IZEA, Inc. operators of IZEAx, the premier online marketplace connecting brands and publishers with influential content creators, has launched the world’s first virtual reality influencer (“VR”) network.
The new network gives content creators the ability to produce highly-engaging virtual reality content for brands and agencies, and allows marketers to take their influencer and content marketing campaigns to the next level.
“While headset technology continues to evolve with products like Oculus Rift, Microsoft HoloLens and HTC Vive, we see the substantial near-term opportunity for virtual reality in app experiences that are shared through social media and consumed on mobile devices,” said Ted Murphy, Founder, Chairman and CEO of IZEA. “This new network enables us to begin delivering branded virtual reality content today, while providing a path for our network to grow as the technology evolves and becomes more widespread.”
In addition to virtual reality, IZEAx now also better highlights a creator’s ability to produce aerial or underwater content from drones and watertight hardware.
“Over the last several years, a wide array of affordable video content production hardware and software has ‘democratized’ the content landscape,” noted Murphy. “Some of the most influential content creators are now producing immersive virtual reality content based on aerial or underwater footage captured by drones and action cameras. IZEAx is a natural place to showcase this media and align our creators with marketers who are seeking unique, compelling content.”
The distribution and consumption of virtual reality video content — also known as “360 Video” — became more widely available when viewing technology was added to the Facebook mobile app in early 2015. The app provides users an immersive video experience without the need for a physical headset. The same headset-less experience has also become available in the YouTube mobile app and others. Major corporations like Disney, Delta and GoPro are now producing their own content to take advantage of the technology.
“Creators are beginning to use virtual reality tools to produce entirely new experiences for audiences,” said Nadia Aly, CEO of Scuba Diver Life and a creator in the IZEA Network. “You no longer need complicated or expensive hardware to produce immersive content. The core technology is now within reach of the average creator, and this is allowing VR content to be widely available via social media apps. As a creator, I can now bring my audience along with me in virtual reality experience, as I travel the globe or explore undersea worlds.”
To celebrate the launch of the new features, IZEA will be seeding select influencers in their network with virtual reality video cameras, drones and underwater action cameras. The company will be partnering with hardware providers and retailers to promote the adoption of next-generation production tools within the IZEA ecosystem and encourage mass-market adoption. “Empowered with this new equipment, we see our creators transforming the way they tell their stories, and making their content even more persuasive to consumers and valuable to brands and agencies,” said Murphy.