Video Essentials

Find the Best Stock Footage Online

Need a little extra footage for your latest video? Consider purchasing stock footage. You can download royalty-free video clips that can be used in any format for simply the cost of purchase. While there are many video stock libraries online, here’s a guide to six of the best:

Artbeats: This site offers a large and easily searchable library of attractive clips. Videos go for around $199 to $399 a la carte in high-definition or about $79 for low-resolution. If you want a lot of content on one topic, save money by buying a collection. These range from $699 to $1299 for high-resolution or from $299 to $699 for standard definition.

FootageFirm: This site only sells clips as collections, but the price is right. HD collections cost from $249 to $349, while SD collections go for $149. Finding clips is easy, as pulldown menus on the homepage bring you directly to what you’re looking for. You can also use the search box. Check out the free footage collections: DVDs full of clips on different themes that sell for $8.41 shipping and handling.

iStockphoto: While the name makes it sound like this site only offers photos, there’s plenty of video stock here, as well. Pricing is unusual, as you make your purchase with credits. The price of credits varies based on how many you’re paying. Use the pay-as-you-go option and you’ll pay $1.13 to $1.54 per credit. Purchase a subscription and you can pay from $.29 to $.35 per credit. The amount of credits required per clip depends on the resolution, with clips offered in two SD and two HD sizes.

Revostock: Like iStockphoto, Revostock uses a credit system for purchases. Pricing here is simpler, though, with credits generally going for $1 each unless you’re buying in bulk. Many clips are offered in two HD sizes, with the higher resolution version costing from 25 to 50 credits. The site doesn’t offer SD clips. While this site is far less expensive than others, clips often look a bit more amateur.

ThoughtEquity: Most of the video content on Thought Equity is rights managed (the site represents hundreds of different rights holders). If you’re looking exclusively for royalty-free clips, be sure that’s what you’re buying. Individual clips start at $49 for lower resolution, but can cost up to $999 for the highest quality; collections start at $599. After you’ve run a search, the site’s filtering tools make it easy to zoom in on the rights and format that you need.

Videoblocks: Unlike the other sites we looked at, Videoblocks offers an all-you-can-download subscription model. It’s a bargain at $49 per month (or less if you buy 6-month or 12-month subscriptions). The site carries SD and HD video, which is organized into categories. Footage can look more amateur than with higher-priced sites and the content is spotty. For example, a search for “dogs” came up empty. Still, the price is attractive and this looks like a good option for smaller companies working with stock footage for the first time. The site offers a free 7-day trial, where you can download up to 20 clips per day.


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