Horizon Media Launches UNCVR, Partners with STXsurreal and OmniVirt

UNCVR Focused on VR, AR, MR, and 360 Immersive Storytelling

New York, New York, UNITED STATES

NEW YORK, June 09, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Horizon Media, the largest privately held media services agency in the world, announced today the launch of UNCVR, a specialty practice that will develop Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), and 360 video content for clients. Partnering with STXsurreal, this marks the first such collaboration between a major studio and a leading agency to develop content in this new and growing medium.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/01ba0a2f-ecb5-4b05-b402-edc78f9e7dc6

“We are always looking to create the most immersive and engaging experience for our clients and their brands,” said Bill Koenigsberg, President, Founder and CEO at Horizon Media. “We can only do this if we are continuously looking around the next corner and evaluating the potential creative and business opportunities with every piece of new technology. UNCVR is a big step into the virtual space and we are excited to make this move with STXsurreal to unlock its potential.”

UNCVR – named for the team’s ability to uncover new mediums – is launching after a comprehensive examination of the marketplace and its business potential for clients. Reporting to Horizon’s Chief Digital Officer, Donnie Williams, the practice is led by Sarah Bachman, Vice President, Mobile Strategy, and Monika Ratner, Director, Social Strategy.

“We have a proven track record of testing emerging mediums early and expanding our capabilities to elevate consumer engagement,” said Sarah Bachman, Vice President, Mobile Strategy at Horizon Media. “We have already created powerful VR and 360 video initiatives and we are eager to continue to transform how we define the mobile experience.”

Horizon launches the new specialty practice in partnership with STXsurreal, a division of STX Entertainment.  Leading the industry as the premium, talent-driven studio for VR and immersive entertainment, STXsurreal has been a prolific content producer for major VR platforms including YouTube VR and Facebook 360 Video. 

“Data increasingly shows that VR/360 platforms deliver significant audience retention and engagement,” said Rick Rey and Andy Vick, Co-Presidents at STXsurreal. “As audience demand for compelling, premium content in the immersive space grows, this represents a huge opportunity to bring major talent into VR and help them engage their fan base in bold and game-changing ways.  We look forward to being the go-to VR partners of Horizon UNCVR’s influential and innovative brands, to unlock the next-generation of storytelling.” 

Powering the ad tech side of UNCVR is OmniVirt, a 360 Video and Virtual Reality advertising platform that distributes customizable and interactive 360 VR advertisements through its network of premium publishers and existing exchanges. As part of the partnership, OmniVirt and UNCVR will create unique ad products as well as a curated VR and 360 network exclusively for clients.

In conjunction with UNCVR’s launch, Horizon is launching a first-ever Virtual Reality upfront slate in partnership with STXsurreal. The VR upfront will help marketers seeking to imagine the future of immersive video experiences and storytelling for their brands in a turnkey way that is brand safe, scalable and measurable.

The VR Upfront will showcase an original slate created by STXsurreal, which includes premium content featuring top talent as well as award-winning directors and cinematographers, all designed to align with consumer passion points such as travel, music, and entertainment. The content will be tailored for mass distribution, with viewing capabilities enabled for both VR environments as well as mobile 360. This sponsored content will be integrated into a cross-channel effort (TV, digital, social), and be measured through a custom brand impact study.

“As the medium is proven out, we anticipate more dollars shifting to VR and 360 video over time,” said Monika Ratner, Director, Social Strategy at Horizon Media. “As consumer attention becomes more difficult to capture, we see huge possibilities for new engaging mediums to increase brand impact for clients.”

About Horizon Media

Horizon Media, Inc. is the largest and fastest growing privately held media services agency in the world. The company was founded in 1989, is headquartered in New York and has a second full service office in Los Angeles. Horizon Media was chosen as 2011 Independent Media Agency of the Year by Mediapost, 2010 U.S. Media Agency of the Year by Adweek, Brandweek, and Mediaweek as well as by Ad Age and as one of the world’s ten most innovative marketing and advertising companies by Fast Company in 2011. In 2012, Bill Koenigsberg, President, CEO and Founder, was honored by Advertising Age as Industry Executive of the Year. Most recently, in 2014, Bill Koenigsberg was named 4As Chair of the Board and is the first person from a media agency to hold this prestigious position in the 100-year history of the 4As, the marketing industry’s leading trade association. 

The company’s mission is “To create the most meaningful brand connections within the lives of people everywhere.” By delivering on this mission through a holistic approach to brand marketing, Horizon Media has become one of the largest and fastest-growing media agencies in the industry, with estimated billings of $8 billion and over 2,000 employees.

For more information, please visit horizonmedia.com.

About STXsurreal

STXsurreal, a division of STX Entertainment, is one of the most prolific VR content companies in the industry. Changing the way people experience entertainment, the company partners with world-class talent, media companies, and brands to create exciting programming that is distributed across multiple VR and 360-degree platforms to reach and engage new audiences. As a full-service VR studio, STXsurreal develops and produces all types of immersive entertainment, including live-action 360-degree video, 360 livestreams, stereoscopic VR video, and fully interactive VR content. Key areas of focus include scripted narrative, unscripted documentary, and live events. 

About OmniVirt
OmniVirt is 360 Video and Virtual Reality advertising platform founded by former Google and YouTube employees. OmniVirt’s technology distributes 360° VR across top publishers like The New York Times, AOL, Time Inc, Gannet, Wall Street Journal, Vice Media and more. These experiences are customizable and interactive, with detailed performance reporting showcasing where audiences are engaging in the immersive experience. The company has powered multiple high profile campaigns for clients like Toyota, Infiniti, Samsung, Chevron, Universal Pictures and Johnnie Walker.

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