Diversity in stock media is not just a trend… and Re: Stock proves it

In October 2020, we launched our Re: Stock initiative to improve representation and diversity in stock media. We set out to reach 20% BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) representation in our footage library. Within one year, we exceeded that goal — and now we’re working to push the industry even further.

Creators and brands have made some noteworthy progress when it comes to prioritizing diversity in their videos. There’s still a lot of work to do, though. As a video creator, you’re in a unique position to make a difference. Through your content, you can either perpetuate a system that excludes people, or take meaningful steps toward inclusion. The very same crossroads is what led us to launch our diversity in stock media initiative, Re: Stock.

At Storyblocks, we give creators the tools and resources they need to tell better stories. To us, including diverse voices, bodies, and faces in our content library is a key component of that. If you’re not accurately representing the makeup of our world in your videos, you’re not telling the whole story. 

In October 2020, we launched our Re: Stock initiative to improve representation and diversity in stock media. We set out to reach 20% BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) representation in our footage library. Within one year, we exceeded that goal — and now we’re working to push the industry even further.

How Storyblocks is addressing diversity in stock media

Video creators from underrepresented communities have historically had a hard time finding stock footage that features people who look like them. This exclusion can reach down to the algorithmic level, with search results for diverse content often returning limited high-quality results. We never want a creator to give up on making videos due to a lack of authentic representation. So, as part of Re: Stock, we’ve overhauled Storyblocks’ search algorithms to ensure we can surface more diverse content within the first few pages of results.

In launching Re: Stock, Storyblocks partnered with a talented group of artists to create new footage highlighting the layered experiences of BIPOC people and the LGBTQIA+ community. Six filmmakers and a film collective each produced a new collection of footage for the Storyblocks library. 

Their work truly blew us away, and we’ve maintained close relationships with many of them ever since. Some have even signed on to continue creating content for our libraries on a regular basis. And we couldn’t be more thrilled to work with them to help ensure an ongoing steady influx of new diverse footage. You can follow our YouTube and Instagram for updates directly from these filmmakers and more.

An example of diversity in stock media: Short video of an Indigenous man on a ridge looking at mountains

Download this clip from Tekpatl Kuauhtzin’s Re:Stock collection

Building momentum for diversity in stock media

We’ve definitely taken some important steps to move the industry toward greater representation and diversity in stock media — but we’re just getting started. Our next frontier is to tackle gender diversity on the audio side. 

Today, 96% of our stock audio contributors identify as male. Although 38% identify as BIPOC (which we’re continuously working to improve, as well), representation missing from non-male contributors is glaringly lacking in our audio library. We’re calling attention to this instead of hiding from it. That’s because we believe recognizing and acknowledging your own shortfalls is a critical part of addressing representation. We’re aware of this gap in our content, and are actively working to correct it.

We’ve also launched Storyblocks Label. This audio collection is exclusively available from Storyblocks. It features artists from a range of diverse backgrounds, including Asian American, BIPOC, and Eastern European composers. 

Re: Stock has garnered a number of awards, including a gold medal at the inaugural Anthem Awards, which honors purpose and mission-driven work across organizations worldwide. We were also fortunate to speak at South by Southwest in 2022 and 2021 on behalf of the initiative. Re: Stock has been recognized in top-tier publications, including AdAge, AdWeek, Forbes, Blavity, and The Root. It also received an honorable mention from the Webby Awards

Your feedback sparked this movement

This external recognition has been great, but what’s really fueled our fire has been the feedback from our users. From direct notes from our members to comments on social media, your enthusiasm for Re: Stock has energized all of us here at Storyblocks. You’ve told us that diversity in stock media is easier to find in our libraries, there’s more variety to choose from, and the quality of our inclusive footage matches the rest of our content.

In fact, it was feedback from people like you that helped bring Re: Stock to life in the first place. We heard you loud and clear when you asked for more diversity to be represented in our footage — and we’re grateful you spoke up. When embarking on a journey to improve, it’s important to have like-minded people by your side to keep you on track. It’s been a huge motivator knowing our users are as committed to continuing this important work as we are.

How will Storyblocks continue championing diversity in stock media? 

Part of our push to feature more diversity in stock media involves continually benchmarking our progress. Diving into our data has shown us that we’re really onto something. And now, you can see what we’ve learned throughout this process in our Diversity in Video Report. Between 2019 and 2021, diversity searches on Storyblocks (including race, ethnicity, ability, age, body, and LGBTQIA+ keywords) increased by 104%. During that same period, downloads of diverse content spiked by a massive 191%. 

We’re also continuing to nurture our relationships with the diverse artists who teamed up with us to build the Re: Stock collection. We’ve invited them to become ongoing contributors and given them access to our entire stock library. But we didn’t stop there. We also expanded our support for their endeavorswith donations to organizations like the Transgender Film Center, which provides funds for projects written or directed by trans creators.

Get your free copy of the Diversity in Video Report 

To find out more about diversity in stock media, download the Diversity in Video Report.


Editor’s note: We updated this article to include additional information. It was originally published on June 8, 2022.