Virtual reality is seeing a new kind of promotion, as New York Times print subscribers will get Google Cardboard viewer for free, and three short documentaries to watch this year.
- The NYT VR project will launch on November 5th, and on the weekend of November 7th and November 8th
- The app will be available on both iOS and Android devices
- The New York Times has 1.1 million Google Cardboard viewers to give away
- They will launch 3 movies this year, with more to follow in 2016
The New York Times is just the latest among media outlets to develop its own virtual reality app. Perhaps news could provide as an excellent subject to tackle on the futuristic platform. According editor in chief of New York Times magazine, Jake Silverstein, the “power of VR is that it gives the viewer a unique sense of emphatic connection to people and events.”.
It would draw the viewer into the action, and immerse them into the environment. This might boost their emotional response.
Thus, the New York Times and Google have launched the NYT VR app, available for both iOS 8+ or Android 4.3+. It will officially launch on November 5th, and on the weekend of November 7th and November 8th of this year. According to the publication, they have a number of 1.1 million Google Cardboard viewers available.
And most of them will be going to their print subscribers, who daily get the media outlet in physical form delivered to their homes.
However, Times Insider subscribers and some digital Times subscribers will also be given promo codes as a gift for a free Google Cardboard viewer. Paired with the app, this will allow them to view three of the short films that are going to be released later this year for virtual reality. The purpose? Pulling in people closer to the story.
The first movie to be released on the app will be “The Displaced”. It follows the lives of three children, refugees from Sudan, Ukraine, and Syria. The short film was produced in partnership with Vrse, one of the best known VR companies. As their more well known credits, they also aided Vice to launch their VR news coverage.
The second documentary will revolve around the cover story of Times, “Walking New York”, surrounding its making. The third, yet not the last film, will be released at some point in December this year, with more to follow in 2016.
All three movies will be meant to be played on the Google Cardboard headset that turns a smartphone into a virtual reality platform.
While the price of a Google Cardboard viewer is at a decent and affordable $30, this will successfully help with its promotion. It’s not too much for those interested in VR. However, it’s in their hopes that it will reach those who would’ve otherwise not tried the device, and who might end enjoying news through virtual reality.
Image source: gigaom.com