By Beth Loyd, News Partnerships
Engaging with a new medium is best undertaken by those willing to experiment with different story types, equipment, and collaborators. Since we launched 360 video on Facebook last year, ABC News has shown versatility in the types of stories they have been able to utilize 360 technology for.
“We’ve learned our audience has an insatiable appetite for 360 and VR content. From North Korea to Syria and beyond, we’re able to take people to places they couldn’t otherwise access and provide them with the ability to explore from every angle,” said Daniel Linden, global head of social media for ABC News.
They have experimented covering different story types, from serious news such as natural disasters, terrorist attacks, the U.S. presidential election and major weather events, to entertainment news as well, including the Oscars, Carnival in Rio and New Year’s Eve in Times Square.
ABC News has also experimented with various types of technology, including multiple-camera GoPro rigs, and have created compelling and engaging videos with a range of cameras. Interestingly, it was a $400 Ricoh Theta S that captured the most popular 360 video of 2016 so far, which showed New York City’s Times Square in the middle of a blizzard. This video garnered over 18.3 million views.
In conjunction with Jaunt VR, they have created compelling and informative narrated experiences, like a tour of Damascus, Syria with reporter Alex Marquardt.
Using 360 video to tell stories from across the globe, ABC News has taken viewers to numerous countries, including Syria, Ukraine, Tanzania, Japan, Belgium, Cuba, Nepal, Brazil, and Iceland. They were even able to give their audience a 360 tour of a parade in North Korea, an incredible scene in a country that most people will never be able to visit.
“We’ve embraced 360 and VR storytelling across the entire ABC News organization. Whenever we go out and cover a major news event, we make sure someone has a 360 camera. It’s an incredible tool to expand our news coverage around the world,” said Ronnie Polidoro, supervising producer of digital video at ABC News.
Here are a few other examples of their versatile storytelling with 360 video: