Amazon’s plans for VR content still remain under wraps, but the company recently made a significant hire that gives us a small glimpse into what it’s working on.
Film fanatics will know that Genna Terranova left her post as director of the Tribeca Film Festival last month. This week, The Hollywood Reporter noted that she had been hired by Amazon Studios to work on VR content. A member of the Amazon Video PR team has validated the report to UploadVR, though the company declined to provide any further information.
While Terranova’s role at the company is secretive, back in August we reported that Amazon was looking for a ‘Virtual Reality Experience Development Executive’ that would create content for Amazon Video. It’s quite possible that the company is looking to create either 360-degree content or full VR experiences to either sell on its digital video store or host on its streaming service, Amazon Prime. Terranova’s appointment could help bring diverse content to the platform considering her previous role as head of an independent film festival.
The online retailer and streaming company is also building its own VR video platform which could well be where we see these experiences launch.
If that is what Amazon is working towards, it will make it one of the first major streaming services to do so. Netflix, arguably their biggest rival, already has a VR app on Gear VR and Google Daydream, although it simply offers 2D content on a virtual screen in a cinematic environment with no unique immersive content currently on offer. HBO, meanwhile, has a similar app and has also recorded 360 degree content to tie into popular series like Game of Thrones.
We’d love to see some tie-in experiences to Amazon exclusive series like Man In The High Castle, though original programming is a more interesting proposition at this point. 360 video is yet to truly prove its worth as a medium beyond short, entertaining snippets and the backing of a company as big as this could help it become something more.