360-Degree Video, The New Frontier?

I recently reached out to my connections on LinkedIn and asked if anyone had any video related questions that I could help research for a blog topic. Jim Bisesi of Ascent XR recommended 360-degree video as a topic and I’m happy to oblige. Though, knowing a little bit about Jim’s background, I’m sure I’m not going to tell him anything he doesn’t already know about the subject. That said, 360-degree video is an exciting, and fairly new, application of video that companies and marketers need to be aware of, so let’s dive in!

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, 360-degree video usually refers to a single video recording which captures a view in all directions. The video is recorded with an omnidirectional camera (or sometimes several individual cameras) and gives the viewer the opportunity to choose which part of the recording they’d like to focus on. Most traditionally, when being viewed on a flat display, the viewer has an option to “move” the camera to choose what they’d like to see. However, with appropriate equipment, it is possible to project the video in something close to a sphere (think planetarium) or in a VR style headset or HMD.

So, why should you care? Well, it’s possible that 360-degree video is the “next big thing” in marketing, and as I’ve mentioned in a previous blog, being an early adopter of emerging trends, often leads to impressive results. I mean, I’m not going out on a limb here. YouTube, Facebook, etc. are putting some serious effort into promoting their 360 tech, and brands like AT&T, Paramount, HBO, and many more are finding innovative ways to jump on board.

All that said, no matter what anyone tells you, making great videos isn’t easy (that’s why you should hire a professional!) . And 360-degree video is harder than most. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth it though, especially if you have content that lends itself well to the medium. If you want to let a viewer feel like they’ve been immersed in a particular environment, or see something from a character’s unique perspective, then 360-video might be the perfect way to build some real engagement with your audience. It’s worth noting that the technology is still emerging, and many web browsers are still trying to figure out how to play nice with 360-degree video, but strides are being made every day.

I’ll end this with some of great examples of the medium, but I encourage anyone reading this to consider how 360-video can be added to their marketing efforts. And, as always, please let us know if you have any questions.

Jason Cooper