360-degree videos represent a novel media format that promises increased engagement and immersion in the content consumers.
360-degree video in media context
A 360-degree video, also known as spherical video, is media content produced using omnidirectional cameras. These cameras capture the entire panoramic environment instead of capturing just the 2D or 3D views as standard cameras do.
Due to the popularity of virtual reality (VR) devices, the production of 360-degree video content has grown very popular. As a result, people can now play a 360-degree video on a VR device (like Oculus VR) and experience scenarios first-hand, unlike watching them on a screen.
360-degree videos gained popularity during the mid-2010s, and their quality has also significantly increased over time. Due to this, companies have also been using the 360-degree video format to step up their social media game. These videos have proven to be better at audience engagement than regular videos on media platforms like YouTube. As a result, 360-degree videos drive more users to share, subscribe, and watch other videos.
Most individuals presently consume news from mediums such as newspapers, television networks, social media, and the internet in general; 360-degree videos may represent another form of news consumption.
In recent years, media companies such as Euronews have invested significant resources to create a 360-degree, immersive news experience for their viewers. With this investment, viewers could experience first-hand the news that's being broadcasted via VR headsets or other interfaces that enable 360-video viewing. Similarly, this tech also enables some journalists to conduct news reports without being physically present at the news site.
During the 2020s, this new video format will enable a dizzying array of new content possibilities for entertainment, business, and military contexts. This format will also push current media platforms to compete with or adapt to changing viewership patterns among their respective viewership bases.
Applications of 360-degree video in media
Some applications of 360-degree video in media may
- Prove beneficial for the drone industry as journalists could report on the news without being actively present in dangerous or sensitive news environments, e.g., deploying drones to do the camera work.
- Allow more detailed monitoring of outdoor workplaces like construction sites and mines and enhanced surveillance of large tracts of land.
- Eventually, work its way down to affordable consumer devices that enable 360 video and image capture. The eventual mass-market penetration of this tech could be the adoption, popularity, creation, and consumption of 360-degree video.
- Give rise to new forms of storytelling in the traveling, gaming, and entertainment industry.
Questions to comment on
- Will the impact of using 360-degree videos in journalism be the same as having citizen journalists present on the news site?
- Do you see 360-degree videos ever outperform motion graphics films in the entertainment industry?