Videoblocks Launches Storyblocks.

Posted on 9/21/2017 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Videoblock has rebranded itself as Storyblocks. The existing video and audio libraries are being maintained as separate subsites: Videoblocks by Storyblocks and Audioblocks by Storybloacks. (Each offering requires a separate subscription.) The former GraphicStock library is now part of Storyblocks.

For $99 a year customers can use any of the 400,000 images in the subscription library. Most of these were formerly part of GraphicStock. In addition, there are now over 10 million images In the Storyblocks Marketplace that are available for purchase by subscribers for $3.99 per image.

Customers may also purchase a single image for $9.99 without subscribing, but Storyblocks expects most customer to take advantage for the 60% discount per image licensed, plus the additional features that Storyblock offers. The business is structured to recover its costs and profits from subscriptions and return 100% of other fees charged customers to the creators.

Contributors to the Storyblocks Marketplace receive 100% of the $3.99 fee paid by the customer minus a $0.15 credit card processing charge for a total of $3.84. While some creators might feel this image use fee is low, they should keep in mind that the creator’s net is equivalent to a $19.20 license fee if the creator is only receiving a 20% royalty. A significant percentage of the images licensed today are sold for prices less than $19.20.

Most of Storyblocks competitors are offering single images at a license fee of about $10.00. Thus, for customers the much lower fee is a very attractive option. Videoblocks has been offering video clips via the same Marketplace model for two years and has already paid out over $6 million to artists.

The default search on Storyblocks shows the free images that are available through the subscription. However, it is possible to turn off the default and set the search so it delivers mostly Marketplace images, although in some cases a few images that are free with membership will also appear.

A search for “Most Downloads” and “Highest Rated” tends to show mostly free images because those are the images that have been on offer through GraphicStock for some time. The other search options are: “Most Relevant,” “Trending Now,” “Most Recent” and “Undiscovered.”

I have a little trouble understating what “Highest Rated” and “Most Relevant” mean. For example, I did a search for “man cell phone” and got 37 thumbnails for free images and then 14 photos of basically the same man holding a cell phone and looking out over water toward the sun. I can’t imagine any of these being Highest Rated by anyone.

Switching to “Most Relevant” for the same search, on the first page they showed 19 images of basically the same situation of a young man with red hair using his cell phone. Relevant to what? I think most customers would like to see more variety of situations and approaches to the subject matter rather than so many similars. On the other hand, most of the large distributors with lots of images have the same kind of problems with similars.

Despite these problems creators are already receiving notices that they have sales.

The “Category” search doesn’t seem to work, but I am sure that is simply a bug in initial launch that will soon be solved.

CEO TJ Leonard told StudioDaily, “One in four of our customers buys multiple stock types. We’re seeing mixed use of different visual elements, stills and motion. It led us to the conclusion that we can’t be a one-stop shop, the first and last place a creative goes when they start a new project, unless we’ve got a photo offering that offers as much value and selection as in video.

“The response has been great. We are completely oversubscribed through the trust we have built with our 100% commission structure in video. And that video success has given us the confidence that we’ve got the right model to crack photography.”

For information about contributing to Storyblocks check here. For more background on Videoblocks transition to supplying still imagery see here.

Copyright © 2017 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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