ZDNet's Business Bargain Hunter scours the web for great deals on computers, phones, services and much more. Prices and availability are accurate at the time deals are shared. Some products and services may not be available outside the US. Follow BBH on Facebook and Twitter, where he's known as The Cheapskate.
Here's the challenge for any modern business, especially a startup: looking professional without spending professional.
Suppose, for example, you need some stock footage for a web page or promotional effort. You'll find plenty of options online, but a single royalty-free video might cost you as much as $100 -- maybe even more. (A quick perusal of Adobe Stock, for example, reveals a lot of videos priced at $80 -- each.)
Videoblocks by Storyblocks is a subscription service that affords unlimited access to a huge library of media: HD videos, After Effects templates, motion backgrounds, and the like.
Normally a one-year subscription would run you $198, but for a limited time, Business Bargain Hunter readers can get a one-year Videoblocks Premium Membership for $99. (This deal is available until the clock strikes 2018.)
The key words here are "royalty" and "free." Everything you get from Videoblocks can be used for commercial purposes. Another important word: "unlimited." You can download as much as you want from the site's library, which currently offers some 115,000 items.
Those items are divided into four main categories: Footage, Backgrounds, After Effects, and Collections. Footage consists of HD and 4K video clips, everything from aerial to transportation -- with some 360/VR and lower-third stuff mixed in as well.
Within Backgrounds you'll find a similarly wide assortment of animated, looping images, while After Effects is exactly what it sounds like: templates for use with Adobe's imaging software. Collections are curated batches of stock footage with themes like "Born to be Wild" and "Winter is Coming." (Yep, the latter is exactly what it sounds like: videos that borrow heavily from everyone's favorite show.)
This is some really gorgeous stuff, and totally professional-looking. And something I particularly love about the service: You get a preview of any item just by mousing over it. A lot of sites, you have to click through to an individual item's page in order to see a preview. This saves a ton of time while browsing.
It's also worth noting that if you choose not to renew your subscription after the year ends, you still get to keep all the media you downloaded.
Bottom line: If you need royalty-free videos for anything related to your business, this is an unbeatable deal. BBH seal of approval, folks.