Subscription-based stock footage provider VideoBlocks announced today that it has promoted its chief marketing officer TJ Leonard to CEO.
Founder and former CEO Joel Holland has stepped aside to assume the post of executive chairman of VideoBlocks. In his new role, Holland will focus on generating new industry partnerships, as he did in 2015 with organizations such as Discovery Communications, YouTube, Vimeo and BuzzFeed.
While Holland’s pursuit of partnerships was vital to VideoBlocks’ growth, “the downside was that I wasn’t in the office very much, and that’s not sustainable,” he told VideoInk. “So we decided that the best move was to let me be executive chairman, doing the cheerleading, and let TJ step up into the CEO role, which he’s really earned after being the CMO for two and a half years. He’s incredible at operations, the team loves him and he’s already doing most of that heavy lifting when I’m gone, anyway.”
VideoBlocks offers unlimited downloads of royalty-free HD video clips, motion backgrounds, and After Effects and lower third templates from its 115,000-plus clip library for $99 per year.
Last year, VideoBlocks added a video marketplace that allows users to license their clips to fellow subscribers as stock footage ($49 for HD, $199 for 4K) and keep 100% of the proceeds.
Today, the company announced that it had paid out $1 million in commissions to the sellers in the marketplace, with top contributors making up to six figures in their first year, while simultaneously growing its member its subscriber base to over 130,000 paying members.
VideoBlocks targets what Holland refers to as the “mass creative class,” people who are taking advantage of the growing proliferation affordable production tools and digital distribution platforms. Its customers range from enthusiasts to major media outlets such as ABC, NBC and MTV.
According to Leonard, seventy-five to 80% of the money earned in the marketplace went to subscribers who identify as professional.
“It’s everyone Wavebreak Media, which has a team focused exclusively on shooting world-class stock footage, all the way down to someone who shoots stock professionally, but maybe has a day job sees this as supplementary income,” Leonard said.
In July of 2015, VideoBlocks secured an $8 million funding round, led by North Atlantic Capital, which it has been using to build out the libraries of its subscription offerings (which also include AudioBlocks and GraphicStock), as well as its in-house marketing, administrative and customer service teams.
More recently, it announced a partnership with Discovery Channel to bring unused footage from its library to the VideoBlocks marketplace. On Monday, the first 3200 Discovery clips (sourced from 15-plus terabytes of content) were made available.
Under Leonard’s leadership, VideoBlocks will continue to emphasize growth in its unlimited library, as well as the marketplace. It will also branch out into new content types, such as the 75,000 photos it added to its GraphicStock library at the end of 2015.
“For the marketplace, anyone can upload, so the library takes on a mind and a shape of its own,” Leonard said. “With the unlimited library, it’s a much more curated approach, so we’re looking at data and search trends to find places where there’s maybe a lot of search volume, but we don’t have a ton of content to support it.”