AOL agrees to acquire VR content studio RYOT

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AOL has announced its agreement to acquire the Los Angeles-based media company and virtual reality content studio RYOT.

With this acquisition, RYOT will join The Huffington Post, another AOL property, to deliver linear video, award-winning films, VR and 360-degree content. It will provide the online news publication immediate access to its VR production arm and its expertise in Academy Award-nominated documentary film expertise.

RYOT will add its VR and 360-degree capabilities to 15 global editions of The Huffington Post, changing how the publication captures and presents stories, and how consumers engage with the content.

Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post, said in a statement: "The Huffington Post is continuing to reimagine journalism as we move into the next generation of dynamic storytelling. From day one, we’ve been committed to using all the tools at our disposal to tell the most important stories of our time.

"And our work so far with RYOT covering the refugee crisis in Greece, The Crossing, has done just that – combining technology and storytelling to put flesh and blood on a human crisis that, for far too many around the world, had become an abstraction,” she added. “It’s just the beginning of what we can do together covering news events, leading cultural conversations on a global scale, and going beyond raising awareness to making a difference in people’s lives."

RYOT's acquisition will also significant enhance Partner Studio by AOL's content capabilities. Partner Studio by AOL was launched in 2015 to provide marketing content for brands. RYOT will work with the venture to help create more immersive content for its brand partners.

In the long run, other AOL properties will also get access to RYOT's VR capabilities, including TechCrunch, MAKERS, Engadget, BUILD and Autoblog.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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