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.