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Nokia: why VR is crucial to the future of entertainment

VR is the entertainment industry’s best hope for holding onto young audiences who increasingly watch less TV and more video online on mobile devices and platforms such as YouTube.

So says Nokia’s Vesa Rantanen, head of research and development at Nokia Technologies.

The industry needs to change its thinking about entertainment and the idea that video content can continue to be a shared linear experience, argued Rantanen, speaking at a Future Zone session on the future of media.

“The idea of a shared experience has already gone. Just look at how school kids are connected. They all watch video on YouTube on mobile and use social media platforms and constantly interact on Snapchat.”

The advantage of VR is that it is entertainment delivered over headsets which have the ability to command your attention with three to five-minute experiences.

Immersive VR viewing has one big advantage over traditional media in that it gives you the complete and undivided attention of your viewer.

That is of huge importance for advertisers, said Rantanen. The creation of meaningful and immersive VR entertainment experiences was another big challenge, he added.

The good news is that launches such as Disney Movies VR means that there will definitely be more meaningful virtual reality entertainment experiences.

“Essentially it all boils down to content,” said Rantanen, “which is why Nokia came up with the OZO [VR camera], to make the job of creating great quality VR content easier.”

China will be a big driver of the VR market, he predicts, because it already has a community of 200m gamers.