Stock video is used by (checks notes) pretty much everyone creating content these days. It’s not just movie studios, creative agencies, and documentary filmmakers. It’s TikTok influencers. Vloggers. Anyone on YouTube. Music video creators. Political campaigns. Disney. Netflix. The NFL. National Geographic. Apple. Google. Facebook. And on and on and on and on and on. Look at every stock media company’s website (for investigative purposes only!), and you’ll see the logos of the giant companies they list as clients. Stock video has universal appeal; as the ever-growing number of storytellers create more and more content, the need for footage to help tell those stories also continues to grow.
Not only are the storytellers diverse, but the narratives vary just as much. Let’s review some types/styles of videos and show examples of the stock video in use. And if you’re not exactly sure what stock video is, check out our blog covering the history of stock video!
TV Shows & Movies
Narrative fiction, whether a series or a feature-length film, as well as scripted reality shows, use lots of stock video in their projects. In many instances, they have to. They shoot in sound stages, on backlots, and in cities like Vancouver, New Orleans, Atlanta, Austin, Toronto, etc., but the movies may take place in another location entirely. Using stock is a way to show a location without actually being there.
While utilizing stock footage is widespread for establishing a location, it’s only one of the many ways film producers and content creators benefit from tapping into stock video. Keep reading to explore examples of stock videos incorporated all around us.
Ziwe on Showtime uses a lot of stock video in sketches throughout the episodes, showcasing its versatility as a tool for telling a story within a story. This case demonstrates how stock video integrates within a larger project.
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is another great example of how stock video is used to help enhance the story and provide a transition between scenes or topics.
Music Videos/Touring Musical Acts
Many famous directors got their start in music videos, so it’s fertile ground for filmmakers to tell great stories. Everyone from low-budget indie musicians to some of the biggest touring acts today find countless ingenious ways to incorporate stock into their music videos.
The above example shows how Coldplay’s music video for Up&Up sets the gold standard for integrating stock video into a bigger project. With a combination of filmmaking tricks like using a green screen, cropping, masking, motion tracking, and (lots) more, they could integrate themselves into the actual footage and create an entire world from videos licensed off the internet!
And it doesn’t stop with music videos. When musicians hit the road, many include a visual component to their shows. Video boards behind and next to the stage often show video. Madonna’s 2019 Tour video displays were almost entirely Pond5 stock video.
Documentaries are historically one of the most common types of media that rely on stock video to help tell their story. Many projects cover global issues and topics in different regions that may not be otherwise accessible. With a community of 100,000+ creators worldwide on Pond5 alone, there’s no shortage of content to choose from for any subject.
Filmmakers who make historical documentaries often tap into stock videos to find content from a bygone era, a natural disaster, or a national tragedy.
Other non-fiction stories are built entirely around the footage. Netflix took this approach when working to inform and entertain their younger audience about the lifecycle of Mayflies.
One of the most significant benefits of stock footage is that it’s already produced, edited, and color corrected/graded. Ad Agencies and other buyers can seamlessly integrate the stock footage directly into their ads alongside other stock videos or additional footage they shot themselves.
This ad, for instance, utilizes a large variety of stock footage to tell its story. The powerful imagery goes a long way to bolster the message:
Our extensive editorial collection gives news outlets an easy place to find and grab footage of news events worldwide that they are otherwise unable to access. Here you can see Pond5 contributor James Reynolds (a.k.a. EarthUncutTV) talking to CNN during a massive Typhoon, all while using the footage he uploaded to Pond5:
Social Media Influencers/Creators/Vloggers
Can we all agree this one speaks for itself? People who make content always look for additional content to supplement and enhance their projects!
Cornfields, monuments, flags, and lots of families and “regular” looking people are all par for the course regarding campaign ads. Something that there’s no shortage of in the marketplace. The great thing for stock artists is every political party on the spectrum needs media to make their stories relatable and drive their messages home.
This political ad went viral for the quality of the editing and storytelling and utilized stock footage in a great way:
YouTube has thousands of content creators who often add stock videos to their projects. We’ve partnered with some creators to help them communicate their messages. Take Film Riot, one of the best filmmaking channels on the platform:
The Hollywood director Joe Penna, A.K.A. MysteryGuitarMan got his start on YouTube making incredibly complex and ambitious videos, like this one:
And this one:
Corporations & Other Companies
Whether launching a product, creating an internal sizzle reel, or producing other marketing content, companies utilize stock videos to inspire and excite their customers and employees. Look at the use of stock media in this corporate video from the company ETSI.
You may see this one and say: “Wait, what? Stock video in video games?” Well, what you may be forgetting are things called “cutscenes.” Many video games come with interstitial stories added between levels or after something eventful happens in the game. Cutscenes use stock videos to bolster the story, give it some weight, or even give historical or realistic context for the events in the game.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War does this exact thing, weaving real archival and modern footage into the story masterfully:
While this is an extensive list of who uses stock video, it’s certainly not everyone. The number of people and companies using video continues to expand as more and more people realize the power of adding stock video to their projects.
There’s no limit to what’s possible with stock video. Hopefully, these examples inspire you to add some to your projects. Check out the 30+ million videos in our marketplace to find the perfect fit for your needs!