Hi-Res (Mostly Free) Photo and Video Content Hacks for Digital Signage

Content is the name of the game when you’ve invested in digital signage. But what if you don’t have a marketing agency on retainer to populate your digital displays with high-resolution images and video?

Not a problem. These days, you can hack the system with various sources for free and inexpensive content. You just have to find it and curate it. We’ve made your job easier by listing our favorite sources of hi-res content below. You’re welcome.

Stock Photography

Stocksnap.io

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Stocksnap collects hi-res photos from the internet and makes them available for download and commercial use, totally free. It’s a little less curated that Unsplash (see below), but because of that, there’s a larger inventory of photos to search through. 

Unsplash

For beautiful, non-cheesy images of people and places, check out Unsplash. The 3-year-old site enables aspiring photographers to upload images and makes them available for free with no photo credit required. Best of all, Unsplash curates the photos, so the quality is uniformly excellent (and kind of artsy). Bonus for ongoing digital signage content needs: you can sign up for a weekly digest emails featuring the best images. 

Flickr

You’re probably familiar with Flickr, perhaps the best known photo management platform. Unlike Unsplash and Stocksnap, the images are not curated, and the usage licenses vary. If you search for free photos on Flickr, be sure that the image is, in fact, high resolution. And make sure to set your search parameters to “commercial use and modifications allowed.” You don’t want your digital signage to cause any copyright trouble.

Stock Video

Pexels

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Pexels has beautiful, high resolution video grouped by category. There’s no word search option. The upside: you can quickly access generic content for digital signage—like this clip from the “blur” category, which would work perfectly if you wanted to overlay text. You can use the video for any commercial purpose, totally free.

Videvo

Like Pexels, Videvo groups free, hi-res video content by category, but you can also find specific clips via word search. Videvo separates “footage” from “motion graphics,” so you can quickly choose between a cool background for text or, say, a stunning city timelapse.

Shutterstock

Say you need something specific, like a video of Boston. Shutterstock is the place go. Okay, so it’s not free. A typical video costs around $80 in high resolution. But that’s not much when you consider how specific the search gets. They even have video of the tropical plant that shares our company name. Who knew?

Customizable Content

With a content management platform like Aerva, you can create layouts for digital signage and manage your content in lots of different ways. Here are a couple of sites that allow you to quickly generate custom content to feed that software.

Promo

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Promo isn’t free, but it is an affordable way to create slick video content with overlayed text. For a monthly fee of as little as $49, you can create videos with music, text, and logos, all from one web interface.

Pablo

Pablo is a neat tool to create static text-on-photography images. You can search more than 600,000 images and place text however you want. It’s a quick and free way to generate static image content that looks great.


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