The weak bet on videos in 360º in the transmedia strategies of Spanish autonomic televisions

La tenue apuesta por los vídeos en 360º en las estrategias transmedia de las televisiones autonómicas españolas

Juan Ignacio Cantero-de-Julián1
Luis Mauricio Calvo-Rubio1
Miguel Ángel Benedicto-Solsona2

1Castilla-La Mancha University. Spain
2European University of Madrid. Spain

Introduction. The use that Spanish public regional televisions make of the 360º videos is analyzed.
Methodology. The 360º videos are studied on the Spanish autonomous television channels analyzing their website and social platforms, Facebook and YouTube, and considering some variables to determine if they were isolated pieces or fragments of a story with extensions on other platforms or media as well as to determine if they fit into a transmedia strategy.
Results, discussion and conclusions. The results indicate that the presence of these contents is testimonial in the Spanish regional television channels. The amount of immersive content is scarce if we compare it with that of other multimedia formats. Furthermore, the possibilities offered by this format are not taken advantage of.

KEYWORDS: virtual reality; 360º videos; immersive journalism; transmedia; public television.

Introducción. Se analiza el uso que las televisiones públicas autonómicas españolas hacen de los vídeos en formato 360º.
Metodología. Se estudia la producción de vídeos 360º en las televisiones autonómicas españolas. Se han analizado su web y las plataformas sociales Facebook y YouTube estudiando una serie de variables para determinar si se trataba de piezas aisladas o de fragmentos de una historia con extensiones en otras plataformas o medios, así como para evaluar si se encuadraban en una estrategia transmedia.
Resultados, discusión y conclusiones. Los resultados evidencian que la presencia de estos contenidos no pasa de ser testimonial en las televisiones autonómicas españolas.
La oferta de contenidos inmersivos es escasa si la comparamos con la de otros formatos multimedia. Además, no se aprovechan las posibilidades que ofrece esta fórmula narrativa.

PALABRAS CLAVE: realidad virtual; vídeos 360º; periodismo inmersivo; transmedia; televisión pública.

Juan Ignacio Cantero de Julián. Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha. España.
Luis Mauricio Calvo Rubio. Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha. España.
Miguel Ángel Benedicto Solsona. Universidad Europea de Madrid. España.

Received: 15/02/2019
Accepted: 17/12/2019
Published: 15/01/2020

How to cite this article / Standard reference Cantero de Julián, J. I., Calvo Rubio, L. M. & Benedicto Solsona, M. A. (2020). The weak bet on videos in 360º in the transmedia strategies of Spanish autonomic televisions. Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, 75, 415-433. https://www.doi.org/10.4185/RLCS-2020-1433

1. Introduction. 2. 360º videos as part of transmedia strategies on television. 2.1. Uses and applications of virtual reality. 2.2. A new format for the media. 2.3. Public broadcasting and immersive formats. 2.4. Transmedia content and proximity television. 3. Objectives and method. 4. Results. 4.1. 360 videos on regional television. 4.2. Transmedia strategies. 5. Discussion and conclusions. 6. References.

Translation by Carlos Javier Rivas Quintero (University of the Andes, Mérida, Venezuela).

1. Introduction

The consolidation of technologies like the Internet and smartphones has brought about profound changes in content consumption and, thereby, the mass media scene. The web has become a space that facilitates elaborating, integrating and disseminating any kind of audiovisual content, either generated by media enterprises or users. For their part, mobile phones enable constant connection and the capacity of consuming these contents anywhere, anytime. This context induces the ubiquity of information (Salaverría, 2018).
The constant development of new digital mediums and tools, with greater emphasis on multimedia and interactivity, has favored the emergence of new narrative formats. Media are adapting to this new context and transforming themselves more and more into generating content platforms, which leads them to have renewed productive routines and advance into the innovation field to attract these new audiences.
Simultaneously, audiences’ fragmentation and multichannels have made strategies adaptation for stories dissemination necessary. In this context, transmedia narratives (Jenkins, 1999, 2008, 2009 and 2011) have proven their effectiveness in different entertainment or advertising fields.
Television, as the rest of mass media, is exposed to this liquid environment. Currently, it is almost unquestionable that television is greater than a T.V.; that the medium is greater than the device and that it offers many possibilities to elaborate stories following transmedia logic.
Traditional television formats have been radically transformed or even replaced with newer ones. Users consume programing on demand and, many times, they do linear media consumption along with interaction through second screens, via applications or social media.
In these environments, useful tools such as virtual reality, 360 degree videos or immersive journalism emerge. They all have begun to be part of the contents available in mediums of relevance and great coverage such as The New York Times, Euronews or El País, to mention some examples.
In the Spanish regional public broadcasting ambit, the interest in new formats and narratives is verifiable, yet since it is a public service they have to provide it in a particular way and differently from private journalistic enterprises, considering these formulas to adapt to the needs of their audience.
This study approaches the use that Spanish public regional networks make of 360° format videos as an innovative product in order to prove if they make use of them in an experimental way or if they integrate them within a long-term transmedia strategy. Therefore, we intend to elucidate whether the multimedia contents with immersive capacity emerge as a response to new trends or the firm conviction to incorporate them in their regular production.

