AOL and its parent Verizon are acquiring the immersive media and 360 video company RYOT.
AOL, itself a 2015 acquisition of telecom giant Verizon, purchased the company to bring its trademark brand of 360 storytelling to another media property: The Huffington Post. HuffPost is also owned by AOL/Verizon and by joining it with RYOT under one umbrella, AOL is aiming to have the VR company develop more immersive media for its established brand, which produces everything from breaking news to opinion and entertainment content. The two companies have worked together on projects in the past.
According to this morning’s release from AOL:
…RYOT shares The Huffington Post’s editorial voice and content philosophy with its action-oriented, cause-driven journalism and provides immediate access to a VR production arm and Oscar-nominated documentary film expertise to complement The Huffington Post’s video operations.
Arianna Huffington, the Huffington Post’s outspoken founder and editor-in-chief, said she’s hoping the the team-up will help create more impact for the company’s work so that stories don’t just raise awareness of issues, but help with “making a difference in people’s lives.” RYOT co-founder Bryn Mooser seems to share Huffington’s optimistic outlook, saying the “Huffington Post blazed the trail by empowering people to tell their own stories in their own voices. RYOT is born out of that same mission.”
According to AOL, RYOT will also work to bolster Partner Studio – the company’s in-house advertising team – raising the possibility that we’ll be seeing ads on on this kind of immersive content in the future.