What’s the best Royalty free stock sites for your project? Every project is unique, so the answer is: it depends. What’s your budget? Do you need a special license? What are the quality requirements? In this article, I will list some of my favorite stock sites in random order. Hopefully, this will help you to choose the right one for your project. You can also find a lot of DISCOUNTS in this article!!
You can also watch the video here: https://youtu.be/BRWRhYOXGgw
A quick disclaimer: Pricing mentioned in this post can change over time and price may be different in your country. No rights may be derived from the information, recommendations or contained in this site. This post contains some affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase through one of my links I may earn a small commission – at no extra cost to you. Thanks a billion!
These are the sites that I will review in this post:
If you are looking for the best FREE stock sites, than have a look at this video.
Shutterstock is the stock footage giant that was founded back in 2003. It’s probably the biggest stock site, and the webSite itself is available in 21 languages. You might know them primarily for their photos, illustrations, and vectors, but they also have a huge video collection, and they also sell audio.
Shutterstock currently offers over 300 million images and 18 million video clips. That’s why you’ll always find them in your search results. And their collection keeps snowballing because Shutterstock works with over 650,000 community contributors adding hundreds of thousands of images each week.
The website is functional; the search box is intuitive and easy to use. You can search for similar photos and photos from the same model or you can use tags to find what you’re looking for.
Shutterstock is aiming at the professional market, global brands, and big cooperations. For images, they offer two different licenses, regular and enhanced, and for video they have the ‘Shutterstock Footage license,’ which covers most use-cases. Music also has a regular and enhanced license.
Single purchases on Shutterstock are quite expensive. A single video clip can cost you up to 149 euros. A subscription will be the best option if you need more items regularly, of course. For images, there is a subscription for 10, 50, 350, and 750 images per month.If you choose the annual billing option, this starts a $29 per month. The video subscription options are based on 10 or 20 clips per month. This subscription included all video formats like HD and 4K. But the select videos are not included in this subscription. They can only be bought as a separate item.
You can also start a free trial, but make sure you read the terms. If you don’t cancel within the free trial period, you will be charged on your credit card.
The Envato Market is a collection of multiple giant marketplaces, like Videohive and Audiojungle. On the Envato marketplace, all the items are sold separately, and Envato Elements is entirely subscription-based.
On the Envato website, they offer more than just images, videos, and music. They also offer website templates, fonts, and 3D models, for example.
The Envato website generally works pretty well. The only real problem on this website is audio playback. After previewing a couple of tracks, the site often has problems with buffering. Granted, this has been improved in the last couple of months, but it’s nowhere near as good as something like Artlist, for example.
Licensing on the Envato Marketplace is pretty straightforward, but sometimes it can be a bit confusing. That’s because they also sell items that were clearly designed to be used in multiple projects. But the Envato license is meant and valid for one single end product. So there is definitely some room for improvement there.
Envato Market currently offers over 4.5 million items, and on Envato Elements, you’ll find more than 2.3 million assets. Almost all the items on Envato elements are coming directly from the Envato marketplace. So buying one of these items on the Envato market as a single purchase is relatively expensive.
A subscription plan on Envato Elements will cost you $33/mo, which you can cancel anytime, or if you choose the yearly option, you will only pay $16,50 a month. Sure, you won’t find all the best-selling items from Marketplace on Envato elements, like Handy Seamless Transitions for example. But with a subscription, you can download unlimited and license for private and commercial projects. That is 2.3 million items for just $16,50 a month. That’s crazy affordable and a must-have for every creative pro.
And if you use this discount link, you will get a 70% discount on your first month of subscription: https://envato.com/elements/lp/coupon-o83/
This means that you can try them out for a couple of dollars, and if you take the monthly option, you can cancel anytime.
On this site, you’ll find royalty-free items like photos and images of vectors and videos. And of course, they also offer a lot of motion graphic templates (MOGRT). If you like, you can also directly browse these MOGRTs inside Adobe Premiere Pro or Adobe Premiere Rush.
