By Evan DeSimone
In another instance of linear television leveraging the potential of digital video to grab eyes, cable network SyFy has announced that it will promote its new series “The Expanse” with an immersive VR app.
In an effort to draw more attention to its latest original, SyFy has launched a series of immersive VR experiences set inside the futuristic world of “The Expanse.” Fans can download the mobile app on iOS and Android mobile devices and navigate through 360-degree scenarios from the show. Among the new clips dropped this week are a new scene in which viewers do a flyover of Tycho Station, the largest mobile space platform in the solar system. Also seen in detail is The Nauvoo, a two kilometer long Mormon missionary ship currently under construction in the universe of the show.
The new content is meant to give viewers an up-close experience of the show that serves the dual purpose of raising awareness and excitement, as well as providing a unique opportunity for world building from the series’ creators. A product of a partnership between Syfy and NBCUniversal Media Labs, the app was developed by IM360 in collaboration with artists at Digital Domain.
With the release of its VR app, SyFy joins a growing list of linear outlets that are using streaming video content to build audience for traditional linear projects. USA Network recently launched its sleeper hit “Mr. Robot” with an early online preview of the first episode. Lifetime Network utilized a similar strategy to launch its summer hit “UnReal,” making the first four episodes of the slightly off-brand series available on iTunes for free in order to hook holdouts. Networks have also become increasingly savvy about dolling out streaming rights for pevious seasons of current shows, allowing platforms such as Netflix and Hulu to build audience for new seasons of shows including “How To Get Away With Murder” and “Jane The Virgin” by streaming prior seasons so viewers can catch up.