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Disney-Backed Jaunt Launches Publishing Program for Virtual Reality Content

Palo Alto, California-based virtual reality (VR) startup Jaunt is making it easier for creators to get their videos and experiences onto VR headsets: Jaunt’s new publishing program allows filmmakers to upload their 360-degree videos and then include them in the Jaunt app on all major VR platforms.

Jaunt’s publishing program also offers cloud-based transcoding and support for spacial audio. Once approved, content will be available through a deep link, which will automatically take users to the right app on their mobile or VR device. Currently, Jaunt supports iOS, Android, Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR and 360 videos on the web.

Jaunt isn’t the only company courting creators to upload their content. A number of players have emerged to become the Hulu, Netflix or YouTube of VR.

Notable efforts include Samsung, who has extended its Milk VR service from its Gear VR headset to the web and mobile devices. And then there is YouTube itself, which has been supporting VR content for some time, and is now getting ready to play a major role on Google’s Daydream VR platform. YouTube has also been courting creators with cloud-based VR production tools and direct integration into select VR cameras.

Jaunt thinks it can stand out from the competition with its cross-platform approach as well as active curation that will put a spotlight on VR that won’t make you feel nauseous. “We’re excited to be able to work with more of the VR creative community to showcase the high quality VR experiences they’re making,” said Jaunt’s CTO and interim CEO Arthur van Hoff.

Distribution, however, doesn’t necessarily mean making money in these early days of VR. Jaunt’s publishing program doesn’t currently offer any options to charge for content or use ads, but a company spokesperson told Variety that “monetization is certainly on the roadmap.”

Jaunt has raised around $100 million in funding to date. In September, it raised a $65 million Series C with participation from Disney, Evolution Media Partners and China Media Capital.

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