Today, Vertebrae, the virtual reality (VR) advertising platform that secured $10 million USD in investment last year, has announced it’s leaving closed beta the the launch of its 1.0 software development kit (SDK).
The platform allows for native implementation into VR content, so that developers have more monetization options available to them. The system employs a drag-and-drop method making it easy to add content that’s immersive whilst not detracting from the experience. Brands and advertisers can then utilise VR to reach an even wider audience without being intrusive.
Prior to launch VRFocus spoke with Vince Cacace, Vertebrae’s CEO about the platform and what it had to offer.
“We spent a good portion of last year figuring out what is the right user experience for an ad in VR, that can add to the realism of content, and add something exciting in a way where it’s not detracting from the value of the content, something you can’t escape, and how do you do that in a scalable way that also provides a mechanism for advertisers who’re connecting with consumers,” said Cacace, before then adding, “definitely don’t put in any 2D videos or banner ads in VR.”
When asked about this and the subject of Vertebrae’s unique offerings Cacace continued: “What we see a lot is people putting 2D videos into VR, or throwing banners into VR. We view VR as a completely new medium, and therefore we spent a lot of time developing and refining a native ad unit that works and performs really nicely from a user experience perspective. And I’d say that is by far and away our biggest differentiator, in that we are building units and formats that are true to the medium of VR, and presented in the right way as someone is navigating in a VR experience.”
But to do this effectively means melding VR developers with brands and advertisers and making the whole process as simple as possible. “Creating a good user experience for them [developers] to be able to download the SDK, drag and drop into their app, and then assign placements, categorize a little bit of information about those placements and let us handle the rest,” has been at the core of Vertebrae’s development states Cacace. “Which involves us having a direct relation with the brands and agencies which we’ve done a good job of aggregating over the last year, almost year and a half.”
“We’re creating something new, the way to do that with brands is to package it up into some terminology that they’re used to using but applying it to a new context. So for example, a lot of times we price things on the CPM model, but the CPM model isn’t necessarily the best way to price VR, its experimental, it’s more than just a little impression that gets incurred by the thousands, but it’s something a brand can wrap its head around.”
It’s not just VR that Vertebrae is keen on, on the augmented reality (AR) side the company is exploring several avenues: “We have some partnerships in the making with some location-based mobile VR content, and that’s a market we’re very excited about. We don’t have anything live, but we do have partnerships in the mobile AR space, and that’s definitely an area that has a lot of scale potential in the near term, as the full headset is market is growing so comes the VR and AR side.”
Any developers interested in signing up for the Vertebrae SDK can do so here. Vertebrae is also working alongside the IAB to help define standards for these new advertising formats as the industry grows. VRFocus will continue its coverage of Vertebrae and advertising in VR, reporting back with the latest announcements.