YouTube and VR Visionaries Teaming Up to Create More Content


YouTube Space LA will be hosting its first Virtual Reality (VR) Creator Lab, a 3-month program designed to mentor VR content creators to produce original VR videos, on August 7.

A call for creators for the program was announced in late June. The opportunity will provide filmmakers and content producers hands-on mentoring from VR instructors and $30,000-40,000 in funding towards production.

Transitioning from 2D to 3D

It’s no surprise YouTube is launching this program. More and more companies are starting to incorporate 360-degree focused campaigns as part of their marketing initiatives. To introduce their audience to this new tech, YouTube recently added 360-degree tools and analytics features to their platform, enabling content creators the ability to plug in their camera and shoot live in 360-degrees. The turnaround time for creating these experiences has decreased and the barrier to get started is drastically diminished.

Although VR is predicted to be the next big thing, the general market isn't yet comfortable using VR and there’s still a steep learning curve for new users. Another barrier to bridging the gap between new users and VR is the lack of content available. Content creators will be the group driving the future of VR. Initially, the VR caught on in the gaming community, but has expanded to other sectors, such as, education, conservation, news, and entertainment. This new and innovative method of engaging users is dependent on content, and the more unique experiences we can deliver, the faster it will be accepted.

Hopefully, with the Creator Lab in place and YouTube working towards introducing VR to their everyday audience, it will help make the transition smoother for new users.

What Can VR Content Do For Marketers?

This is only the beginning of how users will engage with content. VR is predicted to be the next big move for advertising and marketing, but there’s still a large population that has never had a VR experience. Telling someone how awesome VR is going to be doesn't show the impact as much as handing someone a Google Cardboard and telling them to see for themselves. But, in order to do that, we need more content to prove it's here to stay.

What makes VR so powerful isn’t the technology behind it but the experiences it can create for the end user.

Imagine being able to transport yourself to any location in the comforts of your own home. If I told you that using your smartphone would place you in a submarine circling the Titanic and take you within arms reach of the Hope Diamond, would you believe me? 

If you could visit New York City and be front and center at prime locations, would you? If you can't wait, click here to visit now from your seat. You're no longer just reading the name New York City, but flying firsthand around the Statue of Liberty, maneuvering around skyscrapers, and looking straight down on Central Park in a completely immersive way. You can swivel in 360-degrees and see with your own eyes; you can hear the background noises. You're fully immersed in the experience and there are no assumptions about what it's like. You know what it's like.

The ability to leverage VR's capabilities will be a playground for marketers because we can deliver an immersive experience to customers through the power of impactful storytelling. We're not limited to only visuals and text anymore.

It will be interesting to see how content producers will use 360-degree VR as part of their storytelling and lead the charge to exposing VR to a wider audience. I’m excited to watch the progress unfold and to see the transition of acceptance from new users to this new and exciting technology. But, in all honesty, I just want to see how marketers will get creative with this new tool in their marketing tool bag.

TwineAnnette Wong