MESA at CES: YuMe Marks VR Efforts; Dolby Picks its Top News

LAS VEGAS — Audience tech company YuMe debuted its new 360-degree ad format for both brands and advertisers ahead of CES, with the goal of opening up more immersive video possibilities for its clients.

And at the show itself, the company hinted at what it’s got in store next, especially in the virtual reality space.

“We’re focused on bridging brand advertising with the content experiences, and there are so many opportunities that are opening up in the VR space,” Victoria Steinberg, senior director of emerging markets for YuMe, told MESA. “The numbers we’ve seen are so significant. VR can tell a powerful story, making people more attached to the brand.

Those numbers come via a new study YuMe released around CES, with showed 63% of those consumers who’ve experiences virtual reality and other immersive technologies say it’s “the next big thing.”

“We believe the appetite for immersive ad experiences is growing rapidly and that savvy brands and agencies who want to interact authentically with consumers and drive higher engagement should explore these ad formats,” said Tripp Boyle, VP of emerging platforms for YuMe. “We’re proud to be a leader in this latest industry innovation arc, as we see tremendous value for brands in vertical markets, including auto, entertainment, travel and retail, to offer interactive experiences and deepen consumer bonds with their brands.”

More than 85% of consumers have heard of immersive technologies like VR, and nearly 30% have tried it, according to the study, and VR tops both 360-degree video and augmented reality, in terms of consumer awareness.

Sixty percent of consumers who’ve tried VR said it creates positive brand awareness, and more than half of consumers who’ve tried 360-degree video said they’re more likely to engage with ads because of it.

“Our survey indicates a strong, favorable perception of VR, AR and 360-degree video,” said Mireya Arteaga, research lead for YuMe. “We believe the value for marketers is that it can also create a halo effect over brands that incorporate these immersive experiences into their marketing strategies. Overall, brands are often perceived as more innovative and therefore we believe consumers are more likely to pay attention to their ads.”

Also at CES:

Patrick Griffis, VP of Dolby’s office of the CTO, just smiled when asked what Dolby’s top news was at CES. There was so much, he had to take a second to decide.

“I think Sony’s announcement with Dolby Vision,” Griffis told MESA, regarding Sony’s announcement that its new Bravia OLED 4K HDR TVs would support Dolby Vision, marking another win for Dolby’s high-dynamic range technology. “They’re a leader in the industry, and their support is such a validation.”

He also pointed to partnerships with Lenovo, LG, Philips, Pioneer, and TCL, along with the company’s joint announcement with Hollywood studios (Lionsgate, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment) that future Ultra High-Def (UHD) Blu-ray Discs would feature Dolby Vision.

“Clearly that’s an important series of content partnerships,” Griffis said.

And speaking of Sony Electronics, the giant consumer electronics company’s CES was as well-attended and as flashy as usual, with the company debuting its new OLED 4K HDR sets, sharing 53.4 million PlayStation 4s have now been sold worldwide, and that its long-awaited UHD Blu-ray will finally be available this spring.

“With this new lineup of products, consumers — especially home theater enthusiasts — have the opportunity to create a truly immersive audio and video experience in their home,” said Mike Fasulo, president and COO of Sony Electronics. “With Sony’s expertise throughout the entire process, from the studio to the living room, Sony Electronics is uniquely positioned to provide customers with the best possible listening and viewing experience. Just as some of our sound products are tuned by some of the best audio engineers in the business, select video and home theater products, like the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player, are developed with collaboration from our colleagues at Sony Pictures.”

The UBP-X800 4K UHD Blu-ray player supports DVD, CD and Blu-ray 3D, in addition to UHD Blu-rays, along with BD-ROM media, and when playing 4K HDR content on SDR screen, the player automatically adjusts brightness and color gradations to provide the best picture available. Pricing and an exact street date will be announced soon, the company said.