In stock media, companies are ditching the cliched and seeking authenticity

Stereotypical stock graphics are going out of style, at least according to VideoBlocks. The video stock company, inspired by recent download data, released the Authentic Collection this week, a partially curated and partially new set of several thousand clips that reflect the everyday life shots users are looking for.

The company’s largest user base is what CEO TJ Leonard calls the creative class – small businesses, marketers, freelancers, and other creatives. And that user base is continuously searching for a more accurate representation of everyday life, while more generalized stock terms like “work” are dropping lower in the data.

Over the past year, VideoBlocks has monitored a significant uptick in searches that connect more to the human experience. Users typed “family” into the search bar 336 percent more often than last year. LGBT (for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) is up 317 percent, diverse 172, and fitness 414. Searches connected to emotions, rather than specific objects, also saw a jump, including happy (66 percent), laughing (51 percent), smile (40 percent) and sad (102 percent). In perhaps another nod to today’s changing trends, both coffee and technology saw jumps, up 61 and 129 percent, respectively.

“Our unique membership model with unlimited downloads to our member collection gives us access to more download data in one month than competitors see in one year, which gives us a unique perspective on the trends in stock media,” said Leonard. “What we want to do with the authentic collection is to create a library that more accurately reflects where we live, what we do and who we are.”

The Authentic Collection contains images from the database’s current collection as well as brand new content created specifically to meet the changing trends. The set is designed to give users an easy way to buck the stereotypical stock images and find authentic content — skipping out the airbrushed images for more honest content, even when that might mean messy faces and wrinkles, Leonard says.

The collection, released earlier this week, is available with a VideoBlocks subscription.


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