Is virtual the new reality in advertising? That’s what the Internet Advertising Bureau set out to determine when it recently consulted 24 top marketers, publishers, VR software experts and developer platform executives.

“We decided that there’s a lot of interest and hype around VR so we wanted to see if there’s a there there,” Anna Bager, SVP and GM for Mobile and Video at the IAB, says in an interview with Beet.TV at the organization’s annual MIXX conference in Manhattan.

The report explores virtual reality’s promise and pitfalls as “the next big thing” in digital advertising. According to Bager, it shows the need to create some basic definitions—for example, delineating the differences between 360° video, virtual reality and augmented reality. “And potentially for the IAB creating guidelines, background and information that can be helpful to the industry,” Bager says. “There are a number of different layers here.”

According to the report, virtual reality’s major strengths include the opportunity for immersive storytelling, shopping and product demos, and the medium’s power to stir emotions in a new way.

Among the caveats: the VR production process is hardly straightforward, and consumers have the ability to interact with content and change their field of view and perspective—something traditional media doesn’t present. Moreover, VR’s limited audience presents a monetization challenge, and consumer expectations are high.

“Where the opportunities are is in creating high-quality content as well as advertising,” Bager says.

She cites certain verticals where VR and AR are a good fit, like games, travel, automotive and certain shopping experiences in which consumers would like to immerse themselves. “All you need is creative thinking and the will to do something different,” says Bager.

The IAB will convene a VR Summit in the fourth quarter of 2016 to address key issues around publishing, monetization, and user experience, as well as to discuss potential consumer research and guidance for buyers and sellers.

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the IAB MIXX Conference, 2016, presented by The TradeDesk. Please find additional videos from the Conference here.

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