Have you asked yourself if it's worth to do 360° and VR? If you have, we have the answer for you: you should start shooting 360° Immersive and Virtual Reality video formats right now because they are the next big thing in the audiovisual world.
Both 360° and VR are the one of the hottest trends in visual imagery this year. While they are yet to take off in the masses, it's already reaching mainstream and end consumers. More and more big brands and companies are developing content in any of the two formats, if not both, and they have all the intention to continue exploring the marketing possibilities in this field.
But now, do you wonder why is immersive video and augmented reality increasing popularity among suppliers and consumers? Well, here's some of the main reasons.
It's the Closest You'll Get to Real
Simple as that. After experiencing things in real life, 360° and VR are the closest you can get to see and explore places, situations, products, etc. It's closer to the real experience than any other format ever gets.
Immersive video opens up a whole new set of possibilities in audivisual content, not just for film and TV production, but also for advertising and branding.
The addition of dimension and interactivity in these formats makes them capable of boosting up audience and customer engagement, and brand awareness. 360° and VR footage can connect with the viewers to a level that no other media type ever could.
It's Slowly but Continuously Reaching the Masses
Although, and just as the experts predicted, 360° and VR footage has not yet gone mainstream nor has taken over the whole industry, it's certainly moving towards that direction. Slow-paced, but non-stop.
For one, different companies and brands are joining efforts to put this technology at the hands of the end consumers. The giant of video sharing, YouTube, has added support for 360° format, and Facebook soon followed. Moreover, different companies started delivering free Google Cardboard headsets (a fold-out cardboard viewer to adapt your smartphone to VR view) to the public.
But consumer devices are also already making its entrance in the market. Samsung, Ricoh and other companies already have 360°-capable cameras for sale, at price points that although not incredibly cheap, are still accessible to a large portion of customers. The same goes for more advanced headsets.
And equally important: consumers are responding. Different market and opinion polls lead by experts are pointing that significan segments of the population are interested in seeing more immersive footage. Majority of people who have experienced it responded positively.
Although each of the two sides of the market might not be growing at the same pace, and the pace is not that rushy anyways, the conditions for the new media types to gain massive reach are there. And most, if not all, the relevant players in the industry think it's going to happen.
Brand and Companies are In
For the two reasons mentioned above, there's every day more big global brands and businesses exploring immersive video and augmented reality footage in their marketing efforts.
Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Mercedes Benz, Volvo, Marriot Hotels, and more international companies have already run 360° and/or VR footage campaigns, with satisfying enough results for more brands to follow that lead every day that goes by.
They all want to seize the opportunity for their customers to deeper connect with their products and services, and they want the bonus points from being early adopters. Beign such huge global companies is an advantage, as they have the budget to invest in trending technology at big scale.
The consistency in which many different big brands have adopted the new formats in their marketing strategies since last year and onwards strongly suggests that 360° and VR are surely the future of advertising and branding.
Stock Imagery Agencies are In
As it couldn't be otherwise, stock imagery industry goes where the market goes. Stock agencies must fulfill media buyers needs to maintain and boost up their position in business, and they know it. Therefore, some of the top and trendy stock footage agencies are already offering immersive videos.
Getty Images, the most renowned stock photography agency, has a selection of 360° clips available for license on their platform. This agency has been appointed the official photography agency for the Rio 2016 Olympics, and they have announced they will do a full 360° coverage, which also links to their recently created VR Team. You can learn more about them in our Getty Images review.
Videoblocks, an emerging and popular stock footage service, has recently launched a collection of 360° videos and VR experiences, available on their site. Find out more about the company in our Videoblocks review.
So there's already sources to buy 360° and VR content as stock. Stock agencies put this content at your reach, making it fast and simple to get, and simplifying the production of more immersive and augmented reality videos. And as the market for this content grows, you can expect the offer in stock 360° and VR to do the same.
The Market is Speaking – Shoot 360° and VR
As you see, there's very powerful reasons for you to seriously consider to start shooting 360° and VR footage.
People wants to see more of it. Companies and brands want more of it to show their customers. Therefore, more content will be needed every day.
If you want to stay up to date in your career and exploit market opportunities in your business, getting into immersive video is a good chance to do both.
And you even have agencies to buy additional 360° and VR stock footage to spice up your productions!
As a creative you must always be looking for the next big market wave that can take you to the top of your career. Well, the market is talking now, experts and global brands are convinced this is the next big wave.
Getting started with 360° and VR could be a smart choice that pays off.