Updated: Feb 7
When it comes to online videos, the competition is fierce and extensive. According to Business of Apps’ 2018 YouTube Revenue and Usage Statistics Report: 300 hours of HD quality video is uploaded to YouTube every 60 seconds contributing to an already massive collection of over 1 billion videos.
With that many videos being produced each day (on YouTube alone), how do top brands create content their customers will notice and come back to?
360 videos are becoming more and more popular with businesses because they provide a more memorable experience for audiences. In particular, 360 videos that can be controlled by the viewer create an interaction that stands out amongst other ads.
Explore this article to learn how to distinguish 360 video from virtual reality and interactive video as well as the business benefits of 360 video production.
Introduction to 360 Video
A 360 video gives the viewer a complete panoramic view of an environment. 360 videos are often recorded in all directions with an omnidirectional camera or several cameras at once, the footage of which is then spliced together to fulfill the panorama.
360 Video vs. Virtual Reality vs. Interactive Video
You often see the terms 360 video and virtual reality together and that’s because they overlap in many ways. Namely, the ability to explore the complete 360 view of an environment. The term interactive video comes into play when a video lets the viewer control the 360 experience.
360 Video vs. Virtual Reality
Virtual reality is an immersive experience; essentially, it places you inside a 360 video.
You can watch and interact with a standard 360 video on a regular phone or computer screen. Virtual reality requires the use of a device or headset in order to explore. To look around the video or digital space when wearing a VR headset, all you need to do is turn your head.
Virtual reality environments are often digitally composed for gaming purposes, but there are a lot of live action VR experiences that show off natural landscapes, cityscapes, or extreme sports.
Virtual reality has been gaining a lot of momentum over the past few years. Sci-Fi enthusiasts will recognize the virtual reality Oasis described in the book-turned-movie Ready Player One. Or look no further than the rise of VR arcades. Ctrl-V is North America’s 1st Virtual Reality Arcade located in Waterloo, Ontario.
360 Video vs. Interactive Content
Interactive video is any video that requires or allows viewer interaction. A 360 video becomes an interactive video when the viewer is given the ability to control what direction they want to look.
Many 360 videos are also interactive videos, but they don’t have to be. You can have a 360 video that displays a panoramic view of the space without giving control to the audience. A real estate agent might share a non-interactive 360 video that explores every aspect of a home they are trying to sell.
Business Benefits + Examples of 360 Video Production
Give Your Viewers An Experience
360 videos can mimic the experience of a roller coaster ride, extreme sports, panning over natural landscapes, or even a galactic adventure. They can give you access to areas you wouldn’t be able to see in person. The more memorable the experience, the more likely it is to stick with your audience and with the associated brand.
360 Victoria Falls – The Devil’s Pool from National Geographic
This 360 video takes you right over The Devil’s Pool in Victoria Falls at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. But be careful, DON’T LOOK DOWN! Or maybe do because how often can you stare down a waterfall?
360 VIDEO: Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit from Universal Studios Florida
The Rip Ride Rockit 360 video takes you on one of Universal Studios’ tallest roller coaster rides. The video offers the chance to relive the park’s experience reminding viewers of the positive memories they shared or it can spark interest in those that have yet to ride it. This video earned over 3 million views in four years.
Engage With a Challenge
People love a challenge. Adding the element of competition to a 360 video captures your viewer’s attention and it makes them more likely to rewatch the video in order to try again. Provide an interesting challenge that engages your audience and convinces them to share it with their friends too.
Unitron Benefits Spatial Awareness
This interactive 360 video and example of our own work incorporates 360 sound to illustrate the importance of spatial awareness in the context of hearing aids. We place the viewer at the bar of a local KW pub and ask them to identify where the different voices and sounds around them are coming from. To do so, the view must search the digital space from the vantage point of the centre bar.
*Use headphones and view in iOS or the Android YouTube app for the best viewing experience.
Let Your Audience Explore
People of all ages love to explore. With 360 videos, you have the opportunity to explore on your own terms. Since each viewing can be different, viewers are more willing to rewatch so they can create a second or third unique experience.
Discover the 360 world that inspired Filled Cupcake Flavored Oreo Cookies
This interactive 360 video takes you on a tour of the immersive animated world that “inspired” an Oreo cookie flavor. Ride down a river of milk and discover how Oreos are really made. In three years, this video earned over 3.5 million views on YouTube.
STAR WARS 360 VR – Hunting of the Fallen
One of the many benefits of film is its ability to transport you to imaginative and extraordinary worlds. With 360 videos, you actually get to step inside that world yourself. Ever wanted to walk the halls of the Death Star? You’re not alone. In less than three years, this video surpassed 7 million views on YouTube.
Memory Tree’s work in 360 video production lets your audience feel like they are really there by allowing the viewer to look to their left, right, up, down, and behind. By positioning 360 rigs in locations that onsite audience members can’t access, we can create a viewing experience as or more rewarding than being there in person. Many of our 360VR projects are proprietary and unfortunately can’t be shared on our website. Give us a call to see samples and to get ideas for your own 360 videos.