Five lessons for publishers from the Reuters Institute’s VR for News report

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While widespread adoption of VR is potentially a while off to the degree than most publishers would consider that they absolutety have to be creating VR content, there are a number of things publishers looking to dip their toes early should consider the following.

  1. There is value in being among the more established players in the space for when a mainstream audience arrives
  2. That audience might not arrive until 2022 or later, particularly for more high-end VR rigs
  3. The versatility of the medium suggests there will be a wide range of players within the emergent space
  4. While empathetic journalism is a big attraction of the medium, publishers have the ability to do entertainment and more
  5. No truly native VR advertising model has yet arrived, so subscriptions to a wider service and branded campaigns are likely to be the big money-spinners for the medium in the short- to mid-term.

The Reuters report notes that the Digital Production Partnership expects that the next couple of years will be characterised more by the industry gearing up to distribute and monetise VR content than by huge consumer take-up:

“The areas in which immersive technology will have greatest impact will be in non-broadcast content production – particularly in gaming, training and branded content.

“Broadcasters will continue to explore 360 ̊ video in news, current affairs and sport, where it is an affordable addition to their services that doesn’t disrupt the broadcast chain.”

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