While Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and 360 video are all the buzz, the jury is still out on the audience and advertising opportunities of Immersive Reality, according to INMA strategic report released today.

“Immersive Reality for News Media: VR, AR, and 360-Video” explores the audience and advertising opportunities for the short-term, while also diving into the research that offers clues to how media companies should respond to these immersive platforms.

New strategic report explores best practices and research surrounding Immersive Reality in the news media industry.
New strategic report explores best practices and research surrounding Immersive Reality in the news media industry.

Author Dawn McMullan, senior editor at INMA, dove into the content written by INMA’s global network and interviewed nine Immersive Reality experts — including those from The Economist, The Guardian, Axel Springer, Associated Press, and Teknisk Ukeblad Media — to get a snapshot of what it all means in 2017. 

Key takeaways from the report: 

  • Immersive Reality currently is used as an experimental storytelling device, but the equipment is too clunky for mass appeal. 
  • Audience data indicates it will never be as universal as, say, a smartphone. But if technology can perfect making your smartphone the device, Immersive Reality may offer something for mass audiences and not just the niche it currently fills. 
  • Industry leaders have VR teams and, oftentimes, designated managers leading those teams. Yet for most news media companies, Immersive Reality is lumped in with multi-media, digital, interactive media, or editorial.
  • Media companies can — and should — step into Immersive Reality with something as easy and inexpensive as a US$200 camera for your journalists to start creating an immersive culture.

“There is no doubt Immersive Reality is a unique storytelling tool, and it’s been fascinating to see what the major media players globally have been doing with VR, AR, and 360-video in the past couple of years,” said Earl J. Wilkinson, executive director/CEO of INMA. “But will it become mainstream for audiences? We know advertisers follow audience, so we wanted to dig into the research and tools needed to see the what these platforms look like for news media companies of all sizes around the world.”

The new INMA report is available for free to INMA members and available to non-members for US$795 — which includes one year of association membership, all strategic reports in the next year, and access to all INMA content and peer connection tools.

INMA members may download the report and non-members may order the report at www.inma.org/reports.cfm.