When is the last time you’ve seen an online learning program without any digital media components? No videos, images, or audio? Most likely, the answer is never. Well-placed images and informative videos enrich the textual elements and maintain reader engagement. No online textbook is complete without them! Finding the right photos and videos is challenging and doing so on a tight budget is even harder.
Most stock image sites charge hefty per-image fees, or even higher subscription fees to get the best content. Luckily, there are also some fantastic sites around that offer royalty-free media assets for both personal and commercial use. If Google’s advanced image search doesn’t turn up the results you’re looking for, there are many websites offering free content, so we’ve sorted through them for you. Below, you’ll find some of the best sites for finding the perfect, free media assets for your next project.
Top 8 Sites For Free Media Content
PixabayPixabay is a popular source for free stock images, but it also offers a good selection of video clips available to download. All material is submitted by the Pixabay community. Videos are usually under a minute in length, and niche clips are common. The selection of 4K clips is small and the quality varies by image, but the wide range of subjects makes Pixabay a useful source for both photo and video elements. All clips are free for personal or commercial use. All video files are provided in MP4 format with a choice of resolutions.
Pros: Some 4K videos available, free content, no attribution required
Cons: Quality varies
UnsplashUnsplash offers copyright-free photos from over 70,000 contributing photographers. The library includes over 509,000 photos. All images are available for free download for personal or commercial use.
Pros: Free, sizable photo library to choose from, no attribution needed
Cons: No videos offered
FlickrFlickr is a popular website for sharing personal photographs, but it’s also a useful source for publishers looking for free images. Flickr has tens of millions of users with millions of new images uploaded every day. 87 million registered members and more than 3.5 million new images uploaded daily. When searching on Flickr, it’s important to search by license to ensure the results are free for commercial use.
Pros: Wide variety of subjects
Cons: No video, not all images are available for commercial use, some images require attribution
PexelsPexels offers an amazing selection of photos and videos. Better yet, they’re available under a creative commons license, allowing you to use them for any type of project with no attribution. Search results do include premium Shutterstock images, but these are conveniently displayed at the bottom. Clips are provided in full HD.
Pros: Variety of clips, high quality, no attribution necessary
Cons: No 4K video
Stock Footage for FreeStock Footage for Free is similar to Unsplash, but for video. Previews and descriptions are available to help you pick the right video before you download. HD videos are provided in MOV format. Video clips are free for personal and commercial use, and the site provides a detailed license agreement. To download files, a free account is required.
Pros: High quality footage, wide range of subjects
Cons: No 4K video
ClipstillClipstill offers only cinemagraphs - still photos played on a loop to create a short animation. The effect is attention-grabbing, but there is only a small selection available for free. Still, all content is high quality and the free images change each month. Attribution is not required. See the licensing page for details.
Pros: Unusual and eye-catching videos
Cons: Small choice of clips and small file sizes
VidevoVidevo is similar to Flickr in that it’s a community-based option. Videvo offers stock videos of varying quality, but there’s a lot to choose from. Videvo clips are listed under three different licenses, so review the options before you choose. Clips marked “editorial use only” can’t be used commercially, so look for those labelled “all projects and media”. Like Pexels, there are ads for premium videos, but on Videvo they are listed at the top. Clips are provided in MP4 or QuickTime format.
Pros: Lots of options, small collection of 4K clips
Cons: Videos of variable quality
VideezyVideezy provides a wide range of quality clips available royalty free for personal and commercial use. Videos are offered in HD with a good selection of 4K clips. The quality varies but is mostly good. All videos are in MP4 format. Be aware that videos marked with a gold star are premium clips that require a Shutterstock subscription. The first rows of search results are also Shutterstock ads.
Pros: Selection of 4K clips, drone footage
Cons: Requires attribution
So let's face it, free is catching on. The question is, how are you organizing your media so that you can use, reuse, and share the fruits of your public domain image research? Media library options, like those in MyEcontentFactory, store and manage images, video, and other media in a single place for your projects. Just upload, tag, and start making that content a visual masterpiece. Want to know more?