So, you have tried to find the footage you need from my list of free stock footage but you were unable to find the exact thing you were looking for? No worries, the totally free stock footage is great but it is still quite limited in numbers, that is why from time to time I need to use paid stock footage. The amount of videos you can find is close to limitless, and the prices are coming down. Especially now with the subscription models, you can get great deals for enormous amount of footage.
If you are working for an agency or for a production company I would probably ask them about getting team subscription. Depending on the kind of projects you work on, it will pay off in the long run to have access to a vast catalog of good footage. And in case of VideoHive you also have access to motion graphics, after effects templates, etc.
#1. My favorite: Artgrid – Quality
Artgrid is somewhat new on the horizon of stock footage, especially compared to some of the industry giants like Shutterstock etc. but it’s very quickly gathering a lot of attention for excellent quality stock footage and artistic approach to their videos.
The amount of the footage may not be on par with the big agencies but it’s quality is surpassing them in every way.
I also really like how they group their footage in “stories” which are 3-100 clips grouped together, from the same creator, that are around the same concept or theme.
There is one more reason I like them so much, they are subscription based. A lot of times, if you collect the stock footage you need, the bill can be quite hefty. But with a subscription model it’s almost always much more affordable.
They offer clips in resolutions of up to 8K. The subscription costs are according to your needs and the format, you can choose either HD, 4K or 4K and up with RAW files, which 70% of their library is. The subscription is paid per year.
You can check their current prices here.
#2. VideoBlocks – Storyblocks – A lot of choice
Ok, here is another subscription based service but they offer in their price not only stock footage but also music, sfx and even motion graphics, something that makes it much easier and quicker especially for YouTube creators.
They do have quite a few good looking clips, the same with music and the rest of their offerings. The prices are quite competitive and affordable. I was using them since 2013, and they upload new footage consistently.
The quality is also pretty good, not as amazing or jaw dropping as Artgrid but on par with Shutterstock etc.
Highly recommended as one stop shop solution for all. Check their current prices here.
#3. VideoHive and Envato Elements – For After Effects Templates but not only.
One of the older ones here, especially well known for their After Effects templates you can buy, they also offer a lot more: Website templates, stock photos, music, sounds, graphics, presentations and more.
VideoHive is working on per clip/project/item base, so you find a clip or project/item you are interested in and you buy it for the price listed next to it(you can change the license accordingly to your needs.). The prices are not bad, compared to the giants of stock footage. The quality varies wildly but you can find some amazing stuff in there.
Lately Envato has introduced Envato Elements, which is subscription based service, the thing is not all items from VideoHive are on Elements and vice versa. Some are exclusive to each platform and some are shared. As of writing this article their were around 1M stock video footage clips on Envato Elements and 1.3M on VideoHive. I’m a fan of the subscription model (except Adobe’s but that’s another story), and on Envato for the monthly price you also get Websites, tutorials, After Effects templates and ooo so much more. Certainly worth checking out.
Check the current subscription price here.
#4. Dissolve – Something new
This site is somewhat new to me, I have not used it yet but I heard good stuff about it and I keep on hearing about it all over the net. They offer a bit more than 3M stock footage videos and photos(not sure about the precise numbers and allocation) and the footage looks quite good. Worth checking out for sure.
And then the old gentleman of the bunch, if you can’t find specific footage anywhere else you will find it with them.
#5. Adobe Stock – New but old
Adobe Stock is kind of new as a service, they acquired Fotolia some years ago and brought some of their own stuff to the game to compete with giants like Shutterstock or iStock. Whenever I was looking for something uber-specific
I always found it here.
Their pricing is a bit of a hassle to be frank, you either buy the licenses to individual clips ($60 and up) or you buy it with credits that you pay for in bulk. Not sure if it’s the easiest way but hey, people got to make money.
#6. Shutterstock – The old man of the bunch
And of course I had to include the oldest of them all, Shutterstock. I’m not a huge fan but you can’t deny their immense amount of footage that they carry.
Their pricing model is somewhat even more complex then Adobe’s, here you either pay per clip or you pay a subscription per month or year, and you download 10 or 20 items per month of your subscription.