By Natt Garun
Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in person on the streets of New York is a pretty majestic experience, but it also comes with a side of crowds, icy wind, and a whole lot of waiting around. This year, Macy’s is partnering with NBCUniversal and Verizon to add 360-degree cameras along the route of the parade so you can live stream and watch it from any angle you’d like without leaving your home.
The live stream will be hosted on YouTube and you can watch it from any compatible web browser or handheld device. Verizon will place cameras in five locations along the parade route so you can follow your favorite balloon or float as they come down.
In the run-up to the actual event, which kicks off on November 24th at 9AM ET, Macy’s is also posting 360-degree videos of behind-the-scenes studio tours where you can check out how they set up the floats, balloons, and put the whole show together. It’s not as cool as seeing the balloons being blown up in real life, but it beats waiting in the cold.
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By ELISABETH LEAMY, SHEILA EVANS and LEE FERRAN
As the economy continues to suffer, real estate agents across the country are feeling the pinch.
But many hope that a new selling technique called video open houses could help curb the decline in sales.
"You capture all the essence of the fireplace going or the fans moving," Anthony Benton of HighResMediaLLC.com told "Good Morning America." "Just little things that make you feel like you are in that room. You are actually there."
With half of Internet users regularly watching video on the Web, it was a market real estate agents simply could not stay away from, and myriad production companies have sprung up that specialize in shooting videos for home sales.Not too long ago, 360-degree static tours -- often just a string of still photographs stitched together -- were the height of virtual tour technology. Now these production companies are helping real estate agents take the tours to the next level.
"It's much more dynamic, much more succinct, much more quality flow than the old snap-and-shoot photos allowed," Dale Mattison of the National Assocation of Realtors said. "So it just brings a new dimension, a new reality to the experience for the consumer."
The videos tilt up to show off soaring ceilings, zoom in on gourmet appliances or peek out the window to show off charming neighborhoods -- and it's all professionally narrated.
The videos only cost a few hundred dollars and the fee comes out of the agent's commission, just like traditional advertising. But unlike signs on the road, the virtual tours can reach buyers across the nation.
"It's helping to get a lot more showings and I think a lot of the clients appreciate it because we're doing as much as we can in this market," Keller Williams Realty agent Geno Ross said.
Shaky Hands of Do-It-Yourself Virtual Tour Makers Now do-it-yourselfers are also getting in on the act. A search for "house for sale" in YouTube returns more than 8,000 results.
Some suffer from the lack of professional touch. One narrator highlights the house's cons rather than pros and another whips the camera around so quickly, the viewer is less likely to get the buying bug than get nauseous.
But even when they are not picture-perfect, videos allow potential homebuyers a more intimate, styled look at a house that could prompt an in-person, real-life tour.
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(1) 190 million Americans (61 percent of the total population) watched an average of 397 online videos in the month of January 2014.
(2) One-in-12 videos was watched via mobile in 2012, the ratio had shifted to one-in-six just a year later in 2013.
(3) The duration of the average online content video was 4.4 minutes, while the average online video ad was 0.4 minutes.
(4) The information contained in a single minute of video is equal to more than 1.8 million written words.
(5) Videos increase people’s understanding of a product and/or service by nearly 75%.
(6) 75% of users visit their marketers website or seek further information after viewing a video.
(7) Real estate listings with videos receive 403% more inquiries than those without them.
(8) 45% of viewers stop watching video after the 1-minute mark. 60% are uninterested by the second minute.
(9) On average, 72 hours of video are uploaded to Youtube every minute.
A. Brent Lovell