MatterVR, a VR content house founded by film industry vets, has announced a distribution deal with Eevo, a streaming platform for curated VR video.

MatterVR may be relatively new to the VR scene, but they bring with them decades of notable film production. Founders Steve Holtzman and Daniel Gregoire met while working together on Cosmos (2014) and have since founded the company to tell stories in virtual reality. Holtzman has worked on film and TV productions for a number of major networks, while Gregoire has had his hands in Evolve (2015) and Star Wars Episode II (2002) & III (2005), among a roster of other notable projects, according to the company.

FIRST, one of the company’s debut pieces of content (commissioned by Zypre and sponsored by AMD) is an impressive recreation of the Wright Brother’s famous first flight at Kitty Hawk, NC. Rendered in real-time, the experience is detailed not only graphically but also historically. After recreating an identical virtual version of the dual-prop glider, MatterVR recreated the entire experience of the first flight, down to the initial flight checks and starting the engine with a hand crank. A good thing too, as the Smithsonian—who is curating the experience—would expect no less.

But real-time experiences (for now) leave only the owners of powerful desktop computers as an audience.

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To expand their distribution, MatterVR has signed with VR video streaming platform Eevo, which will host pre-rendered versions of MatterVR content that can be viewed on a wider variety of platforms, like Samsung’s mobile Gear VR headset. First won’t be distributed through EEVO, but “serial VR content” from the company will be.

Unlike YouTube’s open hosting, Eevo is a “highly curated, high quality content” platform. The company is hand-selecting content for their streaming platform and say they also support content creators with tools and funds to tell their stories in VR. The company recently closed a $1 million investment to build out their VR streaming platform.

See Also: VR Video Platform ‘EEVO’ Gets $1M in Funding – Revenue Share and Startup Money for Content Partners

Eevo plans to first bring their streaming platform app to Gear VR, with other VR headsets following. The company is further working on analytics tools and a multi-path narrative editor to enable the possibility of branching storylines based on user interaction.

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  • kalqlate

    Does EEVO really stand a chance against the likes of Facebook and YouTube? I wish them the best of success, but they are headed toward the same space in which Facebook and YouTube will surely dominate. Wasn’t Yahoo Screen (yes, what’s Yahoo Screen?) supposed to be attractive because of curated video?

    • davidfm

      I think facing competition from established companies is something a lot of start ups have to face. If they make the right technology decisions and make tools that enable the creators there is certainly a good chance of differentiation. Vimeo is doing great against the likes of Youtube because they speak to creators in a way that resonates. Beyond appealing to creators, I think there is also something worth noting about curation. You’re comparing VR to video here which I think is something a lot of people are doing. BUT VR is not film and it is not video, sure at the moment video files are being used as a method of distribution, but VR is inherently a different medium and experience than 2d/3d video. VR experiences, because of their immersion, affect the viewer in a much more powerful way, which is why it has been referred to as an “empathy machine”. So because the experiences you are dealing with are especially affective, the importance of curation is increased exponentially. Bad experiences in VR are not only boring, they can be viscerally unpleasant. On the flip side, good experiences are incomparable to anything which has previously existed (which is a big part of why VR gets people so excited). I think in large part this depends on the community as well, are we going to rally behind smaller more passionate companies like EEVO, littlstar, vrideo and wevr or will we continue to support the likes of big tech like facebook and youtube. So, it will be interesting to see how things plays out.

      • kalqlate

        You said: “You’re comparing VR to video here…”

        No, I’m comparing VR to VR. To think that both Facebook ($2 billion for Oculus) and YouTube will not venture into VR is very shortsighted. YouTube, in fact, has already begun that venture with 360 video and VR support for Rift and Cardboard. I appreciate your commentary on the differences between video and VR, but it is not pertinent to my comment.