2. 360º videos as part of transmedia strategies on television

2.1. Uses and applications of virtual reality

After years of being faded into oblivion, the reemergence of virtual reality has been consolidated since 2014. The main difference between old experimentations and now is that, in this occasion, its use is possible through devices like smartphones and tablets, which simplifies its consumption enormously. Facilities offered on platforms such as Facebook, Google and YouTube for its dissemination and consumption, have also contributed to this matter.
To Ryan (in Vásquez and López, 2017), virtual reality is that immersive and interactive experience in which the user has the sensation of being transported into a specific place through a screen device placed on his/her head. Sidorenko, Cantero and Herranz (2017) go one step further stating that “it is the possibility, through an immersive experience via an artificial or digital setting or ecosystem, of achieving both physical and emotional sensations and reactions, similar to the ones experienced in real life”. These authors classify these kinds of contents in two categories depending on the type of production: those generated through tridimensional designed software, which they label Virtual Virtual Reality (VVR), and the ones generated from 360° recording special equipment, labeled Real Virtual Reality (RVR).
Vásquez and López (2017, p. 5), considering the postulates of Sherman and Craig (2003) provide four essential elements of virtuality:

Now, it is necessary to bear in mind that 360° multimedia contents are not synonym for virtual reality. Virtual content must have a complete visual range from any angle so that it can imitate real vision. Therefore, 360° content consumed through computer or smartphone screens does not provide a complete immersion. About that, Domínguez (2013) states that, in the case of photographs and 360° videos with the capacity to give users a full immersion, the interface, even if it allows a connection between the audience and the content, does not give a complete sensory immersion since the screen acts as a fourth wall, delimiting the physical world from what is represented in the content itself.
Complete virtuality is achieved when the contents are consumed through specific virtual reality headsets that can be like mobile devices (that allow attaching smartphones) and computers (that connect to computing devices). There are authors (De La Peña, 2010; Pavlik, 2001 and Pryor, 2000) who go further and consider that authentic virtuality can only be achieved when adding the possibility of interacting with the environment. For his part, Mütterlein (2018) points out that both immersion and presence are easily distinguished on virtual reality content, but interaction is harder to accomplish.
In these past four years, there has been important equipment, tools and platforms development that permit many knowledge areas, disciplines and professional fields to consider virtual reality as a useful and viable technology to boost processes and offer new products and services. That way, the use of virtual reality and multimedia formats with immersive capacity have been implemented in very diverse ambits such as education, advertising, art, videogames, tourism, medicine, or even pornography, to mention some of them.

