The rise of digital & video content - Part 5

5. The need for a new approach to tackle VR

With the growth of VR and AR technology, the pressures on the industry’s traditional production processes are also set to increase even further.

According to Digi-Capital, investment in VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) hit $1.7 billion in 2016. But unfortunately because production is costly, brands and agencies cannot scale VR content across platforms in the same way as they do with regular content. VR is expensive and very technical to construct which makes it harder to create great experiences.

The way in which we engage with video is completely different to VR and we should be advising our clients against making VR content just because it’s the new buzz word on the block. The uptake of VR will very much depend on the cost of the end user equipment. There is some high end production stuff happening in the VR world, but not a lot of it right now, the first touch point will be AR as it’s more cost effective and technically easier to produce.

Even though the software is seamless and in the innovation cycle, extremely quick, it’s still hard to innovate on hardware. The company that develops the most cost effective distribution method will win, and the people creating VR content will suddenly start creating more of it.

Although VR generated a lot of hype in 2016 it probably won’t really take off for at least another five years, but we have to be aware of how quickly things can change. When Meerkat died quite quickly it was replaced by Periscope, and now live video is more commonplace whereas a couple of years ago it was a new technology. This illustrates that within a two year period things move at an incredibly fast pace and agencies need to just to keep on top of things in order to provide the best solutions for their clients.

And in conclusion

With demands for digital content on the rise agencies are constantly having to play catch up. Some agencies have started to address these new changes, some have formed partnerships with freelancers and others have been quick to test these new formats. But the challenge is creating something with real stand-out that is going to resonate with audiences. Brands and agencies have to stay on top of emerging production trends and they must scale content quickly without detriment to quality.

With new emerging technologies like VR and AR set to cause more production disruption in the near future, agencies need to be armed and ready. A willingness to adapt, question and learn from industry leaders will help tackle many of the obstacles the digital era presents.

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