In this in-depth session, Visualise will examine the fundamental question: ‘How is VR set to revolutionise the publishing world? ’ Attendees will learn about the benefits of VR editorial to publishers, gain an insight into the current trends, and come away with a clear understanding of how interactive content / artificial experience can compete with (and in some cases outperform) real / live experiences in the marketplace. We will also look at how VR can be used as a tool to monetise content.
\\ The Economist: Passport VR Osaka Case Study (Henry Stuart & Hugo Ward)
\\ Hidden Cities Dublin & Rio Case Study (ROI – Mark Howarth)
\\ The Economist RecoVR: Mosul Case Study (Chance Coughenour & Tom Standage)
The concept of Project Mosul—to crowdsource the digital memory of destroyed heritage—began with the dream of creating a virtual museum to tell the story of what happened at the Mosul Museum in February 2015. A web platform, thousands of donated photos and a dedicated network of volunteers came together to create a collection of 3D models of destroyed artefacts. This caught the attention of the Economist’s Media Lab, which offered to help make the dream a reality. For The Economist, this project (its first VR piece) encapsulated its editorial values and made use of VR as a distinctive medium—a video would not have been as effective. And the resulting VR experience makes a deeper point; its very existence is a riposte to the destructive brutality of Islamic State.
\\ Panel Discussion
THE VISUALISE VR EDITORIAL CONFERENCE
The Visualise VR Editorial Conference will cover an array of topics and applications, exploring the ways in which Virtual Reality technologies are set to change our experience of editorial content in the future. By establishing which kinds of editorial stories can be told using Virtual Reality, they will discuss the need for regulation within the (as-yet-unregulated) world of content creation and review the financial value of VR Editorial – specifically highlighting where the revenue streams are, and examining the potential for ROI. Key discussion points will include:
THE PROS AND CONS OF 360 EDITORIAL
360 images are potentially more truthful than regular photos or video because you can take in the whole context of the environment. For example, a tight frame at a political rally may give the impression of more people being present, but if you saw the same environment in 360, you could clearly see the exact number of people there. We will discuss how this new truth to the image may affect how visual journalism is done.
WILL NICHE CONTENT EMERGE?
At the moment, there is an array of content with a fairly ‘broad’ appeal – created in an attempt to bolster mainstream interest and attract a large audience of users. As VR tech becomes more ubiquitous, will it simply become another platform for the delivery of media content? And with that, will VR content providers develop their products to sit within a more varied and nuanced field, with the ability to support specialised niche content – content created with a very strong appeal to a much smaller demographic?
FUTURE TREND PREDICTIONS IN CONTENT AND CONSUMPTION.
As content consumption has changed dramatically since the turn of the century, the interplay of factors including changing trends in the manufacture of physical product, broadband speeds, hard drive capacity, the global adoption of handheld devices, digital copy protection and the IOT connectivity of household items are creating radical new models. The Visualise panel will address the current state of the industry and present their predictions for the short and long-term future of VR content.
WHAT MAKES IDEAL EDITORIAL VR CONTENT?
We’ll ask the panel – what do they think would make ideal editorial VR content? Is it content from areas that are dangerous, far or wild, or is it more narrative-based longer-form content? Where is the biggest value in VR for editorial?
FINDING THE BALANCE BETWEEN CONTENT AND STORY
Early adopters are, in many cases so enthused and so enamored with the journey of developing a technology, that they can be quite forgiving. In order to cultivate a more widespread, mainstream appeal, the development of complex, layered, yet accessible stories is essential. In tandem with this, the user experience will need to develop to a point where ‘tough’ customers (those for whom the technology itself holds little or no appeal) can be persuaded by the quality of the experience itself. The intersection of these two priorities may be a difficult balance to strike. Visualise will ask: ‘Which factors must be prioritised, and how do we ensure that one does not negatively impact on the other?’