Two of the entertainment industry’s biggest collective obsessions are China and virtual reality (VR). But in spite of the overabundant eagerness to mine their respective riches, Hollywood has struggled translate all that potential into viable projects.
But Palo Alto, Ca.-based Jaunt VR could potentially break the code for both simultaneously with the launch of Jaunt China, a China-based VR company, announced today, formed in partnership with Shanghai Media Group (SMG) and China Media Capital (CMC), two of China’s largest media companies.
Jaunt China will create VR experiences across such verticals as travel, adventure, narrative, music and sports for international audiences. Initial programming will include “The Voice of China,” virtual tours of Shanghai, and music videos from the band SNH48.
Jaunt China’s productions are being shot using the Jaunt ONE VR camera, then composed and processed using Jaunt’s cloud-based rendering pipeline, Jaunt Cloud Services (JCS), which runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS) in China.
Jaunt China will also be drawing on the content libraries of SMG and CMC and partnering with additional brands, creatives and content partners throughout Asia.
Founded in 2013 by Jens Christensen, Arthur van Hoff and Tom Annau, Jaunt has raised more than $100 million in financing, capped by a $66 million Series C round last September led by Disney, CAA-backed Evolution Media Capital and Jaunt China partner CMC. In tandem with the Jaunt China deal, SMG will also invest in Jaunt’s U.S. operation.
Jaunt has been Google’s preferred partner for all its 360-degree video and immersive content, creating the first wave of streamable 360-degree video ads for YouTube, and has also worked on VR projects for ABC and Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame Tour, as well as partnered with Paul McCartney on a six-part documentary series.
In February, Jaunt announced it was parntering with Condé Nast Entertainment (CNÉ), director Doug Liman (“The Bourne Identity,” “Edge of Tomorrow”) and his 30 Ninjas production partner Julina Tatlock to produce “Invisible,” an episodic virtual reality action-adventure series.