Storyblocks (visit the website) is, today, by far the most convenient site to buy:

  • video segments (stock footage)
  • photos (stock images)
  • music and sounds

to be used in other projects.

Whether the buyer is:

  • a television channel that needs content to edit into the programs it airs,
  • an unprofessional YouTuber who needs footage to as quality to the videos they will publish,

Storyblocks is a low cost marketplace where 99% of customers can find what they need.

Storyblocks and the use of the content you buy there

Storyblocks is a microstock: a website that sells multimedia content at low prices. It does so with the royalty free license which, unlike a different type of license called “rights managed”, provides a single payment, regardless of:

  • distribution (in which media it is published and in which geographical area)
  • period of usage (it can be used forever)
  • the type of project in which the content is inserted (it can also be used in advertising)

In other words:

I buy a video, a photo or piece of music on Storyblocks, and then I can do whatever I want with it without paying anything else.

Low prices and good choice

The subscription to Storyblocks costs very little compared with what its competitors provide:

For 39 euros/dollars per month, or 199 euros/dollars per year, you can download an unlimited number of videos:

Storyblocks prices for monthly subscription

Storyblocks prices for annual subscription

being able to choose from about 800,000 clips at:

  • Full HD resolution
  • 4K resolution

Other microstocks have a wider choice:

  • Shutterstock has 17 million clips
  • Pond5 has 19 million clips
  • Adobe Stock has 13 million clips

but the prices at which they sell the videos are completely different.

Shutterstock and Adobe Stock sell single, Full HD footage at 79 dollars, and 4K footage at 199 dollars. It means that, with a 10 second piece of 4K footage you buy there, you can pay for a one year subscription on Storyblocks, during which you can download all of the 800 thousand videos it offers.

As a buyer of stock footage, I can say that, unless you are producing a documentary for the BBC or for the National Geographic channel, what is found today on Storyblocks (after they updated the content in September, 2019) is enough for 99% of projects.

Let me give you an example. I produce these kinds of videos for my online business:

Communicating with video

Videos are the best way to find customers today.

My production workflow is:

  1. I write a text.
  2. I decide in advance the parts where I want to appear on video.
  3. I record the voiceover for the parts where it is not necessary for me to be in front of the camera.
  4. I edit the voiceover parts with the footage I download.

If I wanted to create that stock footage by myself, I would be able to do it. The problem is that it would take me months. Thanks to Storyblocks, I can achieve the same result in a couple of days for 39 dollars.

If at some point, my voiceover says something like:

... while typing on the computer ...

in the video you will see stock footage of someone writing on a notebook. To find it on Storyblocks, I just have to write:

A stock footage search on Storyblocks

  • Notebook

in the search string, and then select:

  • Footage

Do you know how much notebook footage Storyblocks has for sale?

Storyblocks results on the keyword "notebook"

Storyblocks has 10,519 videos with the keyword notebook.

Believe me. I've been editing videos for more than 20 years. I've also been an editor for a national TV channel.

It is impossible not to find footage that fits your project on Storyblocks (at least if you want a video of someone typing on a notebook, or similar situations).

The music and stock images collections on Storyblocks

On the other hand, the collection of photos (stock images) that Storyblocks offers is disappointing. To use it, you need to buy a subscription.

Be careful though: on Storyblocks, there is no deal that allows you to download only the images.

Downloading images is possible only by buying a full subscription, which also provides unlimited downloads of:

  • videos
  • music

This subscription, compared with competitors’ prices, is (once again) cheaper. You can take a look at the detailed prices on this page, but I will simplify them:

  • 65 dollars per month
  • 349 dollars per year

Prices of Storyblocks images, music and footage collection

Just to emphasize that I am not writing a review of something I don't know, I am one of those who signed up for the unlimited subscription for 349 dollars per year. And, since I have done so, I am very happy with it, because if I have to create a video, or find music for it, or insert a photo into one of my websites, I can find it easily and use it without risking legal problems.

Earlier, if you remember, I said that Storyblocks' image collection is not that good. This is a limitation, but there is still a great advantage in buying content from there and not downloading it from free websites such as:

Many owners of professional sites have had legal problems by downloading photos from websites like Pexels.

The problem is that those who make photos available there sometimes steal them from people online, perhaps even from famous photographers with very hard-hitting lawyers. Using Pexels, Pixabay or Unsplash can bring you a lawsuit.

Is that what you want? Do you want to risk this to avoid paying a low-cost subscription?

On Storyblocks, this cannot happen, for two reasons:

  1. 1. There is strong control over the content they sell.
  2. 2. Even if some contributor cheats, they have insurance to protect their customers.

