New York Times Goes Big on VR in NewFront Programming Slate

Paper of Record also revives its R&D Lab, bridging its newsroom and product teams

The New York Times is dedicated to reaching millennials, which was clear at this morning’s NewFront presentation that focused on VR. The Times announced six new signature video series during the event which included a hands-on demonstration of the company’s VR content.

Chief revenue officer Meredith Kopit Levien says the Times invested in the “visual now” and new titles include visual takes on topics such as music, sports, business, science and travel.

“The New York Times continues to lead the way to a visual future for great, original storytelling, not just for anyone, but for the world’s most curious and influential minds,” said Kopit Levien. “It is one of the reasons why we’re so excited about our new slate of shows that were announced at our NewFront today.”

The new content allows advertisers a chance to work with T Brand Studio, the paper’s premium brand marketing unit, to create custom, high-quality, marketer videos based on the series’ theme that can be discovered alongside Times videos.

The Times also announced Times Story X, a rebirth of its R&D Lab as part of the newsroom and product teams. Beginning this summer, Times Story X will aim to connect designers and developers at the Times with research and experimentation that looks beyond immediate news, product and advertising cycles. The Times hopes this demonstrates how emerging innovations in technology will transform the way we communicate.

The New York Times Magazine announced its annual Voyages issue as the company’s first ever VR episodic series set to debut this fall.

Read on for the Paper of Record’s New interactive shows, in the company’s own words:

“The Fine Line – Olympics: Rio de Janeiro 2016”
Using a seamless integration of video, text and motion capture graphics, The Times will create a deeper understanding of the athletic feats that astound us and give viewers a chance to connect with the competition more profoundly than ever before. To be released in the weeks leading up to Rio, the series will break down how each athlete competes, illuminating the techniques they use to gain an advantage in their sport. The series will also feature interviews with star athletes of Swimming, Gymnastics and Track & Field.

“The Inside Track: Making of Tomorrow’s Hits”
The Inside Track will tell the story of how music is made, one hit song at a time. Unique access to top artists combined with groundbreaking visualizations take viewers through the structure of a song, layer-by-layer. What unfolds is a visual narrative that is linked to the sound itself and an intimate look at a hit song taking shape. Visually unified by sophisticated graphics and compelling storytelling, The Inside Track will feature singer-songwriters whose process tells us something about the state of music both today and tomorrow.

“Out There: News From the Other Side”
Out There takes viewers to the forefront of space exploration, continuing The New York Times’s rich legacy of science reporting. Using gorgeous scientific imagery, expert commentary and new visual techniques, Out There will capture the excitement, romance, and curiosity of traveling into the unknown. The Times’s science expert Dennis Overbye will bring viewers on a journey through space, providing context and insight. Out There will feature a new virtual-reality film, where viewers will soar over Pluto – observing never-before-seen icy mountains and terrain – and touch down on its surface.

“The Art of Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business”
In The Art of Better, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Charles Duhigg will examine the science of productivity and share perspectives that can transform the way we work. Using animation and powerful source material, each episode explains the economic revolution to give us a fuller, more human way of thinking about how productivity actually happens.

“Two Tales of a City”
Two Tales of a City will feature two travel writers with two vastly different budgets. Viewers will watch as the travel world’s odd couple explores the same city through different lenses. This hilarious and useful guide to the planet’s more fascinating cities brings our audience the most luxurious travel experiences and bargain discoveries — all in the same episode.

“Chartland”
Pulitzer Prize-winner David Leonhardt will deliver sharp answers to modern life’s interesting but puzzling questions with a series of dynamic charts. Chartland seeks to silence ongoing debates about complex societal issues and personal decisions and give viewers an in-depth look at how charts and visualization can articulate fresh ideas that will make you rethink some seemingly routine life decisions. Each episode will introduce a new chart or chart series clarifying a particular personal decision or societal trend.