Free footage is great but …
Last week I reviewed 35+ sites that offer free stock footage downloads. It’s hard to argue that free is great but often it takes considerable time and effort to sift through an enormous quantity of material to find something you can use. Then you have to figure out the licensing requirements, whether you have to give credit, and if you can use the clips commercially.
Free stuff is great but your time has value too!
If you’re working on a commercial client project, you don’t normally have the luxury of spending hours on searching for footage or using the clips with unclear licensing terms. This is the time when you need the top quality footage, you need it fast, and you want complete peace of mind with everything related to licensing and commercial rights.
When free stock videos sites can’t help, consider spending a bit of your budget on premium footage to quickly get the creatives you need for your project.
My go-to list of premium stock footage sites
iStock offers a large collection from over 160k artists that offers millions of video clips covering different niches and themes, including around 4K of resolution videos. All their content is royalty free and cleared for commercial use.
Unlike many other stock sites, the footage is priced according to the collection and not by the resolution. The clips in the Essentials collection are priced around $60 each, while the videos in the Signature collection can cost up to $170 per clip. If you want to save a bit, there credit packages and subscriptions that provide discounts for large volume downloads.
All videos by default come with the standard license which comes with a $10,000 legal guarantee. Optionally, you can extend your license for an extra fee for things like multi-project use or extended legal coverage.
Shutterstock is well known for its massive catalogue of over 11 million royalty free video clips with over 3 million in 4K category. The standard license covers use on websites and for limited audiences in social media, and apps and costs between $49 and $199 depending on video’s resolution.
You can save a little by purchasing a video packages that must be paid upfront. The video packages are priced according to the resolution and range from from $219 for the smallest Web resolution package to $3979 for the largest 4K package.
All the packs from Shutterstock expire after 365 days or once you have used up all your downloads.
Getty Images is a premium stock footage company that offers both the rights managed and the royalty free licenses. Unlike royalty free footage, the rights managed videos come with time or territory limitations. The video collection has over 50,000 hours in footage covering a large array of styles and themes, including historic archives, A-list events, exclusive videos and more.
The footage can be used for either commercial or editorial purposes. The price varies depending on the resolution, production value, length, purpose, extension and exclusivity status, typically between $125 and $449 per clip. Be prepared to pay more for exclusive clips. The site also offers bulk download packs that can save you up 30% discount.
Dissolve is a high end stock footage and photography company that offers both royalty free and rights managed footage. The two can also be available in either the commercial ready or the editorial content.
Dissolve stock collection has over 2.5 million creative assets that are well curated library and has a nice artistic feel to it, thanks to the contributions by a selected group of renowned filmmakers and artists.
The price depend on the resolution and the usage, specifically commercial vs. editorial. Be prepared to pay $29 to $499 per a HD video, and $199 to $549 for a 4K clip. The rights managed footage is priced differently.
Pond5 is a good place to get moderately priced royalty free video clips. The site is a host to a vast library, with over 1 million of 4k video content that can be used in commercial or editorial projects.
The creatives contributing content to Pond5 can set their own prices, so be prepared to see a wide range of options for relatively similar clips.
You can also purchase one of the credit pack ranging from $500 to $5000 and save anywhere from 5% to 10% or get a subscription that allows you to download a preset number of videos per month.
As one would expect, the makers of Photoshop and Premiere Pro know a thing or two about what their clients need. The Adobe Stock Footage offers a wide variety the 4K and HD video content covering many styles and themes.
The advantage of using Adobe Stock content (for the Creative Cloud subscribers), is that all stock content is readily available right from your favorite editing app. That is you can license the content you need without even leaving your After Effects or and Premier Pro. You are not required to be a Creative Cloud subscriber to use or purchase their stock content.
At the time of this writing, the HD stock videos are priced at $79.99, while 4K clips go for $199.99 per clip. You can also buy a credit packs to save a little with a bulk purchase.
Depositphotos is a well established online stock media company with a library of over 3 million files. All videos are available in HD, SD and 4K resolution and come with a royalty free license.
You can purchase a single video ($69 for a single HD clip and $169 for 4K) or get a pack with less expensive per-video price. The prices vary depending on the resolution as well as the pack size.
Moving to the lower end of the budget, VideoHive is an online marketplace for a wide variety of stock footage and effects. All content is provided by outside contributors and screened by VideoHive editors.
The footage comes with a variety of royalty free licenses. Single-use licenses are most affordable, however, if you want to re-use the same clip in multiple projects, that will cost more.
9. Vimeo Stock
As of September 2018, there is a new stock footage library with a promise to deliver top quality content created by a curated roster of accomplished filmmakers. Check out Vimeo Stock, a brand new offer from the well known video hosting provider.
The prices start from $79 for HD videos and $199 for 4K clips. Vimeo members can get discounts depending on their membership level. The footage is royalty-free and you can use their clips in an unlimited number of video projects, including commercials, narrative films, documentary, online, and in corporate videos.
What is your favorite place for stock video?
Post it in the comments!
Looking for free video footage?
Check out our previous post: The Biggest List Of Free Stock Footage Sites For Video Editors