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Magazines > Marketing Library Services > May/June 2017

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MLS - Marketing Library Services
Vol. 31 No. 3 — May/June 2017

Finding Free Stock Video Footage and Music
By Jennifer E. Burke

Everyone seems to know about downloading stock photos, but did you know that there are stock videos, music, and sound effects too? Using these can make your promotional projects look more polished and sound more professional. I’ll share some helpful sites here so you won’t have to use boring videos or legally questionable music clips anymore.

Stock Video Clips

It would be great if we could shoot all of the nice-looking videos we need for our marketing, but alas, that’s not likely. That doesn’t mean you must use dull, generic, possibly expensive stock videos. Here are some free and low-cost options.

Dissolve:This offers modern, artistic, curated, high-quality-yet-affordable, royalty-free video stock footage (as well as stock photos). You won’t find most of this material on other sites. Dissolve offers extensive, free research help for video projects, free low-res comps of any video clips, good tips, and tutorials. It sells video clips from $29 each. (

Pond5:This site, which is very affordable and easy to search and filter (even faceted searching), gives access to high-definition, royalty-free video stock. (A search on the term “library” returns more than 2,000 video clips for $30 or less.) It also sells photos, sound effects, and music. Subscribe to its email list and get tips, tutorials, and a free high-def video clip each week. (

VideoHive:This offers stock video footage, templates, and even video effects. These clips from Envato Market are searchable and individually priced. It also offers a handful of free items each month. (

XStockvideo:All of this site’s footage is free to use in any free videos (including promotional, educational, and YouTube videos). Its offers are mostly lower resolution, short clips, and random stuff, but it’s potentially useful for b-roll, presentations, or in-house projects. (

Music and Sound

Your video projects need a music bed or background to keep viewers engaged, to set the right tone, and to complement your story. Find music that is safe to use and properly licensed through these options.

YouTube Audio Library:Here’s free music and sound effects you can sort by genre, mood, instrument, or duration. Go to Creator Studio > Create > Audio Library. (

AudioJungle: This site (see above) offers higher-quality, royalty-free stock music and sound effects in a range of genres you can search or browse. It’s from Envato Market, a company that also has brands that sell web themes, graphics, photos, etc. Audio clips range from $1 to $39 each, $19 on average. (

Freesound:This is just what it “sounds” like—free sound effects and music, in WAV and MP3 formats. You can search or check tags for style, mood, and genre. Works are available under Creative Commons licenses. ( Here are stock audio and effects that are royalty-free and exclusive to Browse by genre (e.g., pop, Latin, vocals, corporate, trailers, or film scores), by common use (e.g., logo stings, documentaries, news, podcasts, weddings, or sports), or by mood (e.g., aggressive, funny, gentle, patriotic, mystical, etc.). Clips are safe to use on YouTube, Vimeo, or other video sites. It’s based in Canada and may have a “foreign transaction fee.” The average price is $49/clip. ( Get free sound effects, clips, and sound bites; they are royalty-free via Creative Commons licenses or are in the public domain. There are blog posts with tips on how to use the sound effects. (

Free Stock Music:This site requires email sign-up, although it’s completely free to use. The selection is somewhat limited. It’s from the company AudioBlocks, which sells audio stock subscriptions. (

Jennifer E. Burke is president of IntelliCraft Research, LLC (, a Philadelphia-based strategic marketing consultancy for libraries. She holds a B.S. in communications with a TV/film minor from Northwestern University and an M.S.L.I.S. from Drexel University. She spent 5 years as an IMLS Fellow in Drexel’s Information Studies Ph.D. program working on digital libraries and education. Burke is a former advertising executive; a member of ALA, SLA, and AIIP; and a trainer on strategic storytelling in marketing. Her email address is
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