2018 Stock Footage Earnings Report

How much money I made selling stock footage in 2018.

I started this site to answer one simple question: How much can I earn from stock footage? Tracking my own earnings has been really informative for me. I’m sharing the following report with the hope that others might share their incites so we can collectively produce more valuable stock footage.

2019 Gross Earnings

In the 12 months since I published my 2017 yearly earnings report, I grossed $12,021. This is almost twice the amount of the previous two years combined. So yes, exponential earnings…

My total stock footage earnings since I started in 2016 is now over $20,000.


When I published the 2017 earnings report and started this website, I had a plan to start producing a lot more footage.

This plan went out the window when I got a job I couldn’t turn down.

Over the last year I have done almost no work on my stock footage portfolio.

This means that all of the $12,021 was earned completely passively, for the first time in my career.

If I were to calculate an hourly rate for the time I invested to film and upload my stock portfolio, it would be right around $80 per hour after I account for a generous 20% going towards expenses.

Agency Breakdown

These aren’t exact percentages, but pretty close, that breakdown how much I earned from each agency. Not all of my portfolios are the same size on each agency, so I would recommend checking the out yourself if you want to draw more detailed conclusions.

Shutterstock: 60%

Pond5: 30%

Videohive: 5%

Storyblocks: 2.5%

Adobe Stock: 2.5%

Next Steps

After a year away from putting any time into stock footage production, I’m newly motivated to start again. One thing I have noticed early in 2019 is that my sales are starting to taper off slightly. I think this makes sense as footage is bound to have some kind of shelf life.

My earnings were below the $20K+ goal I had set out for at the start of last year. Considering that I did almost no work in the last year though, I’m confidant I could have reached it with even 100 hours or so of labor.

Even if I were to net $50 per hour for the labor that goes into producing footage in the future I would be pulling in about $400 per day.

I’m not going to be shooting stock full-time, but based on a very conservative estimate, if I did this full-time I would make an annual salary of around $90,000. If my earnings continued at the rate they had in 2018, a projected full-time salary would be closer to $144,000.

This seems a bit crazy, I would love any reader’s thoughts or experiences related to earnings, especially if you have taken the plunge and are producing stock footage full-time.

Please let me know if you have any other questions or ideas below!

Posted by L.B. - Stock by Numbers

Team of filmmakers and videographers who started StockbyNumbers.com to provide and source helpful information for stock footage producers. Looking to increase stock footage sales for the whole contributor community, greater passive income, and more free-time to focus on even greater creative pursuits!

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