Are You Ready for the 360-degree Video Revolution?
If you haven’t noticed, video content is king. One-third of all online activity is spent watching videos, and 92 percent of video consumers share that content with others. Video engagement is more impactful than text or flat visuals alone, on both a personal and professional level.
All of this video watching is changing consumer demands. As people evolve into more sophisticated video watchers, the level of what they view must rise too.
Enter 360-degree videos, also called immersive videos. Best viewed on virtual reality headsets, these videos engage viewers in deeper ways than ever before and transport them somewhere new. A good example of effective 360-degree video use is virtual tourism, which allows prospective travelers to visit new places before booking their trips. It also gives video access to people who may not be in the market for travel, but will know where they want to go when they are.
New Angles through 360 Video
Immersive video is also offering new angles to old favorites, like weather updates and sports viewing. Recently panoramic photographer Tom Mills recorded a live poker tournament in 360 video – a first for the professional side of the sport. In an interview with, Mills explained some of the challenges of immersive video filming and editing – but noted that those obstacles are well worth the end product. If you are following the summer Olympics in Rio you’ve probably noticed promotion of 360-degree video offerings from media outlets like Sports Illustrated, Time and the BBC. Media outlets are capitalizing on the fact that traditional sports viewing is fading fast, with 26% of teens completely forgoing TV for mobile device sports watching instead. It’s not just a response to young viewers preferences though. Immersive video gives an already established fan base a new way to view their sport, and engage with players.
Education and Immersive Video
The entertainment value of 360 video is clear but perhaps the most intangibly valuable component of the technology is the potential for educational use. The internet has made the world figuratively smaller through its connectivity, and now 360-degree videos have the power to build global awareness even more. Whether it’s a Kindergarten class visiting Rome through virtual reality headsets, or a college sociology class viewing third-world poverty up close, the potential of 360 videos for knowledge and empowerment is huge. It’s an area where technology is traditionally slow to visit, but already companies like Google are throwing their hats into the 360-degree educational ring. The more accessible the technology for educational use, the better for everyone.
So are you ready for the 360-degree video revolution? Is your brand? Start by acknowledging that the technology is already here and then use it to better engage the people you reach with your messaging.