After extensively testing over 14 stock videos websites, we chose Pond5 as the overall best stock footage site. We chose it because it has one of the largest selection of video clips, offers affordable pricing, and provides a simple but broad licensing.
Based on your preferences and special requirements, some other excellent alternatives include Artgrid, Videvo, Adobe Stock, and iStock.
We will help you find the best stock video site based on your needs.
With 31 million stock videos of excellent quality, Pond5 remains the undisputed number one choice for stock footage. 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.
- 31 million videos.
- Bonus credits with credit packs.
- Price matching.
- Excellent quality.
- Subscriptions give access to a small portion of the content.
- Price: $8.35–$19.99/video with Membership; $20+/video with credits; $25+/video on single purchases.
- Subscription: $8.35–$19.99. Subscriptions, dubbed “Memberships”, grant you 10 monthly downloads for $199/month or $999/year, but you can pick only from a small portion of the content.
- On-demand packs: Pond5 doesn’t bind you to any contracts with subscriptions. Instead, you can save by buying credit packs, which give you a 25% bonus. For instance, if you buy a $250 pack, you get $275. If you buy a $2,500 pack, you get $3,000.
- Individual license: A royalty-free license for 1 individual and a $15K indemnification.
- Business license (+$60): For up to 5 individuals and $250K indemnification.
- Premium license (+$120): For everyone on your team and up to $1M in indemnification.
Read the full review: Pond5 review.
Best Unlimited Downloads
Artgrid is a popular stock footage site among professional YouTubers and video editors because it offers high-quality videos with unlimited downloads plans. These allow you to save a lot of money compared to traditional footage sites, which charge per video.
- Up to 8K videos.
- Trusted by famous brands and YouTubers.
- Superb video quality.
- More expensive than some alternatives.
- Doesn’t have its own video editor.
- Price: $24.92–$49.92/month for unlimited downloads.
- Subscriptions: You can download videos only with subscriptions. The three subscriptions (Junior, Creator, and Pro) differ in the quality of videos (HD vs. 4K vs. 8K) and whether you get RAW/LOG clips or not.
- License: The license is a form of royalty-free license, which grants you lifetime use, and coverage for all platforms worldwide, and even allows YouTube monetization.
- Music & SFX are available separately at the sister site called Artlist, which licenses music and sound effects for $9.99–$16.60/month for unlimited downloads.
Read the full review: Artgrid & Artlist review.
Videvo is a cheap stock footage site, offering 18K free and 500K+ paid stock videos. Video quality is lower than at Artgrid, but the pricing is also much more affordable. While most videos are professionally-shot, it can be difficult to find good videos on less popular topics.
- Free collection with no attribution.
- Unlimited plans with 500K+ videos.
- Broad royalty-free license
- Sometimes low video quality.
- Poor coverage of certain topics.
- Price: $4.99–$24.99/month for 5 to unlimited monthly downloads.
- Subscriptions: Subscriptions are available with a monthly commitment (5 to 50 downloads per month) or a yearly commitment with unlimited monthly downloads. The yearly plans are more cost-efficient and cheaper but last longer.
- License: Videvo has several licenses, confusing those not well-acquainted with the system. You need to know that all paid content is licensed with a royalty-free license, and free content either requires or doesn’t require attribution. Learn more.
- Coupon code: PTT15
Read the full review: Videvo review.
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. Compared to Artgrid, Shutterstock is considerably more expensive, but you get access to a lot more videos.
- 24+ million stock footage.
- Flexible pricing.
- Up to 4K quality.
- No free trial for videos.
- Quite expensive.
- Price: $8.33–$119.80/clip with subscriptions and on-demand packs.
- Subscriptions: There are two types of subscriptions, both with three different commitments: monthly, annual, and annual prepaid. FLEX25 costs $41.58–$69.00/month, granting you 25 credits, which you can use for 25 images, 6 music trackers, 3 video clips, or some combination of all. Video subscriptions come in sizes of 5, 10, and 20 clips, costing $8.33–$37.80/clip or $79.08–$669.00/month.
