The best cheap stock footage sites of 2023

Top 7 best places to get cheap stock footage right now

By Matic Broz, editor-in-chief of Photutorial covering stock media, Adobe, and design. He founded Photutorial while finishing his PhD in computational biosciences.

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Cheap stock footage

When it comes to cheap stock footage, low prices don’t necessarily equate to low quality. In fact, cheap stock footage can be surprisingly good, with flexible licensing terms and a decent variety. Although these cheaper stock videos may not offer advanced formats, they can still be used to create excellent final videos. Typically, cheap stock footage sites offer subscriptions that provide unlimited downloads for a low monthly fee of around $20. Based on my years of experience with stock footage, I’ve discovered a few reliable sites that offer affordable stock footage.

The best cheap stock footage

  1. Envato Elements (70% OFF): Best overall
  2. Videvo: Budget pick
  3. Artlist: Best quality
  4. Pond5: Great quality
  5. Shutterstock: Most popular
  6. Adobe Stock: Best for Adobe users
  7. Depositphotos: Affordable

So, why is Envato Elements the best cheap stock footage site? With a monthly fee of just $16.50 for individuals, it offers an expansive library of video assets—everything from clips to After Effects and sound effects. This approach caters perfectly to the varied requirements of video editors. Compared to budget-draining pay-per-clip platforms, Envato Elements gives you unlimited access without stifling your creativity. It’s the practical choice for those just starting out, being a blend of quantity, quality, and affordability. If you’re willing to sacrifice lots of variety for a slightly lower price ($12/mo), you could pick Videvo. On the other hand, Artgrid (and Artlist) are available at a higher cost ($29/mo) but offer 8K resolution clips and built-in plugins.

1. Envato Elements

Envato Elements stock footage

Envato Elements is a great service that offers exceptional value for money. For just $16.50/month, you get unlimited access to over 6.2 million photos and 3.1 million videos, music, templates, fonts, and more. All Envato Elements’ creative assets can be used commercially.

Why we picked it: Envato Elements charges a surprisingly low monthly fee for unlimited downloads from its large collection. Individuals pay between $16.50 per month for yearly plans and $39.00 per month for monthly plans. Students can get an additional 35% discount and pay only $11.00 per month. Although the free trial is no longer available, you can still get 12 free files each month. Commercial use is allowed under the Envato Elements license, but you must license the creative assets separately for each use, even if you use the same asset twice. This means that once you cancel the subscription, you can not use the downloaded assets in new projects—but you can continue to use them in existing projects.

Who it’s for: I recommend Envato Elements to anyone looking for a large collection of videos, images, music, and other creative content at a great price. It’s ideal for freelancers looking for an inexpensive, straightforward source of creative content. Mockup generators are available for an additional $7.47 per month at Placeit.

Envato Elements icon

Envato Elements annual subscription

$16.50/mo $39.00/mo 57% off

Get a 57% discount when you pick the annual Envato Elements subscription instead of the monthly one.

2. Videvo

Videvo stock footage subscription

Videvo is worth using if you’re looking for the absolutely cheapest way to get stock footage at the cost of lower quality and smaller selection. You can also get more than 18,000 videos completely free.

Why we picked it: Videvo, unlike other stock footage websites on this list, offers both free and premium stock videos. More than 18,000 videos are available for free use with attribution to the author and/or Videvo. If you do not want to give authorship credit, you’ll need to purchase a premium subscription, such as Videvo Plus. The quality of the videos is reasonable, and even quite specific topics are covered. However, it is not always possible to find a high-quality free video. In this case, you’ll have to opt for one of the premium subscriptions.

Videvo stands out from other stock footage sites with its affordable rates. The Videvo Lite monthly subscription costs $5 per month (5 videos), while the Videvo Plus annual subscription costs $12 per month (unlimited downloads). Since downloads are completely unlimited, the annual plans offer the best value. For $240 per year, Videvo Pro is the one-stop store for unlimited stock footage, motion graphics, templates, music and audio.

Premium downloads come with a royalty-free license so they can be used indefinitely, including in commercial projects. However, content marked “For editorial use only” may only be used for non-commercial purposes.

