As more and more companies and individuals use video in their marketing efforts, they often need to turn to royalty-free video footage as a cheaper solution rather than shooting their own new video footage every week or month. Stock video clips can also supplement your video when you need some b-roll of concepts or cityscapes or other footage you may not have the budget to shoot on your own. Some well-chosen stock video clips can really help made your video shine.
There are several stock video sites available to you. Many offer truly free video clips, while most offer a la carte or membership services with prices as little as $25 per video clip.
When buying royalty-free video footage, keep in mind:
- Your budget
- Your format – if you are using HD, stick with HD, if you shot on DV, a ‘film’ video will stand-out, etc.
- Your Rights – always read the fine print. *Royalty-free means the customer pays a one time fee. This fee covers multiple usages of the footage without incurring further cost. In other words, you don’t have to pay royalties every time it is shown. The licenses are often fairly broad, but as always, read the legal agreement carefully to make sure your desired usage of the video is fully covered in the contract.
Here is a breakdown of some of the best stock video sites around.
Where to get affordable royalty-free video footage
Pexels offers completely FREE videos. All videos on this site fall under the creative commons use license. This means you can edit or change the videos and use them free for personal and even for commercial projects — all without asking for permission or setting a link to the source. Attribution is not required. If you are looking for something very specific, you may have trouble finding it. But for lots of generic scenes, this is a great place to start. And of course, if you shoot video and want to donate to the community you can submit videos for approval as well. Be careful, they usually show you the free clips but also include Shutterstock clips that are not free.
Pixabay is very similar to Pexels. All videos (as well as photos and graphics) here are FREE and released under Creative Commons CC0, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist – even for commercial purposes. You can search or browse by category.
VideoBlocks is a members-only site offering a one-stop shop for stock video.
Annual Membership is just $149 and includes unlimited downloads from their library. All videos in are free after you pay the subscription fee. They have over 100,000 clips, motion backgrounds and After Effects templates. For higher costing memberships, it also includes music, sound effects, and photos.
Pro Video Factory
Pro Video Factory says it’s the largest stock footage subscription plan online and add fresh content regularly. All videos are royalty free (pay for your subscription and never pay on individual video use). They have four plans: The HD Package is $149 per year and comes with unlimited HD video use, plus 10% off any premium clips; the 4K Package is $299 per year and comes with unlimited use of 4K clips, and there is a Free Plan (buried in the footer) where you can still download some select free clips. There’s also a “premium library” if you don’t want to subscribe, you just pay per clip.
For an annual membership, click here.
Pond5’s membership program allows you to download high-quality content every month. They have two flexible Membership options that can fit your media needs and you can cancel at any time.
Free Membership: The offer a pay per clip option where you can browse and buy from the main collection of royalty-free video, plus music, motion-graphics templates. Prices start around $25 per clip.
Paid Membership: In the paid membership ($999/year or $199/month), members get 120 annual downloads from their special membership collection, featuring more than 13 million stock video, music, and images.
You can also cancel your Membership at any time if you wish to discontinue.
Other Stock Video Sites to Consider
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