Using royalty-free videos can really improve your video project, adding scenes and sequences of footage you’d never really be able to capture yourself.
Even if you’re a professional videographer, using royalty-free videos saves so much time to be able to quickly download a video that’s suitable for your video subject, instead of going out of your way to try and record the footage yourself.
But what royalty-free video websites are the best? We’ve picked them out and explained each one and what they offer.
What Is Royalty-Free And Understanding Usage Rights
When we talk about royalty-free, we mean content that requires no royalties or license fees to be paid. So in this case, it’s content you can use for free without the need to pay for commercial licenses.
The websites we will show will include royalty-free videos that you can use for commercial purposes, but not all content will have these rights. You may have to pay to gain access to royalty-free content on these websites, or in some cases, the websites we show will have different attribution rights. Sometimes, you’ll be able to use some content, but must credit the author. In some cases, you can use the content but only for non-commercial use.
Whilst it’s great to have the convenience of using thousands of royalty-free videos from the websites below, there is some added inconvenience because you must take care to ensure you’re respecting any content rights set by the original content creators.
Coverr is a great platform if you’re looking for royalty-free content that can be used for free, for both commercial and non-commercial use. As stated by their license FAQ, all videos published on Coverr can be used for free, and you don’t need to provide credit or ask permission to use any content.
The only limit for Coverr’s license is that you cannot take videos from Coverr and directly sell that content elsewhere, for example on another video stock website, which makes perfect sense to us.
There are thousands of videos on Coverr, and you can even find more unique formats, like vertical video for smartphones or Zoom virtual video backgrounds.
Pixabay is primarily a stock image website, so the category of videos may not be as large as other websites. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find some good footage on Pixabay. Like Coverr, you are free to use all videos and photos on Pixabay without any attribution or credit. This also includes commercial use.
If you’re ever unsure, the Pixabay license is listed alongside any video or photo before you press the download button.
Pexels is another great resource for both royalty-free videos and photos. The Pexels license allows you to use all content on Pexels for free, without attribution. You can also use all content on Pexels for commercial use. As expected, you cannot resell unaltered copies of the videos or photos downloaded from Pexels.
In our experience Pexels has been a great resource for finding photos and videos of people, so if you’re looking for striking a certain emotion with your content, Pexels can be great, but there’s plenty of other video content too.
Videvo is a great website if you’re looking for more than just video. You can get royalty-free video, music, and sounds to truly transform your project.
You need to be more careful with Videvo, because there are different licenses used. When you visit the download page for any content, you’ll be given details about the license. Look for the royalty-free license if you want to have full commercial access to content without attribution.
Some content on Videvo can be accessed with a free plan, but other content requires a monthly membership. You can see on each video, sound, or music download page whether it’s available in the free or premium plan.
Videezy is another royalty-free stock website that offers 4K videos. Videezy has a similar structure to Videvo in that some content is available in the free plan, and other content is restricted to pro members. Thankfully, it’s easy to see what’s available for free – you’ll see the pro banner on the thumbnail for all pro videos.
Videezy’s license rights are different for each video, but you can click on the license rights on each download page.
You can use most videos on Videezy commercially, but you must provide credit in the correct way as stated on their license rights page. Otherwise, you can purchase exclusive rights of each video so that you do not need to give credit.
If you want to get serious about video content, Storyblocks could be a good option. There’s no free option, so it’s clear that Storyblocks is focused on those who already have an existing business that’s running profitably.
We believe that there are plenty of great sources for free content for those that can’t afford it, but Storyblocks serves as an option for those that want worry free 4K video, HD content, and also audio.
You can browse through 800,000+ videos and you’ll have commercial, no attribution access to all of it. Storyblocks also has an enterprise option for large businesses.
Envato is a platform that spans across multiple different areas of creation, but with an Envato subscription you can get access to it all. That includes commercial usage of video files, fonts, 3D models, website designs, and photos.
If you don’t want to pay, you can sign up to a free account and gain access to 12 free files every month. Alternatively you can sign up to a monthly subscription and get unlimited access to download any of their 900,000+ video files. That subscription also gets you access to 50 million stock photos, and all sorts of other creative assets.
For many, a single Envato subscription can be worth the price due to all of the other features such as fonts and web designs that are thrown in. You can also find deals on Enterprise and Team subscriptions, but pricing may vary based on region.
Shutterstock is perhaps the most well known stock website in the world. It’s one of the best choices if you want the largest library of royalty free content that can be used without credit and for commercial use.
You will, however, have to pay for a license to get access to Shutterstock’s ever growing library of royalty free stock videos, photos, and music. Shutterstock may be the most vast library, but it’s also the most expensive.
Pricing may be different for each region, but in the UK pricing sits at £125 for 10 clip downloads per month, or £159 for 20 clip downloads per month. Alternatively, you can buy clip packs, which doesn’t force you into an annual commitment, but pricing per clip will be higher.
Distill is another royalty-free video website, but they’re somewhat restrictive with how they offer content. Users can download 10 HD videos every 10 days. Distill is also newer than other platforms, so their offering isn’t as large, but you can quickly filter clips with categories such as food, city, technology, or animals.
Distill licenses all of their content under the Creative Commons Zero license, which means you can use the content as you please, for commercial use, and without attribution.
Mazwai is a little different to other stock websites. Usually, users submit their own content, fully knowing what licenses will be applied. With Mazwai, the videos are hand picked by the owners of the website.
The videos are still owned by others and user submitted, but the content you get to see is curated more than other websites. Thankfully, all Mazwai content is free for commercial use under their license. As always make sure to check the license alongside each file first, because some files will require attribution.
It’s safe to say that as creative industries have exploded in recent years, more royalty-free video content has started to crop up online. We think you’ll happily get what you need for free from most of these websites, but subscriptions to websites like Storyblocks, Shutterstock, or Envato could be beneficial for existing businesses that are looking for larger libraries of content.