Flickr, Sony, & ABC News Jump On The VR Bandwagon

What Happened
After years of small incremental growth, virtual reality (VR) technology is enjoying a rapid ascent into public consciousness as more brands and services start to experiment with the immersive media platform. This past week saw Flickr, Sony, and ABC News join the growing list of companies creating branded VR experiences:

•  Flickr showcased an early preview of a virtual reality experience powered by Oculus DK 2 headset that it hopes to integrate with its photo service.
•  Sony rebranded its VR headset previously named Project Morpheus to PlayStation VR, which will reportedly be focused on VR gaming.
•  ABC News launched its first VR experience to give viewers a 360-degree tour of Syria’s capital shot by Jaunt VR cameras.

What Brands Should Do
Besides the three brands mentioned above, Birchbox, Marriott, and others are also developing their own branded VR content. We expect VR to be a niche market in 2016 in the same way that smartphones were a niche market in 2007. Therefore, it’d be wise for brands to prepare a VR strategy to stay ahead of the curve.

The Lab currently has two VR headsets—an Oculus Rift and a Samsung Gear—ready for demo in the Lab. Virtual reality is something that has to be experienced to be understood. So come by the Lab and get a VR demo to see just how engaging it can be, and understand why consumers would be excited by this technology.


Source: Engadget & The Verge & The Verge

ABC News Viewers Loves Watching Live on Apple TV

ABC News channel launched its native streaming app on Apple TV a month ago, and the viewers seems to be loving it. Due to the closed nature of Apple’s ecosystem, stats on app usage on their platform are rarely publicized, but today, ABC reported that ABC News users watch 50% more live video on Apple TV than on desktop and mobile combined. This report once again proves that the American audience is embracing over-the-top video channels.

Smart Notifications Boost ABC News On Mobile

The stakes are raised with push notifications. Tailored and timely, they can be a powerful driver to get users to reengage. Used haphazardly and they can be more obtrusive than a spam folder. Recently, ABC News has become savvy with their push strategy, however, letting users customize their notifications based on the stories they “star.” Understanding what topics interest users provides ABC with insight into the content and frequency of notifications. Politically-active users, for instance, want very niche messaging while celebrity followers will benefit from a higher volume.  Thus far, the alerts have lead to mobile accounting for greater than 80% of the total views for some news stories.