B-Roll Is on a Roll

The appetite for stock footage and video news releases (VNRs) from major news outlets continues to grow, according to one company that has seen its business almost double in the last year.

The NewsMarket, which is an online platform for delivery of clips and VNRs, had 128,000-plus requests for footage in 2005, up 95% from the year before, with the large majority of that stock footage.

Those requests, from outlets including CNN, CNBC, BBC, Fox News and Bloomberg TV, were primarily for stock footage--B-roll and sound bites.

Companies supplying the footage included AOL, Nissan, Volvo, International Monetary Fund, ITT, Pfizer, Medtronic, the U.S. State Department, U.K. Ministry of Defense and Schering Plough.

The State Department, for one, has said it identifies itself as the source of all the VNRs it makes available, an issue that flared up in Washington after the Bush Administration did not identify itself as the source of VNRs on health care.
Justice has said that truthful VNRs don't require an ID, while the Congress's legal advisor, the Government Accountability Office, has concluded that unidentified VNRs violate rules against using government money to fund domestic propaganda.
According to NewsMarket, the most downloaded video clips of 2005 were not tsunami-related or Katrina clips but safety features on the Volvo and the launch of the 2005 Jeep Gladiator concept vehicle.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.