YouTube is rolling out new analytics tools for 360-degree and VR video producers that will include a heat map to see where their viewers are paying attention at any given time.
Product manager Frank Rodriguez said in a blog post that “the new heatmaps will allow creators of 360-degree and VR videos to determine which parts of those videos are drawing the most attention from viewers.”
YouTube has the prime stock of spherical video on the web and it’s one of the easiest places to discover new stuff. For creators, heat maps can offer insights into audience behavior so they can better understand best practices for making a spherical video.
The important feature of a 360-degree video is that it lets you to freely look around in any direction, but shockingly, people spent 75% of their time within the front 90 degrees of a video and with almost 20% of views actually being behind them. So keep the action straight ahead.
The context in which people are viewing VR videos matters, too. VR platforms are not made equal: Mobile headset users, like those, put on Google’s own Cardboard, so make sure to give your viewers a few seconds before jumping into the action.
YouTube also announced that it’s opening applications today for its recently announced VR Creator Lab, which will give enterprising VR video creators a 3-month program in LA and $30k-$40k to fund their dream project.