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Discovery Launches Virtual Reality Initiative

Discovery Communications is jumping into the virtual reality game with a new brand and a suite of cross-platform apps and services for iOS and Android devices, the Samsung Milk VR premium video service and on YouTube.

The new initiative, called Discovery VR, launched today with a slate of original content, show extensions and plans for additional short-form programming that will be offered across several platforms.

Early on, Discovery VR is offering original short-form virtual reality “experiences” featuring content from Discovery and Science Channel and Discovery Digital Network brand, including Mythbusters Shark Dive, Pay Dirt, How to Survive in The Wild, Adventure (freeboarding and other “heart-pounding” action), and Planet (virtual tours of the Redwood Forest and Half Moon Bay, with similar VR journeys of Earth’s deserts, jungles, mountains and oceans on tap).

In addition to mobile apps (which can be used in tandem with the Google Cardboard viewer) and its Milk VR offering, Discovery is making its virtual reality fare available at, noting that the approach “builds on the company’s tradition of leveraging the power of new technologies to bring us closer to the world and its stories.” 

Discovery, which developed the apps and Website player in partnership with LittlStar.

“Discovery Communications has long innovated by bringing together emerging technologies with a keen focus on quality content and storytelling, and DISCOVERY VR is a natural and powerful extension of our commitment to aggressively pursuing new horizons,” Conal Byrne, SVP of digital media, Discovery Communications, said.  “Virtual reality has the power to immerse fans in the action, and we look forward to telling stories in this new space like never before.”

Discovery is the latest programmer to jump into VR. Last month, Syfy launched an iOS and Android app for Google Cardboard viewer to promote The Expanse, a drama series from Alcon TV that’s set for a December 2015 premiere on the NBCU-owned network.