We’re only just getting started – so what’s coming next? | Blend Media

Today is Blend Media’s second birthday.

Going from start-up to early scale-up has been an incredible journey. There’s plenty to celebrate. There’s even more to think about as, without question, there’s so much opportunity for Blend Media (and the industry) to develop further.

As we reflect on our first two years, we’ve been thinking how fortunate we’ve been to build such a fantastic team – you can meet them in our interactive 360 Story below – and work with world leading customers, partners and film-makers. We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone.

It’s been amazing to see our customers and creators use 360 video to reach their audiences at scale – with some campaigns achieving bigger audiences than the Rugby World Cup Final or the Superbowl. We’re also proud that we created opportunities for content to be used for important charity campaigns, including the protection of marine habitats from plastics.

Looking ahead, we picked out five trends that we think are coming together to accelerate the market for user-controlled content (360 video, AR and VR):

Solving problems: new content formats often have a natural wow-factor but they really come into their own when they are used to tell stories in ways that just aren’t possible in other ways. As user-controlled content matures, we will see more examples of it being used to solve business issues, educate, entertain and inspire.

Interactivity: the industry is only at the beginning of experimenting with consumer experiences across user-controlled content. Creators will get more advanced with adding interactivity and consumers will no longer just “look around,” they will take part and respond in new ways too.

Mass audiences: today, 360 video is the only true mass consumer medium outside of regular video. That’s because it doesn’t need special hardware or viewing technology. Anyone with an internet connection can enjoy it. With VR headset prices coming down and more content coming to market, we’ll soon see a much broader and more diverse audience develop.

The advent of consumer creators: we’ll start to see more mobiles that can record 360 video. That’s going to mean much more 360 content will make its way onto social networks and news coverage. That in turn drives familiarity with the format and much faster development in how it is used for story-telling.

Cross-content experiences: we’ll begin to see brands and publishers becoming more sophisticated with the way they tell stories across 360, VR and AR. For example, using an AR experience to attract passing attention and then connecting through to a deeper engagement in VR.

Thanks to our incredible team, our community, partners and customers. We can’t wait for what’s in store for us – and the industry as a whole – in the years ahead.

PS – Want to create your own interactive 360 content? Sign up today for a 30 day free trial.