How Much Should You Pay for Cheap Stock Footage


Knowing how much you should pay for cheap stock footage gives you an idea the amount of money you can spare for your video production. It helps you determine whether you are overpaying for a video clip or you are getting a great deal. There are a number of stock media sites in the markets, and they have varied price ranges. When purchasing stock footage, you have to consider some factors to determine how much you should really pay for.

  • License. The most common types of license for cheap stock footage are royalty-free and rights-managed. Depending on how you intend to use the video clips, you can get either of the license. Royalty-free license allows you to use the footage in many ways. You can use it in any project for as long as you like, without worrying about additional fees along the road. However, there are also some restrictions in the use of this type of footage, including the number of times it can be used. Royalty-free footage can be used multiple times, so you can expect to pay between $10 and $150.

On the other hand rights-managed footage can be a little more expensive and has a few more restrictions compared to its royalty-free counterpart. Since you manage the rights to the footage, you can use it for a specific purpose and a specific period of time. This type of video clip is often rare and genuine, meaning you will hardly see it in other websites.

  • Subject of the Footage.  The subject of the footage can also determine its price because only a few footages of a certain subject is available. The more interesting the subject is, the higher its price. For instance, you can expect higher fees for footages of skydivers and aerial view of the Great Barrier Reef compared to a footage of people working in an office. Another great example of higher priced footages are historical stock videos because they are more difficult to recreate.
  • File Format and Resolution. The angle of the shot, the resolution of the camera, and the file format also affects the price of a cheap stock footage. Since High Definition (HD) videos are higher compared to DV footage, they are also more expensive. Most editing equipment use HD so filmmakers and editors want to work with them as well. You can purchase medium resolution clips for as low as $14 and high resolution footage for $24 each.

Depending on these three important factors, you should have an idea on how much you should spend for a cheap stock footage. Rights-managed clips with unique subjects and higher resolution tend to be more expensive than their royalty-free and lower resolution alternatives. Whichever you choose, just make sure that it fits your creative needs and budget.