2.2. A new format for the media

Virtual reality has now become a commercial product. Users enjoy the experience of feeling inside a football match, in ancient Rome, inside a piece of art, or even inside a pornographic scene, but what are the real possibilities for the media?
The exercise of journalism with virtual reality technology is known as immersive journalism. In 2010, researcher and journalist Nonny de la Peña, for the first time, refers to this concept as “news production in a way that people can obtain first-hand experiences of the events or situations described in them” (De la Peña, Weil, Llobera, Giannopoulos, Pomés and Spanlang, 2010, p. 291). The initial premise for this type of journalism was to produce stories based on real facts in an audiovisual proposition that would invite users to get involved and generate greater sensations from what they were seeing.
The fundamental idea of this journalistic modality is the will to move the user into the very center of the news through the use of virtual reality and interactivity technologies (Domínguez, 2015). These contents try to involve users more with the story, with the purpose of creating a greater emotional nexus. The value of immersive journalism lies in its potential to psychologically eliminate the spatial and time barrier between the recipient and the narration, which can contribute to perceive them in a more truthful way and foster a more active response to them (Peters, 2011). The ultimate goal is to generate in viewers the sensation of “being present” (De la Peña et al., 2010) in the recoded scene or virtual world (Hardee and McMahan, 2017; Baía, 2016; Doyle, Gelman and Gill, 2016; Longhi, 2016) which means that subjects feel physically present in the virtual environment, while still being aware they are not really there (Slater and Sánchez-Vives, 2016).
As considered by Outing (as cited in Pérez, 2016) immersion in journalism is achieved when the user is allowed to interact with the elements or data of the stories as the news is presented. To this effect, virtual reality BBC editor, Zyllah Watson (2017), provides a set of conclusions in her study of North American and European media:

  1. The majority of studied mediums have adopted the 360° format and virtual reality as another element in their informative selections.
  2. The majority of content is being made with semi-professional equipment which affects the quality of the final product.
  3. The amount of immersive contents, broadly speaking, is scarce compared with that of other multimedia formats.
  4. These contents are more appealing if they present stories in hardly accessible places for the public.
  5. There is not still full consciousness of the platform and the ideal device for these contents dissemination.
  6. As for consumption, mobile devices have a clear advantage over other devices, derived from costs.

Immersive journalism is already established as an alternative to increase the level of involvement of the audience. However, “despite almost four years passing since the expansion of virtual and immersive formats, there is still very little understanding of its use and scope, from both the editing and communication professionals, and from the audience who do not request them as it would have been expected” (Cantero, Sidorenko and Herranz, 2018).
The pioneer medium publishing content in these types of formats was Des Moines Register, from USA Today group, in 2014. However, the current unquestionable international reference is The New York Times, which started its work through YouTube to develop an application later for Android and IOS mobile devices, currently also available on Oculus, Gear VR and Daydream virtual interfaces. Additionally, it has a section, The Daily 360, where at least an immersive piece is published every day. This initiative has been followed by networks like USA Today, CNN, ABC and Associated Press, being the last one responsible of editing a manual for the treatment and publishing of information and news in immersive format (1) .
In Europe, the work of Euronews stands out, since it has a specific department for the development of these kinds of contents. In England, The Guardian and BBC produce these types of formats in quantity and quality. Even BBC published its innovation and production of digital contents scheme, among which they have incorporated virtual reality as a consolidated tool (2) .
El País and RTVE are the networks in Spain whose bet on these formats has been the strongest and their content production neater. The Atresmedia group also experimented broadcasting 360° news and broadcasting live the Zapeando program in 360° through Periscope. El Español newspaper also used this technology in 2016, but they lacked production continuity.

