VideoBlocks, a subscription service and marketplace for stock video footage, is giving universities and students a chance to try it out for a semester before they pay for it. The company is also offering a $10,000 to two universities for research in how the availability of digital content — like the kind available through VideoBlocks — affects how students learn in digital communication fields.
“Just by having more people submit to the program, the odds you’re gonna get a breakthrough piece of research are higher,” CEO Joel Holland said. “Were trying to solve for improving the student experience, but we need the best possible research. We know that everyone from digital media labs to film students, to marketing departments, all of these people are using this content, but we don’t have any pedagogical data around the impact on student learning.”
VideoBlocks is a bit more like Amazon Prime and a bit different from other stock footage and imagery services, which tend to license out images on a per-use basis. It also has a stock audio service called AudoBlocks. The company owns the rights to all of its footage, meaning it can provide it to subscribers without incurring any kind of additional charge on the company’s end. There’s still a marketplace for selling and purchasing videos, and in that instance VideoBlocks doesn’t take any of the purchase price as commission.
Of course, all of these — including this new university grant — are beneficial to VideoBlocks’ business if such a program is successful. If it turns out that it has an impact on student learning, universities could take more interest in the service — and convert to paying customers after getting a taste of it.
“The more people who understand the value of this content on student engagement and learning, the more people are gonna be interested in that content,” he said. “We’re positioned by the type of content we have, we think we’ll be the perfect partner for high education institutions once there’s really solid buy-in once they believe the impact this content has.”
VideoBlocks has raised $10.5 million in venture financing.