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How to Choose the Right Royalty-Free License on Pond5


When you’re searching for stock video to use for your projects, we know you want to focus on getting the best possible content. Knowing what to consider when licensing media makes the process much easier, so below you’ll find everything you need to know about selecting the right license for your project on Pond5.

Types of Licenses

Pond5 offers four different kinds of royalty-free licenses for video purchased on the site. The following information details what’s included with each license. (Want to know more about any of the terms used here? Check out our introductory Guide to Royalty-Free Footage Licensing.)

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Still from Comparison, Hologram Futuristic Interface by RollingCamera

Individual License

The Individual License is great for exactly that — individuals. If you’re doing work for a company, a team, or something larger than your own small or local project, you’ll likely need a Business or Premium license.

Indemnification Coverage: Up to $15k
Seats: 1
Broadcast or OTT Type: Typically Local
Client Size: Local
Distributor Size: Local
Example Usage: Student projects, video backgrounds on landing pages, work presentations, trade-show signage

Business License

The Business License is ideal for agencies or small-to-medium-sized businesses, especially those that aren’t fully equipped to handle legal claims. With increased indemnification for your production, you’ll be able to protect both yourself and your client.

Indemnification Coverage: Up to $250k
Seats: Up to 5
Broadcast or OTT Type: Typically Regional
Client Size: Regional
Distributor Size: Regional
Example usage: In-house production, social-media promotion, art prints/posters, greeting cards

Premium License

The Premium License covers national and global use and productions for large-scale companies and agencies. Extra benefits include unlimited users, transfer of raw file content, sensitive-use options (available by contacting, and template use for apps or video games.

Indemnification Coverage: Up to $1M
Seats: Unlimited
Broadcast or OTT Type: National/Global
Client Size: National/Global
Distributor Size: National+
Example usage: Broadcast or feature film, advertising, nationwide commercials, app creations

If you’re trying to build a library of content, you pretty much need to have unlimited seats, which means a Premium License.

Related Post Your Guide to Royalty-Free Licensing

Custom License

For situations outside of the three main licensing offerings, Pond5 also offers custom licenses. If you only need part of your license agreement changed, a custom license might be a cost-effective answer. Some unique situations might include:

• Increased indemnification
• Non-synced music license (such as holding music or sound effects for apps or toys)
• Injunctive relief waiver (to comply with media-company license requirements)
• Digital-only license (high-resolution clips with reduced distribution across social media and web)
• Commercial clearance for use of editorial content
• Sensitive use, raw file transfer rights, or increased seats for Individual or Business Licenses
• Logo use (including imagery, video, or audio), trademark use, or resale

If you need help selecting the right license, or you need anything in the above list, call +1 (855) 410-6789 or email and we’ll be happy to help.

Distributor Size vs. Broadcast/OTT Type

Distributor size is the geographical area of distribution, usually defined as local, regional, national, or global. Broadcast or OTT is a distribution type — OTT stands for “over-the-top,” and refers to distributing TV or film content over the internet.

If your audience is local (for example, an internal school system), that’s covered by the Individual License. If you want to do something regional (such as a tri-state area advertisement or local news broadcast), that’s covered by the Business License. For national or global distribution like Netflix, you’ll need a Premium License. If you are working with any major media company (like Netflix, Disney, etc.), check with our team for a license agreement that has already been pre-approved by your distributor.

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Still from Happy Couple at Home Streaming Video Content by stockmarketfilms

Providing Licensee Information

The licensee information you enter when purchasing your files might be different than your personal information, so double-check that you’ve put in the right client or business information there.


Many buyers, especially large brands or those creating content with wide distribution, need indemnification coverage for the media they license as a legal requirement for producing new work. The Pond5 Business License has $250K in coverage, and the Pond5 Premium License provides $1M of coverage. Even the Pond5 Individual License automatically comes with the most individual indemnification coverage in the industry at $15K. Custom levels of indemnification are also available on request.

If you aren’t comfortable choosing the level of indemnification you need, we suggest that you check with your (or your client’s) legal team. In our experience, they love reviewing this kind of thing.

Our license specialists are available at +1 (855) 410-6789 or to help you customize your coverage or license plan, and to answer any additional questions!

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