VideoBlocks CEO sees hyperrealism as next trend in online video

TJ Leonard (VideoBlocks)

VideoBlocks CEO TJ Leonard thinks that hyperrealism is driving the next trend in online video production.

Leonard is basing that partly on data recently published by VideoBlocks, a subscription-based stock video service with about 160,000 subscribers.

According to VideoBlocks’ Video Trends Guide for 2017, VR and 360-degree footage downloads for VideoBlocks are up 814%, GoPro footage downloads are up 1,253%, and drone footage downloads are up 712%.

Those types of stock footage all align with Leonard’s view of hyperrealism in online video, particularly in the demand for first-person perspectives and more organic, or less produced-looking, footage.

“You see how hardware is influencing the way we think about content. Everything from the mobile phone and the selfie to GoPro to drones, which give you a very unique first-person perspective,” Leonard said.

He also said that the profile of the content creator is driving the trend. Freelancers, digital marketers and small businesses are a big part of the commercial content world on digital platforms and those people are interested in making content that looks more natural.

“There was a period where this Apple aesthetic, this glossy, white, beautiful, manicured imagery really dominated the commercial content world,” said Leonard. “That’s being replaced by softer, more authentic, more human experiences.”

The insights that VideoBlocks is gleaning from its users is coming from a fairly significant sampling size, as the company just announced that it recorded its 100 millionth download since its founding in 2011.

What was that 100 millionth download? Confetti falling in slow motion.

“Not even kidding,” Leonard told FierceOnlineVideo.

Leonard said, according his company’s “napkin math,” VideoBlocks has saved in aggregate its members more than $1 billion on those downloads by offering its subscription pricing. VideoBlocks says it has also given back more than $5 million to its creative community by providing 100% commission to users to submit content to the service’s marketplace.

RELATED: VideoBlocks takes on Shutterstock with enterprise video footage launch

As part of reaching the downloads milestone, VideoBlocks has continued to extend its reach by building up its enterprise offering.

About six months after VideoBlocks launched its enterprise video offering—which sells multi-seat licenses at a reduced rate and higher indemnification from content rights issues, Leonard offered an update on the response to the APIs which VideoBlocks also launched within its enterprise product.

Vistaprint’s new website builder is one of the customers that using VideoBlocks’ APIs to allow its customers to drag and drop content from VideoBlocks from within Vistaprint’s product interface. Leonard said that Vistaprint’s churn rates have dropped since incorporating VideoBlocks’ APIs.