Stock footage has become a popular tool for a variety of different reasons, with some being the fact that they can often be inexpensive compared to other footage that is available, while companies are able to purchase it without having to go out and shoot it all themself. This can save them time and money, as they may need to pay for equipment and an individual to carry out the activity, while also spending copious amounts of time shooting.

Nowadays, there are various ways in which stock footage can be obtained, especially with the continued development of technology and the improvement of the internet. Videographers are able to upload their content to a hosting site, where it can be bought for a cash amount or even for free and then be used.

As a result of their growth and popularity, there are a number of Frequently Asked Questions about stock footage that continually arise.

What is Stock Footage?

Stock footage is video film that is usually short in duration and can be purchased and used freely in any other projects that might be undertaken. They can be part of a grander project and have not been used, or they could have been specifically shot to be sold as videographers continue to seek ways to generate effective revenues. Not all footage comes with a cost, though, as there are royalty-free options available that can be used with a simple download.

What can Stock Footage be used for?

There are numerous ways in which stock footage can be used. Most will use it as B-roll, which is where they use it as a filler from the main footage that has been shot. Think of secondary scenes or cutaways that highlight a particular environment. It can also be used to tie two scenes together seamlessly. 

Video backgrounds are also a popular project for stock footage, as are commercials and ads. In the day of digital media with the growth of social media and YouTube, many content creators are using stock video as an effective way to get their message across in a way that saves cost and time.

How can you obtain Stock Footage?

Websites have been created that are dedicated to providing stock footage, with many of these platforms hosting thousands of options. You are able to use search engines to find them, while there are go-to platforms for those who want high-quality video, with Motion Array’s library of stock footage among the best for those looking for a diverse collection. 

What should you look for when obtaining Stock Footage?

It can be overwhelming when looking for the right videos and footage to use, with so many choices now available. It is important to consider a couple of different aspects:

  • License – what are the license options and what are their terms? Do they allow you to do what you want to do with the footage, or do they have certain requirements that make it impossible to use it?
  • Video Quality – It is important to consider the quality of the content and what it is desired to be used for. It can be detrimental if you get this wrong, but positively emphatic if correct.
  • Consistency – Make sure the footage matches what is being shown in terms of the rest of your project. If it does not make sense, then there could be problems in regard to the way that the message being depicted is received. It is also important to make sure the video and message match. If the footage is sad, but the message is supposed to be positive, then there will be confusion by those who see it.

Can Stock Footage actually be used?

Given that it is already on the internet and widely available, there may be concerns regarding copyrights, especially as there are licenses involved. Stock footage is perfectly fine to be used, so long as they meet the terms of the license that is held. If you follow these, then there will be no issues.

Is Stock Footage free?

You may find that there are certain videos available that are free to download and use, but it is important to remember that there are other alternatives available that come with a cost. You can access websites that offer subscription fees to enjoy some of the best stock videos they have as part of their libraries, or you can use the freebies that are made downloadable. It is down to personal preference and whether the footage fits your narrative, but there are free options possible to obtain.

The Bottom Line

Stock footage is a popular resource that many video content creators continue to use on a daily basis to complete their projects. They can help save time and money, as the work has already been done and a videographer and equipment no longer need to be obtained.

Of course, its wide availability can be a drawback as it is not unique, but with it providing so many benefits, many continue to utilize the options that are available.

Richard is an experienced tech journalist and blogger who is passionate about new and emerging technologies. He provides insightful and engaging content for Connection Cafe and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.