Who it’s for: Videvo is best for anyone who needs free or very cheap stock footage and also does not mind slightly lower quality and considerably smaller variety.

3. Artlist


Artlist offers an impressive array of stock videos, music, and sound effects, all for an attractive monthly subscription fee starting at $29.99. While the video library is modest at 180,000, especially when compared to heavyweights like Adobe Stock, the quality is not to be underestimated—video resolutions can reach up to an eye-popping 8K.

One of Artlist’s standout features is its licensing model. The licenses are royalty-free and last for a lifetime, offering a worry-free experience for users. However, it’s important to note that Artlist doesn’t provide any indemnity. Nevertheless, the unlimited license empowers you to use assets across as many channels and platforms as you wish, including for monetized content.

Navigating through the collection is made easier with Artlist’s AI-powered search, which comprehends emotions and concepts, allowing you to find the footage that resonates with your project’s mood and message. But if you’re someone who likes to try before you buy, be aware that Artlist does not offer free trials except for watermarked downloads.

When it comes to pricing, Artlist positions itself as a budget-friendly alternative to more expensive stock sites. While it can’t boast the extensive library that competitors like Envato Elements can, it still offers substantial value for the money. Therefore, it is best suited for beginner to intermediate video editors who are budget-conscious rather than professionals seeking a wide range of choices.

4. Pond5

Pond5 footage

Pond5 is the best service for stock footage loved by customers and contributors. They offer a wide variety of buying options that are affordable even for individuals. Overall, it’s expensive, making Pond5 ideal for professionals and teams with large budgets.

Why we picked it. With 32 million stock videos of excellent quality, Pond5 remains the undisputed number one choice for stock footage—if you don’t mind about the price. To complement the clips, their marketplace offers music, after-effects, sound effects, and 3D models. Although it’s not the cheapest, Pond5 offers unique videos that you cannot find anywhere else, making them one of the best in the industry. In addition, Pond5 matches all competitors’ prices if you find the same content cheaper elsewhere.

The cost of each video depends on how you purchase it. You can purchase it with a membership, with credits, or as a one-time purchase. It costs between $8.35 and $19.99 per video if you buy it with membership. If you buy it with credits, each video costs $20 or more. If you buy it all at once, it costs $25 or more per video.

Who it’s for. Pond5 is best for professional video editors who need top quality. You get the lowest prices with subscriptions, while on-demand can be quite expensive.

5. Shutterstock

Shutterstock video

Although not a typical stock footage site, Shutterstock offers more than 24 million royalty-free stock videos. The videos are shot by professionals, which is reflected in their quality and sentimental value.

Why we picked it. The cost of your subscription is based on the type of subscription you choose and the length of your commitment. For example, the FLEX25 subscription will cost you $41.58-$69.00 per month and provide you with 25 credits that you can use to purchase 25 images, 6 music tracks, 3 video clips, or a combination of all of the above.

On-demand packages are also available in four different sizes (1, 5, 10 and 25) and in three different video quality levels (SD, HD, 4K). These cost $51.96+ for a SD clip, $63.16 for a HD clip and $91.96 for a 4K clip. A single 4K video clip costs $179. Footage license includes use on the web, social media and live performances. However, a separate license is required for TV, movies or OTT. Plus, you can save up to 25% off your purchase with a coupon code.

Who it’s for. Shutterstock is ideal for those who need quality stock footage together with images and audio tracks.

6. Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock images

Adobe Stock is an excellent stock photo site for graphic designers using Creative Cloud apps like Photoshop or Illustrator. Because it is very affordable and comes with royalty-free licensing, it’s a convenient option for any buyer who needs high flexibility and low prices.

Why we picked it. Adobe Stock stock videos cost $64.00 to $79.99 for HD clips and $160.00 to $199.99 for 4K clips. However, these videos can only be purchased with credits or cash. The credit system allows for lower prices for the videos, as buying with cash usually results in the highest price. You have to buy credit packages first before you can use them. These packages allow you to purchase HD and 4K videos at a lower price.

