Best STOCK VIDEO Sites For Royalty Free Video? 2023 Review!

Today we’re going to review the best stock video footage sites right now. 

Stock footage is one of the easiest ways to enhance your video content. But there are a ton of different options out there, all with different levels of quality, licensing restrictions and pricing models.

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So we’ve tested all the top options and narrowed it down to the best stock footage sites that we recommend. 

We’ll start off with the free sites first so you can see what’s out there. Then we’ll work our way up to the paid options. 

If you’re looking specifically for free stock footage, we still recommend hanging around to hear out the paid options. You might find that they’re going to be a much better fit for you! 

Here’s exactly what we’ll cover: 

Let’s get started. 

Top Free Stock Videos Sites 

Before we dive into the free options, there are two big reasons we think it’s worth the extra cash to go with a paid site: 

  1. The library is usually way bigger with super high quality stock videos
  2. The search function & navigation is generally much better 

Having said that, there are still some great options out there that are completely free. 

Our top recommendations for best free video sites in 2023 are Pexels and Pixabay

Both of these are standouts in terms of the size of their footage libraries. They also make licensing really easy. 

Pexels Website
The best sites for free stock videos in this roundup are Pexels & Pixabay – they’re completely free! 

Usually licensing for stock videos is a difficult thing. There are different processes for different uses. Sometimes you even have to go through different processes on a clip-by-clip basis. 

So it’s awesome that Pexels and Pixabay make this straightforward. You can use the clips pretty much wherever you like. 

For example, on both the Pexels website and the Pixabay website it says: 

  • All content on the platform are free to use
  • Attribution is not required, but is appreciated
  • All content can be edited or modified

But, we still recommend checking the requirements for yourself and checking out what you’re not allowed to do with the content.

Pexels License Page
The most important thing to check with any stock video footage is the licensing and permissions

In terms of which free site is better, this will come down to your specific needs. 

Pexels offers both stock video and stock photos. Whereas Pixabay offers stock video, images, illustrations, vectors, music, sound effects and GIFs. 

We’d recommend browsing the catalog for each of these sites so you can work out which one has the most free videos that are a fit for your content.  

Pixabay Website
Pixabay offers more than just Stock Videos

Now let’s move onto our top recommended paid options. 

In this category we’ve narrowed it down to our four top royalty free video sites, which are listed in no particular order. Stick around until the end to find out which platforms we’re currently using here at Primal Video. 

Envato Elements

Option number one is Envato Elements. This service packs an absolute punch. There’s a lot more than just stock video footage on this platform.

You also get access to video templates for all the top video editing tools, music, sound effects, graphic templates, presentation templates, photos, fonts and so much more. 

Envato Elements Website with Web Templates Menu open
You get unlimited downloads on Envato Elements’ Subscription Plan

But in terms of the stock video footage, there’s a library of over 5 million stock video clips and close to 100,000 video templates as well. 

Interface & Search Function

The overall interface is really straightforward and finding the video clips you want is super easy. 

Let’s search for ‘person walking on beach’ to give you an idea of the quality of video clips and the number of results that come up. 

You can hover your mouse over each of the results to preview the clip. There’s also a button called Show Similar if you want to view more results that are similar to a particular clip. 

"person walking on beach" used as a search example in Envato Elements site
Easily search for what you’re looking for at the top of the page

Some of the results appear to be related to what we searched for, some of them don’t. This could be because the search function is picking up only some words in the search e.g. ‘person walking’. 

But overall the experience is very fluid and you can see that they have a huge library. 

Licensing

In terms of licensing, Envato Elements makes the process really easy. They have one commercial license that covers you for work and personal projects. This means it’s got the all clear for commercial use. 

But again, don’t forget to check out the licensing page yourself so you know you’re legally covered. 

Pricing

There are a few different pricing options available: 

  • Individual plan – $16.50/month: This gives you access to everything inside Envato Elements & unlimited downloads
  • Team plan – from $10.75/month per member: This will change depending on the number of team members you want to add and provides access to everything inside Envato Elements
Envato Elements Individual Pricing with US$16.50/month
There are a couple of pricing options for Envato Elements

Motion Array

Option number two is Motion Array. This is a really solid solution and an incredible offer. 

Just like with Envato Elements, Motion Array gives you access to more than just stock videos. You also get video templates, photos, music, sound effects and video editing plugins for software like Adobe Premiere.

There’s even a built-in video feedback and collaboration tool as well. 

So if you’re working with teams or clients and you want to upload a video and get feedback – this is an amazing way to do it. If you’ve ever used Frame.io, this tool is the equivalent of that just built-in to this subscription. 

