NBCUniversal and Google search for VR opportunities in original content partnership

NBCUniversal today (April 30) announced a partnership with Google to produce a slate of original VR content from NBC, Bravo, Syfy, and other channels in its roster.

Announced as the first pieces of VR content were: originals from NBC’s Saturday Night Live, Bravo’s reality show Vanderpump Rules, and Syfy’s digital offering Syfy Wire. More shows from NBC channels, including Telemundo, USA Network, NBC Sports, NBC News, and E! were also announced to launch in the coming months for YouTube via web and mobile, as well as through Google Cardboard and Daydream View accessories.

The two have already produced content for popular series Vanderpump Rules, which gives viewers a tour of a dog rescue center owned by the show’s matriarch, Lisa Vanderpump of Real Housewives fame.

Content for Syfy and Saturday Night Live has been launched already, with the sketch comedy show featuring content with comedian Kevin Hart and actress Natalie Portman.

NBCUniversal and Google have said that they’ll collaborate on at least 10 multi-episode VR productions that will give viewers a more immersive experience to watch their favorite shows. All of the experiences have been produced using Jump, Google’s platform for VR video capture and have also been made available through VR180, a new format that produces content in 4K, three dimensional video.

Said Ron Lamprecht, executive vice president, NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises: “We are constantly looking for opportunities to bring consumers new ways to experience content from across the NBCUniversal portfolio. This partnership combines the creative expertise of NBCUniversal with Google’s VR capabilities to create these engaging experiences. We look forward to working with Google and YouTube on more collaborations like this in the future.”

Amit Singh, vice president of business and operations for VR & AR at Google added: "NBCUniversal’s networks and shows have a proven track record of high-quality storytelling that audiences can’t get enough of. Bringing them to VR lets fans connect with that content in a whole new way. NBCU's teams were able to easily capture engaging VR content using the latest VR Jump cameras. And with YouTube, audiences can experience it on any device, bringing them closer to their favorite series.”

As NBCUniversal's Upfront event nears, the media conglomerate (and parent company Comcast) have looked to pave the way for data to draw advertisers to its content across its own platforms — and potentially, the rest of the media ecosystem.

NBCUniversal will participate in The Drum's Video Futures event, hosted in New York City on May 8, along with representatives from Diageo, GroupM and Telaria. Attendance is free, click here to register

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