Virtual Reality & 360-Degree Are The Future Of Live Sports Video Streaming

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Consumers have moved beyond the basic video streaming experience and are demanding more immersive technologies when it comes to live sporting events, according to new research.

The study, released by Stable Research and commissioned by a world leader in over the top (OTT) streaming technologies, Switch Media, surveyed over 1,000 consumers on their ‘behaviour’ with streamed content and their expectations for future streaming.

From the results, almost 70 per cent of respondents said they’d be interested in streaming content in either 360-degree view, virtual reality or an augmented reality environment.

Of these technologies, almost half said they would be more likely to use 360-degree, and a third chose virtual reality.

Switch Media CEO Mark Johns, said the findings are a further indication of where the market needs to go in order to keep up with consumer demand.

“There’s clearly a shift occurring in the market where consumers want more than the ‘one-dimensional’ experience of streamed content. This is especially the case when it comes to major sporting events,” he said.

“With the emergence of these new technologies, consumers will be able to ‘relocate’ themselves to blockbuster live sporting events or watch a highly anticipated match from multiple views at the touch of a button and as frequently as they like.

“The statistics released are just the tip of the iceberg of what we’ve uncovered from our research, which we’re excited to release in an official whitepaper later this month.”

The study comes off the back of a stellar few months of sporting worldwide, with the BBC reporting a record of 31.2 million UK browsers streamed the World Cup group matches alone.

Experience would be more realistic

According to the research, the main reasons respondents said they would be attracted to a virtual reality environment was that the experience would be more realistic and that they would feel like they were part or personally involved in the event.

The research would come as good news to those in the market already experimenting with this ground-breaking technology.

Just this year, Optus launched the FIFA Virtual Reality app for the World Cup.

The app allowed fans to access full matches on demand, with extensive access to commentary and the ability to view the game up-close through a VR headset.

Organisations in the NRL, AFL and Cricket space have also begun trialling applications centred on virtual reality and 360-degree experiences.

“This type of exploration really shows how Virtual Reality technologies will be a game-changer for future world-wide sporting events. It’s an exciting prospect to think what might be available by the next World Cup,” Johns said .

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