Virtual Reality (VR)
In 2014, Facebook acquired a little-known Virtual Reality (VR) company called Oculus for slightly more than $2 billion. Oculus hadn’t even released its product and had given only a couple of demos behind closed doors. But the hype was real. Facebook saw an emerging platform poised to be the future of media consumption. As one of the largest media companies in the world, it had to act.
VR gives users a completely immersive experience, placing them in a unique environment in a digital world. As every industry adopts this technology, brands will compete on a major battleground. Goldman Sachs has released this preliminary projection of VR’s potential market share across major industries over the next decade:
The VR market is expected to be worth $30 billion by 2020, just three years from now. Forecasters expect explosive growth as consumers adopt the technology for personal and professional reasons. Such growth could occur in part because of the unique experiences available to consumers with VR.
Now, on a video call, you can feel as if you’re in the room with another person. You can visit another world, look around and explore on your own. You can play a video game surrounded by a totally new world. With increased adoption of VR across industry, revenue forecasts for augmented and virtual reality are expected to grow at the same pace.
As one of the most viewed websites in the world, Facebook is a pioneer in the media space, accounting for billions of annual video views. Compared with text, video is exceptionally interactive, and the site constantly seeks ways to maintain the attention of its 1.5 billion users.
In 2015, Facebook gave users a way to view 360 Video and to choose the perspective from which they wanted to watch. On a mobile device, viewers need only move their phone around to see the video. Here are two examples best viewed on a mobile device:
As you can see, 360 Video is incredibly engaging. Facebook has doubled down efforts on it after data showed that people are spending even more time watching these videos than a regular video. Not only that, but click-through rates are higher. Facebook has devoted an entire page called Facebook 360 to 360 Video.
The digital world is becoming far more immersive, a trend that will continue for the foreseeable future. Brands are creating content using 360 Video to provide customers unique experiences. For instance:
- GoPro has had great success luring new customers.
- Faraday Future released a promotional video at CES 2017 to tout its new electric sedan.
Expect to see more and more of these unique experiences across new platforms and social media.
Why are VR and 360 Video important for brands?
Brands recognize the need to differentiate themselves from competitors, an increasingly difficult task difficult amid all the noise on the internet. Companies such as Nike have the luxury of spending billions on ad campaigns, but most others cannot. Instead, they must be more creative, incorporating new technologies available to everyone. Anyone can now view 360 Video on a smartphone, and VR will soon be widely available to the masses.
In immersive experiences such as VR, a brand can highlight product features or offer an internal view of a product that a consumer may never see otherwise. Consumers could be transported onto a stage with a concert performer looking into the audience. The creative opportunities are endless.
Most of all, these new technologies allow a brand to enrich the customer journey as it relates to its business. VR can exist online, in a store or in someone’s home, and its unique experiences make the brand providing it much more memorable.
As mobile marketing budgets increase year to year, more money will be invested in creating immersive content. As a company or brand, it’s important that you get involved or be left behind.
Houston360video.com, a subdivision of Twice Media Productions, has extensive experience creating these videos for companies of all sizes. Its entire 360 video studio is ready to help marketers create content they need. Curious about how your company can create high-quality, immersive content to attract new customers? Contact us for a consultation.