The Best Cheap Stock Video Site of 2024

Best Cheap Stock Video Site

You’ve probably heard the old saying that if something is too good to be true, it usually is. A little skepticism is healthy—but today’s best and most budget-friendly stock video sites really are that cheap. For a tiny monthly fee, you will get lots of royalty-free videos that you can use for commercial purposes and avoid copyright strikes on YouTube.

Low prices don’t mean low quality, however. I’ve been reviewing providers for years to find the best stock video sites in the business—and price is always an important part of the puzzle. My top picks are providers with large collections of stock videos, royalty-free licenses, and, of course, the lowest monthly fees.

I’ve focused on the services that offer great prices on one-year or more subscriptions, as that’s where the best value lies, and what’ll net you the cheapest stock footage.

Quick comparison

CompanyCostVideosDownloads per month
Envato Elements$16.50 or $39 per month6 millionUnlimited
Artlist$29.99 or $39.99 per month180000Unlimited
Motion Arrayfrom $19.99 per month100000Unlimited

The cheapest stock footage in 2024

When I say cheap stock footage, I mean videos that cost less than $10 per clip or video subscriptions that come with unlimited downloads for less than $30 per month. In my experience, stock footage doesn’t get much cheaper than this if you still want high quality.

When it comes to finding high-quality stock videos at a budget-friendly price, Envato Elements is the way to go. With an unbeatable value proposition, you get unlimited access to over 12 million videos, music tracks, graphics, and more for just $16.50 a month with an annual subscription. Plus, you’ll get high-resolution 4K footage and a royalty-free commercial license, making it an absolute steal for anyone in need of affordable stock media.

But what really sets Artlist apart is its dedication to serving the needs of video creators and YouTubers. For just $29.99 a month with a yearly subscription, you’ll get access to a curated collection of over 180,000 high-quality video clips in up to 8K resolution. And with their unique Clearlist feature, any copyright claims on your uploaded videos containing their licensed footage will be quickly resolved.

Motion Array is another great option for filmmakers looking for an all-in-one creative solution. With unlimited 4K footage downloads starting at just $19.99 a month, a built-in portfolio builder, plugins, and seamless integration with Adobe apps, Motion Array is a versatile and affordable option for cash-strapped filmmakers. With its professional tools and features, Motion Array is the perfect solution for streamlining your video editing workflow.

Other affordable stock footage places

There are many other places where you can buy cheap videos, but for one reason or another, they are not better than the top three choices listed above. When putting together this list, here are the other choices I considered but didn’t quite make it.

For a long time, I considered Videvo one of the best places to find affordable stock videos. For as little as $12 per month, you can get unlimited downloads of their 500,000 videos, while $5 per month gets you 5 videos. However, all of this changed when Freepik, a stock image company, purchased Videvo in 2022. Since then, I’ve noticed that Videvo has been neglected—their customer service isn’t as good as it once was, the collection hasn’t grown as quickly, and I even spoke with a Freepik/Videvo employee who said the stock footage provider has been sidetracked.


MotionElements is eerily similar to Envato Elements (even the name!), with similar content diversity (but a smaller selection), and the same annual fee of $16.50 per month. But MotionElements unlimited downloads subscription is available only on an annual basis, so I don’t recommend it to short-term buyers. However, there’s a pay-per-item option, which is relatively expensive, and not worth considering if you need more than 2 items. It’s a decent option to consider if you don’t like Envato Elements for some reason, though it wouldn’t be my first choice.


FINDSTORY is an interesting one. With unlimited downloads, the prices start at $19 per month for FHD footage and individuals, $39 per month for up to 4K footage and companies, or $49 per month for 6K footage and raw files. FINDSTORY would not be my first choice for finding footage in general because their selection is significantly smaller than the other providers I listed. They are the best for finding footage that tells a story—many videos are part of small collections known as connected “stories.” For example, there is a story about a businessman sitting in an office, followed by clips of him answering phones, looking at papers, drinking coffee, meeting people, and so on. It’s an effective way to keep your videos coherent.

How to choose the best cheap stock footage site

It’s no surprise that you get what you pay for with video providers, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to get a high-quality service. Even a cheap stock footage site can offer top-notch video resolution, royalty-free license, and selection that free stock footage just can’t match.

When you’re considering cheap stock footage websites, there are a few things you should consider.

Pick the provider that suits your needs best. Only you will know which one it is—I can only show you the ones I and my colleagues liked.

Price: monthly fee and price per video

Is it cheap because it’s a worse service, or is it cheap because it cares about competitive pricing? For the best value for your money, I recommend unlimited subscriptions (actually there’s usually a daily download limit of about 100 to prevent scraping) such as the ones I listed above.

To recap, Envato Elements is $39/mo with the monthly plan and $16.50/mo with the annual plan, which is 57% cheaper. You can also get a 70% discount on the first month, paying $11.70. Artlist is available for 12 months only, and it costs $29.99/mo for videos & templates, and $39.99/mo for everything they offer. Motion Array is $29.99/mo with the monthly plan and $19.99/mo with the annual plan, reduced to $15.82/mo with our discount. All of these subscriptions come with unlimited downloads.

In comparison, Shutterstock video subscriptions come with 5, 10, or 20 videos per month and cost at least $79 per month. You can get from 1 to 25 videos per month at Adobe Stock for a $29.99 to $249.99 monthly fee, while at Pond5 you’ll pay at least $25 for one video.

