CBS is bringing 360 degree videos to the big screen. The company today announced the launch of new apps for the Android TV and Amazon Fire TV which will add the new, more immersive video format to CBSN’s news coverage, kicking off with a 360-degree behind-the-scenes look into the filming of a 60 Minutes episode.
The episode in question is one that involves looking for gorillas in Africa – a subject that makes for an ideal test case for the technology, given how it enables viewers to explore the scene further more than ever before as they accompany the news team on a journey through the continent. The company has planned for more footage for the 360 video category beyond just 60 minutes.
Traditionally we don’t think of 360 videos to be practical, but the CBS News Digital team believes the format will become an increasingly important means of storytelling, including within the news genre it focusing on. To make these videos easy to find in the app, there’s a dedicated playlist.
Most news organizations are only testing the waters with 360-degree videos, however, and are waiting to see how viewers respond. The hope is that the format offers a better way to tell a story, and can better engage audiences on social media platforms, where much news content (for better or for worse) is shared and get the younger crowd since the average viewer is 38.
As of now only Android TV and Fire TV CBSN apps are supported, other platforms haven’t been announced yet.