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The partnership between Verizon Media’s Yahoo and THR will enable hollywoodreporter.com to deploy augmented reality experiences on both desktop and mobile web browsers through Yahoo’s Immersive Platform. The platform, which launched last summer, is described as “a proprietary technology platform powered by a powerful combination of creators, in-house 3D-savvy storytellers of all verticals, feed-the-beast producers and product, engineering and operations teams, which create XR experiences across news, sports, finance, entertainment and wellness content — further immersing audiences into the stories they enjoy consuming across its platforms.”
Yahoo says the program offers “consumers the unique opportunity to further immerse themselves in the stories they love.” THR becomes one of the digital publishers Yahoo is working with “to continue to pair its leading tech and creative capabilities, as well as massive distribution, with talented journalists and storylines that experiment with formats and explore what XR news and immersive journalism can be in a 5G-powered world.”
The launch project with THR, “The Immersive Red Carpet and Roundtable Experience,” is a spinoff of THR’s Oscar Roundtable video series. Visitors to THR and Yahoo Entertainment’s websites will be able to view and interact with nominees for best director, best actor and best actress through an audio-enabled augmented reality (AR) experience.
In essence, the initiative aims to bring the red carpet experience to audiences through their mobile device or desktop using webAR, featuring 3D versions of favorite stars walking the carpet and sound bites taken from THR’s Roundtable series. Exclusive clips from THR’s roundtables series will debut on Yahoo Entertainment as part of this partnership, creating an immersive experience for consumers that also will drive news.
The Hollywood Reporter joins publications such as USA Today, Reuters, The Associated Press, NowThis and L.A. Times in the Yahoo XR Partner Program, which launched in 2019 and is powered in part by Yahoo Ryot Lab, Verizon Media’s award-winning innovation creative content studio.
“This augmented reality experience demonstrates Yahoo’s unique ability to create immersive content at a rapid pace and at scale. Through the Yahoo News XR Partner Program, we enable our publications to respond to news and cultural milestones with an interactive experience that brings their readership closer to the story,” said Joanna Lambert, head of Consumer at Verizon Media. “At Yahoo, we couldn’t be more excited to partner with The Hollywood Reporter as we fulfill a long-standing vision of expanding the celebrity coverage and entertainment conversation in innovative new ways.”
Added Matt Bravmann, senior director of marketing at THR: “The Hollywood Reporter is thrilled to evolve our iconic entertainment legacy by joining forces with the Yahoo News XR Partner Program. By bringing Hollywood’s biggest stars to audiences’ living rooms and recreating the excitement of the red carpet, we’re able to capture the emotional connection audiences are craving now more than ever. This is truly a new frontier of entertainment technology and storytelling.”
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