CNN Digital Debuts its Virtual Reality Unit: CNNVR
March 7th, 2017
09:03 AM ET

CNN Digital Debuts its Virtual Reality Unit: CNNVR

CNN announced today the official launch of CNNVR – a new immersive journalism unit and virtual reality platform within CNN Digital.

The global team with footprints in New York, Atlanta, London, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Dubai, Johannesburg, Tokyo, and Beijing, will cover major news events in stunning 360 video, transport users to the front row of global events through VR live streams, and produce weekly virtual reality experiences – starting today with a mesmerizing journey into the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.

In this endeavor, CNN is activating a new virtual reality platform, making it easier than ever to access this dynamic storytelling medium on every device, including:

  • Mobile
    • CNN’s iOS and Android apps are now activating 360 video, making CNN the third largest mobile VR app – behind only Facebook and YouTube.
  • Desktop
    • now showcases journeys to Indonesia, Tibet, Iraq and beyond, opening up VR content on the #1 digital news site.
  • VR headsets
    • CNNVR’s groundbreaking 360 content is distributed across all major headsets: Samsung GearVR, Oculus Rift and Google Daydream – a combined audience of over 5 million users.

Over the past year, CNN has experimented with VR, producing more than 50 news stories in high-quality 360 video, giving viewers a deeper understanding of the devastation of Aleppo, a front row view of the U.S. Inauguration and a chance to experience the thrill of skydiving – in total, generating more than 30 million views of 360 content on Facebook alone.

Today, this new dedicated team is committed to harnessing the power of virtual reality to transport our audience inside the stories we tell all around the globe.

Whenever news breaks, and wherever amazing stories unfold, CNNVR will transport our audience closer than ever before and on every device available.

CNNVR Featured as Creator for Google's Daydream
May 18th, 2016
03:05 PM ET

CNNVR Featured as Creator for Google's Daydream

Announced today at Google I/O, CNN virtual reality content will be featured on Daydream, Google’s new platform for high performance mobile VR debuting later this year.

Affirming CNN’s leadership in virtual reality journalism, CNN was selected as one of the first creators to make Daydream experiences. This creative vehicle enhances CNN’s ability to not only bring users the news, but bring them inside the news, immersing them in compelling stories wherever they are unfolding. 

CNN will leverage its global reporting footprint to deliver VR experiences the moment news breaks, using Daydream as a portal to powerful moments across the planet. With Daydream, viewers will be able to surround themselves in all forms of CNN content, from 360 videos, fixed-frame videos, and social feeds. 

For more information on Google Daydream visit 

March 31st, 2016
04:50 PM ET


On January 28, 1986 CNN was the only national broadcast network to carry the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger on live TV. Today, CNNVR has brought that viewing experience back through virtual reality.

In partnership with TimeLooper, a location-based time travel app known for its ability to take users back to a specific point in time through virtual reality, CNN embarked on an incredibly ambitious VR reenactment shoot: rebuilding a version of the CNN studios circa 1986 to bring users back to the moment of the Challenger explosion.

Archival footage from inside the CNN studio that day and consultation with current CNN staffers who witnessed the moment as it unfolded helped reconstruct the scene. 

The CNNVR team rented vintage cameras, built a set with 20 pieces, hired 40 actors, hair & makeup, wardrobe and used CGI effects to recreate the moment. 

With an introduction from Anderson Cooper, the project takes you right back to 1986 and that tragic day in history.

The experience can be viewed on CNN’s Facebook page, CNN’s Android App and on the TimeLooper App. 



CNNVR is the network's virtual reality newsgathering and storytelling operation. CNN was the first media outlet to live stream a major news event in virtual reality with the trailblazing project of capturing and streaming CNN's Republican and Democratic Debates in the fall of 2015. Praised by critics for "flipping conventional wisdom on its head," CNNVR has produced both domestic and international stories through the technology, including a front row seat to a political rally and memorials in the cities of Brussels and Paris.

CNN Will Live Stream Democratic Debate in Virtual Reality
September 24th, 2015
06:23 PM ET

CNN Will Live Stream Democratic Debate in Virtual Reality

CNN and NextVR will make history on October 13th by hosting the first-ever live stream of a news event in virtual reality, giving viewers a front-row seat to CNN’s 2016 election debates. 

The network is partnering with virtual reality technology platform NextVR to stream the CNN Democratic Presidential Debate live, in full 3D immersive virtual reality, from Las Vegas, NV. 

The live stream follows CNN and NextVR’s first virtual reality experience at the CNN Ronald Reagan Debate, where it quietly filmed the highest rated event in CNN history in virtual reality to make it available to users on demand. This experience is now available to users who have a Samsung GearVR virtual reality headset by visiting the NextVR portal in the Oculus Store. Once downloaded, the debate can be seen from the perspective of an audience member at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

From radio broadcasting to televising to today, virtual reality allows viewers the opportunity to experience these historic political events through their own lens. Users are able to hold a gaze on a particular candidate, catch off-screen interactions and more. Each and every viewer has a seat in the room and a new perspective on presidential debates.