iStock, a subsidiary of the premium stock image provider Getty Images, offers a more affordable alternative for high-quality visuals. Its pricing structure closely mirrors that of Shutterstock, making it an accessible option for a wide range of users.
Best iStock deals, discounts, & coupons
iStock already offers budget-friendly options, but with the right strategies, you can access promo codes, benefit from flat discounts, secure bulk discounts, and discover deals with the most competitive prices.
- 10 free stock photos: iStock provides a 1-month free trial for their Basic subscription plan, which includes 10 monthly downloads. This trial is exclusively available with the annual plan. During the trial period, you can download 10 royalty-free images without any cost. If you cancel before the 30 days are over, you won’t be charged, and you can keep the images. After the trial concludes, the plan is priced at $29 per month.
- Save 16%-28% with an annual commitment: Opting for an annual commitment instead of a monthly one can save you up to 28% on the monthly cost.
- Get up to 33% off on credits: Purchasing credits in bulk can provide you with up to a 33.3% discount, reducing the price to $8 per credit from the original $12.
- Enjoy a 20% promo code for newcomers: In addition to the various discounts, new customers can also take advantage of a 20% discount on their first purchase.
Subscription pricing (best value)
You can use iStock subscriptions to download images, videos, and music tracks at the lowest possible prices. They are available with annual and month-to-month commitments, with the annual offering about a 20% discount.
Subscriptions are divided into Basic, Premium, and Premium + Video, which differ in the type of content you can download and the cost. Each subscription is also available in several sizes.
Better than iStock
1 Envato Elements
- Cost: $11.50–$39.00/month
- Images: 8.1 million
- Videos: 4.2 million
- Free trial: 12 files per month
- Cost: $24.91–$249/month
- Images: 434 million
- Videos: 29.2 million
- Free trial: 10, 1 video, or 2 audio
- Cost: $29.99–$249.99/month
- Images: 326 million
- Videos: 26 million
- Free trial: 10–40 images or 3–6 HD videos
iStock images and divided into two collections: Essentials and Signatures. With the Basic subscription, you can download only the Essential images, which are good but not as professional as the Premium. Here’s the pricing breakdown:
|Number of images||Monthly||Annual (billed monthly)|
|10||$40 ($4.00/download)||$29 ($2.90/download)|
|25||$65 ($2.60/download)||$49 ($1.96/download)|
|50||$99 ($1.98/download)||$90 ($1.80/download)|
|750||$199 ($0.27/download)||$167 ($0.22/download)|
Premium subscriptions grant you access to both collections, Essential and Signature. iStock’s Signature collection is a premium tier of stock images, videos, and illustrations. This collection features high-quality, distinctive, and professionally curated content created by talented artists and photographers from around the world. The Signature collection is designed to offer users a wide range of unique and exceptional content for their creative projects that stand out from typical stock assets.
|Number of images||Monthly||Annual (billed monthly)|
|10||$99 ($9.99/download)||$70 ($7.00/download)|
|25||$149 ($5.69/download)||$120 ($4.80/download)|
|50||$229 ($4.58/download)||$199 ($3.98/download)|
|750||$399 ($0.53/download)||$334 ($0.44/download)|
Premium + Video subscriptions
If you need images, videos, and music tracks at the same time, then a Premium + Video subscription is the best choice for you. They are also the cheapest way to buy stock videos at iStock, while image downloads are more expensive compared to image subscriptions.
|Downloads per month||Month-to-month||Annual|
|10||$149/mo ($14.90/download)||$99/mo ($9.90/download)|
|25||$229/mo ($9.16/download)||$165/mo ($6.60/download)|
|50||$349/mo ($6.98/download)||$265/mo ($5.30/download)|
Credit packs (pay as you go)
Credits are the more expensive way of downloading stock assets, but they offer more flexibility than subscriptions. While subscriptions cost $0.22 to $14.90 per image, images bought with credits packs cost $8.00 to $12.00.
|Pack size||Price||You can get up to|
|1||$12 ($12/credit)||1 image|
|3||$33 ($11/credit)||3 images|
|6||$60 ($10/credit)||6 images or 1 video|
|12||$115 ($9.58/credit)||12 images or 2 videos|
|18||$170 ($9.44/credit)||18 images or 3 videos|
|24||$220 ($9.17/credit)||24 images or 4 videos|
|36||$325 ($9.03/credit)||36 images or 6 videos|
|60||$520 ($8.67/credit)||60 images or 10 videos|
|150||$1,250 ($8.33/credit)||150 images or 25 videos|
|300||$2,400 ($8.00/credit)||300 images or 50 videos|
How many credits does iStock content cost?
The cost in credits differs between different content types. For starters, the Signature content costs three times as many credits as the Essential content.
|Price in credits||Price for credits|
|Essential images||1 credit||$8–$12|
|Signature images||3 credits||$24–$36|
|Essential video clips||6 credits||$48–$72|
|Signature video clips||18 credits||$144–$216|
|Extended license for images||18 credits||$144–$216|
|Extended license for videos||21 credits||$168–$252|
What each buying option gets you
Each buying option offers different benefits, so it’s imperative you pick the one that ticks off all the boxes for you. We already described them earlier, but here’s the summary:
|Basic Subscriptions||Premium Subscriptions||Premium + Video Subscriptions||Credit Packs|
|Access to full image library||✓||✓||✓|
|Access to video clips||✓||✓|
|Access to music and sound effects||✓|
|Lowest prices on images||✓||✓|
|Lowest prices on videos||✓|
|Option to add extended licenses||✓|
|Boards to organize and share files||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Access to iStock Editor||✓||✓||✓||✓|