Royalty free stock footage
May 08, 2021

The Stock Video Trends of 2021

By Daniela Bowker 9 min read


  • Stock footage is an important tool for content creators, and it follows trends just like any other creative endeavor
  • Stock video trends for 2021 are wide-ranging, from Covid-19 to space
  • Artgrid’s stock footage will help to keep you among the trending videos of 2021

Stock video is a vital part of any content creator’s arsenal. Stock footage can be used in marketing videos to help tell their stories and convey their messages with professionalism. For more creative videos, stock footage can be used for something that would otherwise be impractical or far too expensive for the crew to shoot itself. You can use stock video clips as establishing shots and cutaways to signal that a film might be set in, say, Venice, when it was actually shot in a studio just outside of London. It might feel like a bit of a cheat to use “ready-made” footage, but the truth is, stock footage is about providing your client with exactly what they need with freedom and economy.

As the fashion around clothes and music and interiors–in fact, anything creative–changes from season to season or year to year, so too do marketing videos and the types of films that creators make. And to accommodate these fashions, stock footage trends will shift, too. Of course, what were trending videos in 2020 might still be trending videos today, but there will be new looks and feels as well.

At Artgrid, it’s our business to ensure that you can access what you want and need. If you want to know what the stock footage trends for 2021 are, look no further. Almost half a year has gone by, so it’s a good opportunity to look at what’s hot and even hotter in stock video this year.


While some countries are beginning to emerge from the trauma of Covid-19, others are still living the full extent of its challenges. Wherever you are, Covid-19 has had a profound impact on all of us and the way that we see the world. It doesn’t matter if you are making a specific Covid-19 video or something far more general, it’s inevitable that the pandemic is a stock footage trend for 2021.</פ>

In particular, you might want to consider clips that feature empty spaces in places that would usually be crowded and busy, people wearing masks, or wider reflections of the pandemic. These could include imposed distancing, a sense of isolation, closed cafés and restaurants or the extraordinary medical and research efforts made to deal with Covid-19. Look at Artgrid’s Collections section, featuring curated collections of clips with the themes of the pandemic, empty spaces and masked people.


Perhaps it is because of the remarkable success of the Perseverance rover on Mars, or maybe it is because of a desire to escape the reality of our current world and the fact that commercial space travel seems to be getting ever-closer, but space is a stock footage trend for 2021.

You will find plenty of space stock footage on Artgrid, from spacewalk clips to that which inspires a sense of awe and wonder in the universe, from the Moon to the Northern Lights, to way beyond. 

Social and political matters

Change, campaigns and protests are always a part of our lives which means that stock footage featuring people coming together to express their opinions, demand change or show support are always relevant. Protest has continued both because of and in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is reflected in political stock footage.


You might think that sports stock footage is just about the competition of a match, and maybe the thrill of victory or the disappointment of defeat but really, but sports stock footage is able to convey so much more than that. You can use sports stock video to convey challenge or precision and skill, for a start. While team sports are excellent for suggesting collaboration and cooperation, by featuring an individual sport, for example, gymnastics, athletics or swimming, you can convey resilience, focus and determination.

For many people, the Covid-19 pandemic has meant a shift in how they have been able to enjoy sports. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed; the 2021 Indian Premier League cricket competition has been suspended; many recreational sports and activities have been restricted. The return of sport, whether professional or amateur, is, therefore, a cause for enormous celebration, too and this emotion can be communicated through using sports stock footage.

Nature and wildlife

Wildlife stock footage is, quite obviously, integral to any videos that are focused on nature and the environment, whether they are educational, for marketing or have a more political slant. But there are wider storytelling uses for wildlife stock video, which can be inspiring, calming or exciting. 


The increasing restrictions on drone-filming in urban areas have made it so that many filmmakers are unable to film their cityscape establishing shots, though finding recognizable cityscape stock is footage highly useful for transporting their audience to where their story is taking place. And certain cities have an unmistakable vibe to them, too. New York is the city that never sleeps; Paris is filled with romance. Urban life is busy and often unpredictable, it is about constant motion and the convergence of humanity.

But following a year where travel has been almost impossible, cityscapes are incredibly evocative footage, too. They signal adventure and the opportunity for new experiences, and for many of us, they are just about a return to normal life.


Abstract stock footage is such a valuable asset for filmmakers and marketers. You might immediately think that it can signal something mysterious or in need of clarification, which it absolutely can. But it can also offer a moment to pause and to reflect and to allow an audience to process what they have just seen, too.

Abstract stock footage can come in so many different forms: it can be organic or synthetic, color or black and white, it can be a very different look at something familiar. You might be a little hesitant to use abstract stock video, but don’t dismiss it too quickly. It could be exactly what you need.


Artgrid has an extensive library of royalty-free stock footage that will provide you with precisely what you need to keep on-trend with your content creation. There’s everything to satisfy this year’s trends, as well as what was, and will be, trendy.


About Daniela

Daniela is a writer and editor based in the UK. Since 2010 she has focused on the photography sector. In this time, she has written three books and contributed to many more, served as the editor for two websites, written thousands of articles for numerous publications, both in print and online and runs the Photocritic Photography School.