Report: Netflix Shelves VR Plans Until The Medium Evolves

Netflix doesn’t seem to be entirely sold on the idea of streaming content in VR format, according to a recent report citing Chief Production Officer, Greg Peters, during a media event hosted in Hollywood. Although the platform previously launched VR applications for mobile virtual reality solutions including the Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream, the company doesn’t seem to have any immediate plans for expanding into this particular medium. Instead, according to Greg Peters, Netflix is currently keeping a close eye on how the VR market will evolve beyond its early days before deciding whether or not further investment in this particular area is feasible.

According to the report, the main reason why Netflix is now waiting to see how the VR segment will evolve lies in the fact that current virtual reality solutions have been developed primarily for gaming. Evidently, the platform’s main focus is to distribute movies and shows over the Internet, and while most VR solutions give users the possibility to watch non-interactive entertainment through their headsets, Greg Peters doesn’t see VR solutions as being the best medium for Netflix subscribers to consume the type of content provided by the platform. That’s not to say that Netflix is abandoning the idea of VR streaming entirely, however it appears that whether or not the platform will make new pushes into the VR segment will largely depend on how the virtual reality platform evolves in the future. Netflix’ first push into the VR segment was made back in 2015 when the platform was launched on the Samsung Gear VR, and a year later a VR-focused Netflix application was also released on the Play Store for the Google Daydream solution.

It’s worth reminding that the streaming service is experimenting with non-linear entertainment in the form of interactive storytelling content, which allows Netflix users to make decisions throughout an episode and shape future content. This was first introduced last year with two shows for kids including Puss In Book: Trapped In An Epic Tale, and Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile. In addition, Netflix is working on launching a third interactive show – Stretch Armstrong: The Breakdown, which should be available later this year. Last December there were also reports that Netflix might prepare interactive storytelling content for adults, but as yet there's no official information regarding the matter.

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