VideoBlocks Takes On The Stock Photo Biz

VideoBlocks, the Uber-styled provider of royalty-free video for consumers and the little-guy advertiser at a low price point, is expanding to a logical next place: a stock photo marketplace.

Like the video side, the stock photo service is touted as a good deal for users and a good deal for the photographers because they keep all of the commission.

It will operate the same as as an adjunct to the video business, which offers a $149 a year membership base cost and unlimited use of its own library and a per-piece marketplace for more specialized video.

The company makes a point of advertising its good intentions with artist suppliers. That should be especially evident now, as VideoBlocks builds up that library from what CEO T.J. Leonard says now houses about a half million images. T

he stock photo service and marketplace joins with, which already provides graphic images and as virtual reality has gotten hotter, it offers that too. 



VideoBlocks says it has paid out $6 million to videographers since 2015, a figure that speaks to its size, and also must sound good to still photo creators--though really, they are many times one and the same persons.

VideoBlocks’ membership-based model has changed the stock video business will be trying something like that here, too. There's the library of images available for the taking. The more specific marketplace is no muss, no fuss. In a business that can be overladen with complicated cost calculations, VideoBlocks’ $3.95 per photo is about as simple as it sounds.

“No calculators!’ Leonard says. Subscribers can use the image virtually any way they want, as many times as they want.

“The mass creative class” VideoBlocks thinks has come about because of YouTube and the ease of creating video is the target crowd for the stock end of the business. Typically, VideoBlocks users take the video images for their own small business Web site, YouTube channel or Facebook post. But they’re also college students and YouTube vloggers and hobbyists.

The stock footage should draw the same crowd.

As a business, VideoBlocks is one of those service providers, like Uber, whose main job is to connect a market with a seller, and profit from the volumes of transactions, and like a Sam’s Club that profits from each membership.  Its 165,000 members have downloaded 54 million videos and in the process upended more established players with its proclaimed “democratization” of stock goods.

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