Reports

Immersive Reality for News Media: VR, AR, and 360-Video

22 February 2017

Free for Members

US$795 Value

Summary:

Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, 360 video are all the buzz. The biggest media players have invested, and the products are gorgeous. But what does Immersive Reality mean for the news media industry? This report explores the audience and advertising opportunities for the short-term, while also diving into the research that offers clues to how media companies should respond to these immersive platforms.

Key themes in the report:

How to balance the need to experiment with Immersive Reality for storytelling vs. the equipment needed to execute?

Where does Immersive Reality fit in the universe of how people consume news and information: smartphone vs. tablet vs. print and more?

How are media companies structuring within editorial and advertising departments and across the enterprise?

What is the minimum entry point for Immersive Reality?

Who should read the report?

Executives at media companies dedicated to VR, video, storytelling, and advertising, as well as those evaluating Immersive Reality.

Author:

Dawn McMullan is a freelance writer and senior editor at the International News Media Association (INMA), based in Dallas, Texas, USA. Dawn manages INMA’s team of 60+ bloggers for daily content as well as constantly searches for deeper industry opportunities and trends for reports like this one. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, D Magazine, and on National Public Radio.

Detailed overview:

While Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and 360 video are all the buzz, the jury is still out on the audience and advertising opportunities of immersive reality.

“Immersive Reality for News Media: VR, AR, and 360-Video” explores the audience and advertising opportunities for the short-term, while also diving into the research that offers clues to how media companies should respond to these immersive platforms.

INMA’s senior editor cuts through the association’s universe of content and interviewed nine Immersive Reality experts — including those from The Economist, The Guardian, Axel Springer, Associated Press, and Teknisk Ukeblad Media — to get a snapshot of what it all means in 2017.

Key takeaways from the report:

  • Immersive Reality currently is used as an experimental storytelling device, but the equipment is too clunky for mass appeal.

  • Audience data indicates it will never be as universal as, say, a smartphone. But if technology can perfect making your smartphone the device, Immersive Reality may offer something for mass audiences and not just the niche it currently fills.

  • Industry leaders have VR teams and, oftentimes, designated managers leading those teams. For most news media companies, however, Immersive Reality is lumped in with multi-media, digital, interactive media, or editorial.

  • Media companies can — and should — step into Immersive Reality with something as easy and inexpensive as a US$200 camera for your journalists to start creating an immersive culture.

“There is no doubt Immersive Reality is a unique storytelling tool, and it’s been fascinating to see what the major media players globally have been doing with VR, AR, and 360 video in the past couple of years,” said Earl J. Wilkinson, executive director/CEO of INMA. “But will it become mainstream for audiences? We know advertisers follow audience, so we wanted to dig into the research and tools needed to see the what these platforms look like for news media companies of all sizes around the world.”