Verizon plans to turn Yahoo News into XR powerhouse with 5G

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Verizon is planning to use 5G to transform Yahoo News into the world’s largest aggregator of immersive journalism.

The Yahoo News extended reality (XR) partner programme will offer access to 5G technology at Verizon’s lab and studio in Los Angeles, where initial partners USA Today, Reuters, The Associated Press, Time and NowThis will work on immersive productions to be distributed through the online news aggregator.

As one of the largest news aggregators in the world, Yahoo News is an ideal platform through which to distribute and, most importantly for publishers and production companies, monetise content.

Yahoo News XR partner programme productions will be monetised through Verizon Media’s RYOT Augmented Reality (AR) Ads software development kit (SDK). The AR SDK “makes it easier and more cost effective to produce XR content”, according to Verizon, with AR ads and audience engagement analytics.

Alex Wallace, general manager of news, entertainment and studios at Verizon Media, said: “Through the Yahoo News XR partner programme, we want to accelerate the development of extended reality content from our trusted news partners and offer our audiences the best-in-class next-generation journalism.”

A slate of AR experiences has been lined up to kick off the Yahoo News XR partner programme, including a feature reported from the US southern border that will give readers a new lens through which to experience the border wall and understand immigration issues.

Yahoo News will also publish an immersive, sensory feature that places readers virtually alongside a crew of California firefighters as they prepare to battle through the state’s wildfire season.

The initial partners of the programme were enthusiastic about their participation, with USA Today director of emerging technology Ray Soto looking forward to getting his hands on the Verizon technology and Yahoo News distribution capabilities that will “revolutionise the content we produce”.

Mia Tramz, editorial director of enterprise and immersive experiences at Time, said: “Time is proud to be at the forefront of using innovative technologies in our multi-platform journalism and storytelling. We are thrilled to partner with the Yahoo News XR partner programme to bring our immersive projects to an even wider audience.”

Image credit: Verizon