5 Sites for Free Video

Part two comes quick on the heels of yesterdays post, 7 Sites for Free Books. I want to keep the spirit of free alive today.

According to this Recode article from 2017, “video will make up 82% of all internet traffic in 2021”. Is that true? I’ve no idea. It seems plausible, though. Mashable, Fortune, and Variety all cited this Sandvine report from 2018 which stated that Netflix accounts for “15% of the total downstream volume of traffic across the internet”. The same report states that video is currently sitting 58%, and with the rate that videos are uploaded, the rate of global internet penetration, and the democratization of avenues that allow for video creation, that initial prediction seems pretty likely.

What is obvious is that video is becoming more and more popular. It’s easier to consume and gives form to what we read or think. It provides a rich view into the past, the present, and the future. It takes us to places we can’t or won’t go. You won’t find the most recent blockbusters on the sites below, but I daresay you’ll be interested nonetheless.

  1. NASA – Works created by the United States federal government or its agencies can’t be copyrighted, so you’re free to use many of the pictures and videos NASA makes available (still you should go over their guidelines for the particulars; for example, you can’t imply that NASA supports whatever your product might be). NASA also has a bunch of free ebooks.

  2. Pond5 – Pond5 has a fantastic free section called “The Public Domain Project”. It provides more than 2,700 audio files, 63,000 images, and 1,000 videos – all available for free. There are also several collections which do a great job at curating some helpful categories.

  3. Prelinger Archives – The Prelinger Archives is home to almost 7,000 free films, some of which have millions of views. You can easily download them in several different formats. The license for each film is easily visible when you click on it.

  4. Nation Park Services B-Roll – Similar to NASA, the National Parks Services multimedia is almost entirely in the public domain (some submitted photos and videos might have a copyright license associated). With over 129,000 individual pieces, you should be able to find something to your liking.

  5. CriticalPast – CriticalPast has more than 57,000 videos and 7 million images – all royalty free. They have a neat chart at the bottom that even shows from which decade the video clips come from – some as early as 1890. If you want historical material, this is the recommended place to start.

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