stock footage agencies in depth, learning to understand their limits and advantages?

Want to know how licenses and releases work so as not to break copyright rules?

Want to know what the most common errors are in using stock footage platforms and how to avoid them?

Have you ever wondered if you would continue to sell if you stopped publishing new content on stock footage platforms?

In our video course, you will find an answer to all your perplexities and doubts on the subject and you will be ready to face your first sales experiences with confidence.

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