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Google Searches for More Consumer Eyeballs With Live, VR Videos

  • Live, 360-degree videos transport people to concerts, sports

Google is adding live, 360-degree video and audio to its YouTube videos, as the company seeks to capture people’s attention and advertisers’ budgets with more elaborate content.

The videos can be viewed on standard personal computers or with virtual reality headsets via the YouTube app on Android phones that use the company’s Cardboard technology. YouTube has had 360-degree videos since March 2015. With the upgrade, people can now tune-in to live broadcasts of events like sports games and music concerts and turn their head to look around them. The video and audio changes as they move.

“If you can’t make it to that Beyonce concert the next best thing is to be able to watch it in live 360 with all the fans surrounding you and with her up on stage from the front row,” said Neal Mohan, chief product officer of YouTube, in an interview. “The YouTube app is really what you should need to consume content in whatever way you...