I recently started a video project and thought, “If I only had some footage of the ocean, this would be perfect!”
OK, I live 3 hours from any large body of salt water. How on earth would I get ocean footage before my deadline?
The answer is royalty-free stock video. Just as there are royalty-free photo sites, and royalty-free music sites, there are also hundreds of sites that sell high quality video footage, motion graphics and After Effects projects at reasonable prices.
Prices for royalty free footage start at $1 and can go up to several hundred or thousands of dollars depending on the video quality, size, resolution and the author. Here are some great sites to consider if you’re looking for stock video. All the sites in this review provide thousands of high quality royalty free stock video clips.
At Videohive you can buy and sell royalty-free footage and motion graphics as well as After Effects Project files. Average prices range between $6 to $17. Items are priced on the complexity, quality and use of the file.
You can buy items immediately via PayPal or use prepaid deposits. (Members who deposit over $20 to their prepay account will get any item they purchase using their prepay credits for $2 less. So a $7 item would cost $5 for prepaid customers.)
They sell items under two license agreements: Regular or Extended. Extended licenses cost 10 times more than the Regular license, but allow you to use footage in projects that you intend to sell (among other things).
DVarchive offers an enormous library of HD and SD video footage. Their Royalty Free contract generally allows you to use DVarchive clips in almost any broadcast or non-broadcast application, (as long as you’re not reselling it). Prices range from around $59 – $299, and clips are available in a variety of sizes and formats.
The Artbeats library includes an impressive array of NTSC, PAL, HD, and RED HD clips. Their footage is royalty-free with unlimited use and licensed for broadcast worldwide, in perpetuity. They’re a bit pricier than some of the others listed, with average prices ranging from around $300- $1200. Artbeats’ search engine also gives results for more than 40 other brands of video footage and thousands more clips, which Artbeats resells on its site.
This popular photo site also has video footage for sale. iStockphoto uses “credits” to price their footage. Credits start at 95 cents and are available in bulk Pay-as-you-go packages or Subscriptions (with subscription price/credit well below 95 cents.) Prices range from 15 – 90 credits depending on the size and resolution of the clip. Files are available in a variety of formats including MOV, MP4, and WMV. They also offer two types of license agreements: Standard and Extended, with the Standard license costing less, but restricting the number of impressions and your ability to use the footage in something you plan to sell.
RevoStock offers video footage, motion graphics, transitions and After Effects projects, and also allows you to upload and market your own footage. They use a credit system to price their footage. You buy credits (which start at $1/credit) and footage ranges from 5 credits for SD clips up to 65 credits for 1080 HD. Their footage is available in a variety of formats.
Pond5 is another place to find stock footage and motion graphics, or upload and market your own work for use by others. Prices range from around $10-$90. All clips are available under a royalty-free licensing agreement, which grants non-exclusive perpetual use of the footage across a wide array of media, worldwide. Downloadable files are delivered in PhotoJPEG format.
And of course, a couple of other big ones you may have heard of are ShutterStock and Getty Images.
These are just a few of the hundreds of sites out there. Where do you buy stock video?
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Haven’t need video footage right now. But good to know this. THX
NOTE: I had to delete the http:// parts of URLs to get past the Spam filter. Apparently too many links is seen as “spammy.”
There are also many sources of still and moving images where the media is not only royalty free but is also in the public domain, meaning that there is no cost to you in using it for any purpose, personal or commercial. Here are a few examples:
NASA’s photo archive on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasacommons
The Internet Archive: http://www.archive.org/
Open Culture: http://www.openculture.com/
There are lots more in the public domain as well as copyrighted material available under Creative Commons licensing. These CC licensed works may permit non-commercial use if attribution is given, for example. For the details on Creative Commons licensing, go to:
Thanks for the great suggestions, Frank.
A lot of people tend to ignore Flickr, but you can SCORE a boatload of beautiful photography for your project simply for the asking. Here is how to do it –
The best thing to do is use Flickr for your photo searches, and find a photographer that has a liberal creative commons license. Usually this simply means you agree to give him credit for his photographs, and you can easily do this by adding his URL at the end of your video.
Just a glance on the Flickr page you can see there are more than 40 MILLION photos with liberal use rights.
See the Creative Commons description here:
Photographers often use Flickr as a way to gain exposure for their work, and most will be more than happy somebody noticed their work and want to use their images. This works well for ALL niches too, as you will often find that a photographer has many “related” photos. So in your example, if there is a hair style shot in his portfolio, there are often many others.
Recently one of my friends did an entire travel eBook using this method by contacting a handful of photographers on Flickr. Most of them were down-right giddy we wanted to use their pictures.
1- Sign up for a Flickr account so you can contact other users.
2- Do a search for your niche topics and find some photographers/hobbyists who have lots of uploads. You are only interested in the users who have the Attribution license or Attribution-ShareAlike license under Creative Commons.
3- Get a list of their photos you want to use, and simply send them an email requesting permission to use the photos, describing how you will “credit” their work, normally a URL address at the end of your video or a link within your eBook perhaps.
Note: Do not let them negotiate significant changes to your production – there are just too many other suppliers you can approach, but be sure to give them their fair credit and exposure – because in a way we are all artists when you create a new product.
Why not try http://www.clipcanvas.com or read more about it at:
There is a growing library of free (Creative Commons) footage available over here:
This will be updated at least once a week wit new stock. Enjoy!
here you can find free video backgrounds, video overlays, video lower thirds, etrc. for private and commercial projects
a new file every week
Great! Thanks for the additional resource!
http://www.free-video-footage.com is no longer available.you can find their free content now in the freebies section on http://www.monzoom.com.
there are already more then 250 royalty free files to download. the clips can be used in any personal and commercial project without any hidden fees.
There is a new stock footage website, it’s http://www.recstockfootage.com.
Some clips are free.
here is another stock footage website: http://footage.framepool.com
Well since nobody seems to have mentioned this; http://www.videvo.net is another royalty free stock footage site.
Great article. VideoHive is pretty good as it’s cheap and there is some great stuff on there, you just have to do a bit of trawling! 😉
I agree with you about Revstock, it’s a good compromise between price and choice. This was my favourite and number 1 on my top 5 stock video websites. Check it out
Why not check out my site where i’m giving away weekly free videos, would appreciate your replies. Here’s the link to my site http://movingbackgrounds.net