YouTube is getting more quality VR content on December 11th. Teaming up with National Geographic, YouTube is airing a four-part series dubbed The Okavango Experience. Further, The National Geographic VR series is the first project in the series of three, the latter two set to air in 2019.
It is no secret that the video company has one eye on VR and the other on AR technology. YouTube base of VR content is growing with each passing day that now it’s time to add genuine quality into the mix. The National Geographic VR series will add that extra authority to YouTube Virtual Reality, along with some fascinating, we imagine, trademark visuals. The first episode is set to roll on December 11th, while the remaining three of a 4-part VR series will air the following Tuesdays.
Each episode is 5 minutes in length and follows a team of National Geographic expeditioners as they explore the African wildlife. ‘We are looking forward’ writes Jenna Pirog from National Geographic, ’to a long-term partnership with YouTube that will allow us to remain industry stewards for marrying immersive technology with impactful storytelling’. The first National geographic VR series, named The Okavango Experience, has the NG Society team travel through Okavango delta spanning across three countries.
The team has been on field for four months and covered more than 1,500 miles of ground. Okavango delta is home to a wildly varied host of species, from lions to elephants, including a great variety of bird species. The main educational goal of the team is to protect the rivers in the delta, a source of life to all the breathing creatures that live there. As for the remaining two National Geographic VR series, set to air sometime next year, nothing is disclosed yet, though it is safe to say that thy will be similar to The Okavango Experience.
The content will be available naturally on YouTube, through Google Daydream app, and on the National Geographic website. In this day and age of prepaid and postpaid content, YouTube stands as the shining example of a different, free video content model. There is a subscription fee for the YT Originals, along with the removing all ads from the picture, but YouTube is reconsidering the idea further. The plan is to offer YouTube Originals with ads for free, while also uploading full-length movies to be watched for free.
As for the NG series, it resembles Discovery Channel 38-episode VR travel series. It is projects like these, creators are hoping, that will push Virtual Reality into the mainstream. ‘National Geographic has always pushed the boundaries of visual storytelling’, and immersive VR is as far as visual storytelling can go. YouTube needs more content like this National Geographic VR series, Virtual Reality needs it if it were to become the mainstream platform of choice. But above all, we need it. Highly educational and fun, we are sold on and swayed by the promise of immersive storytelling. Can’t wait.