HuffPost Ryot

Another media player gets into the virtual reality game

HuffPost is the latest to jump into VR with plans to cover the upcoming convention in 360. But will consumers get on board?
July 15, 2016

Joining the likes of Hulu, The New York Times and Sky, Huffington Post is getting into the 360/VR game.

The media company is rolling out its HuffPost Ryot content across all platforms its the global audience.

The HuffPost team will kick off on July 18, with upcoming coverage of the Republican and Democratic National conventions.

Content will be available on mobile, with consumers able to tilt their phones to move around the screen. It can also be seen on desktop, with consumers using a mouse or keyboards to navigate, or through VR apps that connect to a headset or Google Cardboard.

The news follows the April announcement that immersive media company Ryot was acquired by HuffPost parent co AOL. 

Ryot first opened its doors in 2013, and since then VR has seen a dramatic uptick in interest, with the industry as a whole expected to be worth up to $100 billion by 2020.

The jury is still out on whether consumers will adopt the platforms: the 2016 Virtual Reality Industry Report from Greenlight VR expects a mere two million (non Cardboard) headsets to be sold by the end of 2016 (representing 0.6% of the U.S. population), and 36.7 million by 2020, with the industry still six to eight years away from the hyper-growth that we’ve become accustomed to with new technology.

Despite this, companies are increasingly investing into the space. Hulu  recently launched a virtual reality app for Samsung Gear VR, while European broadcaster Sky opened an in-house VR unit with the goal of releasing more than 20 films in the coming year. The New York Times has been very active in the VR spa, while festivals such as TIFF are also delving in. 

A recently released industry Trends Report by the Canada Media Fund estimates investment in VR at $1.1 billion in Q1 2016, a one-year jump of more than 120%.

“Virtual reality is now definitely real,” the CMF report concludes.


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