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David AndermanChief Business OfficerJaunt
Jaunt is a virtual reality (VR) media company specializing in cinematic experiences. To date, it has raised about $100 million, including funding from The Walt Disney Co. and other major players in the entertainment industry, to develop content creation and distribution tools that bring 360-degree video to the masses. eMarketer’s Bryan Yeager spoke with David Anderman, Jaunt’s chief business officer, about how the company works with brands and agencies and the analytics it looks at to measure success.
eMarketer: What type of content does Jaunt create, and why has it caught on among marketers?
David Anderman: Jaunt creates what’s called cinematic virtual reality. We capture live-action video and create 360-degree, stereo 3-D VR experiences that we provide to consumers. The goal is to enable the creation of that type of content and to distribute it to consumers. We’re primarily focused on entertainment experiences right now.
What’s amazing about VR is it’s the first entertainment medium that’s native to smartphones. That’s why so many different people are excited about the space. It’s a way to create these unbelievably immersive experiences that people can consume in a compelling way right on their phones with relatively simple equipment.
Even the high-end headsets [like the Oculus Rift]—which are unbelievable ways to experience this content—are based on smartphone technology. It’s the smartphone technology that enables it, has made it available so quickly in the last couple of years and what makes a compelling case for it to be a huge market going forward.
eMarketer: What products and services are associated with Jaunt’s VR experiences?
Anderman: Like any new medium, in many cases you need to create the end-to-end solution. For us, that meant creating cameras. We’re on our fifth generation of camera, which is our Jaunt ONE production cameras that capture in 360 degrees—up, down, all the way around. In order to make the VR experiences, we take the data that comes from that camera—it’s a lot of data, it’s very data-intensive—and we use a cloud-based rendering system to render it into a nice, smooth, stereo 3-D sphere.
We also have a consumer-facing application that allows consumers to get that on either smartphones or dedicated headsets like the Oculus, HTC Vive or Sony PlayStation VR. Most consumers currently use it on smartphones, on our iOS and Android applications.
Finally, we created a studio that helps feed the market. We’re not going to be the only ones to produce content by any stretch of the imagination. But we want to have a studio that helps people learn how to make content experiences in VR, what the best practices are and get the cameras and tools in their hands to let them create the content.
eMarketer: What brands and agencies does Jaunt work with to create VR experiences?
Anderman: A lot of our relationships are directly with brands. There are a lot of forward-thinking brands that have worked with us to create content, including The North Face and InBev, the makers of Budweiser and Bud Light. It also includes companies like [the airline] Qantas, [fashion brand] 7 For All Mankind and [media properties like] Elle magazine, Hearst and Condé Nast.
Now we also work with agencies. Agencies are reactive, especially for short-form content, and have great, creative ideas on the types of experiences that people want to see that brands also want to sponsor. We work with the WPPs and the Omnicoms of the world. We also have a relationship that we announced with Carrot Creative, which is part of Vice. They’ve been instrumental with us in developing video sponsorship opportunities for brands to create content.
eMarketer: Are there any unique analytics with cinematic VR that marketers and advertisers need to take into consideration?
Anderman: There are many different measures and statistics that apply to online video these days. It’s a well-developed field. The same thing applies to cinematic VR. It’s the same basic metrics in terms of understanding what content people look at, what kinds of videos they want to see, how much of it they watch and when they drop out.
On top of that, you also know when people are looking at different directions and you can aggregate that data as well, which is helpful to know from a creative perspective. We also look at repeatability, and we’ve had fantastic results. It’s content that people watch again and again and again. For online video, that’s a great measure of how successful it is.
It’s also been instructive to see these 360-degree video systems launching on Facebook and YouTube. For our ABC News piece about North Korea, [Facebook CEO] Mark Zuckerberg thought it was so compelling he posted it on his own Facebook page. Within the first 48 hours, it had millions of views.
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What’s amazing is that it is not just casual views. If you look at the “likes” and the comments, hundreds of thousands of people liked it and there are 50,000 different comments. What we’re seeing are not just numbers, which can sometimes be misleading in terms of how many people are watching it. We’re seeing deep engagement with the content itself. That’s critical.
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