Vertebrae advertising raises $10M to put advertising in VR
Lets be honest. Do you really want to have advertising all over your games and apps in Virtual Reality? Vertebrae thinks so, as do the investors who just spent $10M on Series A funding.
So who are Vertebrae?
They formed about a year ago to build an advertising platform specifically designed for virtual reality. As we have seen there is an ever-expanding marketplace with HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, and more recently Playstation VR and up-and-comers Fove VR and Pimax. The reality is that some think there is a space to put advertising in front of consumers for all these platforms as the market grows.
Clearly, it is not something that is a very positive thing for those who know how important the immersive experience is. Its bad enough the level of distraction we experience surfing browsers or just walking the streets. So why do we want to have advertising in our immersive and escape experiences as well? The whole idea of VR is meant to be an escape from Reality, not keeping us fully entrenched in more of the same!
The advertising pitch and their counter-argument to this, or is it?
Now there is a counter-argument that some would say advertising makes sense. Of course there is! Naturally companies want to make money, and what better way to do that than to ensure that there is sufficient consumer interest and awareness in VR by way of advertising. The argument that Vertebrae might have is that VR is going to make VR more fun for consumers with immersive advertising. Certainly there is an argument that says that could be true. You might remember the famous Budweiser commercials with all the guys screaming on the phone at each other yelling Wassup.
So while this might be the opportunity to create something fun like this in VR, I very much doubt that every advertisement will be anywhere near this! Frankly we will be lucky to get one as good as this one. So its really hard to get even remotely excited about putting advertising into what is supposed to be an escape from reality.
Naturally the VR publishers have a big interest in this happening as they are already shifting from websites to video and more advertising is heading to YouTube than ever before. Getting users to be forced to watching advertising is a clever way to get around the traditional in-game advertising and paying not to have it. Their idea to make it part of the experience might work although that may cost more than they think, and really requires a lot more experience in VR storytelling than anyone has even mastered today.
So what do you think? Do you agree with Vertebrae that there is some value in advertising in VR? Share your thoughts and opinions with us. And if you agree with Vertebrae, we hear they are hiring so good luck!