Business video platform Wistia adds 360-degree video
Cambridge, Mass.-based firm sees businesses using 360 for “narrative experiences” and product walkthroughs.
Ever-innovative marketers have begun using 360-degree videos to get their messages out, and today business video platform Wistia is announcing its support for that format.
This includes the ability to host 360-degree videos on its site, as well as in its website-embeddable player. The Cambridge, Mass.-based company is also announcing a native iOS application, which allows a user to navigate the video via touch or, through the app’s tracking of the mobile device accelerometer, by tilting.
The video can also be viewed in a virtual reality headset so you can navigate by turning your head or body, but the format is pre-recorded 360-degree video, not virtual reality or split-screen 3D.
Also new: a 360-degree heatmap visualization (see top of this page) that helps marketers determine viewer behavior.
The image on the upper right is a frame from a 360-degree test video Wistia made, with the entire 360-degree space flattened into one image. The warmer, more orange areas show where the viewer spent the most time, either in an initial viewing or by coming back to that point. The cooler colors indicate less time.
The upper left image is the overall heat map info for that frame. The rows below indicate reactions by each of the specified viewers, over a timeline of the video. Cooler colors like the light green indicate less attention, while the more orange areas are where the viewer spent the most time.
CEO and founder Chris Savage told me that about 300 of his company’s customers have been using 360-degree video through a beta period. Its 200,000 client companies include Amway, HubSpot, MailChimp, Sephora, and Tiffany & Co.
He pointed to Automotive Advertising Group in Florida, which made 360s of the interiors of their used cars for their web site. They reported that the application helped them generate more leads than normal. (Click and drag inside the video to look around.)
Bottle Rocket Media in Chicago, he noted, has used 360-degree video “to bring people into narrative experiences,” like one that markets a local bar by watching a bartender making drinks. A viewer moving around the 360-degree space can see lists of ingredients on overlaid graphics cards.
Why would a business use Wistia rather than, say, YouTube for hosting its 360 videos?
Savage said the difference is “control,” since Wistia can include calls-to-action like entering your email address or making a purchase. Wistia’s player is also issued as a white-label so it can be branded, and the platform is integrated with marketing automation systems.