Jaunt Becomes a VR Content Distributor

Jaunt, the “cinematic” virtual reality specialist that counts Disney among its backers, is targeting VR content creators with a new program that will offer a curated mix of fare that will be made compatible for several VR platforms.

The new Jaunt Publishing program will enable partners to publish their content directly to the Jaunt VR app. The program is not exclusive, as content makers can distribute their product via other means.

Jaunt said the aim is to enable content providers to upload their content once and have it transcoded and prepared for multiple VR platforms, noting that it currently supports iOS, Android, Samsung Gear VR, the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, desktop 360 and the PlayStation VR, a new offering for Sony PlayStation 4 consoles that’s set to debut in the U.S. on October 13.

Jaunt said an internal review board will judge which VR content is approved for its curated portal, which will feature content in genres such as Film, Travel, Music and Sports.

Those who make the grade will get access to Jaunt Cloud Services (JCS), a cloud-based VR production software suite, publishing tools, support for spatial audio formats such as Dolby Atmos, and processing and preparation for distribution to supported platforms. Every piece of approved content is affixed with a dedicated deep link/“smart” URL that’s accessible on platforms with the Jaunt VR app.

“With adoption of cinematic VR still in its early days, we’re forced to make some tough choices when it comes to the experiences that we publish on our platform,” the program details note.

Examples of VR fare offered via Jaunt early on include The Pulland Invasion!, a new animated VR short from Baobab Studios, which is backed by Comcast Ventures.

Per the FAQ, Jaunt’s new program is ad-free (it will renegotiate agreements that require ads). While “overt” ads are prohibited, Jaunt does allow logos and brand bumpers that are “not overly promotional.”

Jaunt adds that “[m]onetization is in the roadmap, but it’s not currently an option. When the time comes, Jaunt will work directly with the owner of the content to establish an agreement and mechanism for payment.”

Jaunt, which has raised more than $100 million, is backed by The Walt Disney Company, Evolution Media Partners, China Media Capital, Highland Capital Partners, Google Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Axel Springer, ProSiebenSat. 1 SE, The Madison Square Garden Company, Peter Gotcher, Sling Media co-founder Blake Krikorian, and Sky.