|Alternatives||Adobe Stock & Shutterstock|
In this review, we test out Dreamstime by looking at stock media quality, pricing, features, and website ease of use.
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What is Dreamstime?
Founded in 2000 and based in Brentwood, Tennessee, Dreamstime is a stock photo site that offers royalty-free images, videos, music, and illustrations. The original founder of Dreamstime, Serban Enache, is still its CEO.
Today, Dreamstime has over 185 million stock photos and vectors uploaded by 800,000 photographers and used by more than 40 million members. Dreamstime is also the founding member of the European Tech Alliance, as well as a member of the Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA).
In the beginning, Dreamstime’s main competitors were Shutterstock and iStock which it was pretty close to. However, over the years, Dreamstime has moved behind them slightly in terms of quality and choice.
Who Can Use Dreamstime?
Anyone can use Dreamstime, from freelance photographers and filmmakers to graphic designer. Their content is great for both business for personal and professional use.
Also, unlike other stock image providers, Dreamstime offers extended licenses on its images. This means that, if you need lots of pictures for unlimited printed or digital distribution, Dreamstime is a great place to start.
How It Works
Firstly, creating an account on Dreamstime is super easy. Just follow the 5 steps below:
- Click on the button at the top to visit the Dreamstime homepage
- Click on the green “Sign up for FREE” button in the top-right corner of the homepage
- Here, enter your email address and choose a password
- Click “SIGN UP FOR FREE”.
- That’s it!
Opening a new account is done in a matter of seconds which is handy. Now, you can start using Dreamstime, choose your paid plan, and download royalty-free images, videos, and audio files. Simple as that.
Our only issue is that the layout of the homepage itself is a bit busy and the typography feels quite dated. The overall impression is that Dreamstime is not as sleek and modern as some of its competitors but you’re guaranteed to find something at a fair price.
Dreamstime offers a range of stock media that, once downloaded, is free to use for an unlimited time and across any type of publication. The main menu includes the following categories to choose from:
- Stock Photos
- Free Photos
Now, let’s check out each one of them and find out what it offers.
1. Stock Photos
Clicking on this category will take you to a page that shows another list of sub-categories, including Landscape, Nature, Animals, Holidays, Business, Design & Architecture, Editors’ Choice, Collections, and Free Photos.
You might soon notice that the photo quality itself is pretty good, but many of the subjects look a bit cliché, dated, and not incredibly original. However again this is entirely dependent on price.
These are images aimed at both print and digital publications. As expected, their quality and subjects are better compared to the more generic stock photos that we have just described.
One cool feature of this category is the possibility to browse through royalty-free photos that were taken during specific events around the world. This section, then, is great if you need to add professional shots to a school or university project, or if you are a journalist.
This section stores 191 million vectors and graphics that you can edit to fit your needs. The sub-categories include the following.
In this section, you can find a huge range of professional videos available at different resolutions, including Web, 720, 1080, and 4k.
This category allows you to download royalty-free music, sound effects, and stock audio. The available sub-categories are:
- Music Themes
- Instrumental Music
- Music Styles
- Audio SFX Sounds
- Audio SFX Styles
- Audio SFX Themes
As you might expect, if you want to download a full track you need to have a paid subscription to Dreamstime.
While the overall quality of the Dreamstime website and stock files is not exceptional, one thing that’s worth your time is the Dreamstime blog. This is a member-driven blog that only members can contribute to – a unique feature of this platform.
The articles in the blog are varied and interesting, and the authors are always open to questions, comments, and suggestions. This is definitely a good place to check if you want to learn more about stock photography, video, or audio.
How Much Does Dreamstime Cost?
If you click on the Prices and download plans button on the homepage (top right), you’ll see that you have two main options. You can either buy credits (and credit packages) or start a paid subscription. Credits allow you to pay per individual download, which can work if you know that you are only going to use Dreamstime as a one-off option.
Credits start at $14.99 (11 credits) and go up to $1760 (2000 credits). Each credit corresponds to one image, which means that if you buy the 11 credits, you’ll be able to download 11 images. If you need more credits, you can enter a specific amount and request them.
In that case, though, a paid subscription plan is probably going to be working better for you. Below you will find a description of all the options that Dreamstime offers at the moment.
Only need to download images? In this case, you can select one of these plans.
Only need to download videos? no problem. Here are the current options if you are only want to download videos.
Need just music from Dreamstime? Here are the plans available:
Those who think they are going to use Dreamstime to download a mix of videos, images, and audio files should definitely go for the All-in-One Plan.
This offers either 10 downloads of any file or format for $199/month, or 25 downloads for $410/month. Strangely, though, there doesn’t seem to be a plan that lets you have full and unlimited monthly access to all of Dreamstime’s files.
From time to time, Dreamstime also offers a 7-day free trial of one of its subscription plans, which allows you to download 10-25 images for free each month. However, a few people have complained about the fact that the Dreamstime watermark is still there.
In addition to this, there is a free photos section where you can download full res images but these also have watermarks on them.
Dreamstime Review: Worth it or Not?
In short, Yes! Dreamtime offers flexible pricing and simple plans. Although the quality and selection suffer slightly (compared to other stock photo sites) you pretty much get what you pay for. So if you’re looking for something quick then definitely try them out.