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Storyblocks’ Stock Video Subscription Aims to Accurately Represent Indigenous Communities

  • Nadine Ghiran - SUBTA
  • Oct 13, 2021
  • 4 minute read

Storyblocks, the largest subscription-based stock video platform, launched a new installment on Monday, Oct. 11 of its Re: Stock initiative. The company’s stock content will now feature more Indigenous stories for advertising and media. 

The announcement was made on Indigenous Peoples’ Day — a day created to commemorate Native Americans in light of their discrimination, genocide, and forced assimilation throughout history. This is the first year that a U.S. president officially recognized the holiday and acknowledged “the invaluable contributions and resilience of Indigenous peoples” and “their inherent sovereignty.”

Read on to learn how Storyblocks’ initiative will highlight the underrepresented voices in the world and the impact it could have on the subscription industry.

Underrepresentation in the Media

Underrepresentation of minority groups in the media has been an ongoing issue.

Sixty-six percent of Black Americans do not feel adequately represented in today’s media, according to National Research Group’s #RepresentationMatters report. 

Similarly, out of the 700+ series regular characters expected to appear on primetime television, a total of 70 (9.1%) belong to the LGBTQIA+ community, according to a Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) report. This is a 1.1% year-over-year decrease, the first since 2014. 

Storyblocks is leveraging its stock video subscription to accurately represent Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC), and LGBTQIA+ communities while also providing other brands (including subscriptions) a way to do the same.

Re: Stock Video Subscription Prioritizes Underrepresented Communities

Storyblocks’ stock video subscription service offers businesses videos, images, and audio to use for advertising and media.

“Stock media provides the building blocks for most of the content we see across advertising and media,” said Sydney Carlton, Senior Director of Brand and Creative at Storyblocks, in the press release.

“[This] makes our mission of expanding the pipeline of diverse stock contributors all the more important in making the media we consume more authentic and representative of the world we live in.”

The first two installments of Re: Stock focused on highlighting BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities beyond a surface-level view. Storyblocks has seen major success with this initiative, according to the press release. The company is on track to reach its goal of having 20% of its stock video subscription content representing minority communities by 2022.

Sourcing Video from Native Filmmakers

Now, in an effort to accurately portray Indigenous peoples in both the media and advertising industries, Storyblocks is expanding its portfolio to include stock video content authentically filmed by cinematographers who are a part of the Native American and First Nation communities. 

“By selecting Indigenous filmmakers from different geographic regions, our goal is to equip content creators and advertisers with the footage they need to portray underrepresented Indigenous communities from around the world in a fully dimensional light instead of relying on inaccurate tropes and stereotypes,” said Carlton in the press release.

Storyblocks partnered with five Indigenous content creators from the U.S. and Canada, including Josué Rivas — Co-Founder of Indigenous Photograph and Curator of Indigenous TikTok — according to the press release. Each of them will produce a collection of 50 or more videos that sufficiently capture Indigenous communities and their livelihoods.

“The camera has been used as a tool against Indigenous communities for a long time but I believe we are moving towards a paradigm shift where the camera can also be used as a tool for healing ourselves and our communities,” said Rivas in the press release. 

“These collections are a small step towards the liberation of our stories and an opportunity for other stock images to follow along.”

Purpose-Driven Brands Attract More Customers

By taking this step to incorporate Indigenous stories into its service, Storyblocks is raising the bar for subscription services. 

The company is combining value with purpose, something today’s customers are more inclined to appreciate — a staggering 94% of global customers seek brands with a purpose, according to The 2020 Zeno Strength of Purpose Study. 

Like any shift in the market, this change could cause some stress — but it shouldn’t. Subscription companies that have a purpose (like Storyblocks) could increase their customer acquisition rate. However, it’s important that you show your subscribers you have one.

Only 37% of global consumers believe that brands actually have a clear mission. This hole in the market sets the stage for subscription brands to attract more customers and retain their active subscribers by prioritizing the diversity and inclusion of underrepresented communities.

For more on what consumers crave, download the 2021 SUBTA Annual Report.

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Key Takeaways:

  • Storyblocks’ latest Re: Stock initiative aims to accurately represent Indigenous communities in advertising and media.
  • The company is on track to reach its goal of having 20% of its stock video subscription content representing minority communities by 2022. 
  • Subscription brands can attract more customers and retain their active subscribers by prioritizing the inclusion of underrepresented communities.
  • Nearly 95% of global customers seek brands with a purpose — and those customers are four times more likely to purchase products or services from those purpose-driven companies, according to The 2020 Zeno Strength of Purpose Study.

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