Nat Geo to launch VR studio, Instagram series

National Geographic has unveiled plans to form a virtual reality studio and announced plans for its first Instagram video series.

Declan Moore At its Digital Content NewFronts event in New York, Nat Geo said that NG VR STUDIO will put viewers “on the ground alongside Nat Geo explorers, photographers and storytellers through Nat GeoVR”.

The factual broadcaster said it plans to offer originals and franchises of its popular media properties in VR, taking users “inside the stories” covered in shows like Explorer.

Separately, Nat Geo said its new programming slate features ten new digital short series – including a prequel to its TV series Mars, called Before Mars, and Nat Geo WILD’s premiere digital series, Wild_Life With Bertie Gregory.

Nat Geo’s new Instagram series, MoviNG Picture, will feature short videos that capture “intimate moments from photographers in the field” and offer an “up close and personal look at life behind the lens”.

This will look to tap into Nat Geo’s existing Instagram audience of 49.4 million followers on the picture-sharing social network.

“What makes National Geographic stand out in a crowded digital media space? World-class storytelling backed by 128 years of science and exploration — and a strong sense of purpose,” said National Geographic Partners CEO Declan Moore.

“Engagement with our brand can be seen most significantly by our massive social media footprint that now generates more than 1.6 billion monthly actions.”

National Geographic Partners was formed last year to house assets such as National Geographic Channel and National Geographic Studios. This followed 21st Century Fox taking majority control of its long-running media joint venture with National Geographic Society