The New York Times Launches NYT VR; Delivers Over One Million Google Cardboard Viewers

Advertising Experience Includes Virtual Reality Films From MINI, GE

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The New York Times announced the launch of NYT VR, a new virtual reality
project in collaboration with Google. The project includes the
distribution of more than one million Google Cardboard viewers to home
delivery subscribers with their copy of The New York Times the weekend
of Nov. 7-8. In addition, Times Insider subscribers and a
selection of Times digital subscribers will receive promo codes via
email to redeem for a free Google Cardboard viewer, which is simple to
use and allows anyone to experience virtual reality with a smartphone.

The debut NYT VR film, titled “The Displaced,” captures the resilience
of three extraordinary children uprooted by war, all through the lens of
virtual reality. The New York Times Magazine, in collaboration with
Chris Milk and his virtual reality company Vrse,
created the film to enable readers to experience what it means to be a
child caught in the global refugee crisis. There are now more than 30
million children around the world who have been driven from their homes
by war and persecution — more than at any time since World War II. The
film brings viewers into daily lives of three children from South Sudan,
eastern Ukraine and Syria.

“Our readers look to The Times for innovative and powerful storytelling
and this is The Times at its best. Our Magazine team has created the
first critical, serious piece of journalism using virtual reality, to
shed light on one of the most dire humanitarian crises of our lifetime,”
said Dean Baquet, executive editor, The New York Times.

“The power of VR is that it gives the viewer a unique sense of empathic
connection to people and events,” said Jake Silverstein, editor in
chief, The New York Times Magazine. “In the context of international
reporting and conflict reporting, where our readers rely on us to bring
them news and stories from remote and inaccessible places, this has huge
potential. Through this immersive video experience, we can put our
readers at the center of the most important story of our time.”

The New York Times developed the NYT VR app in collaboration with the
virtual reality studio IM360.
Compatible with iOS 8+ and Android 4.3+, the app supports virtual
reality playback for Google Cardboard as well as playback of 360-degree
video for mobile touchscreen navigation. The app will be free and
available for download in the Google Play and iOS App Stores beginning Nov.

“Google Cardboard brings the magic of virtual reality to anyone with a
smartphone in an easy to use way,” said Mike Jazayeri, director of
project management for VR at Google. “We’re excited to support The New
York Times’s use of immersive storytelling at an unprecedented scale to
bring awareness to this important issue.”

The Google Cardboard viewer offers the most immersive experience but
users without Cardboard viewers are also encouraged to download the NYT
VR app for an enhanced video experience that opens a window into the
virtual reality environment. A version of the film will also be
available in 2-D on
Users can also go to the NYT YouTube channel to find the videos or visit
for more immersive virtual reality content.

The first slate of NYT VR films include a behind-the-scenes look at the
making of the Magazine’s “Walking
New York
” cover image, a third film coming in December and more in
2016. Subscribers should keep the Google Cardboard viewers for future
virtual reality videos.


Sponsors GE and MINI both deliver virtual reality films as part of the

GE’s film, which explores a story of how design in industry and
technology takes cues from nature, was created by T Brand Studio, The
New York Times’s in-house content marketing agency, in conjunction with Framestore’s
virtual reality studio.

MINI’s two short films, “Backwater” and “Real Memories,” invite viewers
to join in the exploration of how new technologies like virtual reality
change the way stories are told and how content is viewed.

“The great irony here is that it takes the print newspaper—a 164-year
old business—and its still remarkable distribution system to deliver one
of the most advanced digital storytelling technologies to more than a
million people,” said Meredith Kopit Levien, executive vice president
and chief revenue officer, The New York Times Company. “We are inspired
by how The New York Times Magazine team used virtual reality to tell
this important story and thrilled that T Brand Studio is able to invest
in these new technologies to provide these creative tools to marketers.
We know our readers will be thoroughly entertained and engaged by the
films produced by MINI and GE.”

The New York Times Company

The New York Times Company is a global media organization dedicated to
enhancing society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality
news and information. The company includes The New York Times,
International New York Times,,
and related properties. It is known globally for excellence in its
journalism, and innovation in its print and digital storytelling and its
business model. Follow news about the company at @NYTimesComm.


The New York Times Company
Danielle Rhoades Ha, 212-556-8719
Cohen, 212-556-7429