VideoBlocks launches stock VR content service

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You’ve heard of stock photos. Now stock VR video clips are available. Written content used to be illustrated with stock images, then we started embedding video clips, and now websites will have to feature virtual reality (VR) content to stay current.

Coming to the rescue of all who need or create VR video clips, is VideoBlocks, a stock video service that this week launched the first online library of stock 360º and 3D stereoscopic virtual reality footage. The Reston, Virginia-based media company has been supplying its subscription-based stock video service since 2009. But now the company has joined the VR wave.

All videos are royalty-free and can be downloaded instantly from the VideoBlocks website. Monoscopic and stereoscopic 3D virtual reality footage, as well as 360º immersive video experiences are now available through the Unlimited Library and the pay-per-clip Marketplace. VideoBlocks has a custom 360-degree player for users to first watch the videos in “full 360-degree sphere” before buying.

“The 360º content available in our library includes immersive virtual reality experiences of diverse and breathtaking subject matter, from African wildlife and outer space to exotic beaches at sunset and urban hyperlapses,” the company states on its blog, a statement which is somewhat confusing as 360-degree content and immersive virtual reality experiences are not the same thing. The former allows one a 360-degree view of a situation or a place, but it doesn’t put you there as an immersive VR experience does.

Be that as it may, the company is says it is entering the virtual reality space to provide and avenue for VR filmmakers all over the world to share their work with stock video consumers. VideoBlocks is working with companies like Ovrture, OFFHOLLYWOOD, Atmosphaeres, DeepVR, Subvrsive and 360Labs to ensure a variety of content.

Footage from Ovrture and OFFHOLLYWOOD in the Unlimited Library will be free to download for all VideoBlocks members. Footage from their other partners will be available through the VideoBlocks Marketplace.

The Marketplace, which launched in April 2015 with 147,310 items, reached 1 million clips on December 31, 2015. The reason for this phenomenal growth, according to the company, is the 100% commission earned by filmmakers who sell their footage through the VideoBlocks Marketplace. The site has more than 8,000 stock videographers uploading content from 112 different countries and counting.

The same principle will apply to VR content contributors, who will also receive 100% commission on all of the content they sell. Members pay $399 per clip for 360º monoscopic footage and $499 per clip for 360º 3D stereoscopic content.

Many commentators are concerned that lack of quality content could torpedo the emerging VR market. The VideoBlocks initiative gives more people a reason to experiment with VR as a medium for content development, which could lead to a refinement of techniques and higher standards, as well as higher quality immersive material over time.