The Enhanced license applies to all Adobe Stock stock material. This license includes all the benefits of a royalty-free license, plus unlimited copies or views of the clip. Adobe Stock offers a free trial with three videos. Finally, users can browse all assets in Adobe Premiere and other Creative Cloud apps, including images, videos, soundtracks, and more. Music is licensed as part of standard asset plans, which also include images, templates, and 3D elements.

Who it’s for. Adobe Stock is the best choice for content creators who use other Adobe Creative Cloud apps, especially Adobe Premiere. Since it’s integrated into the software, in Adobe’s case, Creative Cloud apps, it allows you to try out the videos (and images) even before purchasing them. Only when you’re satisfied with the final product do you buy the videos you use and discard those that didn’t fit.

7. Depositphotos

Depositphotos interface

Depositphotos is an RF microstock photo agency based in Florida. Its collection of images contains 224 million files of high-quality photos, vectors, videos, and illustrations. Since it offers incredible e-commerce stock images, it’s the best stock image website for bloggers and small businesses.

Why we picked it. is a stock content marketplace that offers royalty-free files to more than 29 million users worldwide. Over 11 million high-quality clips are available for download after purchasing a subscription or on-demand plan. To see if a video fits your design or creative idea, you can download a watermarked preview of any chosen file.

Who it’s for. Depositphotos offers a variety of video files that can be downloaded and used for any creative project. The files are available in different qualities, from 240p to 4K, and can be downloaded up to 25 times. The Standard license allows for 500 thousand copies of the file to be made, while the Extended license has no limits.

Compare cheap stock footage sites

Stock footage siteCostVideos
Envato Elements$16.50/mo–$39.00/mo4.2 million
Videvo$7.99/mo–$24.99/mo1.5 million
Pond5$8.32–$25/video37.6 million
Shutterstock$2.22–$49.00/video29.2 million
Adobe Stock$29.99/mo–$249.99/mo26 million
Depositphotos$8.00–$17.80/video13.7 million

What is cheap stock footage

Cheap stock footage refers to pre-recorded video clips that are available for purchase or licensing at an affordable price. These clips are often used by filmmakers, video editors, marketers, and content creators to enhance their projects without the need to shoot new video footage, saving both time and resources. The footage can range from landscapes, cityscapes, and action shots to more specialized content like aerial views or time-lapses.

Typically, cheap stock footage is sold on online platforms that offer a variety of licensing options. These may include royalty-free licenses that allow you to use the footage across multiple projects for a one-time fee. Some platforms operate on a subscription model, offering unlimited downloads of a range of assets, including videos, music, and sound effects, for a recurring monthly or annual charge.

While the term “cheap” might imply lower quality, that’s not necessarily the case. Many affordable stock footage platforms offer high-resolution videos, sometimes up to 4K or even 8K. However, the range of available clips might be more limited compared to more expensive or specialized stock footage platforms.

How to buy cheap stock footage

You can save money on stock footage by purchasing a subscription that allows for unlimited downloads for a fixed monthly fee. Here’s how:

  • Go to the Envato Elements website
  • Click Get unlimited downloads in the top right corner
  • Create an account Envato account
  • Pick the annual plan for 57% off and enter your payment information
  • With active subscription, find a video you like and download it
Envato Elements icon

Envato Elements annual subscription

$16.50/mo $39.00/mo 57% off

Get a 57% discount when you pick the annual Envato Elements subscription instead of the monthly one.


How much does stock cheap footage cost?

The price of stock cheap footage depends on the video quality. On average, HD video footage costs $24, 4K costs $170, and unlimited downloads cost between $15 and $50 per month. 8K footage can cost $1,000 to $4,000 per minute.

What is the cheapest stock footage website?

The cheapest stock footage site is, offering unlimited downloads of stock footage for $12.00/month. Another inexpensive option is Envato Elements, costing $16.50/month for unlimited downloads of stock footage, audio, and other assets.

Why is stock footage so expensive?

Creating a video takes more planning, props, time, and personnel than taking photos. As a result, videographers charge more for stock footage to cover their filming costs.


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