Oculus may not be adding adverts to the Rift directly any time soon, but that’s not stopping other companies from doing it themselves.
A new company named Vertebrae announced its own round of Series A financing today. The VR outlet raised some $10 million as it emerged from stealth mode. Vertebrae offers its own solution for ad-insertion into VR experiences, allowing developers to monetize their content outside of traditional transactions. These ads are platform agnostic, meaning they’ll be supported across different headsets, and can be applied both across 360 degree and fully VR experiences.
Though it’s only just making itself known to the public, you may have already seen some of work already; Vertebrae helped Lionsgate create a VR ad-insert for its Blair Witch movie via the Sisters horror experience from Otherworld Interactive. The company’s tech is currently in private beta, but still in use by a number of unrevealed clients. You can register to take part over on the official website. It also offers customers analytics tools so they can refine their content to drive engagement.
While we want VR developers to have as many monetization opportunities as possible open to them, it’s just as important that these adverts are unintrusive and don’t have a negative impact on the user experience.
Vertebrae plans to use its new funds to make new hires and boost R&D among other areas. It also has plans to expand its services to augmented reality going forwards, a move that we suspect might be more immediately profitable thanks to the recent success of Pokemon Go.
It’s the second major investment in VR advertising tech this week. Yesterday, we reported that InstaVR had raised $2 million for its 360 degree authoring and publishing platform. It appears to be a great week to invest in VR advertising.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Vertebrae had been involved in an interactive VR experience for Blair Witch. In fact, the company added an advertisement for the Blair Witch movie into an existing VR app. Apologies for the confusion and the article has been updated above.