The Adobe stock library is really huge. Their video collection currently contains almost 16 million items, ranging from beautiful 4K drone shots to time-lapses to portraits and everything in between.
The pricing on the Adobe stock side is mainly based on the credits. For example with one credit you can get a standard image with a standard license. And for eight credits you can get an HD video with an enhanced license.
It’s also an option to buy a single item directly on the site. But it’s a lot cheaper if you get some credits subscription-based.
So overall you can find a lot of items on the Adobe stock site. They’re definitely not the cheapest, but they offer some high quality assets. And of course, they integrate very well with other Adobe products and they also have a clear licensing policy.
Storyblocks is the rebranded name for three previous sites, Videoblocks, Audioblocks, and the Graphicstock. Now their names are Storyblocks Video, Storyblocks Audio, and Storyblocks Images.
And as their names imply, Storyblocks offers videos including AfterEffect- templates, music, and sound effects, and images. Storyblocks is entirely subscription-based.
You can sign up for audio, images, and video all at once. Or, in case you just want to stock video, for example, you can sign up for that service only. For some users, this might be a very interesting option from an economic point of view.
If you choose to be billed annually, the unlimited all-access plan will cost you $349 or Euros per year. That is just over $29 or Euros a month. And as I mentioned besides that, there are options for separate subscriptions on audio, images, or video-only.
If you want to use Storyblocks as a team in your business or corporation, then you might want to ask for a quote. Just fill in the form, and maybe they can make you an offer that better suits your needs.
They’ve also got two licensing options. The first one is the standard license, which is best for individual creators like freelancers or for publishing on YouTube. And there’s also an Enterprise license which might be better for teams that work in the same department, company or organization.
The Storyblocls collection is big but not as massive as Adobe or Shutterstock, for example. But just like the other sites, they keep adding new items every week. I would say that the majority of items on Storyblocks are medium to high quality, and some items can even be considered as premium, in my opinion. Which, of course, is excellent in this price range.
I don’t have much to complain about the website except that it’s sometimes hard to find the right items through the search function. Other than that, the site just works fine.
To summarize, Storyblocks offers a large variety of stock images, audio, and videos. However, the number of items in their library is still quite modest compared to other sites that I mentioned before. Storyblocks has one of the cheapest offers available in the royalty-free stock market. They offer multiple subscription options, and most of them include unlimited downloads. And finally, you can go all-in or choose a video, audio, or images only, which might be interesting for anyone with a low budget.
Artlist is one of the biggest royalty-free music sites and Artgrid the new stock video site by Artlist.
Both sides look and feel very similar, but they are based on a separate subscription plan. I’ve just recently started using Artlist and Artgrid, but for me, this is one of the best sites to go to for my stock music and videos.
Both sides are excellent and easy to use. Artlist is an excellent website with quick playback, which is a pleasure to use. On Artgrid, they organize their videos into so-called ‘stories’. This is a collection of similar shots or shots that were filmed in the same conditions. This is truly a blessing during editing—no more color correction for every individual clip.
And the majority of stock video clips were filmed with a cinema camera. The whole library is available in different formats, like raw log and ProRes, and the resolutions vary from HD all the way up to 8K.
On both sites, it’s cleary quality over quantity, but they do update their music all the time, and new clips are added daily. On Artlist, they currently offer about 15,000 tracks, and on Artgrid, you’ll find about 50,000 clips.
Pricing on Artlist and Artgrid is simple. There is only one plan for music, which is $199 annually, which is $16,60/month. And then there’s also a plan for sound effects, which is $149 annually. Or you can combine music and sound effects for $299 annually.
And for video, you’ve got three plans to choose from. You can choose between HD, 4K or 4K plus raw. But it doesn’t matter which plan you choose because everything that you download within that year of subscription is covered by one simple license. Once you download the song or footage within an active subscription, it’s yours to use forever, and the license also covers the usage on any platform worldwide, including commercial use. That’s brilliant.
Maybe and hopefully, in the future, they will start offering combined subscription bundles for both stock video and music. But for now, I can still definitely recommend Artlist and Artgrid as a separate service.