JW Player adds virtual reality to its app creation suite

VR demo at the IBC 2016 FutureZone. Image: FierceOnlineVideo

Online video platform provider JW Player is adding virtual reality and 360-degree video capability to its streaming service offerings for publishers, jumping feet-first into the VR segment with a product that includes SDKs to enable streaming over native apps, in addition to an HTML5 plugin for browser-based streaming.

The vendor said its VR/360 apps will work with several different types of VR headsets including Samsung’s Gear VR, Google Cardboard and the upcoming Google Daydream View.

A spokesperson for JW Player said that while competitors like Ooyala and Brightcove offer VR and 360 publishing, those offerings are only browser-based and therefore lower performance. “Only niche, expensive VR shops offer what we have. We are cost effective and existing large publishers using JW Player get a very simple to use, fast to market solution to build owned & operated VR apps as well as enabled for their existing HTML5 players on browsers.”

The virtual reality capability and SDKs are a big addition to JW Player’s recently-launched, open-source app builder. That new tool enables publishers of just about any size to create and launch a streaming app tied to their JW Player platform in as little as 24 hours.

RELATED: JW Player's open-source app builder could change the mobile OTT game for smaller providers

For publishers, fast app creation can be a huge money-saver – one JW Player client, Tasting Table, said the tool likely saved them $25,000 to $35,000 in development costs. Other streaming platform providers, from Ooyala to Ericsson and more, are increasingly offering turnkey services such as app creation that on-ramp publishers into streaming environments much more quickly.

JW Player has been building up its streaming platform in the wake of a successful $20 million Series D funding round back in January, one that’s evident in this most recent launch.