360 video has opened up a new world of immersive storytelling and branded content for publishers. A year ago, we debuted our take on 360 video and what it means for the online video industry. Let's take a look at the progress 360 video has made over the past 12 months, visit a few new use cases, and analyze 360's current place in the market today and into the future.
The Rise of 360
360 video puts the viewer at the center of the action. The ability to look up, down, and around as a video plays provides an unparalleled immersive experience—and all kinds of brands and properties are catching on.
Two big-brand campaigns are exceptional examples: Virgin Media launched an ad campaign featuring its video content in 360 and flat-frame formats; the 360 video racked up 4x the shares and nearly 40x more views. Similarly, the international trailer for Sony Picture's Don't Breathe was viewed almost 7x more in 360 than flat-frame. What's this all mean? That the demand for 360 is undeniable.
Available Tools for Publishers Now
So, where do you begin? Video technology providers like JW Player offer a host of tools for publishers to swiftly and successfully implement 360.
It’s just as easy to embed a 360 video as a standard video. You only need a single line of code, and with an embedded JW Player, you won't even need that. There are no plug-ins, and analytics and variable bitstream playback are still supported, which will please both your business and tech teams. Once your embedded player is up and running, you can mix and match 360 and flat-frame video within the same playlist.
Additionally, customizable UI and API access allow you to shape the look and feel of your branded player and the video playback itself, while compatibility with head-mounted displays like Google Cardboard or Daydream is made seamless. Browser support for gyroscope motion and Magic Window viewing also allows for interactivity across all devices.
As 360 Engagement Increases...
A recent Facebook ads case study compared engagement between 360 and flat-frame versions of a video embedded in newsfeed ads targeted by age and interests. The 360 video outperformed the flat-frame version in all categories: Cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM), Click Thru Rate (CTR), average percentage of the video viewed, and number of viewers who watched the entire video. Undoubtedly, as 360 continues to grow in popularity, so, too, will the ability to monetize.
What does this mean for the future of 360? It's simple: As 360 technology becomes more accessible and costs are driven down, a pressing call to action arises: Publishers must successfully adopt 360 video to keep an edge on their competitors.
In just under 20 minutes, JW Player can help you see the world in 360. Get in touch and we'll show you how.