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.
These are just a few of the hundreds of sites out there. Where do you buy stock video?