VR is the next big wave in content consumption: Jay Chauhan, Republic TV

Arnab Goswami surprised the media present at the recently concluded Zee Melt conference in Mumbai when he announced his new venture, Republic World. The announcement came less than a month after Goswami’s English news channel, Republic TV, hit the air waves. 

Elaborating further on Republic World, Goswami had said that that it would be on the digital platform and would be a free offering, available on all native devices. Republic World will have “never before done technology”, where the content will shot and displayed on virtual reality, for which his team was collaborating with experts from the US and Canada. 

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Jay Chauhan, COO, Republic TV, added, “Virtual Reality is the first of our initiatives to bring new content experiences to our audiences. It’s a cool way of storytelling because it transports people right to where the action is – no barriers stand in the way. Besides it also opens up new monetisation opportunities for us.” 

Explaining further, Chauhan said, “We all have seen reporters and anchors reading you stories or directing the camera to the third person so the audience is forced to see what is being shown, but here we are opening up the audiences to look into any direction they want to. Virtual reality is the next big wave for the way content is being perceived.” 

He informed that the VR content would be available on RepublicWorld.com as a new stream and a newly constituted VR Cell built in collaboration with experts from across the globe will begin rolling out VR content in the weeks ahead. 

But the entire technology doesn’t come cheap. Chauhan admitted that the overall production cost is definitely higher than normal news production, but at the same time insisted that if done well, it could be very effective. “With time, new cameras, technology and techniques will aid in making it cost efficient,” he affirmed. 

While stating that Republic World would bring a differentiated market offering to the table where there will be newer ways of experiencing content than what is available today, Chauhan maintained, “We are not looking at any particular TG. Republic World is meant for at anyone who is interested in good journalism and good stories.”


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