Join Club

As Coronavirus Shuts Down Physical Businesses, Local Stock Footage Company Soars

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow,  Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. Monday Properties remains firmly committed to the health, safety and well-being of its employees, tenants and community. This week, Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1000 and 1100 Wilson (The Rosslyn Towers).

(Updated at 1:25 p.m.) While many Arlington businesses have been struggling, for local startup Storyblocks the pandemic been pushing more customers unable to get their own footage to their tech-enabled stock video service.

Storyblocks is a Courthouse-based startup that allows members to access a large library of royalty-free stock footage with photos, video and audio from contributors. It has proven to be especially popular with content creators stuck at home during the coronavirus crisis.

“The nice thing for us is, amidst the chaos, more people are depending on our service,” TJ Leonard, CEO of Storyblocks said. “People can’t go out and shoot their own content, but need to create content for their jobs.”

Leonard said the virus has forced people who would normally shoot their own video to find other sources, which is where Storyblocks comes in.

“The way we thought about coronavirus is that on a normal day, only so many people who wake up and say ‘I’m going to take a close look at content, expense and performance,’ but when something like this occurs, it forces that consideration,” Leonard said. “When we get a side by side comparison we come out ahead more often than not. Coronavirus has forced more people to think more actively about where they spend their money on.”

The company started in 2009 in Reston as Footage Firm, shipping stock footage through the mail on DVDs, but evolved and changed location as technology progressed. Over the last year, the company has seen continued growth.

“We’ve been very fortunate,” Leonard said. “We’ve been investing in content and investing in our product. We’ve seen steady growth over the first part of the year before the pandemic but in general, we’re up about 50%. We’re seeing business growing with website traffic increased by slightly higher percentages.”

Leonard said that Storyblocks is trying to focus around providing the “best first experience” for new customers in hopes that they’ll stick around after the pandemic is over.

On the content generation side, Leonard said Storyblocks hasn’t had any issues with uploading new content to the website, though he credits that mainly to the pandemic giving the company time to sort through its backlog.

“We have six months of a backlog to work through,” Leonard said. “If the stay at home order goes longer than six months that could be an issue.”

As the company continues to grow, Leonard said his sights are on expanding into the international market. On the homefront, Leonard said Arlington remains a solid place for a tech startup headquarters.

“Being in Arlington has been incredible for attracting top talent,” Leonard said. “We put a ton of value on our team and on our culture. It’s a team that’s analytical and understands direct marketing. Being in Arlington has helped. It’s a diverse community and we are able to pull from Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia.”

Leonard added that he’s not worried about talent from his team, which is barely over 100 people, being poached by Amazon when the tech giant comes to town.

“Here, you’re not a cog in a machine,” Leonard said. “You have a chance to make a daily impact. We’re very rarely competing for the same type of individual.”

Photo courtesy Storyblocks

Recent Stories

Arlington resident Hung Do has big hopes for a curiously shaped lot he owns in Green Valley. This month, he was on the brink of closing on a deal to…

Morning Notes

Crime Up Last Month — “Arlington County police handled 1,450 criminal incidents in August, according to new figures, up from 1,392 a year ago and from 1,196 in 2021.” [Gazette…

An alleged shooting threat briefly sent students practicing on a school field indoors tonight.

ARLnow Daily Debrief for Sep 27, 2023

Good Wednesday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier today…

At Generation Hope, we’re dedicated to supporting teen parents in college as they work toward earning their degrees. We are in need of caring child care volunteers for upcoming events on Saturday, October 21st (in Washington, DC), and Saturday, November 4th (in Arlington, VA). Join our growing volunteer community and support us at an event this fall!

At all of our events, we provide free onsite child care for the children of the teen parents we serve, creating a nurturing environment for the kiddos while their parents learn valuable life skills and build community.

If you enjoy working with children and are looking to make an immediate impact in your community, please visit to learn more.

Submit your own Announcement here.

Join us for Arlington’s biggest civil rights & social justice event of the year. The banquet is back in person at the Arlington Campus of George Mason University.

Our keynote speaker this year is Symone Sanders from MSNBC and former Chief of Staff for Vice-President Kamala Harris.

The Master of Ceremonies is Joshua Cole, former state delegate, NAACP President, and local pastor.

Tickets/seating are limited. Purchase your ticket today! Sponsorship opportunities available.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Standup Comedy Showcase Starring John F. O’Donnell (Comedy Central)

Live standup comedy starring John F. O’Donnell (Comedy Central)
Friday, October 20

Headliner: John F. O’Donnell

John was a correspondent on the radical comedy news TV show, “Redacted Tonight,” for 5 years. Recently, he released his debut one-hour standup special,

Arlington Metaphysical Chapel Presents METAPHEST, October 14-15, 2023

Workshops on: ~ Meditation ~ Intro to Tarot: The Aces and Major Arcana

~ Ageless Aging ~ Past Life Regression ~ Animal Communication and Healing

~ Psychometry ~ Spiritual Healing ~ Self Soul Love ~ Consciously Clearing Clutter ~ Awareness/Mindfulness/Consciousness.


Subscribe to our mailing list