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Breaking down barriers to VR

By Julia Hamiton Trost and Kurt Wilms

Head of VR/AR Content & Partnerships

YouTube is where people go to experience VR videos. With over one million VR videos and experiences, YouTube VR offers a diverse library of immersive content for everyone to enjoy and explore the world from a new perspective.

But to make VR for everyone, we have to continue breaking down barriers on how people create and watch VR content on YouTube. To do this, we’re focused on offering YouTube VR on even more platforms, celebrating award-winning VR content and improving creator education programs.

Offering YouTube VR on even more platforms


Since the initial launch of the YouTube VR app in November 2016, we’ve been focused on bringing the app to as many people with a VR headset as possible. It’s already available on Daydream View, HTC Vive, Playstation VR, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Go and Oculus Rift. And when Oculus Quest becomes available on Tuesday, May 21, the YouTube VR app will be available as a launch title.

Celebrating award-winning VR content on YouTube


VR allows creators to transport their audiences to new, amazing and even impossible places. We’ve partnered with creators to bring immersive experiences to YouTube. And, over the last six months, these VR videos have been recognized with a number of standout awards, including Emmy®, Webby and Streamy awards.

Baobab Studios recently nabbed multiple Emmy® awards for the animated short film, “Crow: The Legend VR.” With a star-studded cast — including John Legend, Oprah, Liza Koshy and Constance Wu — this immersive short film is animated VR content at its best.

But the Emmy® awards didn’t stop there. NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory won an Emmy® for their “Cassini's Grand Finale 360°” videos and NASA's first 360° livestream. These 360-degree videos transport viewers to space, unlocking an out-of-this-world experience.

Isle of Dogs: Behind the Scenes (in Virtual Reality)” won two Webby Awards and the Clio Entertainment Gold award. The immersive video takes the audience behind-the-scenes of the film, featuring on-set interviews with the cast and an inside look at the unique craft of stop-motion animation.


Improving creator education through the YouTube VR Creator Lab


As part of our efforts to continue democratizing VR content creation, we’re currently accepting applications for the European edition of the YouTube VR Creator Lab. This three-month, learning and production intensive helps creators embrace YouTube’s VR180 format.

Selected participants get to attend a three-day boot camp at a YouTube Space and receive advanced education from leading VR instructors and filmmakers, ongoing mentoring, a shiny VR180 camera to keep, and $20,000 USD in funding toward the production of their dream projects.

Since the program launched in 2017, we’ve hosted six YouTube VR Creator Labs with over 60 creators across the globe in Los Angeles, London and Tokyo. Participants have gone on to win Emmy and Streamy awards for their VR content created during the lab.


We’re excited to see where VR will bring us next!