Pro Tips

A Stock Video Search Engine That Works


Superior Search

We’re proud of having the world’s largest video library for royalty-free footage. We also know how important it is for creatives to find the perfect content they need quickly. There’s nothing more frustrating than typing a phrase into a search bar and then having to end up watching videos for hours across dozens of pages before finding anything remotely useful.

That’s why we built the best stock video search engine in the world. But don’t take our word for it. See for yourself.

Search Designed for Video

Since Pond5’s inception, we’ve designed our onsite search with video users in mind. Our competitors started as stock photography companies, resulting in onsite search capabilities and algorithms tuned for image purchasers. Some of our competitors are video companies; however, their limited libraries yield only a handful of search results.

We’ve built Pond5’s onsite search from the ground up to maximize our video search to return accurate, relevant, and valuable results. You can see it in our search filters. We let you filter based on meaningful qualities for video shoppers, like resolution, frames per second, duration, and other specialized needs common to video. These needs include RED Camera footage, videos with an alpha channel for easy editing, drone footage, and green screen footage. Competitor sites only allow you to filter results on traditional image attributes like size and orientation.

We’re also proud of our patented advanced search capabilities, such as reverse video searches. Not only did we invent these, we were also the first stock video company to bring these capabilities to market, beating even search engines like Google and Bing.

But enough talk. Let’s compare our actual search results and those of some of our competitors.

We’ve arbitrarily chosen the search term: Washington DC drone footage

Here are the actual screenshots.

Competitor 1 – Irrelevant search results, questionable legality

stock video search engine example


When we type “Washington DC drone” into the search box of this popular free site, it returns several generic videos of landscapes, some apparently in Seattle, some in New York, and some in Tennessee.

You’ll notice another thing about this and many other free sites: they’ll front-load their best quality videos at the top, but after page 3 or 4, the footage becomes very low-quality.

Even more concerning, the clips in Seattle show clear depictions of the Space Needle, yet there is no indication that these videos are for “Editorial Use Only.” Any commercial use of this video risks a trademark infringement lawsuit, and no one wants that!


Competitor 2 – Irrelevant results

Another stock video search engine example.

These results perplexed us. The search for “Washington dc drone” resulted in 237 results. There are aerial shots of Brooklyn, a snowy scene in Turkey, and shots of state capitol buildings in Salt Lake City, Denver, and Tallahassee. However, aside from a single aerial clip of the Pentagon, not one video of Washington, DC on the entire first page of results.


Competitor 3 – Irrelevant results and limited selection

Stock video search engine with irrelevant results and limited selection.

These results are from a subscription site where you pay a flat rate and can download unlimited videos from their library. Sounds great until you realize that their entire library consists of only a few hundred thousand videos. That may sound like a lot, but when divided among thousands of categories, you find that the selection and quality are pretty poor the further you drill down. Furthermore, these unlimited subscription sites also suffer from over-saturation of their higher-quality content, just like the free sites.


Competitor 4 – Irrelevant results and limited selection

Here is another endless subscription stock video site. This one returned four results, two of Rockville, Maryland, and two of a plane wreck in Iceland (no, we can’t figure it out either).


Competitor 5 – Irrelevant results

This is another stock video site with millions of videos, but the search algorithm seems off. For this query, the site returned 13,238 search results but strangely not one video of Washington, DC on the first page of results. Stranger still, there are shots of domed buildings in London; Olympia, Washington; Austin, Texas; and Sacramento, California but not one of the Capitol Dome in Washington, DC. There’s an image that looks like it might be the Jefferson Memorial, but it’s actually the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. There’s another video that looks like the Washington Monument, but it’s actually the Obelisk of Theodosius in Istanbul, Turkey.



Pond5’s Stock Video Search Engine

And finally, here are Pond5’s results. Right away, you can see iconic shots of the Washington suburbs, photos of the Capitol Dome from various angles, and shots of the National Mall. There are over 300 video clips to choose from, all aerials of Washington, DC, as you’d expect. Though a few shots of the University of Washington slipped in, our search team is continually at work testing and tweaking our algorithms to address any nonrelevant results.

Pond5's stock video search engine.

We’ve compiled these results to demonstrate a point. Search engines built for filtering images do not work nearly as well as algorithms designed explicitly for video search. Additionally, as we saw above, free and unlimited subscription sites are replete with problems like questionable legal protection, low overall quality, and over-saturation of their limited selection of high-quality videos.

Pond5 has been providing high-quality stock videos since 2006. We’ve designed our algorithms purely for video and pride ourselves on having the best search engine for royalty-free video anywhere (and yes, we’d put our search results against even Google and YouTube).

Whatever your video content needs, we know your time is precious, and sifting through dozens of pages of poor-quality or irrelevant videos is a waste. We aim to help you find a video that’s perfect for your needs in the fewest clicks possible whatever your project, be it content marketing, film production, or social media

As much as we believe our search functionality is best in class, we realize there are times when you need “the human touch.” That’s why we introduced the following services:

Hand-picked Collections

Every month, our curation team chooses a few of the top trending or most popular video topics and hand-picks the best of the best from our library to help inspire you. Visit our home page to see the latest, or see here for an archive of previously-curated collections.

Free Research

Whenever you have a big project or are too busy to search, we can become an extension of your team. You’re never under obligation to purchase the content we recommend. Just tell us your needs, and our expert research team will immediately start hand-picking content based on your information. Within 48 hours of the request, we’ll email a link to your inbox with your personalized, curated collection of Pond5 media.

Top Rated Customer Service

When you reach out for customer support via email or phone, you can rest assured that you’ll talk with someone who will take the time to understand your needs and who shares your passion for video production—not a chatbot that is programmed to spew out generic responses (nor a human that does the same). We’re proud of the consistently high ratings our customer service team receives. Read more about how Pond5 emphasizes the human touch in all that we do.