Dreamstime is a well-known microstock agency. With over 15 years in the industry, they have earned and maintained a spot amongst the top 10 most popular agencies. Since 3 years, they include stock footage in their library.
With a great selection Royalty Free stock footage and options to buy stock videos on demand or with a subscription, their offer is very good if you're looking to buy stock footage in less time and spending less money.
Long story short, here's what this agency offers:
- Around 1 Million stock videos covering varied themes and styles
- Different video resolutions, from Web size to 4K
- Licensing model that gives flexible and perpetual usage rights for a one-time fee
- On demand buying with credits, with discounts for volume purchases
- Monthly subscriptions that save you 10% from regular price
- Payment options
- Complementary stock images
Stock Footage with Microstock Model
Dreamstime, like other microstock agencies, sells stock footage focusing in low, affordable prices, and flexible licensing that grants wide usage in commercial and editorial purposes.
They have a large selection of 1 Million stock videos that aim at covering all popular and relevant themes and styles, giving you a varied pool of content to choose the clips that work best for your project. And they have different options of video resolutions, priced accordingly, to assure you will find the necessary quality for your production without spending any more than needed.
They have a selection of exclusive clips, that can only be found at Dreamstime. Although modest, this collection and the possibility of acquiring temporary exclusive usage rights to use the clips certainly adds value to their service.
And they have two different buying models available. One is on demand, buying credit packs and then using those credits to get the videos that you want. And the other is with monthly subscriptions, where you pay a flat monthly fee that entitles you to a determined amount of videos. You can choose which system is best for you according to how many videos you need, and how often you need them.
Like this, Dreamstime expects to better serve stock footage buyers with a convenient service that meets most of their requirements in terms of content, usage and budget.
Large and Varied Collection
Dreamstime stock videos cover a wide range of topics and styles. They aim for quantity as much as quality, wanting to give you as many options as possible when it comes to choosing the clips that better go with your project.
Although not as significative as in other agencies, like iStock for example, this company also adds value to their library with exclusive content.
They have footage that can only be found and licensed at their website. While the pool of exclusive videos is relatively small compared to agencies with a stronger focus in exclusivity, it's still a nice bonus. Exclusive videos are always more unique: although they might be in use by different people just as any other stock footage clip, the fact they are sold at one place only means they are much less massively used than other clips that are available at 5 or more agencies at the same time.
Plus, Dreamstime's footage comes with different licensing options.
Royalty Free License, Commercial, Editorial, Extended… Even Exclusive.
Dreamstime's legals can be a bit complex to understand, but in essence, they sell Royalty Free licenses.
Royalty Free Commercial license
Their Standard license gives you broad usage rights without time nor geographic limitations, for a flat, one-time fee: you pay for the license once, and you get to use the video in any of the accepted ways, for as long and wherever you want, no extra fees applied.
All Royalty Free stock footage at this agency is cleared for commercial use: the appropriate model and property releases are signed, ensuring you can use the content for commercial purposes legally and safely. However the use is restricted to end user usage, and you are not allowed to redistribute or resell the content, nor any product or production where the licensed footage is integral part.
Extended Royalty Free
But they have a series of Extended licenses to remove some of these limitations and acquire extra rights to the content. Each Extended license has its own terms and adds particular rights.
You can acquire rights to unlimited reproductions (but this applies mostly to prints), to use content in products for resale (like web templates for example), and a multi-seat license to let more than one user access the account and the downloaded files.
But the most interesting options are the ones that give you usage exclusivity.
Exclusive Usage Licenses
Dreamstime has a “Sell the Rights” Extended license that lets you buy the full ownership of a stock video, forever. While you don't necessarily acquire the copyright (you might not be able to say you created it), you do get the exclusive right to use it, from the moment you pay for it.
And they also have two other similar options, that give you exclusive usage rights for a limited period of time: you can either buy the rights for 1 year, or for 3 years. During that time, you'll be the exclusive owner of the usage rights to a particular video.
However, exclusive buy-out option (as well as all the other Extended licenses) are subject to availability, and not all clips include all the options.
Plus, Dreamstime is based in Royalty Free licensing, and that means they cannot control the usage for the licenses that were sold previous to your exclusive buy-out: as they were Royalty Free, the people who bought them is entitled to use it forever.
You get the right to be the only one using the content from the moment you bought the license, and the contributor who owns the copyright to said content must deactivate it from any other selling channels, as well as any similar shots to the one you bought (shots from the same shoot, with only slight variations). But you cannot control, police nor stop the usage of the same content that was licensed previous to your exclusive rights purchase.
This is an option to license content that cannot be used for commercial purposes, because it lacks the necessary model and property releases from the people and private property depicted on the video. This kind of material can only be used to illustrate news events, or for other purely editorial purposes.
Other than the prohibition to use it in any commercial of for-profit way, it's quite similar to Royalty Free license.
You must know that all Dreamstime licenses include restrictions to sensitive uses, mainly in pornography or adult-related content, or in political endorsements, and other delicate topics like dangerous diseases or morally questionable behaviours.
You must read their licensing terms carefully to make sure you're acquiring the license that meets your needs, and that you're using the content in a legal and accepted way.
At this agency you can find footage at different resolutions. Not all clips are available at every resolution, but they include the file's maximum resolution, and all the lower versions.
- Web: 480 x 360p
- HD: 1280 x 720p and 1920 x 1080p
- 4K: 4096 x 2160p
Complex Pricing System
Dreamstime's prices are very low, but their pricing structure for on demand buying is a bit more complicated than at other agencies.
Not difficult to figure out, just with more variations and price points. Their stock videos are priced in credits, according to resolution, and also following a level system: the more times a video is sold (downloaded), the higher the level it will have, and it will be priced higher. All these prices correspond to Standard Royalty Free or Editorial license.
- Level 0 (videos older than 6 months, with 0 downloads)
- Web: 10 credits
- SD: 17 credits
- HD 720: 27 credits
- HD 1080: 33 credits
- 4K: 66 credits
- Level 1 (new videos with 0 downloads)
- Web: 15 credits
- SD: 23 credits
- HD 720: 30 credits
- HD 1080: 45 credits
- 4K: 90 credits
- Level 2 (videos with 1 to 4 downloads)
- Web: 20 credits
- SD: 30 credits
- HD 720: 45 credits
- HD 1080: 60 credits
- 4K: 120 credits
- Level 3 (videos with 5 to 9 downloads)
- Web: 23 credits
- SD: 35 credits
- HD 720: 55 credits
- HD 1080: 69 credits
- 4K: 138 credits
- Level 4 (videos with 10 to 24 downloads)
- Web: 26 credits
- SD: 39 credits
- HD 720: 65 credits
- HD 1080: 78 credits
- 4K: 156 credits
- Level 5 (videos with over 25 downloads)
- Web: 29 credits
- SD: 44 credits
- HD 720: 75 credits
- HD 1080: 87 credits
- 4K: 174 credits
Like this, you might find that videos with the same resolution can be priced differently, and this also tells you how a particular video is doing, how popular it is, and what are the chances to find it in use elsewhere, because the level gives away how many times they sold.
Buying on Demand with Credit Packs
As we said, Dreamstime prices are expressed in credits. And the company sells credit packs on demand: you can buy a determined number of credits, and then use them to get stock videos from their collection. The individual credit price starts at $1.36 with an 11 credit pack.
But credit packs reduce individual credit price. The larger the pack you buy, the lower the credit price is.
- 11 credits = $14.99 – $1.36 per credit
- 15 credits = $17.99 – $1.19 per credit
- 30 credits = $34.99 – $1.16 per credit
- 60 credits = $68.99 – $1.14 per credit
- 120 credits = $124.99 – $1.04 per credit
- 260 credits = $250 – $0.96 per credit
- 500 credits = $470 – $0.94 per credit
- 1000 credits = $900 – $0.90 per credit
- 2000 credits = $1760 – $0.88 per credit
You must keep in mind that the smaller credit pack would only allow you to buy one Level 0, Web resolution clip. To get wider options, you'll need at least a 60 credit pack.
