Buy Stock Images and Videos for Commercial Use

What are the best stock websites to buy stock photos and videos online?

There are plenty of stock photo agencies where you can buy stock photos online without spending huge amounts of money nowadays. But knowing the best and most affordable might require a little help. That’s why we’ve put together the Best Sites to Buy Stock Photos so that you know exactly where to get the best price for royalty free stock photos, illustrations and videos. If you want to know more about selling stock photography and videos, do check our Microstock Beginners Guide or our list of the Best Stock Agencies.

There are plenty of different stock photo and video subscriptions and image credit packs available from different stock photo agencies. But in such a diverse market, there are still some stock agencies which will cost you a little more than others. Those small differences might add up if you are planning to buy bigger amounts for commercial use. For example, iStock is offering a 20% discount at the moment!

Top agencies to buy stock photos and footage online

We’ve compiled a list of the best stock agencies to buy stock photography and footage so that you know exactly where to find a good deal for the products you are looking for. Stock agencies’ reputations are based on the quality of their images. All big agencies screen and select the images to be included in their collections for quality, content and production value. While some may be more expensive than others, each of the websites below has a different collection: some focus more on great illustrations and vectors, while others have a bigger variety of video footage for sale. It’s generelly a good idea to check all of them out and see which one fits to your personal needs the best.

Shutterstock – Industry Leader

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Shutterstock is leading the stock industry with a huge library of Royalty Free images, low price points and simple and straight-forward buying system.

In fact they were the first agency to introducing the stock photo subscription concept in 2003, as they launched in the microstock segment with this business model. Not long after that, most of the other stock agencies included subscriptions as well in their offers.

In the years since, Shutterstock has consolidated as an industry leader, growing their collection to tens of millions of images, expanding into premium market and other media types like footage and audio, and keeping some of the lowest price points in the market. They are a solid choice for anyone looking to buy lots of stock photos cheap for commercial use and to have a wide variety of content to choose from. To date they offer about a 100 Million different stock photos and illustrations.

Originally the video footage stock segment started out a little weak on Shutterstock, but their clip and video libary has been filling up well since.

Buy On Demand with Image Packs on Shutterstock

At Shutterstock you can buy image packs:

  • 5 images for $49
  • 25 images for $179

You buy the image pack that you need, and then use it download the images you want. Note that the price covers all image sizes and resolutions. They also offer a variety of annual plans:

shutterstock payment plan

Fotolia – Europes Favorite

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Fotolia is a long time established stock agency, it has a ssafe place amongst the top 5 agencies in the industry. With origins in Europe and further expansion into Nort America, this agency’s large library covers a wide range of topics and themes. The slight european touch of some of the offered stock have made it especially compelling for european costumers to buy their stock at Fotolia to get their message across.

in 2015 the company was acquired by the giant software developer Adobe. Since then the libary of Fotolia has been working integrated with Adobe Stock, a stock photo and video footage service integrated to Adobe’s Creative Cloud. This has been boosting sales for contributors and allowed Fotolia to broaden their product.

But although they have been bought by Adobe, Fotolia continues to operate as a stand-alone agency, offering a wider range of buying options and prices for their Royalty Free images and videos. You can buy on demand with credits or with download packs, and you can opt for stock photo subscriptions.

adobe payment plan

Daily subscriptions start at 25 images per day (750 images a month) at $249 per month, and goes as high as 500 images a day (15,000 a month) for $3735 monthly. This takes image price between $0.33 and $0.25 each.

In addition, you can get between 7% and 22% off from subscription price by booking longer-term options, from 3 months to one year.

Fotolia therefore is the perfect choice for any costumer that is looking for a lot of stock directed at the European market or needs to buy enormous amounts (e.g. 500 images a day) for work.


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