• JW Player Now Supports Virtual Reality and 360-Degree Video

    Popular online video platform JW Player now supports virtual reality and 360-degree video. With over 2 million publishers using its platform, the new capabilities could help further fuel VR and 360-degree video which have become key priorities for large companies including Google, YouTube, Samsung, Facebook and others.

    JW Player’s native mobile VR SDK allows publishers to create their own VR video apps for iOS and Android. The company’s VR HTML5 plugin can play 360-degree video on both desktops and mobile web. All the new VR products are compatible with headsets including Samsung GearVR, Google Cardboard and Google Daydream View which will be released next month.

    JW Player positioned the VR and 360-degree capabilities as helping publishers create more immersive experiences that will increase engagement. One publisher already adopting 360-degree video with JW Player is The McClatchy Company, whose director of video product and operations Meghan Sims said “It’s going to be a big part of some exciting things we have planned for next year.”

    Both VR and 360-degree video are still in the early stages, but are going to be in the spotlight given the industry investment and enthusiasm behind both. One open question for now is how monetization is going to work. Clearly ads will need to be upgraded in order to ensure a smooth viewing experience. Whether dedicated VR or 360-degree subscription services emerge is still unclear.