But the more you're willing to pay upfront, the more you'll save. A Level 0, Web res clip would cost you $13,60 with the 11 credit pack, but $11.4 with a 60 credit pack. And with the largest pack available you'd be paying it only $8.8 (saving almost $5).
A 4K video, that are normally around $200 at most agencies, would cost you a max of between $68.64 and $167.04 at Dreamstime, depending on how popular that video is. And it can be much less with larger credit packs.
And you have another way to buy videos: with monthly subscriptions. For a fixed monthly rate, you can access a determined number of video downloads.
The subscriptions are arranged by resolution and volume, they are all monthly, and they all cut 10% from regular on demand prices.
- Web: 1 video a month for $13
- 5 videos for $36
- 10 videos for $65
- 25 videos for $153
- HD 720: 1 video a month for $36
- 5 videos for $121
- 10 videos for $225
- 25 videos for $444
- HD 1080: 1 video a month for $54
- 5 videos for $148
- 10 videos for $280
- 25 videos for $534
- 4K. 1 video a month for $99
- 5 videos for $297
- 10 videos for $559
- 25 videos for $1070
Video subscriptions let you save up to $119 in your video purchases, and are a convenient way to get more footage at better prices, periodically.
As a microstock agency, Dreamstime has a library with over 46 Million stock photos, vectors and illustrations, that you can use to complement footage in your video production.
They have lots of different options in image subscriptions, but they also sell stock photos on demand, and you can buy them with the same credit packs you use for footage, adding value and flexibility to this buying option.
Dreamstime's stock footage collection is arranged in categories and galleries. On the Footage homepage you can find popular themes and styles, as well as a showcase of the most popular and the latest added videos.
They have a search engine that lets you put in keywords to find videos that match your needs. And it's a very advanced tool with lots of different filter option to narrow results. You have different labels of filters that let you see results according to video properties (resolution, orientation, color, and more), people depicted (number of people, age, etc), as well as advanced search functions like price range, licensing options, content status (Royalty Free, Editorial), search by contributor name, and also exclusion of keywords or contributors.
With so many tools to search and refine, and so much variety in content, you're likely to find the clips you're after.
Recapping: Pros and Cons in Dreamstime's Offer
- Large library with lots of variety
- Exclusive content
- Multiple resolution options
- Flexible Royalty Free license
- Possibility to buy exclusive usage rights
- Low prices
- On demand buying with discounts for volume purchases
- Subscriptions to get more videos periodically, with 10% discount from regular single clip price
- Stock photos to complement your projects
- Advanced search engine
- Complicated licensing model, requires reading through different agreements and guidelines
- Pricing system is also complex
- Search tool's design is not that user-friendly
With that said, we feel the negative points also have a bright side. The licensing model is complicated, yes, but that also means you get varied licensing options and you can access to more rights.
And the same goes for the pricing structure. It's a bit more complex than at other sites, but it also means you have more choices regarding price points.
The search engine is not that simple and quick to use, but it's advanced and lets you find exactly what you're looking for.
Buy Stock Footage at Dreamstime, Yes or No?
For us, it's a yes. Their offer is very complete, they have the additional of exclusive content and exclusive licensing, and they have very low prices.
Dreamstime is a good option to buy stock footage cheap and in simple steps. And you can choose the buying system that better goes with your budget.
If you want just a few clips, you can buy the credit pack that covers this and you don't have to spend a penny extra. If you are willing to invest more upfront, you can buy large credit packs and lower the costs of each clip you get. If you know you'll need stock videos constantly, you can go for a video subscription and assure you will have the content when you need it, while also saving money.
With so much flexibility in prices, different ways to get the lowest possible prices, and with such large and varied library, Dreamstime can easily cover your stock footage needs.
Are you ready to buy stock footage? Sign up at Dreamstime and browse their great library. And don't forget to seize our special offer to buy footage!