Contributor Tips, Inspiration

Creating for Emerging Markets: How to Be a Pioneer in a New Frontier


Whether you’re creating visually engaging footage or amplifying your musical vision, developing fresh work that resonates with buyers is always a challenge. As much as social, cultural, and political trends shape our creative ideas, being aware of the latest emerging markets and technologies can give you an extra edge. You may be at the top of your game today, but finding a niche to service new markets will expand the breadth of your collection tomorrow. Chances are high that you’re already well aware of these emerging markets, but it’s also important for you to understand that these markets are rapidly evolving.

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Leveraging Everyday Storytelling

The opportunities here exist due to a need for a diverse cross-section of contemporary content. User-generated content (UGC) is not a new or a fleeting fad; as long as there’s social media, it’s here to stay. Content created by customers is quickly turning people into brand advocates, which in turn has increased the demand for real content shot on a mobile device — with Instagram being the most popular platform, trusted by more than 5,000 top brands.

Simply put, we’ve entered into the era of consumer advocates being the real marketers of a brand. When UGC was in its infancy, a very well-known agency paid me a lot of money to produce a pharmaceutical campaign shot on a smartphone. At the time, I couldn’t understand why they didn’t want a slick 4k shoot — that answer is much clearer eight years later. UGC primary subjects are essentially the same primary content subjects that we already cover, but with a less polished result. I can only stress that if you take the effort to shoot for a theme on your smartphone, make your content as authentic as it can be.

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Virtual and Augmented Reality

Virtual and augmented reality have transformed the way we interact with the objects and the environment around us. The use of virtual reality in various sectors, such as entertainment and media, as well as medical and educational fields, are driving the growth of the global VR and AR market. Month to month, Pond5’s 360 VR segment continues to grow and at a rapid rate in both the size of our collection and client requests.

Computer Programmer Testing VR Simulator in Workshop by caiapond5

The 360 VR frontier is wide open, so if you have the gear and willingness to blaze a trail through this emerging market, there’s no better time to get started. More and more media companies have also been increasing their investments in sectors such as augmented and virtual reality, with large and small players alike rushing into this space at breakneck speed.

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The Virtual Studio Musician

I just got back into making music myself after 35 years, which has been challenging to say the least. Setting up a home studio with the latest recording technology was foreign to me, but I did a bit of research, read reviews, and discovered equipment and software that could get the job done at reasonable price. With that said, I was missing the one most important ingredient to bring my vision to life — I needed to hire a few other musicians. AirGigs opened up new possibilities for me for music production via online collaboration.

Musician Using Computer in Recording Studio by fStopImagesGmbH

The results of the work that was produced for my project surpassed all my expectations. I was able to expand upon the palette of my sounds with real instruments created from top session players without paying the prices of renting time in a studio. In addition, the prices for these services were unbelievably affordable. If you’re a music contributor to Pond5, you may also want to pitch your services in this way to earn some extra cash composing custom arrangements for a global network of passionate folks like yourselves.

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Your Feedback Is Crucial

As creators, it’s our job to clearly be aware of the ever-changing technologies that drive our visions. Be on the lookout in the upcoming months as we cover more trends, technologies and other stories that relate to making you more successful by tapping into the Pond5 Contributor Portal. If there’s anything in particular you’d like to see, or questions you want answered, let us know in the comments below. Feedback is always important to us, and you can even feel free to contact me directly at for a personal response.

Top image: Young Skateboarder With Smartphone by westend61