First sell on Pond5 (need clarifications)

Hey guys,

Just sold my first track on Pond5 (yay!) but it raised some questions.
First of I only got a fraction of what the original price is, is it how Pond5 split the share?

Will I get paid royalties from it or get credited in the project it’s been used? I’m guessing I need to enter the track into a PRO?

In terms of licences, this may sounds silly, but when they purchase it does that mean they can only use it for one project, or do they have the license to use it whenever and forever?

Sorry if some questions feels redundant, just want to make sure I get my fair share!

Thanks guys

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@RomainQuessaudJSZ congrats!

  1. You need to register ALL your work by a PRO! Imagine this music was synced to a project which goes viral. So he will make money and you made 5$, would it be fair? That’s where the PRO comes in. They collect the backend for you if it’s used on radio, tv, etc.

  2. Usually the splits are 50/50, however I’ve heard P5 raised their pie.

  3. The licensee can only use this track for only one project/Sync. If he wants to use your track in more videos, he either makes a special deal, or he has to buy a separate license for each project, which is more common. As P5 operates more with normal people and not with big production houses, it will be the 2nd one.

Kind regards,
Alexey (JLX)


Hi Alexey, thank you so much for your help!

Just curious to know how do PRO monitor the performances for royalties? I am using APRA AMCOS in Australia, and when I register a work the only info I give really is the name of the track and my name as the composer, as I don’t have an ISRC or any other code to link it to…

As you said, you need to have ISRC in order that the PRO can indentify your track. All the radio-station, TV-station, local-houses, who play music, need to give a list of tracks, which they played. If your track was used: they write down how long they have played it, how many times, etc. and because there are so many tracks called “Time To Run”, or whatever, each track gets an ISRC-code, which should be provided by your publisher, so the PRO know exaclty which track was yours. If you don’t have your own publisher, you need to buy this code yourself. If you check out how much it costs, you actually don’t want to do it yourself, as it costs too much money. So you need to make sure you get a publisher, who is getting these codes for you. Pond5 doesn’t provide it, so you lose potentionally a lot of money, should your music be used in a TV show, trailer, etc. I was researching a lot about this topic, as I didn’t know either where to get these codes, besides being connected to a publisher. Because for example there are tracks, which you don’t want to place in a library, but still want to have this code.

There are two options: You either register ALL your music with one or more publishers, so you get the ISRCs from them, or you publish your music yourself through different providers like CDbaby, DistroKid, etc. if you sell your album there, you get buy these codes there – they will be more affortable. Around 50 cents per track.

Hope that helps :slight_smile:

If you still have any questions, I am here to help hopefully :wink:


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Thank you so much! Yes as I don’t need to distribute them through the main streaming platform, I’m thinking to just apply for an ISRC through my national agency.

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I’ve seen several possibilities here and I am trying to figure out the best one.I have used TuneCore to distribute a small bit of my music, of course you get a code for each track once you work with them, They are also offering a new service, Publishing Administration, which has a setup fee of $75. It appears there is a 15% commission and 20% sync commission (I am still trying to determine what all these mean).

In the US there is also usisrc,org where you can purchase a registrant code for $95, which allows you to assign up to 100,000 ISRCs oer year, and the code is good for life. Not sure about everyone else, but I don’t anticipate surpassing the 100,000 track mark this year :laughing:

Then there’s the matter of agencies like ASCAP, which I haven’t figured where they fit into all this. I assume they nogotiate standard fees, but I am sure there is other info on this board that I haven’t seen yet.

So much to learn and only one lifetime to learn. If anyone has recommendations as far as the best way to go… suggestions always welcome.

Why don’t you let Pond5 doing the publishing on Pond5?

Do they assign an ISRC or would I need to do that elsewhere?

ISRC is for releases if I understand it right. (CD, streaming etc)

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Hi, all!

Here’s how I’m doing it:

  • I register all my music with a PRO.
  • I publish the main edits (the longest run) of each track as a part of an album. This is mainly to get a YouTube ContentID for the music.

For example, for my first stock music album that makes:

  • 20 tracks that have an ISWC + ISRC.
  • 341 more tracks that only have an ISWC (so, about 15 edits per track).

Researching this topic, I have come to the conclusion that the author name/IPI code and the correct title of the work (or alternative title) is sufficient (not even the ISWC is required) in order for the royalties to find their way home. I have got payments from my PRO from works that have been performed in concerts but have never been published on a record and thus do not have an ISRC assigned to them.

As my PRO does not even keep track of the ISRC codes of their administered works, I’m a little confused as to how ISRC could be a major identifier in this regard.

As you, Alexey @jlx_music, have experience regarding radio and tv performances, are you absolutely certain that ISRC is absolutely required for these purposes? And if so, do you think it would be permissible to report the main track ISRC for all the different edits?

In Finland, there is TEOSTO (the PRO) and then there is GRAMEX (the copyright society of performing artists and producers of phonograms in Finland), and only the latter is interested in the ISRC. But these things apparently work a little differently from country to country, PRO to PRO. In Finland, you can become a producer for a small one-time fee, and then virtually assign as many ISRC codes as you like, for life.



Thank you, useful information. I appreciate the clarification.

Hey @eero, thank you for tagging me, although it took a while to reply. Well, I can’t tell you if the radio or tv stations are using ISRCs, however, they 100% use ISWCs, as they work with lists.

ISRCs are important for recognising recordings in digital media environments, so you don’t miss your internet royalties. But as far as I know, from people who are extremely deep into library music and tv stuff, royalties aren’t 100% payed out, as many parties who are involved don’t have time, or miss, or don’t even bother about tagging your tracks. It’s happens a lot, but isn’t the case all the time of course. That’s why a lot of labels and more professional houses use music tracking software, so they don’t miss out anything.

Just a couple of days ago I wrote a message to a friend telling him that there are cases where someone else music is used in TV, Shows, etc. and they don’t even know about it, as people either just take it without asking, or just steal, and say: “Hey, it’ mine! I wrote it!”

So in this case your ISWC doesn’t help you at all. You NEED ISRC!!!

Here is actually the software I am talking about:

To clarify, you need to music that you have licensed successfully already on TV shows, etc. if not, it’s too expensive to even start. If you have up to 50 tracks, it’s $100/month. If you have up to 100 tracks, it’s $187/month.

On the page is a video that makes it all clear, the only question is: Who will pay you the money you have lost on the way, TuneSat or the TV channel? I never used it, so I can’t tell. Maybe TuneSat has specific contracts with the channels or has lawyers, whatever. In the beginning, it sounds a lot of money for a tracking service, but again, if you write a lot of music for a library, it makes sense to invest, as you could potentially lose the 100x what you invest in them.

But professional libraries should already use it for you, and even distributors like CDBaby.

I hope that helps. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the elaboration, Alexey! It seems I’m on the right track with getting at least an ISWC for every single different edit and releasing the music as albums via a distributor, which actually do an incredible lot for us. :slightly_smiling_face:

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