VideoBlocks TJ Leonard
Courtesy of VideoBlocks

VideoBlocks, which operates marketplaces for royalty-free stock video and other digital media, has promoted chief marketing officer TJ Leonard to CEO.

Joel Holland, founder and former CEO, will become executive chairman in a business-development role to forge new industry partnerships. Holland said the company needed a full-time chief exec given that he the time he’s spent on the road meeting with potential business partners. In 2015, VideoBlocks inked pacts with Discovery Communications, YouTube, Vimeo and BuzzFeed.

“I didn’t think being an absentee CEO really makes sense,” Holland said. “This year, I look at it as being more deliberate about having a hit-list of the groups we want to partner with.”

The VideoBlocks Marketplace offers 1 million video clips and last year paid out $1 million in contributor commissions. The company ended 2015 with 130,000 users, who pay $100-$200 per year in membership fees, up from 90,000 at the beginning of the year. “We are Like Costco — our business is driven by members,” Leonard said. “The team’s core value is to put artists first, and with this transition, we can build the types of partnerships and products necessary to make VideoBlocks the first place every creative goes when starting a new project.”

VideoBlocks competes with other stock-video providers such as Shutterstock, Getty Images and Pond5.

Investors in Reston, Va.-based VideoBlocks include Updata Partners and QED Investors. The company last year raised $8 million in debt financing from North Atlantic Capital.

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