A Roundup Of This Week’s Biggest News In VR

What Happened
This past week has been a busy week for VR announcements, with Facebook, Vimeo, and CNN all announced noteworthy VR initiatives. Let’s take a look one by one.

On Wednesday, Facebook debuted its first dedicated virtual reality app, Facebook 360. As its first dedicated VR app, the app will serve as a hub for the 360 video and photo content posted to the site. At launch, the Facebook 360 app will be available only for the Gear VR mobile headset.

Also on Wednesday, popular online video site Vimeo announced it has added support for 360-degree videos. 360-degree playback is now integrated into the Vimeo website as well as the iOS and Android apps. At launch, you can view Vimeo’s 360-degree videos in select mobile-powered VR headsets, including Google Daydream, Samsung’s Gear VR, and the Zeiss VR One. Vimeo says support for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive is coming soon.

Earlier this week, CNN launched of CNNVR, a new immersive journalism unit that will put a virtual spin on cable news. The dedicated team will produce videos and live streams of major news events, along with a weekly virtual reality experience that viewers can access via CNNVR on the Samsung VR app, the Oculus Video app on Rift, or on the CNNVR app on Google Daydream.

What Brands Need To Do
This initiative should help further push virtual reality content into the mainstream consumer market. Facebook 360 and the VR support on Vimeo should provide two new valuable channes for brands to distribute their VR content, and CNN’s VR content unit could potentially spell marketing opportunities. As more mainstream tech and media companies rush into VR to capitalize on the booming popularity of the emerging medium, bands should take a cue and start developing VR content that truly enhances brand messaging and contributes to the campaign objectives.

How We Can Help
Our dedicated team of VR experts is here to guide marketers through the distribution landscape. We work closely with brands to develop sustainable VR content strategies to promote branded VR and 360 video content across various apps and platforms. With our proprietary technology stack powered by a combination of best-in-class VR partners and backed by the media fire-power of IPG Mediabrands, we offer customized solutions for distributing and measuring branded VR content that truly enhance brand messaging and contribute to the campaign objectives.

The Lab currently has several VR headsets, including a PlayStation VR, an Oculus Rift, an HTC Vive, and a Google Daydream, all ready for demos. Virtual reality is something that has to be experienced to be understood, so come by the Lab and ask for a VR demo to get a hands-on experience and figure out how your brand can use it to excite and engage with consumers.


Sources: as linked in the article

CNN Enters Content Marketing With New Video Platform GBS

What Happened
Earlier this week, CNN announced its plan to launch a digital video platform named Great Big Story (GBS) that targets millennials with “three to five non-fiction videos per day” that caters to the interests of “urban, globally curious 25-to-35-year-olds.” CNN plans to rely on Facebook, YouTube, and an upcoming GBS mobile app as its primary means of distribution, with an app for OTT streaming platforms like Roku and Apple TV coming next year. The news network indicates no immediate plans for display advertising or pre-roll commercials on GBS, but focusing all initial advertising efforts on branded content instead.

What Brands Need To Do
By launching GBS, CNN is effectively building a young-skewing content platform to go after the content marketing dollars, which puts them in direct competition with the likes of Buzzfeed and Vice. For brands, it’s time to recognize the rising importance of branded content, especially videos, in reaching today’s younger, tech-savvy audience and start to team up with media owners to create quality content that people want to watch and share.


Source: AdAge

This Presidential Election Will Be Live Streamed

What Happened
Tuesday’s Democratic debate drew a record 15.3 million live viewers for CNN. More impressive, however, is the number of people that watched the debate via CNN’s live streaming feed via its mobile apps, website, and Apple TV channel. According to CNN, viewers peaked at 980,000 concurrent streams around 10:20 p.m., topping the 921,000 peak concurrent streams CNN had for the first GOP debate last month, and setting an all-time record for a live news event.

Industry Impact
Political campaign ad spending has been historically crucial for the media industry in election years. But this time around, we may be seeing a significant portion of the ad dollars shifting toward digital and mobile. In fact, according to expert estimations, ad spending will top $4.4 billion for the presidential race, of which digital spending could take up about $1 billion in 2016, a staggering 576% growth over 2012. As livestreaming continues to evolve as a legitimate alternative to live TV, we expect to see more brand opportunities and content formats arise.


Source: Variety

Flipboard Purchases Zite From CNN

Flipboard purchased the personalized news app Zite from CNN, while CNN and Flipboard agreed to a partnership to launch digital magazines based on the channel’s shows through Flipboard. The deal, worth a rumored $60 million, will make Zite available as a magazine to Flipboard’s 90 million users – not to mention the eyeballs that CNN will be hoping to acquire through this deal. While Facebook’s Paper has been dominating the news-aggregation app headlines recently, Flipboard was certainly in the space first, and presents a more personalized product – something that CNN will have recognized – and has raised around $161 million in three funding rounds. In combination with Zite and CNN magazines, Flipboard now has access to a more main steam source of readers and users, positioning it for even broader adoption and true competition with Facebook’s Paper. 

CNN & Buzzfeed Announce Social Video Studio

Buzzfeed and CNN announced a partnership with a video clip that appeared on Buzzfeed’s site this morning. The new combination of media outlets aim to bring news to younger viewers by launching a news-based YouTube channel. Buzzfeed will build out a social video studio that is designed to create news, entertainment, and other video content that can be posted on the channel. The goal seems to be to bring viral energy to CNN while building out Buzzfeed’s place in the crowded media marketplace.