We’re entering the dawn of virtual reality in pop culture.
Its tantalizing possibilities long promised, VR technology has become a staple for conventions and events in recent years. This week Fox went next-level, launching the Scream Queens 360° VR Experience, a weekly behind-the-scenes look at the Ryan Murphy show.
While it’s not Fox’s first foray into VR (their Sleepy Hollow Oculus Rift won an Emmy), it is the first time a big broadcast network has produced this kind of immersive, behind the scenes VR experience for a TV show, thanks to the help of SuperSphere.
When deciding what show to launch this experience with, there was no question that it was going to be social media darling Scream Queens.
“It comes down to three things. One is the genius of Ryan Murphy and his team in bringing this world to life. Second, is the intensely textured and brilliant cast and their desire to align with fans on a more deeper, meaningful level. And third, the fan fervor around Scream Queens. How do we reward them with an immersive and extended view of this world? When you look at the rich tapestry of the house, everything from the closets to the bedroom, it’s just rich with opportunity,” said Angela Courtin, EVP and chief marketing officer, Fox. “Now that VR has become a low cost, high volume game, we can do this in scale.”
“I think it’s the right tenor for Fox and for our audience,” said Courtin. “We’re attracting a younger audience that is consuming content and looking at it cross-platform.”
Scream Queens’s VR Experience is clearly just the beginning of a trend that Fox hopes to incorporate across all of its shows.
“When we shift our focus to how we serve our audience and create connections that are deeper and meaningful, it’s really going to come down to how we expand the universe of a single property,” said Courtin. “How do we allow audiences a more tangible relationship with the content, with the cast, with the experience of actually being on a set, whether that’s breaking the fourth wall and going behind the scenes or whether that’s part of the actual experience.”
In a content-starved world with audiences wanting hands-on involvement, the oncoming virtual reality revolution is coming.
“I think, and I mean this gently, the more tentacles we attach to our fans and to our products, that their loyalty will extend season over season and whatever content we put out in the world, they’re rabidly consuming,” said Courtin. “We saw that in the early days of social, and now that’s become a mainstay of our buffet. Now adding VR is just yet another experience, one that is truly immersive for our fans. It’s about deepening that engagement.”
But Courtin doesn’t want VR to become superfluous and overused. It must serve a purpose.
“That’s really the litmus test that I want to make sure our team deploys,” she said. “Where can we create a valuable and engaging experience for our consumers? How do we make sure that we’re not just creating VR for VR’s sake, but how do we find those elements of each one of our shows that we want to explore deeper in terms of technology and content.”
Luckily, fans can now explore deeper with the recently launched Scream Queens 360° VR Experience, found on Facebook, YouTube 360 and through the Samsung Milk VR headset, with eight weekly installments.
Scream Queens airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Fox.
Cube image courtesy of Fox.