Virtual reality will have a life beyond video games, and Hulu wants to be at the forefront of providing immersive, passive programming. It’s currently investing a lot of time, energy and resources into coming up with VR shows for the masses.
Variety reported on the company’s plans which, as of yet, are still a little vague. “We are spending a lot of time on virtual reality,” said Ben Smith, the company’s head of experience, although he did not specify what particular projects the company had in mind, or how far along they are.
Smith did make one thing clear, however: He wants Hulu’s programs to be immersive, habitual television rather than one-off tech demos. Convincing people of VR’s benefits does not appear to be Hulu’s goal; rather, it wants to give early adopters something they can watch week after week, just like a two-dimensional show.
In September, Hulu announced that it would produce a short VR film called The Big One, which will act as a companion piece to RocketJump: The Show. Filmmaker Freddie Wong will work in conjunction with Lionsgate and VR company WEVR to make it happen, although Hulu has not provided any updates since September, and has no information on when it will be released.
Still, if VR catches on, it should pique the interest of videophiles as well as gamers. (Remember: game consoles first took streaming services like Netflix and Hulu into the mainstream.) Hulu may not be the only company pursuing a long-form VR TV experience, but unless another company steps up to the platform, it might be the first.