StyleHaul’s First VR Project Will Turn a Sci-Fi Novel Into Immersive Videos

YouTube network claims 500 million viewers

Nearly every media company has shown off flashy virtual reality at the Digital Content NewFronts presentations over the past week, and now lifestyle-focused StyleHaul is adapting the young adult sci-fi book Free to Fall as its first push into VR.

During its presentation today, StyleHaul introduced a series that's based on the hit 2014 novel, which was written by Lauren Miller and tells the story of a teenage girl named Rory Vaughn. The character lives in a society that makes all of its decisions based on what a mobile app called Lux tells people to do.

StyleHaul's new series will employ 360-degree video that puts the user in charge of the narrative. For example, a viewer may be able to guide the storyline in one episode of the series by making a "life-or-death decision." Each 22-minute episode includes a three- to five-minute VR component.

"From a programming perspective, we want to ensure that we're using the depth of this immersive technology not only to enhance the amazing visual experience of the user, but also the narrative—without disrupting the story," Mia Goldwyn, StyleHaul's chief content officer, told advertisers at today's event in New York. "While we will continue to experiment with innovative storytelling mechanisms, fashion and beauty are still at the core of who StyleHaul is."

StyleHaul says it reaches 500 million viewers and uploads 750 videos to different platforms daily. The network averages 2 billion monthly views and 86 million unique visitors for content related to beauty, fashion, lifestyle and millennial moms.

The multi-channel network (MCN) debuted a docuseries about singer Pia Mia, who serves as creative director of Madonna's fashion line for Macy's. The program will launch in July and follows her process as a fashion director.

StyleHaul also revealed a partnership with music-management company BMG that will help brands connect with millennials through up-and-coming artists in a program called Collide. Creators will give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at their lives.