Somewhat surprisingly, one of the best apps on Samsung’s Gear VR is from Netflix. The streaming giant’s VR app lets you watch the likes of Daredevil and Jessica Jones in a virtual mansion on a seemingly immense wall-mounted television.
But even though Netflix was quick to board the VR train, don’t expect to see any shows designed for VR appear any time soon. In an interview with Mashable France for the launch of Netflix’s first French show, Marseilles, CEO Reed Hastings said that VR content just isn’t on the radar.
“We’re really focused on movies and TV shows and doing more of those, which you can watch in a virtual reality headset if you want to,” Hastings said, “but we think most people will watch Netflix on a smartphone or a smart TV.”
Doing a full 360
This seems to fly in the face to what Netflix’s Vice President of Product Development, Chris Jaffe, told techradar last month,
“VR in the near term might be seen as something for gaming but we’re interested too,” Jaffe said. “My personal take is I’m interested in seeing where the storytelling aspects develop.
“Of course there’s a technical side with technology, but at heart the important thing is the story and my feeling is that it has to lead there. Consumers want stories to be told in various ways.”
More likely though, Netflix is looking at VR as a long term plan. With the recent expansion of Netflix Everywhere around the globe, there is a real push for Netflix to begin creating and publishing movies and TV shows to a global audience.
With VR still in its infancy on the hardware side, there’s a lot more growth for Netflix in catering to a global audience, rather than the VR niche.
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