IM360 announced a partnership with ABC’s “Good Morning America” that will bring a live 360-degree component to tomorrow’s show, and open doors for future immersive content from ABC.
IM360 announced that the Tuesday February 23 broadcast of “Good Morning America” will be the first network television broadcast to show live 360-degree video content. The program is airing a report called “GMA On Safari” that covers the poaching threat facing Africa’s animals. During the broadcast, news anchor Amy Robach will be live on location in Crater Highlands, Tanzania, Africa with a 360-degree camera and all the equipment needed to broadcast live.
Richard Ngo-Tran, Vice President of Marketing for IM360, said that the immersive video portion is meant to be an addition to the regular TV experience, not a replacement for it. “The actual broadcast itself is going to be a regular linear broadcast. The second screen is going to be the digital aspect of it, which is going to have the VR,” said Ngo-Tran. “It’s still a second screen application until the market adopts it as a primary screen, and I don’t think we’re quite there yet.”
The live broadcast will be available in all sorts of different formats. IM360 isn’t necessarily focusing on VR adoption, but more so the idea of spherical video. The company sees this partnership as a way to show a broader market what 360-degree video is. Ngo-Tran said that to the general public, this technology is too new, and most people are not aware of its existence yet.
“For us, it’s kind of a gateway to move the mass market into this space. Network television, is Network television. It’s the biggest audience we’re going to get,” said Ngo-Tran. “It allows us to meet a mass audience.”
Ngo-Tran said the partnership with “Good Morning America” is only the first in hopefully many more projects in the future. He said that ABC works on a contract by contract basis, but he expects that tomorrow’s program will be just the beginning of live broadcast 360-degree content.
“We’re entering a partnership with ABC to explore this category. This is the first one we’re doing with ABC, and if all goes well (which we anticipate,) there will, of course, be a second project. There isn’t anything lined up yet, but we have a series of discussions going on,” said Ngo-Tran.
You can enjoy the “GMA On Safari” segment from a number of different devices. You can watch it on your PC through your browser and use your mouse to change your view, or you can watch it from the IM360 app on either iOS or Android devices, where you can either look around or use your finger to move your screen. You can also use Cardboard mode in the app and watch it on your Cardboard viewer. IM360’s app is also available on the Oculus store for Gear VR, for those that have Samsung’s VR HMD.
Good Morning America airs at 7am EST and will run for two hours. Ngo-Tran told us the 360-degree video portion will be run in only small segments within the show. The show will air live, but if you miss the broadcast, the recording will be uploaded to the application to become a video-on-demand item.
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Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years.