Verizon’s AOL Buys Virtual Reality Video Specialist RYOT

AOL has announced that it has agreed to acquire RYOT Corp., the immersive media company and virtual reality content studio based in Los Angeles. RYOT will join The Huffington Post, a leading global source of breaking news, opinion, entertainment and community, to deliver award-winning films, linear video, 360°, and VR content. RYOT will also dramatically enhance the content capabilities of Partner Studio by AOL, by providing cutting-edge, immersive solutions for its brand partners.

“The Huffington Post is continuing to reimagine journalism as we move into the next generation of dynamic storytelling,” said Arianna Huffington, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post. “From Day 1, we’ve been committed to using all the tools at our disposal to tell the most important stories of our time. And our work so far with RYOT covering the refugee crisis in Greece, The Crossing, has done just that – combining technology and storytelling to put flesh and blood on a human crisis that, for far too many around the world, had become an abstraction. It’s just the beginning of what we can do together covering news events, leading cultural conversations on a global scale, and going beyond raising awareness to making a difference in people’s lives.”

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. RYOT will bring it’s 360° and VR capabilities to The Huffington Post’s 15 global editions, dramatically changing both how The Huffington Post captures the stories and how consumers engage with the content on a daily basis.

“The Huffington Post blazed the trail by empowering people to tell their own stories in their own voices,” said RYOT Co-Founder Bryn Mooser. “RYOT is born out of that same mission. Together, we’ll bring our immersive virtual reality storytelling to their global news network and we couldn’t be more excited. It’s a game changer.”

RYOT has deep expertise in creating virtual reality content and experiences in partnership with marquee brands as well as global non-profit organizations. Together, Partner Studio by AOL, The Huffington Post and RYOT will help brands tell stories in new and meaningful ways, by spotlighting the world’s most interesting innovators, disruptors and agents for change. Ultimately, AOL properties including Autoblog, BUILD, Engadget, MAKERS and TechCrunch will also have access to RYOT’s VR capabilities.