How much does stock footage cost?

Learn everything you need to know about stock footage pricing.

By Matic Broz, the editor-in-chief with 10+ years of experience with design, stock media and licensing, and photography.

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Stock footage pricing

Stock footage pricing varies a lot between stock footage sites and depends on several factors. How much you’ll pay for stock video will depend on things like license, place where you buy it, resolution, and more.

Stock footage prices: Overview

The following are some of the best prices you can get across the best stock footage sites and subscriptions.

Envato Elements$16.50–$39/mo*
Motion Array$19.99/mo*
Adobe Stock$8–$30$7.99–$199.80$79.99–$199
Pond5$8.33–$19.99Up to 17% off single-file$25–$10,000
* These subscriptions come with unlimited downloads

Before going any further, let me warn you that I cannot cover every example and each video cost at every stock video platform in this article. Instead, I’ll illustrate my points with examples of the best offers from the best providers. And I’ll link to more in-depth guides.

Subscriptions vs. on-demand vs. single-file

The buying method has the biggest effect on stock footage pricing. Here, we talk about buying either with subscriptions (cheapest), on-demand, or as a single file (most expensive).

Subscription TypeSubscriptionsOn-demandSingle File
Cost per Video$2–$100
Best forRegular video needs (10 to 50+ videos per month)Irregular video needs (5+ videos per year)Specific, one-time needs or unique licensing requirements
  • Lowest cost per video
  • Unlimited download plans offer great value
  • Often includes extras like video editors or plugins
  • Pay only for what you need
  • No long-term commitment
  • Wide range of options
  • Tailored for specific needs
  • Special licensing options
  • Ideal for unique or high-value content
  • Limited to standard RF license
  • Best prices require large, long-term commitments
  • Higher cost per video compared to subscriptions
  • Less suitable for frequent needs
  • Significantly higher cost per video
  • Not economical for regular use
Possible Discounts
  • Annual (10–30%)
  • Bulk (up to 90%)
  • Coupons (up to 20%)
  • Bulk (up to 40%)
  • Coupons (up to 20%)
  • Special promotions (varies)
  • Negotiable based on project scope


Video resolution refers to the clarity and detail of the visual content, measured in pixels. Higher resolution videos, such as HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels), and 8K (7680 x 4320 pixels), offer sharper and more intricate details, making them suitable for professional productions and larger screens.

Due to the increased production and storage costs associated with capturing and processing high-resolution footage, stock video marketplaces typically charge higher prices for HD, 4K, and 8K videos compared to their SD (720 x 480 pixels) counterparts.

For example, at Shutterstock, a single SD video costs $65, an HD video costs $79, and a 4K video costs $179, while they all cost the same number of download credits with subscriptions.

On the other hand, an unlimited subscription like Artlist requires you to get a higher tier subscription ($30/mo) to download 8K footage, while you can get HD and 4K videos for $20/mo.


Stock video licenses define the permissible usage rights granted to buyers. The three primary types of licenses are free, royalty-free, and rights-managed.

License TypeDescriptionConsiderationsApproximate Price Range
FreeNo monetary cost, but may be other requirements such as attribution or limitations on usage.No monetary cost, but may have other requirements such as attribution or limitations on usage.$0 (with potential non-monetary requirements)
Royalty-rreeWith a royalty-free license, users pay a one-time fee to use the video without paying additional royalties. The video can typically be used multiple times for different projects.One-time purchase fee. Price varies based on video quality, length, and the platform selling it.$20–$500 per video
Rights-managedThese licenses are more restrictive and tailored. The user pays for specific usage rights, such as the duration of use, geographical area, or type of media where the video will be shown.Variable pricing based on the extent of use rights. Typically more expensive due to the specific nature of the license.$100–$10,000+ depending on usage scope

File format

The file format of stock video footage is not as widespread of a factor anymore, but it can still play a role. For example, at Artlist, you get RAW/LOG footage with the highest tier plan only.

Most footage sites don’t even offer RAW/LOG, while those that do are usually much more expensive or may charge you extra.


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