VideoBlocks wants stock media to keep it real, launches “The Authentic Collection”

VideoBlocks, the stock media company that gives subscribers unlimited access to its catalog of images, videos and audio clips for an annual subscription, wants stock media to look less whitewashed and more like the real deal.

But no stock media marketplace can purge every image that reflects “conventional” beauty or caters to other stereotypes. (Those images have their time and place.)

Instead, VideoBlocks has launched its “Authentic Collection,” featuring media that reflects, among other things: people of color or of different ages and body types, homes and events around the world and the family life of people who identify as bi, gay, lesbian or transgender.

VideoBlocks’ CEO TJ Leonard told TechCrunch that the company curated and published the diversity-focused Authentic Collection in response to search data on the company’s marketplace.

In the past year, he said, users of VideoBlocks increasingly searched for images or clips somehow representative of “diversity,” “LGBT,” “technology” and “fitness.” The Authentic Collection caters to the demand evidenced in those searches.

The stock media marketplace has also seen a spike in requests for images from locations beyond the U.S., with Turkey as its most searched-for geography so far this year.

The new library is relatively small, containing a few thousand videos, photos and audio tracks. But Leonard is hoping it will inspire marketers, advertisers and creatives to break away from “staged, heavily produced material,” at least some of the time.

VideoBlocks competes with stock media marketplaces, from Shutterstock, Corbis and Getty to other growing startups like SmugMug, Pond5 and