The Ultimate List of Free Stock Video Websites 2018
Are you looking for free stock video footage to use in your social media videos - Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc? In an age where social sites are begging for brands to use video, they're the perfect solution for adding interest to a project rather than a static image, especially if, for whatever reason, you can't get out to record a suitable clip yourself.
Paying for video from traditional stock video websites can get very expensive, very quickly. But, there is an alternative.
There are a surprising number of sites offering totally free stock video footage - the best of which I have compiled below. These are sites that have plenty of free clips available (one hundred or more, and are regularly updated). Every site below has its merits, but I've tried to order them in a way that puts the best options towards to the top of the list.
A Word on Free Stock Video Licenses
Just before we get to the list, you need to know about licenses. Public Domain and Creative Commons 0 (CC0) licenses mean that the videos can be used and edited for personal or commercial use without attribution, however you please. Meanwhile, Creative Commons 3.0 licenses vary, depending on the creator's wishes. They almost all require attribution, and may also state additional restrictions such as No Commercial Use.
Before you download and use a piece of footage, double check the license and adhere to it, both as a courtesy to the creator and so that you don't run into problems later on down the line.
Free Stock Video Downloads List 2018
Pexels Videos has hundreds of completely free stock videos available without attribution, searchable by keyword and categorised by type.
Pixabay offers a large amount of free stock videos, searchable by keyword and categorised by type. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the links to browse the videos by category.
Videvo offers a ton of free HD stock footage and motion graphics in a wide range of categories, from animals and arts, to sports and science. The site has three main licenses for its videos: one where no attribution is required, another where it is, and one that follows the rules set under Creative Commons 3.0. Filter your search to find only the type you want. If a clip is marked as “Editorial Use Only”, you can not use it for commercial or promotional purposes. Otherwise you are free to use the clip in any project, commercially or non-commercially.
Although a site designed specifically to offer videos for use as the background to website homepages, Coverr's clips can work well in plenty of settings. Ordered by category and best of all, "All Videos on Coverr.co can be used for free. You can use them for commercial and noncommercial purposes. You do not need to ask permission from or provide credit to the Videographer or Coverr.co, although it is appreciated when possible."
There's isn't a massive amount of free stock videos here yet, but Distill's library is categorised by type and is full of high-quality clips. In exchange for its email address, it offers 10 free HD videos delivered to your inbox every 10 days.
Life of Vids provides hundreds of free stock videos with no copyright restrictions for personal and commercial work. There is no search or categorisation, so you'll have to scroll to see if anything catches your eye. The site states that new videos are added weekly, but the dates on the videos seem to show the upload schedule being a little bit more sporadic. Still, can't be ungrateful!
X Stock Video has plenty of footage that can be browsed by category. The site says that all footage is "free to download and free to use in a 'Free to view video project' (promotional, event, educational, client, youtube without ads). If you want to use the footage for commercial purposes (a film or television production, commercial app, game, youtube with adds or other software) you can buy an extended License for a small fee."
Free HD Footage says its "efforts will continue to focus on building our site with free HD stock footage, for you to use however you’d like." There are over 100 clips so far with more being added over time.
Vidsplay's searchable and categorised stock video footage can be used for both personal and commercial projects for free. The only requirement is that you visibly add a credit link to Vidsplay.com somewhere on your website, ending credits of your video production or in the description for online media channels (such as Youtube, Vimeo..etc.)
Stock Footage 4 Free says "There are never any fees for using our footage. Our footage comes with a 100% royalty free license allowing you to use the footage in all types of productions, for worldwide distribution, forever." There are hundreds of clips available, but no search or categorisation, so you'll have to browse through until you find a clip you like.
Wavebreak Media offers a small handful of its stock footage clips as a free download, with a new giveaway available every month. Might be one to bookmark and check on every now and again.
Videezy has a large library of free video clips available to search and browse by category. Clips have a variety of licenses, so do check before downloading. Also, watch out for the videos marked "Pro" in search results - they're not free!
Pond5 mostly caters to people looking for paid video content, but also hosts a significant amount of Public Domain (free) footage. Great if you're looking for old stock footage.
Clipcanvas provides nearly 170 free stock footage video clips. They're not searchable or categorised, but the small thumbnails make them easy to browse. Also, you'll need to register (free) in order to download any videos.
Cute Stock Footage is the work of two friends, Michal and Chris, offering lots of free stock footage for free - categorised by type. "You are allowed to use this material in your commercial or non-commercial projects such as: video games, films, videos, documentaries, presentations, animations, music, stage plays, radio plays, audio books, apps," they say.
Flickr allows users to license their work under creative commons, including video. All the videos require attribution, but the advanced search function allows you to search for videos, and specify results that can be used for commercial use.
Over to you
What are your favourite free stock video sites? Have any missed any you'd like me to add to the list? Let me know in the comments below!
Andrew Macarthy is a social media consultant and the author of the #1 Amazon Web Marketing Bestseller, 500 Social Media Marketing Tips.