One of the earliest 360-degree video apps to launch was Littlstar back in 2014, arriving on the Samsung Gear VR Innovator’s Edition. Since then the app has massively grown alongside the virtual reality (VR) head-mounted displays it supports. As with any video distribution app Littlstar is constantly acquiring new content, most recently with a partnership with international business and world affairs media outlet The Economist.
The Economist announced an expansion of its “Read, Watch, Listen” distribution strategy, enabling it to reach a wider audience by adapting its journalism to existing and emerging platforms.
The Economist has produced three immersive 360-degree pieces currently; RecoVR Mosul, a reconstruction of the Mosul Museum and some of its artefacts, destroyed by Islamic State militants in 2015; Passport: Osaka, an offbeat tour of Japan’s second city; and OceansVR: Net positive an animated exploration of the issues around overfishing of the high seas. RecoVR Mosul won the BIMA Jury Prize for Great Innovation, the Drum DADI Award for Best Use of VR and the silver medal in the VR category at the 2016 Lovie Awards, and was part of the DocLab: Seamless Reality program at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam. OceansVR: Net positive was an official selection in the Convergence Program of the New York Film Festival.
“Over the past year we have brought The Economist’s mind-stretching journalism to this new and exciting storytelling medium,” said Tom Standage, deputy editor of The Economist. “We are delighted that our VR pieces have been well received, and have won several awards. By working with Littlstar and other partners we can maximise the reach and awareness of our VR content.”
“We always seek innovative platforms and partners that are a good match for The Economist’s high-quality content which appeals to the globally curious,” said Lydia Kaldas, senior vice president, Strategy and Channel Relationships at The Economist. “This partnership with Littlstar will help us grow awareness and reach among audiences that are on the forefront of technology and media.”
While its immersive films are available through The Economist’s VR apps for iOS, Android, and Samsung Gear VR; YouTube; and Facebook, the partnership will benefit from Littlstar’s greater platform integration. The Littlestar app can be found on PlayStation VR; Oculus Rift; HTC Vive; Apple TV; Andoid and iOS devices.
“It’s exciting to see leading publishers like The Economist fully embracing VR as a new medium to tell their stories,” said Matthew Collado, co-founder, Littlstar. “The Economist has produced some of the most interesting and informative 360° journalistic experiences available today, and now viewers across all platforms, from mobile devices to VR headsets, will be able to immerse themselves in The Economist’s award-winning content on Littlstar.”
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