Therefore, especially if you use images professionally, I advise you not to think something like:

No one will check. I don't care about it.

since there are online services with lawyers that scan the web in search of plagiarism. Today, there are more and more photographers, annoyed by years of fraudulent downloads of their images, who rely on these services.

Using Storyblocks to download sounds and soundtracks for your videos

On Storyblocks’ music collection, the amount of songs available is easily sufficient for most content producers’ needs, whether you are someone who's editing a personal video or an agency that creates videos for its customers.

In my case, for example, I have a YouTube channel where I publish historical videos from my private collection. To get the opportunity to enlarge my project, and to earn more money, I sell these videos through this site to:

  • television programs
  • documentary directors

YouTube is a perfect tool for enlarging my business because it allows me to find an audience for what I do, which in some cases means introducing me to buyers. And it does it for free.

For this reason, every month, between 200 thousand and one million people watch my videos, which, as they are silent, I can improve with the music that I download at a low cost from Storyblocks.

I, who have bought the full year-long subscription for 349 dollars, can do so thanks to this. Those who are not interested in videos and photos as well can instead do so with an unlimited number of tracks for:

  • 15 dollars per month
  • 149 dollars per year

Storyblocks price for the monthly subscription in the audio collectionStoryblocks prices for annual subscription to download muisc

Otherwise, you can use a cheaper subscription, which allows for the download of only three tracks in a month for 9 dollars.

Storyblocks’ prices are so convenient that they don't even need to make any offers anymore, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. And they don't even need to have a 30 days free trial, as they had in the past.

A user-friendly interface

Storyblocks filters selection on the music collection

As a user of the subscription for downloading songs from Storyblocks (for several years to date), I find the user-friendly interface particularly good.

It allows those who are looking for a song to select tracks by:

  • Media type (music or loops)
  • Mood (cheerful, sad, aggressive, melancholic, etc.)
  • Musical genre
  • Musical instruments
  • Presence of vocals
  • Tempo (beats per minute)
  • Duration

Storyblocks also provides sounds for downloading. Sounds are essential when editing videos, and on Storyblocks, as a paid user, you are protected against lawsuits, as oppose to on those free websites where you can download audio files.

In the same way, regarding the video collection, Storyblocks does not only offer stock footage, which are video segments generally from 5 to 15 seconds long.

It also has:

  • Adobe After Effects Templates
  • Animated backgrounds

The first (Adobe After Effects templates) are projects to be used with a famous Adobe software called After Effects. They are nothing but basic special effects – content that you could have used 10/15 years ago and looked like a production studio with millions of dollars in revenue.

Today, in my opinion, After Effects templates (at least those you find on Storyblocks) are completely out of date and useless in a communication strategy.

The second (animated backgrounds) are mainly used by websites. They are computer created moving images, usually with a seasonal theme:

  • Christmas
  • New Year's Day
  • Easter
  • summer holidays

Even in this case, it’s "vintage" content which today is useless. Indeed, they are not the strongest feature of the Storyblocks’ collection.

Storyblocks for those who want to sell their videos

Storyblocks merged three stock content sales projects:

  • Videoblocks, which was selling stock footage
  • Audioblocks, which was selling music
  • Graphicstock, which was selling stock images

For those who produce stock footage, like I do, for many years Storyblocks' “father”, Videoblocks (read Videoblocks's story), had been a constant source of income. I’m not going to dwell on what has happened, because I explain the whole story on this page.

The three brands (Videoblocks, Audioblocks, Graphicstock) have gradually disappeared, while their respective websites still exist only for the technical time it takes to transition to storyblocks.com.

Until summer, 2019, Storyblocks had sold stock footage in two ways:

  • individually, in the Marketplace, at prices similar to Shutterstock
  • by subscription, with a different collection and with the possibility of unlimited downloads

We producers could only sell in the Marketplace, earning 50% of the selling price.

In the summer of 2019, Storyblocks announced that the Marketplace would close, and that video makers could ask to sell in the All You Can Download collection, in my opinion earning very small change. At least, if first Storyblocks approves their application.

Finally, since September 2019, Storyblocks has only been selling content with a subscription – convenient for those who buy it but not convenient for those who sell the stock footage included.

Conclusions

If you need photos, videos or music, believe me, there is nothing better on the internet than Storyblocks – at least if you don't have a million-dollar budget to spend on Shutterstock (read my guide on Shutterstock) or Pond5 (read my guide on Pond5).

These are the links to buy from Storyblocks:

Daniele Carrer