Channel 4 has taken a minority stake in British virtual reality start-up Parable, which will create VR and 360° content across the entertainment, brand marketing and training sectors. Stephen Lambert, CEO of Studio Lambert, and The Economist have also invested in the new business.
David Abraham, chief executive of Channel 4, said the broadcaster has been watching the virtual reality market – currently worth around £800 million globally – with interest as they move away from their Silicon Valley roots and increasingly attract the attention of media owners and brands.
The VR market is expected to grow to nearly £100 billion by 2020.
Parable, which creates VR and 360° content across the entertainment, brand marketing and training sectors, was co-founded by former director of programmes at The Garden Productions, David Wise, and former president of Economist Films, Nicholas Minter-Green.
Television director and film editor Jonathan Rudd has also joined the team as partner and creative director, while The Economist’s deputy editor Tom Standage joins the board as a non-executive director.
Lambert, who is also chair of Parable, said: “Virtual reality is the most exciting technological media development of the next few years, but its success hangs or falls on creating great content.
“I know David and Nicholas well and I have no doubt they will quickly establish themselves as a leading supplier of innovative VR content.”
Across Wise’s 22 year career in TV production he has produced a wide range of original factual content, and in his role at the Garden Productions he oversaw the company’s entire production slate.
Minter-Green spent eight years as managing director of the TVC Group and became president of Economist Films in 2012.