VR TV shows

Want to watch your favorite shows in VR? One startup aims to make this happen

When HBO released Game of Thrones season six last April, its Facebook page posted a 360-degree video of the opening scene. But making a single 360-degree teaser isn’t the same as making weekly episodes available in virtual reality format.

It’s possible, though. “That’s what the major networks are doing these days,” said Matthew Collado, co-founder and chief content officer at Littlstar.

So, what are the barriers?

There are too many platforms, unlike the app ecosystem which resolves around iOS and Android. An app developer writes one Android app which is available to users of most Android smartphones. As for VR, the Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR all have their own platforms and requirements. This variety of platforms — both in the form of VR hardware and the software behind it — makes content difficult to produce and consume.

This creates a gap in the market that NYC startup Littlstar hopes to fill – by acting like a middleman. Littlstar allows brands to upload 360-degree photos or videos in web, mobile and VR formats, after which it optimizes the content to make it available on VR platforms like Samsung GearVR, Oculus Rift, and Google Cardboard.

The company is also now in the final approval process of signing a partnership with HTC Vive and is launching a presence in Sony PlayStation Store next month, according to Matthew.

Littlstar now has thousands of videos in VR, mobile, and web formats, including content from major networks. The startup bases itself in New York City because of the sheer number of marketing and advertising agencies, as well as TV networks like ABC and HBO, located there.

“I travel in between Los Angeles and New York. New York is more of a business resource hub whereas LA is more for actual production,” Matthew added.

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The Ultimate Guide to Multilingual and Multiregional SEO

When you begin to get into multilingual and multiregional SEO, you know that you have taken a step forward as an SEO expert. Why? Well, because you are probably dealing with a large, complex site that demands the expertise of someone who knows what they are talking about. If you are dealing in multilingual or multinational SEO, then you are managing a complex website strategy that serves multiple locations and languages — not just one.

Lucky for you, most everything you need to know about multilingual and multiregional SEO is listed in this post. So, even if you are a first-timer, you now have a cheat sheet that can guide you down the right path. Please keep in mind that multilingual and multiregional SEO are always changing — so, make sure to verify your strategy with the most up-to-date materials before making any drastic decisions.

What Are Multilingual SEO & Multiregional SEO?

Multilingual SEO is the practice of offering optimized website content in a variety of languages. Multiregional SEO is the practice of creating optimized website content that is tailored specifically to multiple geographic regions.

These two strategies often have overlap, which is why we are covering them both in this post. They also tie in with other aspects of online marketing, such as conversion rate optimization, pay per click and content strategy.

First, Ask Yourself: Where Are You Targeting?

The first thing you need to do is determine what regions you are targeting. Next, you need to decide which languages you are going to make available to those regions. This is critical, because it allows you to lay out the entire project.

Domain & URL Structure

After you determine the language and regions, you need to choose your domain and/or URL structure strategy.

Google’s Official Webmaster Central blog states, “It’s difficult to determine geotargeting on a page by page basis, so it makes sense to consider using a URL structure that makes it easy to segment parts of the website for geotargeting.”

I strongly agree with this — if you can map out the right location structure first, the rest of the project will be much easier. But, before we start to map website architecture, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each URL or domain option. (Note: The information below is taken directly from Google.)

ccTLDs
(e.g., example.de, example.fr)

Pros (+)

  • clear geotargeting
  • server location is irrelevant
  • easy separation of sites
  • legal requirements (sometimes)

Cons (-)

  • expensive
  • potential availability issues
  • more infrastructure
  • ccTLD requirements (sometimes)

Subdomains With gTLDs
(e.g., de.site.com, fr.site.com, etc.)

Pros (+)

  • easy to set up
  • can use Webmaster Tools geotargeting
  • allows different server locations
  • easy separation of sites

Cons (-)

  • users might not recognize geotargeting from the URL alone (is “de” the language or the country?)

Subdirectories With gTLDs
(e.g., site.com/de/, site.com/fr/, etc.)

Pros (+)

  • easy to set up
  • can use Webmaster Tools geotargeting
  • low maintenance (same host)

Cons (-)

  • users might not recognize geotargeting from the URL alone
  • single server location
  • separation of sites is more difficult/less clear

URL parameters
(e.g., site.com?loc=de, ?country=france, etc.)

Pros (+)

  • none (not recommended)

Cons (-)

  • segmentation based on the URL is difficult
  • users might not recognize geotargeting from the URL alone
  • geotargeting in Webmaster Tools is not possible

We’ve now outlined the pros and cons of the most popular methods for geotargeting in a URL or domain; but, which is the best option for you?

The answer to this question always depends on the goals of the website and who you need to target through SEO and other integrated marketing methods to reach those goals. Top-level domains are a strong indicator to Google, so they can be a good option. However, subdomains and subdirectories have their advantages, as well. We’ll explore those in a moment.

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