I’ve been getting asked this a lot lately, so I thought I’d post a new blog with my opinion on what every Stock Footage site should have from a seller’s point of view:
- Clearly defined payment structure and schedule. I’m tired of having to dig through several pages of “FAQs” to figure out how much I need to earn to get paid and when I’ll get paid.
- FTP upload. I use iSyndica for all of my asset distribution. If your site is not supported directly by iSyndica (if not, it should be) then you need to support FTP uploads.
- iSyndica integration. Your site needs some kind of API that iSyndica can use to download my sales data. If you haven’t tried iSyndica, create a free trial account and take a look at their “Analytics” page. It is outstanding for tracking my sales. You also need the ability to import clip data from iSyndica. I want to type in the title, description and keywords once on iSyndica and have them auto-fill when I visit your site.
- Stats! I need stats! I want to know how many views each clip gets, how many times it’s added to a cart, (obviously) how many times it has sold, and what clip bins (lightbox, favorites or whatever you call it) it’s in.
- I want to know what the popular search terms are, preferably daily, but weekly will do. Knowing that information helps me to spot trends so that I can produce more content that will sell. Better for me, better for you.
- Likewise, I want to know what the top selling clips are for the day, week and month. Again, it will help me to spot trends.
- If you reject one of my assets, please tell me why. Not with a canned response, but specifics. Give your reviewers the ability to type in a small note giving details on why they rejected my submission.
- I want the ability to create submission templates so that when I submit multiple assets from a similar collection, it’s quick and easy to copy the same relevant data from one file to the next. Optionally, I’d like the ability to just copy data directly from another clip. As an example, Pond5 has an excellent template system and RevoStock has a great way to copy data from another uploaded clip. Combine those two features and you have the ultimate in quick and easy submission.
- I want support for mass import. Once I’ve uploaded a bunch of clips, let me import a CSV file with all of the clip data. This is especially important if you’re a new site and you’d like to build your site’s portfolio very quickly.
- I want to upload my footage in my camera’s native format (in my case, AVCHD). If your site does not allow buyers to re-encode their purchases to their desired format, you are behind the curve. By letting me upload my footage in AVCHD format you’ll be getting a much better looking clip which has more color data in it and AVCHD files are actually smaller than PhotoJPEG even though they contain more data. So it saves on your storage costs as well.
- I want to set my own prices. I know the value of my footage, it’s my business to know. So let me set my own prices.
- I want to create “collections”. Anywhere from 2 to 10 clips which sell as a bundle for one price. A sports collection, a time-lapse collection, etc… just let me create my own collections and set a price for them.
- I want to create coupons. Let’s say that you and I split each sale 50/50. So on a $10 clip, you get $5 and I get $5. I want to create a coupon good for 3 days (or 5 days, or a week, etc..) that gives a discount as a dollar amount or percentage. And that discount comes from “my end” since I created the coupon. So if I create a $2.00 off coupon and sell a $10 clip, you still get your $5.00 but I only get $3.00 because the $2.00 discount came from my end. And obviously, the coupon would only be valid for my clips.
- I want to create a VIDEO BLOG for my portfolio. Essentially I want to create tutorials which show buyers how to use my clips in their projects. My tutorials will attract buyers to your site and hopefully my portfolio.
- I want a higher percentage, but we can argue about that later… 🙂
And you can be sure I will add to this list when other things I know I’m missing pop into my head when I re-read this for the next 30 or 40 times.