Motion Array Website
Motion Array is an amazing option for royalty free videos 

Interface & Search Function

Once again, there’s a really easy to use and intuitive interface. You’ll find different categories for the different types of footage to help you find exactly what you’re after. 

There’s also lots of other settings you can specify in the search tool including: 

  • Video resolutions
  • Orientations (portrait or vertical footage)
  • Frame rates
  • Usage rights
Motion Array's Dark Interface with Filters options and a few of stock video gallery visible
Get granular in the Filters section to help with your search

So you can see the search function allows you to get really granular with what will appear in your search results. 

There’s also a Motion Array Adobe extension, so if you’re using Adobe tools then you can integrate this directly into your workflow. 

To compare this to the quality of footage and number of search results in Envato Elements, let’s search for ‘person walking on beach’ again. 

The results do show a lot more options of people walking specifically on the beach, rather than just people walking in general like we saw in Envato Elements

Mouse cursor hovering over a video from a search result in Motion Array to preview the clip
You can hover your mouse over each result to preview the video clip

In our experience, the quality and production level of video clips in Motion Array is next-level compared to what you’ll find in Envato Elements. 

Licensing

Just like Envato Elements, Motion Array has licensing that covers you for use anywhere. 

Pricing

There are three pricing options: 

  • Monthly – $29.99/month
  • Annual – $239.99/year (this works out to $19.99/month)
  • Team – Starts at $37.50/month for two users when billed annually

It’s awesome to see that they have a legitimate monthly option. Some of the other platforms quote a monthly fee but it’s actually billed annually. So that’s something to keep in mind. 

Motion Array Pricing Plan with 4 different options available
There are three pricing options depending on your specific needs 

Artlist

Option number three is Artlist. Up until recently, Artlist was just for stock music. It offered amazing music and sound effects options that we used a lot here at Primal Video. But now it’s so much more than that! 

So similar to the previous options, you get access to so much more than just video footage. You also get the music, sound effects, templates and plugins as well. 

But Artlist also has some dedicated apps that are included in the platform. They now own a video editing platform which was previously known as HitFilm (an amazing and powerful free & paid tool). 

Artlist Website
If you’re looking for professional stock footage, Artlist might be for you 

Interface & Search Functionality

This is another option that has a really intuitive interface. There are tons of different categories for the type of footage you could be looking for, such as: 

  • Camera movement e.g. handheld or tripod footage
  • Time of day the footage was filmed
  • People e.g. age brackets, the number of people in the shot
Artlist's Browsing Filter and a few video footages visible
Browse inside Artlist using a wide range of filters to help you find exactly what you’re looking for

So it’s really cool to see all the different category breakdowns you can choose from. 

But you can also just use the search bar at the top of the page, which says it’s an AI-powered search tool. 

Let’s try searching for ‘person walking on beach’ again to see how this compares to the video clips on the other platforms. 

We can see a lot of relevant footage that matches exactly what we searched for. 

"Person Walking On Beach" used as a search example inside Artlist
Artlist has a ton of premium content available – it probably has the highest quality stock videos

The quality of these shots is even higher than what we just saw in Motion Array. There are so many really amazing, professionally-shot video clips. 

PRO TIP: Motion Array, Artlist & Artgrid are all owned by the same company! Artgrid used to be a service with incredibly professional video footage, but it now comes under the banner of Artlist. Motion Array is remaining its own individual offering. 

Artlist is actually one of our top recommended stock music sites, so it’s awesome that you can come to this one platform for all your stock music and footage (not to mention all the other stuff they offer!).

'Woman, Beach, Sea, Ocean' clip inside Artlist
Artlist now has AI-powered recommendations in their site!

Licensing

The licensing in Artlist is slightly less straightforward than the other options, but just in terms of the Music & SFX plans. 

Basically there are two Music & SFX plans based on whether you want licensing just for social media or licensing for everywhere. 

Thankfully there’s only one option when it comes to licensing for the Footage plans. 

Pricing

There are a number of different plans depending on what you want access to: 

  • Footage & Templates – $29.99/month, billed annually
  • Music & SFX (Social) – $9.99/month, billed annually or $14.99/month, billed monthly
  • Music & SFX (Pro) – $16.58/month, billed annually 
  • Max (Everything) – $39.99/month, billed annually 

One thing to keep in mind is that there’s not a monthly option available for most plans, just the Music & SFX (Social) plan. Their premium plan (Max – Everything) is a great option if you want access to music and footage. 

Artlist's Pricing Plan with Max - Everything being the Best Value option
Select the right plan that works best for you

Storyblocks

The last option on our shortlist is Storyblocks. This is a platform that we’ve been using for a long time. We’ve been flying the Storyblocks flag high for years! 

