Virginia startup VideoBlocks has had one hell of a ride in 2017. The stock video provider announced it would be moving its headquarters from Reston to Arlington this summer. They plan to hire another 25 employees, on top of their 22 new hires in 2016. Now, the company is expanding its stock media offerings to photos.
“We’re excited about this. It’s a conversation we’ve been having internally for years now, and for a number of reasons, the timing just felt right to do it now,” said CEO TJ Leonard in an interview with DC Inno. “A big reason why we had the confidence to tackle photo was just the runaway success of the video marketplace.”
Officially announced today, the new stock photo marketplace will work pretty much in the same ways as the current video stock image database. Contributors to the photo database include a mix of freelancers and in-house contributors, giving photographers 100 percent commission on each of their photo sales. And the so-called “GraphicBlocks” platform will also run on both a per-image revenue plan and also an annual unlimited download plan.
VideoBlocks CEO TJ Leonard said that they had been getting requests from their existing user base to include a stock image library in its offerings, and the timing just seemed right to do it now.
“We’re seeing more digital publications who are producing content who want either an image or a video to spice up the content and make it more engaging. Or even small business—so about half of American small businesses are online. Most of them online at WordPress or Wix or Squarespace and they need visual imagery to drop in their brand new websites they build those images,” Leonard said. “We felt like if we wanted to deliver on our promise of democratizing these high quality creative content, then we really needed photo to be credible in pursuit of that mission.”
With the official announcement, VideoBlocks is opening up the contributor portal to photographers today, as well. Once the library is built up, the new “GraphicsBlocks” platform will become open to users looking to download and buy royalty-free stock images for their websites and projects.
For its photo marketplace, VideoBlocks plans to charge users $3.99 per images. In comparison, Leonard said their competitors usually charge users $10-$15 per image.
Given the success of the VideoBlocks database, it makes sense the company would want to expand that philosophy into a new medium. As of early April, VideoBlocks has 4 million videos in its video marketplace. Leonard said they’re on track to have 6 million by the end of 2017. “It will more or less put us on par with major competitors in the industry,” Leonard said. “So we’ve managed to catch the industry in under three years after giving them a seven-to-eight year head start.”
And while VideoBlocks is one track to keep growing its staff and office space, too, Leonard said they don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.
“We do have some other really big stuff planned for this year around when we open the photo marketplace up to customers,” Leonard said. “So in the same way that we felt we needed photos to credibly serve the mass creative class, we’re going to be taking a look at the entire business, our member experience and see how can we really position ourselves for this next phase of growth and in that vein, we have a couple of big developments slated for early in the fall.”
The article can be found here.