Taylor Swift and Secret Location win the first two Emmys ever for VR

by Will Mason • September 11th, 2015

Is there anything the current queen of pop music can’t accomplish?

After having won a number of Grammy awards and other accolades, and basically controlling the direction of the music industry this week Taylor Swift took home her first ever Emmy award for her recent 360-degree video experience for her song “Blank Space.” The experience titled AMEX Unstaged: Taylor Swift Experience was done in conjunction with Immersive Media, Radical, American Express, and of course Taylor Swift.

The experience allowed users to take control of the action during a version of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” music video letting them use their phone or tablet to turn and look around the scene, and also advance into different rooms.  You could choose to follow Swift as she danced through the scene or spend time admiring the beautiful set and looking for the many hidden clues that were interspersed throughout the scenes.

Taylor-swift-vr-behind-the-scenes-1

While the experience is not optimized for use in a VR headset, it still represents huge exposure for the medium of immersive video. The music video has been viewed over 1.1 billion times on YouTube with a nice plug at the end for the immersive experience.

This experience may only be the first of many for Taylor Swift, who described creating for the new medium, “an amazing experience.” Speaking with Ryan Whitehead from Immersive Media, he says when she first saw the app “there was this pause and then her face just lit up,” with excitement. He continued to say that she is “full force” in her commitment the new medium.

Taylor Swift wasn’t the only one to bring home an Emmy for a VR experience, Toronto based studio Secret Location also took home an award for User Experience and Visual Design for their Sleepy Hollow Virtual Reality ExperienceThe experience, created in conjunction with FOX, debuted at Comic Con last year and is available now on Oculus Share. Secret Location’s win is especially significant because it is the first experience developed fully for VR to take home an Emmy, as opposed to the Taylor Swift experience which was an immersive video app experience not meant for headset consumption.

These two wins are awesome validation for an industry that is just really getting started. Here’s to hoping for more major awards for VR in the near future, we’ve got to get that industry EGOT.

 

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