VideoBlocks, a stock image and video service that offers both a subscription library and a marketplace for buying individual items, today announced that it is bringing 360-degree video to its service.
As VideoBlocks founder and executive chairman Joel Holland told me, the company is both creating its own content (mostly for its subscription library) and partnering with companies like Ovrture, DeepVR and 360labs to bring their professionally created videos to its customers. The content from these partners includes 360-degree videos of cityscapes, landscapes, beaches and similar contents. The content in the subscription library, which offers VideoBlocks customers unlimited downloads, mostly focuses on the cityscapes of New York City and Los Angeles.
Other content providers can now also partner with the company to offer their videos, too (and because VideoBlocks makes its money from its subscription service, it passes 100 percent of its one-off marketplace sales on to content providers)
As Holland told me, the company currently has over 140,000 paying members and expects to hits about $6 million in payouts to its content providers this year.
Holland admitted that he was skeptical about VR content at first and noted that the company completely skipped 3D videos (which was probably a good move). “We were skeptical about VR, but as we watched as more equipment manufacturers were getting in the game on the camera side, we saw that things were starting to come together,” he told me. The company also recently started getting requests from customers, but Holland noted that it’s probably too early to know how much interest in VR content its customers really have.
The company believes that most of its users will use these 360-degree videos for commercial work, YouTube videos and maybe inside some of their apps. He also believes that many of its subscribers will want to start working with these videos to start thinking about how they can use this kind of content in their own work. For the most part, after all, getting access to commercial-quality 360-degree video is still either difficult or expensive.
Currently, the company has about 40 to 50 clips in its marketplace and about a dozen in its subscription library, though the plan is to quickly expand both of these libraries. In the marketplace, monoscopic videos will retail for $399 per clip and $499 for 3D stereoscopic content. Because there isn’t really a standard format for 360-degree video yet, the company is casting a pretty wide net and allowing content providers to offer their videos in various formats.