They were one of the first platforms like this to release an unlimited, all-you-can-eat subscription based model. It really is awesome to be able to jump in, find clips quickly and use them without needing to buy them on a clip-by-clip basis. 

Once again, it’s not just stock video footage that you’re getting access to. You also get their animated backgrounds, templates, motion backgrounds, music tracks, sound effects, stock photos and illustrations as well. 

They also have an Adobe Creative Cloud plugin, which means if you’re using tools like Adobe Premiere you can really quickly find your footage right from your video editing timeline. 

Storyblocks Website
Storyblocks is a top contender when it comes to the best option

Interface & Search Functionality

In terms of the overall interface, it’s not as nice to use and look at as some of the other options (Motion Array & Artlist), but it’s still very functional. 

You can select Footage in the search bar and then run a search for whatever you’re looking for. 

One thing we found is that this is really snappy, the clips play very quickly. 

A gallery of similar footage and a list of Recommended Music for an example video inside Storyblocks
Storyblocks also suggest the best music to go with the clip you’ve searched for

There’s even a button you can press on each of the search results that will provide recommended music to go with that video clip. 

Let’s run our search again, ‘person walking on beach’ to see how this compares to the other stock video sites. 

There are a lot of search results that are coming up which is great to see. 

Storyblocks with 'person walking on beach' in the search box with Footage category selected
Similar to the other options, you can simply search for the footage you’re looking for

In terms of the quality of these video clips, there really is a mix. Some of them are professionally shot while others look like they were shot on a handy cam. 

Whereas options like Motion Array and Artlist tend to be just footage that is professionally shot. 

But this could be a benefit for Storyblocks if you’re looking for a mix in the types of footage. 

Licensing

The licensing is really straightforward. You can sign up as an individual or as a business, and they outline where you can and can’t use everything based on those two models.

Pricing 

There are three different pricing options for individual content creators: 

  • Starter – $15/month billed annually and gives you 5 total monthly downloads of HD footage, music, photos, vectors & illustrations
  • Unlimited All Access – $30/month billed annually and gives you access to unlimited access to all of the resources
  • Pro – $35/month billed annually and gives you access to everything in the Unlimited Plan as well as the Adobe Create Cloud plugin
Storyblocks Pricing Plans with Unlimited All Access as the Most Popular
You can choose between three different pricing options for a Storyblocks subscription

Those are our top options for best stock footage sites. 

So, what’s our top recommendation? And what do we use here at Primal Video? 

Our Top Pick For Best Stock Video & What We Use

Keep in mind, there isn’t one solution that’s going to be right for everyone. 

The most important thing is to find whichever service is going to have the types of clips that you want to use in your videos.

So we strongly recommend going to each of the websites and browsing through their catalog. Have a look through the library at the type of clips they have. This should be the biggest indicator as to which one is right for you. 

Storyblocks website: Traditional stock sites limit content with a pay-per-clip model
Make sure you check out each of the top sites to see which one suits you 

Our top pick right now is Storyblocks. It’s the one we’re using most here at Primal Video. 

We love how easy they make the licensing and finding the right video clip. Plus the integration with the Adobe Suite is game changing. 

A monitor with Adobe Premiere Pro in the screen and Storyblocks plugin visible
The winner in our 2023 roundup is Storyblocks 

But the option we’re most excited for is Artlist. Their music collection is really solid and the quality of the video footage is incredible. 

Now You Know The Best Stock Video Sites in 2022

There you have it – the best sites for accessing both free and paid stock videos.

Paid sites definitely come out on top when you consider things like library size, interface usability, searchability, licensing and quality of the footage. Plus, using a paid option generally leads to more unique content.

But remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all perfect solution. The one you go with (whether it’s paid or completely free) really comes down to which site offers the clips you need within your content.

Once you’ve found the right stock video site for you, why not check out our review of the Best Sites for Video Background Music so you can get some great tracks for your videos.

Interested in learning more tips and tricks for creating quality video content? Check out our guide on the ULTIMATE Process for Editing Videos Faster. This free download provides you with tons of video editing tips and tricks that can take your videos to an entirely new level.

FAQ

Where is the best stock video footage?

Our top picks for best stock video are Envato Elements, Motion Array, Artlist and Storyblocks. They have huge libraries of content and most offer subscriptions with unlimited downloads. 

Are there any free stock video sites?

There sure are! Pexels and Pixabay are our top two options when it comes to free sites. 


Recommended Gear & Resources

Check out an up-to-date list of all the gear, software & tools we use and recommend right now at Primal Video on our resources page here!

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