We’ve all been forced to slow down a bit (or a lot) and have maybe more time to create. Even though we might not be able to shoot a video due to social distancing measures, and perhaps due to financial constraints – we can piece together something great with stock footage.
Where do I get video footage?
There are loads of 4K and HD footage that is free to use, and some that require a small investment. Hurray for the generous videographers that contribute to stock footage platforms! What absolute life savers they are (maybe you’re one of them). Using great quality moving image can help you to deliver your message. Perhaps stock footage doesn’t deliver everything you ever wanted in a music video, but it’s a great alternative during these times. Even when you can get back out there and shoot a video yourself, using stock footage for cut ins is very useful.
In this article we will outline some sites where you can get amazing footage to use in your next music video. Before we go on, we feel it is necessary to provide a little more information on what royalty free footage means:
Royalty free footage has been cleared which means you won’t be breaching copyright. It does not mean you own the copyright, it means you have the license to use it according to the written guidelines of the particular footage.
If you rip footage from YouTube or download directly from google, you’re setting yourself up for problems. Stick to the cleared footage to maintain plain sailing.
Remember, royalty free stock footage can carry a price tag or it can be free. Ignore the confusing words ‘royalty free’. That means it has been cleared for general use, and that general use either costs you money or it doesn’t.
Some stock footage sites ask you to give attribution to the creator, which is fair enough, and they will stipulate whether this is compulsory or not. They will also say whether the footage can be used for personal or commercial needs.
If you are at all confused about how and where you can use stock footage, read the licensing guidelines on the website. If you’re still not sure then send a message via the site asking for clarification. These stock footage sites are usually clear on what you can and can’t do.
Ok great, we think you’ve got it so let’s dive in:
*Information in this article is correct as at time of writing. We encourage you to read the license guidelines and usage policies for all sites.
With Coverr you can search by keyword and narrow it further by categories within the initial search. You will be presented with free videos and with Shutterstock options that are watermarked and require payment. The videos are clear and relatively short. Good for looping or using as a standalone cut in. Can be used for commercial or non-commercial purposes.
Search for what you want. Some videos are free and some are ‘premium’. The word free is written over select videos, and the premium ones are watermarked. Great footage. The free and premium clips can be used for commercial and non-commercial purposes. Any footage that is marked ‘editorial use only’ may not be used commercially. Scroll to the footer of the website to read about licensing.
A lot of free footage can be found here. Clips ranging from 10-30seconds long in most cases. Any that require payment are shown as ‘pro’. The free footage is free to use.
Free footage for commercial use. Most of the footage is great quality, occasionally there are some a little below par. Have a look through and you’ll find gems. When you click on a video, it will give information about the license and how you can use it. The videos on here are copyright free. A truly large database.
Thousands of stock videos offered with more uploaded each day. Pexels is a go to site for many professionals looking for videos and photos. A well organised database with clear imagery. Videos free to use with no attribution required.
Storyblocks has fantastic footage, is royalty free, and carries a price tag. It’s American based with prices for the individual plan ranging from $8 to $29. This site is perhaps more suited to videographers who require stock footage for their projects. If you make videos for other people on a regular basis, this is a strong contender.
Plenty of royalty free stock footage – free for commercial and non-commercial use. No attribution required.
Some contributors add multiple videos from the same scene which is helpful if you like the vibe of it and want to string them all together in one project. If you have yet to get editing software check out these free apps to get started
Don’t forget, we have a special deal with our friends over at Rotor Videos just for Spinnup artists. Make incredible promo videos for your music using sick stock images at the drop of hat with their easy to use interface. Learn all about it here.
One day we’ll be able to create and get in each other’s faces again, and you can couple some stock footage clips with your own awesome videos. Before that day comes, have a read about getting a great music video.
Well gosh, I haven’t got any music ready for a video, where do I start? Right here: Free tools to make music from home.
We hope you’re staying creative and being kind to yourself. We love to hear about your latest work so please tag us on Instagram when your next release via Spinnup goes live. Alongside listening to your music, we like looking at the cover art you create. Speaking of which, we have a cover art guide to help you through the process. Feel free to share with your musician friends as we love sharing information for free. Accessibility is the name of the game and the world is a better place when we share with each other.