When virtual reality is brought up, the train of thought normally turns to the gaming world. Video games have embraced virtual reality the most, and companies like HTC and Oculus are using gaming as a means to bring virtual reality to the masses. However, the gaming market, no matter how passionate and devoted those people are, is relatively niche, especially when it comes to VR. But TV binging is something that I’m fairly confident most people can agree upon. With that in mind, Hulu is devoting itself to creating and bringing VR television shows to its platform.
“We are spending a lot of time on virtual reality,” Ben Smith, Hulu’s head of experience, told Variety. That’s about as specific as Smith got, neglecting to offer any details on programs in development or when we might expect Hulu to rollout some VR offerings, but apparently, the company is dedicated to bringing some immersive and encompassing television content to the streaming audience. These won’t just be little mini-movies are one-offs of VR content. No, Hulu wants to make the next, great streaming show a binge-inducing VR experience.
Hulu has already dipped its toe into the VR waters; the company is hard at work producing the short film The Big One and RocketJump: The Show which will be VR compatible. Currently, Hulu is the only TV provider, streaming or otherwise, to announce interest in bringing VR content to their consumers. This could very well help Hulu catch up to its closest competitor, Netflix, in the online streaming world.
Hulu has scored a lot of small victories recently, including acquiring streaming rights for Seinfeld and launching the Golden Globe nominated comedy series Casual in 2015. With more original programming on the horizon in 2016, including the James Franco starring series 11/22/63, Hulu is finally starting to pack some heat against Netflix. If they can successfully launch the first VR television program to bingeable fervor, Hulu might have a chance at knocking Netflix out of the top spot.