Virtual reality isn’t a fad — it’s no longer an issue of if it could become mainstream, but when. Throwing its support behind this upcoming medium is stock video provider VideoBlocks, which is adding 2D and 3D VR, 360-degree video content to its library and marketplace. Priced at $399 per clip for 360-degree monoscopic video and $499 for 3D stereoscopic, the content will be available to any VideoBlocks member that’s creating VR experiences.
For the launch, VideoBlocks commissioned six VR production houses — 360Labs, Atmosphaeres, DeepVR, OFFHOLLYWOOD, Ovrture, and Subvrsive — to make a variety of content available in the VideoBlocks library, which includes cityscapes, beaches, time lapses, wildlife, fly-fishing, and even outer space. VideoBlocks is also opening up its Marketplace to its members who want to contribute 360-degree content; HD and 4K uploads, members receive 100 percent of profits when their content is purchased.
Joel Holland, VideoBlocks’ founder, admits the move into VR is a bit early. But he points to the fact that the company was the first to provide 4K stock content. With 4K now seeing some traction, Holland predicts the same for VR.
“It’s the Wild West, and we want to be the first gunslinger,” Holland says.
But it wasn’t so long ago that Holland told us he would be taking a wait-and-see approach toward 360-degree content.
“I was skeptical how VR related to stock video,” Holland says. “What if this goes the way of 3D — a fad that was pushed by the TV manufacturers?”
Since that time, however, Holland saw three things come together: Equipment manufacturers were on board; there were distribution pipelines (YouTube, Facebook, etc.); and major companies like Facebook and Google investing heavily in VR, while content providers like Netflix and Hulu are could soon offer VR content for headsets.
Despite the industry rallying behind VR, Holland still had reservations whether there would be customer demand. But the final piece of the puzzle came when VideoBlocks customers reached out to the company, requesting content for VR experiences.
“That was the final straw for us to jump in,” Holland says.
VideoBlocks timed its announcement with the start of the 2016 NAB Show, a trade conference for broadcasters, filmmakers, and other video professionals. Holland expects there would be announcements of new products that can shoot 360-degree content for VR. Indeed, Lytro announced its Cinema product, while GoPro is demoing its Omni six-camera array. All to suggest that high-quality VR content is on its way to a headset near you, from creators to services like VideoBlocks.