As a drone pilot, selling stock footage is a great way to make extra money. Unfortunately, stock images and video are so readily available that you really have to know what footage sells if you are going to make a profit. We’ve all been out there, trying to get the best shots, only to find out that other pilots have already uploaded 1,000 of the same footage clips. So, how can you figure out what footage you should be filming if you want to cash in on your drone filming?
A lot of us started as filmmakers. That creative streak is something that we can harness, fortunately, to find the better stock footage shots that will get the sale that we want. Stock footage has to be unique—it should be something that tells a bigger story, or that offers a unique perspective that isn’t easy to find.
5. Environmental Footage
As many companies are starting to focus on the ongoing climate crisis and the need for environmental impact reduction and improvement, the demand for eco-friendly and environmental stock footage is soaring. Companies are looking to show their own efforts in helping the environment or convey the message that they are working to make a difference. Climate change is altering our planet and it affects everyone, which is why this footage is not only sellable, it is important to the story of our planet and when you collect as much as you can, you’ll save on your own carbon footprint by not having to return to a location to gather additional footage later.
Industrial drone footage has urban appeal. In our multifaceted world, people love the futuristic, and yet modernly urban nature of this footage. Cities and industries are innovative and unique, and capture people’s interest with ease. If you’re looking to show off an urban setting or just create an innovative ambiance, this footage can deliver.
3. Transportation Footage
Transportation is another popular choice for stock footage that you can sell with your drone. Transit and vehicles are popular because companies around the world ship and transport products, so it is relatable for those who want the footage for their various videos and materials. Another reason transportation footage works is because movement often brings a positive energy to videos.
Agricultural shots offer a sense of heritage and a connection to nature. Aerial footage of farms could be requested by media and news companies, and even many farmers and corporate farms themselves are now making videos that require stock footage. With the addition of mapping, GIS analysis, and other tools, footage from a farm drone could be used to create a modern news piece or documentary.
Tip: Although it might not be as popular, agriculture drone footage is a potentially huge marketplace that is largely untapped.
1. City Shots
In terms of stock footage, city shots are always a great choice. City footage sells because people live and work in cities, and because many of the cities around the world are masterpieces of modern engineering. Look at the skylines of cities like New York and Tokyo—footage of these beautiful scenes can create plenty of room for imagination and convey a feeling of power, wonder, and even curiosity.
Important tip: Some cities are specifically designated as “no-fly zones”, make sure to do a preflight check to see if you’re able to fly in the city of choice.
As you can see, there are plenty of options when you want to sell drone footage. Now that you know which types of stock footage will sell best, you can get out there and start getting the shots that will generate the cash you want.