What’s the difference between Royalty-Free and Rights Managed stock footage?

Quite often we’re asked to explain the difference between Rights Managed and Royalty-Free stock footage. So many editors are accustomed to purchasing under the Rights Managed model. However, Royalty-Free can be an economical alternative. Here’s a quick overview to help you decide which footage license fits best for your needs.

Rights Managed, or “traditional” stock footage licensing, is typically a per second fee based on specific use. When you’re ready to license a Rights Managed clip, you’ll be required to disclose the intended use of the clip, including medium and geographical venue, as well as the length of time your project will be displayed. For instance, if the footage is to be used in a regional television ad spot for a three-month period, the fee would be much less than if it was to be used in a worldwide campaign for a full year. Once this pre-determined period has ended, you’ll have the option of renewing the license, therefore extending the length of time you are able to run your campaign. Keep in mind that any changes you make to the usage of the clip will change the price of the license.

Royalty-Free stock footage licensing allows for much more freedom in usage. In the case of Artbeats royalty-free footage, pricing is the same for nearly every use. Once you pay the initial license fee, the footage can be used in a local spot, a worldwide television broadcast, even a feature film, with no additional costs. In addition to that, you retain the right to use the footage in future projects as well. There are a few limitations to using Artbeats royalty-free footage, particularly our Low-Res footage, so be sure to read the license agreement before purchasing any stock footage for your projects.

With any stock footage, whether Rights Managed or Royalty-Free, it’s important to understand that you’re not purchasing the actual footage, instead you’re purchasing a license to use the footage.