- On-demand packs: On-demand packs are available in four sizes (1, 5, 10, 25) and three video-quality levels (SD, HD, 4K). These will cost you $51.96+/SD clip, $63.16/HD clip, or $91.96/4K clip. A single 4K clip will cost you $179.
- License: The Footage license covers web use, including social media and live performances. However, for TV, movies, or OTT, you’ll need to get a custom license.
- Coupon code: Up to 25%. Learn more.
Read the full review: Shutterstock review.
Adobe Stock is THE 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.
However, Adobe Stock is pretty expensive. Needless to say that the video quality is unparalleled, and video apps are one of the best in the market.
- 3 free HD videos with a free trial.
- 20mil+ videos
- Integrated into Creative Cloud.
- No subscription plan for videos.
- No unlimited downloads option.
- Price: HD clips: $64.00–$79.99; 4K clips: $160.00–$199.99.
- On-demand packs: Stock videos are available only with credits or cash. Buying with cash comes with the highest prices, so to get them for cheaper, you need to buy credit packs first. You can then use credits to buy HD and 4K videos.
- License: All stock footage is licensed under the Enhanced license, which has all the features of a royalty-free license plus unlimited copies or views of the clip.
- Free trial: 3 free videos. Learn more.
- Additional features: You can browse all assets (images, videos, soundtracks, etc.) within Adobe Premiere and other Creative Cloud apps.
- Music is licensed under the standard assets plans, which also give you access to images, templates, and 3D elements.
Read the full review: Adobe Stock review.
PikWizard is best known for its huge library of more than 1 million free images, but you can also find free stock footage. Although they don’t provide the number of videos, I estimated that there are around 10,000 videos. These videos are high-quality and ready to be used, with no attribution required.
- Free videos.
- No attribution is required.
- Built-in image editor.
- A small library of videos.
- The library includes paid promotions.
- Price: Free; $3.12–$49.99/premium video.
- License: You may use the videos for free on non-commercial and commercial websites, as well as on business cards, brochures, packaging, and eBooks. Learn more.
- Additional features: DesignWizard is an image and video editor, costing $7.42–$49.99/month.
Best Artgrid Alternative
Storyblocks is a place for unlimited stock footage downloads, similar to Artgrid but cheaper. In addition to videos, you can get audio and images and use their simple video editor, Maker.
- Unlimited downloads from $20/month
- Easy to use Video Maker
- Excellent choice for content creators
- Cancel anytime
- Broad license
- A limited number of free unwatermarked videos.
- Required attribution for free files.
- Price: $3.00/video; $30/month for unlimited downloads.
- Subscriptions: For video, it has two subscription plans: one with five monthly downloads and the other with unlimited. Both grant you access to Maker.
- Additional features: Maker is an easy-to-use video editor that supports basic edits, like clipping, adding text, transitions, and animations.
Read the full review: Storyblocks review.
Great Shutterstock Alternative
Depositphotos.com 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.
- 70K+ free visuals among 220 million visual files.
- 4K, HD, and SD quality footage.
- Budget-friendly subscriptions and on-demand plans.
- Videos are available for personal, educational, and commercial purposes.
- No free trial
- No on-demand options
- Price: $7.96–$149/video.
- Subscriptions: $8 to $17.80 per video. Users can choose to purchase monthly or yearly subscriptions, with the opportunity to download 5, 10, or 25 videos per month.
- On-demand: $7.96 to $149 per video. On-demand plans can be customized by quality (240p, 480p, 720p, 1080p, or 4K) and number of downloadable files (1, 5, and 25 videos). The downloads can be processed within a year of the purchase date.
- Royalty-free license: Depositphotos video files are royalty-free, which means you purchase footage once and use it multiple times for any of your creative projects. With the Standard license, there’s a limit of 500 thousand copies. There are no limits or restrictions on any usage with the Extended license.