        Note that I said “I wish them the best of success…”. I do hope they succeed, but I ask the question “Does EEVO really stand a chance against the likes of Facebook and YouTube?” because Yahoo’s Screen has shown that curated content does not guarantee the capture of significant market share from competitors that have already captured the lion’s share.

        • love2scoot

          Going to have to agree with davidfm here. While video has, up until now, been one of the main vehicles for VR experiences, these experiences offer a limit to the level of interaction we’re talking about here. In the above example, the experience is rendered real-time which is much more akin to an application rather than prerendered video. The comparison to YouTube is more of a red herring; the more interesting question is will smaller startups be able to compete with Oculus and Valve (the latter which already has a very mature platform for distribution). In these cases we are talking about experiences that are not possible using existing video distribution methods (like the Oculus Studio short).

          • kalqlate

            Agree as you might, but do you really think that Facebook is going to limit their VR venture to VR video? Doesn’t Facebook already host thousands of games and apps? COME ON!!! What I mean by Facebook and YouTube dominating VR is exactly that. That means video, that means real-time telepresence, that means delayed or recorded telepresence, that means VR apps.

  • love2scoot

    It’s an interesting perspective, although ultimately I think there is still some room in the market well beyond Facebook and YouTube. For example, although YouTube provides 360 content, I would not go to YouTube when looking for VR interactive applications. In looking for content beyond passive videos I would go to the two places I mentioned above: Oculus (The VR arm of Facebook) and Valve. That being said, I can envision the VR market being as fragmented as the current video market. With the current Netflix / Hulu / Amazon / Google Play / Apple / Comcast market (just to name some of the larger players), video is spread wide. I imagine VR will follow a similar revenue model with pay-to-play services and there will be exclusive lock-ins and arrangements. So ultimately we’re looking at the birth of a whole new market segment, which could sustain a large number of content houses, even smaller ones that are designed around more manicured experiences.

    • kalqlate

      Of course, you are correct with where you are placing your focus. However, my focus is on volume of activity. Though it isn’t apparent now, and it could be argued otherwise, telepresence, CHEAP or FREE telepresence, will be the killer and most often used app for VR. When 360 cameras are cheap enough, telepresence will be the new telephone, new preferred video chat. Facebook and chat services will be the winners here. Also, platforms like YouTube that already support live streaming will also do well in the VR telepresence arena.

    • Darshan Gayake

      Why video aka ‘Passive Content’ so popular is its simplicity and no need of extra ordinary processing power. Up to video playback power devices are owned by 99 percent smart phone user base. Where is such clarity in other medium space (except Samsung Gear VR).

      To make my point clear say i wish to play Real Racing 3 on android phone can i play it flawless without frame skipping or judder on $800 Galaxy S6 sure, can i play at same quality on $250 Moto G well almost but can i play it on $100 X branded smart phone at same glory without a hitch surely no..

      But can i see Video of Real Racing 3 at same graphic detail an fluidness on above all devices Yes. This is great difference. Also going to be place which is going to build bottleneck for Oculus Story Studio when in PC user base.. You are going to need powerful Pc to see those stories. And i mean serious rig not a regular clerical/secretarial desk office machine. (But they can benefit from Consumer GEAR VR close environment where equation will be in their favor due to same reason)

      This is also reason Why APPLE is going to have upper hand when they are going to release
      Their Iphone VR Socket, Configuration hardware everything will be known to every one. There will be only those users who are going to afford that Iphone and as Apple cleared all its configuration and limitation as well as rock solid SDK and their store curation, Any apps or experiences are going to be same for every user.

      • kalqlate

        Definitely, consumer platform cost will keep passive content, like 360 video, the dominant form of VR by far. Perhaps when 360 cameras are commonly and cheaply built into phones, real-time telepresence will be the #2 app.

      • kalqlate

        And you are probably right regarding Apple succeeding at creating a common VR platform and ecosystem. But I suppose Samsung with Gear VR has already done that. Surely, though, Apple’s solution will overtake Gear VR in terms of volume of users.