Another year, another round of NewFronts where digital publishers tout their viewership numbers and hawk their video ad products. This year, a number of publishers seem to be quite bullish on virtual reality tech, choosing 360-degree video as a main selling point to attract advertisers. Refinery29, for example, plans to develop a weekly immersive video series on topics like music, sports, and travel starting this June via its new VR production arm VR29 Studios. The New York Times plans to double down on its VR commitment by shipping 300,000 more Google Cardboard headsets to its subscribers this year so that more readers can experience the NYT VR app it launched last year. Similarly, AOL and PopSugar are also among publishers that are incorporating immersive video content into their pitches at this year’s NewFronts.
What Brands Need To Do
As more publishers start to produce VR and 360-degree video content, it offers brands more opportunities to work with them to create new types of branded content. The New York Times, for example, has created half a dozen VR videos for brands like BMW Mini and Tag Heuer, and the publisher says some of those branded VR videos have been more successful than the non-branded VR content that it produced. As VR and 360-degree content continues to gain traction among consumers and publishers, brands have more options in choosing the publishers whose audience best matches with theirs to create immersive video experiences to engage with consumers.