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Default RadioInsight for Sunday 24 January 2016


KCRW Launches First Radio Station Virtual Reality App

Posted: 22 Jan 2016 08:50 AM PST

Santa Monica Community Colleges 89.9 KCRW Santa Monica/Los Angeles has
launched the first Virtual Reality app tied to a radio station. Available
for iOS and Android, the free KCRW VR app works with Google Cardboard and
the station is selling a station branded version. The app features special
360º videos of live artist performances from KCRW live sessions. The first
performances include Death Cab for Cutie, Brandi Carlile, Thundercat, and
Purity Ring. KCRW built a custom video rig to produce the videos utilizing
eight GoPro cameras. The video content will also be made available in
non-VR form on YouTube. Today, Los Angeles-based public radio station KCRW
announced the launch of their free Virtual Reality mobile app. Designed to
work with KCRW Cardboard (a branded version of Google Cardboard), the KCRW
VR app gives fans a unique opportunity to join a live session from the
station’s legendary basement studio, by putting viewers inside intimate
performances. The KCRW VR app launches with exclusive videos from artists
including, Death Cab for Cutie, Brandi Carlile, Thundercat, and Purity
Ring. KCRW is the first-ever public media entity and radio station to
launch a dedicated VR app, and with its in-house production team, will
continue to provide exclusive content throughout the year. Built by hand in
the basement of KCRW’s Santa Monica studio, the custom video rig features
eight GoPro cameras that allow each artist’s performance to be captured in
stereoscopic 3D (Virtual Reality) to create a 360º panoramic video. Footage
is then stitched together to create an immersive, stereoscopic 3D VR
experience that puts the user inside the session. “Now for the first time,
you can be in our studio with the artists. It’s a revolutionary change in
the way KCRW curated artists and music can be discovered. We are always
striving for creative ways to connect with our community and we’re so
excited to try out this new technology together,” commented Jennifer Ferro,
KCRW president. Performances are captured during artist’s in-studio
sessions for Morning Becomes Eclectic, the station’s flagship music
program. Artists and songs available at launch include: Death Cab for Cutie
– “The Ghosts of Beverly Drive” Brandi Carlile – “Murder in the City”
Thundercat – “Them Changes” Purity Ring – “Stranger Than Earth” “VR is
undoubtedly the next frontier for blockbuster entertainment. While the
biggest studios in Hollywood develop content for the masses, KCRW can
amplify the outstanding live sessions that take place on a regular basis at
the station, and offer a uniquely immersive experience to the audience,”
said KCRW Music Director Jason Bentley. “This exciting initiative matches
KCRW curated music and art with exciting new technologies and partnerships
for wider distribution.” Additional performances will be captured
throughout the year, with video from Penguin Prison, Mew, Gardens and
Villa, Amason, Mr. Pauer, Shana Halligan, Natalia Lafourcade, Korey Dane
and Langhorne Slim, slated for release in the upcoming months. All videos,
including several exclusive app-only performances, will live on the KCRW
app, with select content featured in the KCRW branded room on Samsung’s
MilkVR. To experience KCRW’s exclusive performances in full stereoscopic VR
video, fans can download the free app in the iOS and Android stores and can
purchase a specially designed KCRW Cardboard, with artwork by Mr. Scruff,
for only a $5.00 donation to Users that do not have KCRW
Cardboard can still watch the videos as an interactive 360 degree video on
KCRW’s YouTube channel. For more information on KCRW’s virtual reality
experience, including a behind-the-scenes video, visit

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