Sometimes you need a few extra frame, shots, or footage to perfect your video. And what do you do? Call the camera operator again and set up the chromakey? Of course not! Stock videos are precisely for such cases. You can purchase the necessary video footage from a stock website in minutes, or even download stock videos for free.
Below, I have compiled a list of the top 10 free stock video sites that are relevant in 2023. Generally, videos are always more expensive than photos, both in shooting and post-production. Therefore, it’s usually not possible to download an entire collection of stock videos from a site for free. However, downloading one, two, or three stock footage for free and legally is a realistic option. Let’s get started!
Adobe Stock: The stock video flexible website
When I started my blog, I knew that I wanted to create convenient ratings in which the best will always be at the top. Well, in my opinion, Adobe Stock is the best option for stock video. Just so you know, this is the same Adobe company that created Adobe Premiere, as well as Photoshop and Lightroom.
[LINK to the Adobe videos stock website]
I have to say that if you want to download videos from Adobe Stock for free, it’s a bit more complicated. However, considering the ratio of quality and size of the stock website video database, prices and free features, Adobe Stock is my best choice.
Here are some tips on how it works: find stock videos, register, link your card (this activates your subscription and provides a trial period with a limit on free downloads). I should remind you that theoretically you can cancel your subscription at any time. Although subscribing to Adobe is convenient, I’ve written a lot about it, including an article on how to use Photoshop legally and for free.
Pixabay is a free stock video website that is much simpler than Pond 5, both in terms of positioning and video quantity. The main downside is the relatively low number of stock scenes and the complete absence of vertical screen orientation (which is quite disappointing). It’s interesting to note that the two most popular social media platforms today are Instagram and TikTok. Surprisingly, Pixabay has 4K videos, but there aren’t even 720p vertical videos.
Sometimes I use it for the only reason — on the Pixabay registration is not required for downloading.
However, if your requirements are not too specific, remember this video stock website and leave a «Thank you» comment for me.
VideoHive (now Evanto)
You’ve probably heard of VideoHive. It’s a large and well-known stock video website, that is part of Evanto, a resource hub for photographers, videographers, designers, and any other creative endeavor. At VideoHive site, you will definitely find the video you need, which is much easier than, for example, Pixabay.
Regarding free videos on Evanto’s site stock, to get a few files for free, you need to register. Attention! It’s not as easy as with Adobe stock videos website. After registration, you do not immediately have a download limit. They provide a limit after a while, if there were no payment transactions on your part. This means that if you go to the site to download videos for a subscription fee, you will only have access to free downloads as a bonus.
Gifing: Huge vertical video stock website
Gifing is a very interesting stock video platform that you probably won’t hear about from anyone else. Although it is much more well-known among professional designers and editors, in a few years, it undoubtedly expects success in a general public.
Gifing is not free; it is carried out according to the subscription model. However, it is a paradise for stock Instagram videos, Tiktok, Youtube shorts and similar content. All videos on Gifing are arranged vertically, but, more importantly, all stock videos are «selling». That is, each of them has some kind of message, emotions and interactive.
Pexels: really free stock videos site
When I first encountered this photo and video stock, I wondered what its name meant. The answer is simple—it doesn’t mean anything. Pexels is just an abstract word that sounds similar to «Pixels», which is relevant to the theme of photographers/videographers.
Pexels is very similar to Pixabay, but it has several advantages and disadvantages. One plus point is that its stock video library is broader than Pixabay’s, and it offers vertical videos suitable for TikTok, Instagram, and other mobile content. Of course, it doesn’t compare to gifing, but it’s still good.
The downside is that Pexels has become too well-known among bloggers, video editors, and other colleagues. This means that both you and your competitors run the risk of using the same stock videos/footages and photos, which is never a good point.
Shutterstock: The Most Popular Stock Video Site
As a classic in the world of photo and video stocks, alongside Adobe Stock, Shutterstock is one of the best options for finding video footages. It has everything—a vast collection of chroma key footages, thematic stock videos like Christmas, wedding, or children-related themes, and narrative stock videos that help in shooting serious films. Additionally, it offers a convenient catalog search, a system of video collections, and recommendations based on your preferences.
The only downside is that it’s almost impossible to download stock videos from Shutterstock for free. Nevertheless, it remains one of the most affordable stock video sites available today.
Link to the stock
Canva / Crello / Stencil
I strive to make this blog useful to you and avoid repeating the same information. These three services are similar to each other and represent a modern production trend. If productivity is more important to you, and the quality of photo or video content is required at the level of «social media support» or home video editing, you will probably like these services.
In Crello (it’s the link), Canva, and Stencil, you cannot simply download stock videos or photos, but they provide you with a user-friendly interface for designing footages, social media videos, and leaflets based on stock photos.
In short, their advantages lie in the simplicity of content preparation for social media, while their drawbacks are in their non-professionalism.
Pond 5: Video Stock Footages for Professionals
Lastly, I have included the most professional and serious paid stock video site. I’m sure that anyone who watches YouTube, cable TV or TV shows from time to time, even occasionally, has seen stock footage from Pond 5.
If you need stories in a true TV format and popular shows on YouTube, then Pond 5 is what you need.
As with any stock site, the cost of a video on Pond5 depends on the type of license attached to it. Of course, all the materials on my list contain videos under a Royalty-Free license, which means that they allow the video to be used for commercial purposes without additional compensation to the author.
However, unlike Shutterstock, the cost of a video footage on Pond 5 does not depend on the planned viewing audience. The price for a video starts at $15, which grants you the right to use the video for personal use when composing a project. If you plan to involve an entire team in the work, the cost increases. In general, it is transparent and clear. Additionally, Pond 5 provides insurance against any complaints related to the content.
Photo and video stock footage
Let me summarize: Are you looking for completely free stock footage? Go to Pexels. But be prepared for restrictions and a rather limited assortment.
Do you understand that a good video should cost at least some money? Then go to Adobe Stock. In addition, they also offer free download options.
Do you want a huge site with stock videos? Shutterstock and Depositphotos stock footage are at your service!
Are you looking for mobile footage, videos for TikTok, Youtube Shorts, or Instagram? Gifing stock service is a paradise for such videos.
Are you a brave professional or are you striving to become one? Your way lies through Pond5, a stock video website for the shark industry.
And of course, I remind you that the best video content is the one you shoot yourself. I hope the article has been helpful to you. Thank you, and feel free to ask any questions in the comments below!