Attending MIPTV this year was particularly exciting for us, as when we were here last year there were ‘virtually’ no VR companies, nor discussion around the subject. We knew this year would be different. Ahead of the event, we were asked to be lead VR partner which included sponsoring the VR theatre- a dedicated space to showcasing some of the worlds best virtual reality content. We were also asked to give the opening talk at the VR summit and for one of our senior team members to be involved in a panel discussion. In short, we knew the event organisers were behind VR but the real question was, would there be an appetite or demand for purchasing and/or commissioning VR content? Following a packed first day of conversations, meetings and panel discussions (25% of all panels this year are VR related) we can confidently answer, yes.
Our VP of strategy, Alex Kunawicz, discussed the VR ecosystem with Greg Ivanov, Head of Daydream Business Development and Matthias Puschmann, Managing Director of VAST MEDIA based Germany. A main outcome from the discussion were that as a business, whether you’re a sports club, an event, or any other brand, to fully reap the rewards and benefits of VR, you have to really commit on several different levels to Virtual Reality. First and foremost, there has to be a reason why you want to move into the space, why it would work better than traditional video. Secondly, you have to really commit both from a content point of view and have a marketing strategy in place. Too many brands recently have made a splash with a piece of VR content, but had nothing to follow up with.
It was great to see so many people attending the panel discussions around VR. Many people we chatted with at the first day of MIPTV had experienced VR before, they understood what it was, but what they wanted to know is how they can best take advantage of it? Is it worth investing in at this stage? Are enough people able to view it for it to be value for money?
The answer is yes. The investment going into the hardware and software from nearly every major company from Google to Facebook to Samsung, the gap in the industry is not the accessibility to the content, it will be the content itself. We are delighted to see the increase in VR content production companies and people looking to buy and produce content at MIPTV this year.