Nat Geo NewFront Reveals Focus on Digital, VR


NEW YORK: At its 2016-17 NewFronts presentation, National Geographic revealed ten tentatively titled digital short series as well as plans for a new virtual-reality studio.

Nat Geo’s NewFronts slate includes Animal Close-Up, spotlighting some of the animal kingdom’s cutest, funniest and strangest faces; Before Mars, a prequel to the upcoming TV event series MARS; Get Out: A Guide to Adventure, a how-to show that sees adventure experts share tips on mastering the outdoors; InTime, which uses hyper-lapse technology to take viewers to iconic places around the globe; and Invisible, breaking down such actions as bats landing upside down and humans laughing, sneezing and crying in slow motion.

Other new digital series are Limitless, which explains how world-class athletes are physically superior; NGenius, a Millennial-targeted series that sees host Angeli Gabriel answer various questions; NG Gold, showcasing such footage as a crocodile’s mouth clamping down on a camera and a baby blue whale nursing; The Real (City), which explores cities around the world; and Wild_Life with Bertie Gregory, in which the titular wildlife filmmaker searches for coastal wolves in the Pacific Northwest.

At its NewFronts presentation, National Geographic also revealed details for MoviNG Pictures, a new original Instagram series that captures intimate moments from photographers in the field through short videos; and The Moment, an initiative launching this fall in which Nat Geo photographers and social ambassadors will focus on a singular subject at the same time to raise awareness about some of the world’s biggest issues today. The Moment will feature images, videos and stories on SnapChat Discovery, Live Stories, Instagram, Facebook Live, Twitter and other social and digital platforms.

Also announced was the plan to form NG VR Studio, a virtual-reality studio that places viewers on the ground alongside Nat Geo explorers, photographers and storytellers. Nat Geo VR will offer both originals and franchises of the brand’s popular media properties. In addition, National Geographic is kicking off a socially driven nationwide casting call for a digital correspondent for the hit docuseries Explorer. Nat Geo also shared a first look at @NATGEO: The Most Popular Instagram Photos, a book presenting the brand’s most liked and commented-on photos that is slated to hit retail on October 25.

National Geographic Partners CEO Declan Moore commented: “What makes National Geographic stand out in a crowded digital media space? World-class storytelling backed by 128 years of science and exploration—and a strong sense of purpose. Our competitive advantage starts with our people—on the ground, in the field and all around the world at any given time. Consumers and corporate partners alike come to us for our unparalleled access to the people and stories that are impacting our ever-changing world. Engagement with our brand can be seen most significantly by our massive social media footprint that now generates more than 1.6 billion monthly actions.”