Advertising on VR is still just the domain of a few blue-chip advertisers. Most advertisers are so new to the medium and don’t have VR-ready ads, and most publishers are new to making VR ad content themselves, so the path to monetization is far from clear. Kelly Andresen, of USA Today’s branded content studio, said. “People don’t have the language or knowledge of how to buy it.”
Some publishers are focusing on 360 or augmented reality video instead because it’s less expensive than VR, doesn’t require a headset and advertiser demand already exists.
When it comes to virtual reality, few publishers are as committed as The New York Times, with its dedicated VR app and Daily 360 feature, helped by funding from tech giants Samsung and Google. USA Today is entering its second season of its weekly VR show, “VRtually There,” which has explored extreme sports and nature, after racking up 10 million views in season one last fall, on no fewer than seven platforms.
But outside those two publishers and a handful of others, there’s less to crow about. VR is still test-and-learn territory for most publishers.
Lucia Moses. Publishers forge ahead with VR, even if users and advertisers lag behind. Digiday.