License: all are royalty-free but differ in terms

Most stock footage comes with royalty-free licenses, but double-check for limitations, especially for commercial projects. My top three picks all allow commercial use and use on social media including on YouTube, TikTok, and other streaming platforms. Unfortunately, most cheap footage sites come with low or no indemnity. For instance, Envato Elements provides up to $234 indemnity while Artlist and Motion Array do not. More expensive footage sites like Shutterstock and Pond5 provide at least $10,000 indemnification and up to $1M with extended licenses.

The downside of most royalty-free licenses that come with unlimited downloads is that they’re something I call “semi-perpetual” (there’s no official term as far as I know). A standard RF license is yours forever after you download a file. However, these semi-perpetual licenses can only be used in new projects while you have an active subscription. After you cancel your subscription, you cannot use them for new projects anymore, but your existing projects (the ones for which you downloaded the file before canceling) are valid forever. This policy is in place to prevent people from abusing these unlimited subscriptions and creating their own stashes of RF content even if they don’t need it.

Video quality and variety

Aim for sites offering at least FHD resolution, preferably 4K or 8K or whatever resolution you need. Nowadays, almost every stock footage website has at least 4K footage, though it’s sometimes more expensive than low-resolution clips. Envato Elements, Artlist, and Motion Array don’t charge more for higher resolutions, but Artlist has an add-on for $18 per month for RAW/LOG clips, which you cannot get at the other two. Envato’s max resolution is 4K, Artlist’s 8K, and Motion Array’s 6K.

The provider should also have a good variety of footage, which is related to the number of videos in the collection and the curation standards. A better selection and average technical quality will provide you with fresh and useful clips for a longer time. When looking for footage, many people also need audio, SFX, and video templates. Pick providers that also offer other media types that you will need. Artlist has everything one needs with footage, including templates, music, and SFX. Motion Array and Envato Elements also have images and more templates, whereas Envato Elements also offers fonts, themes, and plugins. Envato Elements also has many more videos (6 million) than Artlist (180000) and Motion Array (100000).

Search functionality

A good search engine is a must. Every search should return relevant results which you should be able to narrow down further with filters, such as prevalent color, number of people, resolution, theme, duration, and FPS.

Integrations and plugins

Integrations are an amazing innovation that has become popular in recent years, with many footage providers now offering integration of their collection into various software, most commonly Adobe Creative Cloud. Envato Elements can be integrated into Premiere Pro and Motion Arraay into Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop, Audition, and Premiere Rush. Both Artlist and Motion Array share the same plugins, like color grading, adding particles, and keying, that can be integrated into Premiere Pro, After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Motion, Vegas Pro, DaVinci Resolve, and Avid Media Composer. Artlist also has its own image and video editing software.

The best cheap stock video providers balance all of these factors at a reasonable cost. Pick the one that suits your particular project needs and budgetary constraints. And try to find sites offering money-back guarantees to test drive them risk-free. With affordable, high-quality footage now available, there’s no need to cut corners with your video projects.

Editor’s note: look for a marketplace that has a money-back guarantee. That way you can get your cash back and test how it compares to the competition before making a final decision.

The most common questions people ask me

When consulting for footer-buyers, here are the most common questions I get asked.

Why is stock footage so expensive?

In actual fact, while some stock footage can be fairly pricey (up to $10K per clip), on the whole, it’s the cheapest way to get professional video clips. As you saw earlier, you can get hundreds of videos for a small monthly fee starting just above $10.

Creating stock footage involves significant production and post-production costs. These include hiring a crew, purchasing equipment, and dedicating time to editing and finalizing the video. Post-production processes like video editing, color grading, sound design, and special effects require skilled professionals and specialized software, which add to the overall cost of footage. Alternatively, you could learn to do this yourself or commission a custom videographer, both of which will take longer and will be more expensive.

Also, when you purchase a video from a stock footage website, you get a license and with it indemnity, which protects you in case of legal issues. For the providers to be able to offer indemnification, they need to get paid, and that’s part of the footage cost.

Is cheap stock footage worth it?

If you pick the right provider, it certainly is. While some cheap services might not have many videos, provide poor licensing terms, or have low-quality footage, all of the options on this list provide premium-quality videos for a great price.

Can you get stock footage for free?

It’s not impossible to get a decent video for free at free providers such as Pexels or Pixabay, but you’ll be sacrificing a lot in terms of variety, quality, and, in some cases, licensing security.

However, good stock footage isn’t free because videographers want to be compensated fairly and the stock footage site needs to pay its employees and maintain its servers, while also ensuring you get indemnification.

Also, I found a few ways to get royalty-free footage for free. My favorite is using Adobe Stock’s 30-day trial period with their annual subscriptions, during which you can download 1, 3, or 6 HD and 4K videos. You can then safely cancel the trial and keep the videos, or become a paying customer.

Daniel Long

Daniel Long

About Author

Daniel Long, as a writer, delves into the realm of emerging technologies and business solutions, with a particular emphasis on optimizing efficiency and fostering growth. He educational background includes a Bachelor's degree in English from the University of California, Irvine, and he furthered his knowledge by attaining an MBA from Chapman University. This combination of expertise allows him to offer valuable insights into the ever-evolving business landscape.

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