Many marketers rely on free stock video and photo websites to fill the ‘visual gap’ in their content. And in most circumstances, the protocol works.
The same image or video is found on a competitor’s website.
Or they come face-to-face with a licensing requirement.
And we have all heard stories about original photographers taking legal action against users, who unknowingly download stolen images from free stock websites.
The solution – premium stock websites!
What is a Premium Stock Website?
As the name implies, premium stock sites for photos and videos work on a paid model.
They charge a small sum for using their website – and in return, pay the creators for contributing their photographs and videos.
With a premium stock photo and video site, you can be assured of:
- High quality
- High resolution
- Availability of images related to rare subjects like government buildings, celebrities
- Pictures and videos by professionals in the industry
- Protection from fraud, owning penalties, and stolen photos
And for these reasons (and more), let’s go to our list of the top sites for stock photos and videos.
1. Getty Images
One of the pioneers of stock content, the Getty Images website, hosts one of the biggest collections of stock photos, illustrations, images, and videos.
And indeed the most expensive, thanks to the exclusive and high-quality content that is equal to the work of professional creators.
The site is easy to navigate, complete with an advanced search filter, convenient for finding relevant images and videos for any category.
Getty Images pricing varies according to the size of images and videos you choose. You can also choose from their bundle-pack plans.
Shutterstock is another excellent resource for royalty-free content and boasts of over 230 million photos, videos, and music tracks.
The company also claims to add over 100,000 photos each day, after a thorough vetting process – giving visitors a great selection to choose from.
They offer various subscription models to cater to personal as well as corporate users, with the lowest starting at $29/per month. A free trial of 10-images is also available to get you started.
3. Adobe Images
Deemed as the ‘graphic designer’s best friend,’ Adobe Stock offers an extensive collection of royalty-free assets. It is fully compatible with the Creative Cloud Platform, giving users access to over 80 million stock photos from within their design apps.
Besides images, their repository holds videos, illustrations, vectors, templates, 3D & editorial, and a Premium Collection for high-quality visuals.
Pricing plans start from $29.99/per month for images with a 1-month free trial.
Pond5 has an extensive library of images, vectors, illustrations, and 3D models. What sets them apart is the broad availability of music, soundtracks, and videos.
Yes, Pond5 is one of the biggest marketplaces for videos with over 11 million footages. They also host over 10 million audio clips in different formats. So if your marketing relies heavily on videos and music – this is a must to checkout.
The prices for stock content on Pond5 varies according to the size and format of the chosen product. Interestingly, Pond 5 allows contributors to set their own pricing and thus you may want to search thoroughly for the best bargains.
5. Stock Photo Secrets Shop
With over 5 million high-quality, royalty-free images and videos under its hood, the StockPhotoSecrets Shop was developed with small and mid-sized businesses in mind.
This is why it is one of the most affordable stock photo sites in our review that offers flexible and affordable plans, starting at $35/per month for 25 downloads.
The website was developed by industry experts and adds up to 10,000 images per month.
Now owned by Getty Images, iStock is a more affordable option than the former for images, videos, audio, and illustrations in various categories. The interface is also very organized, with the search process being very straightforward.
Moreover, it is compatible with Illustrator, Adobe, and In-Design CC 2015.
The pricing plan for iStock is based on either subscription service or credits. The company also sends one free image, video, and illustration to your inbox if you sign up for their email newsletter.
Alamy can be referred to as a paid alternative to Unsplash. It has a vast database of images and videos. This is because Alamy accepts media contributions in every niche – even if they are not high in demand. Here, you will find content on every subject, from basic photos of flowers to National Geography-endorsed images.
Luckily, they have an easy search protocol that allows you to filter out the required stock content according to specific keywords.
Alamy’s licensing can be obtained either royalty-free or rights managed. Pricing is offered on a per-image basis and no subscription or registration is required.
Another popular stock provider for marketers looking for affordable footage is Storyblocks. The content ranges from essential video clips and animations to after-effect templates, social media clips, and drone footages.
They also have a vast collection of still images, vectors, illustrations, and an exclusive music category for audio media.
Pricing plans vary with the basic video plan starting from $8.25/per month for 5 video downloads. You can also choose an all-access for $29.08/per month and get unlimited downloads of audio, video, and image content.
Dissolve stock images and videos revolve around lifestyle – people at home, people working, etc. Each upload on their database is handpicked with a focus on exceptional quality, giving you quick access for even the most advanced projects.
Regarding prices, Dissolve has both – royalty-free and rights-managed footages and images. Pricing plans start from $29 for videos and $5 for pictures with the top-tier selling at $499.
You can also check out the Dissolve Goodies selection for a free collection of videos and images, available under a royalty-free license.
DepositPhotos is another excellent resource of images and videos that is definitely worth your attention.
What makes it great is the affordable pricing that beats other industry players without compromising on quality. Here, you can find a high-quality image for only $0.99, while packages give you access to pictures for as low as $0.27.
Boasting over 80 million files, DepositPhotos is a great place to check out for a broad range of content, on a low budget.
The Best Sites for Stock Photos and Videos
The above were just some of my favorite sites for stock photos and videos.
Besides these, there are numerous niche-specific stock libraries on the internet that can help your website stand out, without making it appear cliche.
Remember, free is not always a solution and with these recommended resources, you can conveniently find exceptional visual content to leverage your marketing efforts.