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VideoBlocks take on the 4K Experience

Joel Holland, founder and CEO of VideoBlocks (pictured here) tells us about 4K stock footage, trends and the consumption of 4K in the industry.

Q What difference have you seen 4K make in the stock footage world and with your company, VideoBlocks?

A VideoBlocks started providing our customers with access to 4K content over four years ago, and we are finally starting to see the rest of the competition catch up to provide some great content. Everything we shoot for VideoBlocks is done in 4K. But the reality is that there is still not a huge demand for 4K content, because virtually all current productions are being released in HD. We are starting to see an uptick in 4K downloads, but it is still a small part of our download volume compared to HD.

Q Do you think 4K is here to stay or just a passing trend? Why or why not?

A I think it is a common misconception that 4K (aka Ultra HD) is a fad. Unlike 3D, 4K is not a trend, but rather a measure of higher resolution and better quality. Higher quality never goes out of style, so 4K is here to stay--at least until it is replaced by 6K, 8K, InifnityK. As production, distribution and viewing technology continues to get better, faster and cheaper, higher resolution will continue to be sought.

Q Where are viewers or consumers of media most enjoying the 4K experience?

A At the moment, 4K is mainly impacting the creation side of the equation. Almost all major camera manufactures now provide cameras that are equipped to shoot in 4K, and since it is backwards compatible with HD (you can always drop resolution down) it makes sense for all creators to shoot in the higher resolution format when possible. Once there becomes a critical mass of 4K content available, I believe the consumer side of the equation will come into play--but it is not there yet. My guess is that most of the initial 4K content will come from streaming providers such as Netflix, Hulu and YouTube. Once the supply side is adequate, mass market interest in purchasing 4K TVs will start to explode. (Expensive 4K TVs are already available, but we will see these prices come down as soon as this 2014 holiday season.)

Q What trends, besides 4K are you noticing in the industry right now?

A There is currently a trend towards footage that includes interesting movement. For example, drones, dollies and sliders are being used more and more to capture interesting points of view and perspectives that a standard static tripod-mounted shot can't.

Q Anything else, 4K related that you would like to share?

A There has been a slow build up to 4K becoming a mass market thing, and I'm excited to see the day in the not too distant future that it hits critical adoption because the production, delivery and consumption sides of the equation are all solved. I look forward to being able to measure my television in hundreds of inches because there will finally be a resolution that makes it possible!

Q Want to learn more about Joel Holland?

A Joel Holland is the founder and CEO of VideoBlocks, a company that distributes over 1,000,000 clips of royalty free stock video and audio each month to over 100,000 customers in the television and video production industry, from professional outlets like NBC, to hobbyists and enthusiasts. In 2012, Video Blocks was named the fourth fastest growing media company in the US by Inc. Magazine, and made the Inc. 500 list. For his work with Video Blocks, Joel has been named one of the "Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25" by BusinessWeek Magazine, "Young Entrepreneur of the Year" by the United States Small Business Administration, “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst and Young for the Greater Washington DC Region, and made Inc. Magazine’s prestigious “30 Under 30” list in 2013. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2008 from Babson College, a school ranked #1 for Entrepreneurship by US News and World Report. Joel resides in Washington, DC.