BBC opens VR studio, BBC VR Hub

The BBC is opening a new VR studio, dubbed the BBC VR Hub, with the aim of pushing VR out to more mainstream audiences.

In a blog post about the studio, the VR Hub’s head of content commissioning Zillah Watson says that the team would be "focussing on a small number of high impact pieces that have broad, mainstream appeal."

"Our research shows that for as long as the quantity of high-quality content remains low, and the experience remains cumbersome, mainstream audiences won’t use VR," Watson says, explaining the choice.

"We want to excite audiences by creating the most enthralling experiences imaginable using the power of VR. So with every commission, we will target a specific set of audience needs and occasions, ensuring that each piece is compelling enough to make people want to put on a headset."

"With the credibility and trust the BBC has, along with the size of our audience and intimate understanding we have of them, the BBC can play a crucial role in bringing virtual reality into the mainstream.

The BBC has been flirting with virtual reality for a while, and has already released VR experiences on the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream, with Home – A VR Spacewalk launching for the HTC Vive today. 

"We believe the BBC can bring a unique perspective to VR. We have an unparalleled position in the lives of the UK population. Every week we reach 95% of the UK population and we have the most trusted broadcast news brand in the world, reaching almost 400m people through the BBC World Service alone," says Watson.

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