Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Stock Video Sites (Free and Paid) Reviewed

In this blog post I review several stock video sites including VideoBlocks, ShutterStock, iStockPhoto, VideoHive, XStockVideo, Videezy, Videvo, and StockFootageForFree. Four of these are free.

If you do any kind of video production you need stock video footage from time to time. Yes, you could create it yourself, but it takes time and money to create certain scenes. I became inspired to create book trailers and quote videos after viewing several videos from Epic Reads, the young adult YouTube channel for Harper Collins. An good example from the Epic Reads channel is below.

Stock Video

I simply searched for "stock video" in Google. Several sites appeared in the search results. Below are the ones I viewed. It is likely that companies are continually evolving and adjust their policies regarding free downloads of clips. However, as of this writing, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at what is available.

Free sites

This site offers free downloads for videos at 960x540. High definition resolutions (1280x720 and 1920x1080 cost a couple of dollars). The videos are easy to download, and sizes are fairly manageable. I had a few problems logging in the second time. The username is case sensitive. If you fail to log in three times, the IP address is blocked. Just remember your password and you should be OK.

This site is convenient to join as you can sign up with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or Yahoo. Videvo requires a share to social media (Twitter or Facebook) every time a video is downloaded. I will probably use Twitter for sharing since I am not very active on that platform. Videvo appears to be connected with Shutterstock (see below) for premium and additional videos.

Stock Footage for Free
Like Videvo, you can join with Google or Facebook profiles. Stock Footage for Free appears to be affiliated with VideoBlocks (see below). Some videos I looked at are no longer available for free (but are on VideoBlocks). This site also provides editorial comments for each video. In my clip compilation below I used a video titled "Beautiful girl running on sunlit wheat field." The description provided was:

Is there anything as freeing as watching a beautiful girl running on sunlit wheat field? Possibly, but for now we will say no. This stock clips makes us think of a young girl leaving the Ingalls farm, the only place she knows to find something new. She’s running far away in hopes of seeing the lights of New York City, or becoming an actress in LA, or potentially just to the next wheat field. Regardless, it’s a liberating feeling!

This site is also well-connected to Videoblocks and Shutterstock. However, there is a nice collection of free footage to download.

Below is a clip compilation featuring one clip each from the sites listed above.

Paid Sites

Personally, I like to find free resources whenever possible. However, there are times when a premium clip is desired, and a paid video download may be required.

With Videohive the cost is per video. The good news is that the prices are fairly reasonable.

This site has three plans.
  • Monthly, $79/month
  • Annual, $149
  • Premium, $198

This site has two levels of membership.
  • Essentials - $40 for 10 images or $90 per month (annual subscription) for 50 images per month.
  • Signature starts at $199 per month for 50 images (full site access).

Another premium site, a basic level cost ranges from 2 images for $29 to 25 images for $229. The professional level is $199 per month for 750 images.