Cheap Stock Video Footage and Archive Footage: Is there a Difference?


Technically, there is a difference between these cheap stock video footage and archive footage. However, it is so slight that you can barely tell. In fact, many people use them interchangeably. When a reference is made to either archive footage or stock footage, you can use either of them.

  • Cheap Stock Video Footage. Cheap stock video footage refers to any film or video used in production for which it is primarily made for. Motion pictures usually use it to reference other films or timelines. Documentaries, for instance, use stock footage to portray a specific historical time. Stock video presents in various products including news, interviews, motion picture and other footage. It can be used to lower cost from travel, equipment and talent expenses since it can be expensive to re-shoot certain common shots.
  • Archive Footage. Archive footage refers to footage retrieved from an archive or records library, both public and private. It is most commonly used to describe classical or historical footage. A great example is a video of Vietnam War or the Attack on 9/11. Many researches consider archive footage to give the illusion of historical or serious content. Thus, they are more commonly used in documentaries rather than on television shows.

The same criteria and laws apply to archive to footage and cheap stock video footage. However, the former is owned by an archive and its rights should be requested or purchased from stock media agencies or the government. On the other hand, stock footage can be found in the libraries of stock media sites and is available for purchase at various prices – depending on the quality and purpose of the video.

While archive footage is kept in an archive and managed by an archive manager, stock video footage is owned by its producer and contributed to a stock media agency for a premium. Both can be available for use of creative professionals for a certain price. In everyday use, there is not much difference between the two.

Should you go for free footage?

Cheap stock video footage and archive footage are available for use for a certain price. If you are trying to find FREE high quality videos, you may want to stop and visit a reputable stock media agency instead. Signing up on a stock site provides a number of benefits that will offset free but unsafe footage. You will get access to millions of video clips purchase them along with the necessary licenses and releases that will protect you from copyright violation. Some stock sites also offer fee assets every week. So, you will surely get value for your money.

Do not get yourself into a dangerous position by using free footage. Be responsible and get your footage from a stock media site.