Yahoo News Announces Innovative XR Partner Program and World’s First XR Aggregator for Users

Yahoo News announced from its NewFront on Tuesday evening, its cutting-edge Yahoo News XR Partner Program that will offer unprecedented access to groundbreaking 5G technology at Verizon’s 5G Labs and the Verizon Media RYOT 5G Studio in Los Angeles, the first 5G production studio in the country. The program launches with a slate of premium partners including: USA TODAY, Reuters, The Associated Press, TIME and NowThis who will work with Yahoo News and RYOT to explore what XR (extended reality) news and immersive journalism can be in a 5G world, and plan to distribute these exciting new formats on Yahoo News.

The Yahoo News XR Partner program will transform Yahoo News into the world’s largest aggregator of premium content and immersive journalism. Yahoo News will distribute, measure and monetize XR content created through the program, providing its partners with insight and scale.

Assets will be monetized through the RYOT Augmented Reality (AR) Ads software development kit (SDK). The AR SDK – from RYOT, Verizon Media’s Emmy Award®-winning content studio and innovation lab – makes it easier and more cost effective to produce XR content, supports monetization through AR ads, and provides access to state-of-the art AR audience engagement analytics.

“We’re constantly looking for innovative ways to engage with and inform our audiences on the issues that are important to their lives,” said Alex Wallace, GM of News, Entertainment and Studios at Verizon Media. “Through the Yahoo News XR Partner Program, we want to accelerate the development of extended reality content from our trusted news partners and offer our audiences the best-in-class next-generation journalism.”

The Yahoo News XR partner program will amplify original journalism through innovative formats that create deeper empathy and understanding while bringing readers closer than ever to news stories around the world. To kick things off, Yahoo News will publish several AR experiences, including a feature reported from the US southern border that will give readers a new lens through which to experience the border wall and understand immigration issues. Additionally, Yahoo News will publish an immersive, sensory feature that places readers virtually alongside a crew of California firefighters as they prepare to battle through the state’s wildfire season.

“USA TODAY has been at the forefront of immersive journalism and storytelling, and we have experienced the creative, technical and commercial challenges of this emerging new field first-hand,” said Ray Soto, Director Emerging Technology, USA TODAY. “We welcome gaining access to Verizon 5G Labs, RYOT 5G Studio and distribution on Yahoo News in order to revolutionize the content we produce.”

“We’re delighted to be partnering with Yahoo News on this program,” said Sue Brooks, Managing Director, Product Development & Agency Strategy, Reuters. “Innovation is in our DNA, so we are excited by this opportunity to explore new ways of presenting, sharing and monetizing our world-class journalism.”

“TIME is proud to be at the forefront of using innovative technologies in our multi-platform journalism and storytelling,” said Mia Tramz, editorial director of enterprise and immersive experiences at TIME. “We are thrilled to partner with the Yahoo News XR Partner Program to bring our immersive projects to an even wider audience.”