- Promo code: /
- Free trial: /
Read the full review: Depositphotos review.
When choosing a stock footage website, you can hardly go wrong with any of the sites. Your choice will likely depend on your budget and the added benefits of the sites listed. However, if you’re unsure which site you want, you should start with Videvo, as it offers the cheapest unlimited downloads. For $12/month, you’ll get a good overview of what you need for your videos. Artgrid is the more expensive alternative.
If your budget does not constrain you, you can’t go wrong with Pond5, Adobe Stock, or Shutterstock. They all offer more than 20 million stock video clips at moderate prices but excellent quality.
What are stock videos?
Stock videos, also called stock footage, are short video clips, usually 20-60 seconds long, created with the sole purpose of being resold or licensed. These videos are typically distributed by stock video agencies (or sites) in the name of the videographers who shot them. The stock video agency and the contributing videographer split the profit upon purchasing a video license.
When you purchase a stock video, you don’t actually buy the video, but rather the license that gives you the right to use it for your project(s). In most cases, it’s a variation of a royalty-free license that allows you to use the video forever for your projects, but you must not resell it.
How to buy stock videos?
You can purchase stock videos from stock video sites (Storyblocks, Artgrid) or stock photo sites that sell videos (Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, iStock).
In total, there are three different ways to buy stock videos.
1. Subscription downloads
Conventional subscription plans give you a fixed amount of downloads per month. And if you run out of them, you either have to pay extra or get an on-demand plan, which is significantly more expensive (more on it in a second).
Subscription plans are the best option for you when you know you’ll need video consistently for a long time. They are more cost-efficient than on-demand plans.
2. Subscription unlimited downloads
Unlimited downloads, while the cheapest, are also the most convenient. Once you purchase a subscription plan, you don’t have to count downloads and worry about running out of them. Also, the video quality is quite good, although it doesn’t match Pond5’s quality.
Many video editors agree that switching to an unlimited download plan was the best decision for their projects.
On-demand plans work in two ways, but both are similar. You can either directly purchase a video with your cash or purchase credits first and then use them to purchase videos.
On-demand plans are more expensive than subscription plans. But they’re the best option when you only need a couple of videos. In this case, purchasing a subscription plan wouldn’t make sense.
What are stock videos used for?
Stock footage is most commonly used as B-roll. The B-roll supplements the primary footage by tying it together. It’s usually used for television shows, news broadcasts, and films. Examples include aerial stock videos of a location and people walking down a street.
Stock footage is sometimes used as primary footage and B-roll, meaning that the whole video consists of stock footage. This happens when the video editor does not possess any original clips.
How to use stock videos?
If you don’t have a videographer to capture all the videos for you, stock videos are a lot cheaper than buying all gear and learning how to shoot footage. In addition, sometimes you require footage that you cannot get otherwise—for instance, a volcano eruption.
At the beginning of their careers, video editors often underestimate the number of videos they need. So they opt-in for the cheapest plans, which usually give you around 5 downloads per month. That’s simply not enough.
The best option is to get an unlimited stock footage download plan.
How much does stock footage cost?
The price of stock 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.
Where can I buy cheap stock videos?
The cheapest stock footage site is Videvo.net, offering unlimited downloads of stock footage for $12.00/month. Another inexpensive option is Storyblocks, costing $30/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.
What is the best site for stock footage?
Pond5 is the best site for stock footage; although it’s not the cheapest, it has an extensive library of 31 million video clips, and you can get a bonus of up to 25% if you buy a larger quantity.
Do you have to pay for stock footage?
You can’t buy the stock footage itself, but the right to use it within certain limits. There are different licenses, each with usage restrictions and prices, the most popular of which is the royalty-free license.
Can you use stock footage with a watermark?
You may not use watermarked stock footage as this violates the copyright. You must pay for the right to use content legally, also called a “license.”