2.3. Public broadcasting and immersive formats

It was maybe in 2016 the moment of greatest emergence of publications in immersive format. National media, but also regional and local, have bet on 360° videos as an innovative form, trying to reach new audiences.
Therefore, journalism focused on specific geographic settings has found in this technology a new opportunity for creating pieces to get nearer to its target audience and that work in generating an emotional nexus with it.
In Spain, numerous regional and local media have bet somewhere in time or have kept their work on developing immersive content, like Diario de Navarra, Sur, Diario de Sevilla, Diario Montañés, Faro de Vigo, 8 Zamora or El Deporte Conquense. In some cases, it happens that these contents are elaborated by external producers and creators, as it is with El Deporte Conquense that has the collaboration of E2C VR Encuentra en Cuenca project from the Journalism Faculty of Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha.
Focusing on the public television ambit, in the words of Salaverría (2016), virtual reality and 360° recording techniques allow public entities multimedia enhancement. The study of Pérez and Campos (2017) states that, from 2013 to 2016, 13 out of 24 analyzed public European networks were already incorporating these formats into their audiovisual products.
On the other hand, Ramonet (2002, p. 8) considers that digital transformation is making the “general public” concept disappear and considers that autonomic and local networks have elements which make them ideal to adapt these contents for an increasingly segmented audience. After the innovative boost of big state corporation networks, it is now time for regional public entities (Azurmendi, López and Manfredi, 2014).
Despite technology not being the only factor influencing digital transformation, it is true it has clearly energized the innovative processes in the public broadcasting ambit in all Europe (Trappel, 2008). But, even though the creative advantage that technology brings is important, there are authors like Doyle (2010) who places greater importance to the costs reduction it allows. This becomes especially significant for regional public networks since they face bigger problems when reducing costs without affecting the quality of their products, according to the Report of the role of Autonomic Public Television in Spain ([ES] Informe sobre el papel de la Televisión Pública Autonómica en España) (FORTA, 2012). Additionally, corporations with a language of their own should be able to bring together their supports and content with linguistic standardization, as the cases of EITB Euskal Irratia Televista, CCMA Corporació Catalana de Mitjans Audiovisuals, CRTVG Compañía de Radio e televisión de Galicia e IB3 Radio i Televisio de les Illes Balears (Azurmendi, 2014, p. 376).

2.4. Transmedia content and proximity television

As stated by Manfredi and Artero (2014), the media industry has experienced a significant transformation in the last two decades as a result of digitalization, the emergence of the Internet and new mediums, the changes in content consumption guidelines, the economic liberalization and technological convergence. Television has not been alien to these transformations. It is true that traditional linear and passive consumption still possess prominence, but the changes in consumption habits are already noticeable which has set off warning bells in the industry (Galán, Rodríguez and Marzal, 2018).
According to the study conducted by the Barlovento Comunicación consultant company (2019), the daily average consumption of television in Spain was 234 minutes per person, out of which 228 correspond to linear broadcast and six minutes rebroadcast. However, this figure has been decreasing since 2012, when 246 daily minutes per person were counted.
The Barlovento Comunicación report (2019, p. 13) clarifies some aspects that tend to be subjects of discussion.
It is very common to verbalize and to make it seem as an absolute true the phrase that “children”, “young people” or “millennials” are no longer watching traditional television: that they only consume it using new devices, not on the traditional television, but they do with other options due to the digital era. But this is not true, rather the contrary, all of this compatible with the new forms of viewing on different devices: children spend more than two hours watching traditional television; young people almost two hours; and young adults get really close to three hours daily. And, of course, old adults spend nearly five hours daily and elders more than six hours every day.
It is an incontrovertible fact, one of the axioms that governs television activity is that, “the older the person, the higher the consumption”.
Along with this fact, we spend more and more time surfing the Internet. The same report by Barlovento Comunicación (2019), this time referring to the data provided by the multinational Comscore, in charge of measuring Internet consumption in Spain, reflects that 32.121.000 people connected to the web in November 2018, spending an average surfing time of 180 minutes. One year after, the number of users increased by 175.000 people and the time spent by 36 minutes, which proves the unstoppable rise the Internet media has had.
Antena 3 (21 million unique visitors), Mediaset España (12.3 million), Spotify (10.2 million), RBA editorial group (9.9 million) and RTVE (9.4 million) lead the web classification in the entertainment category (Barlovento Comunicación, 2019).
In addition, pay per view television is still growing. One out of four minutes we spend watching television is destined to pay per view modality in any of its formats –IPTV, cable, satellite or web TV-, although 66% of the total consumption time is spent on open channels and a third on exclusive paid channels (Barlovento Comunicación, 2019).
According to the Media General Study (ES Estudio General de Medios) (AIMC, 2018) corresponding to the period from February to November 2018, television enjoys 85% penetration following the gradual reduction that began in 2012 that reached 89.1%, while the Internet already stands at 77.9% in a continuous increase since 1997.
All of these figures demonstrate that audiovisual contents have gained great acceptance within the audience and that television, far from what happened with other reports, maintains and adapts to the new environment. In this sense, on demand online television platforms have been one of the most used tools during the digitalization process, with interest placed on monetizing resources and addressing the interests of increasingly segmented audiences who request the creation of second screens.
However, as stated by Larrondo (2016, p. 108), “the multiplatform strategy has moved further towards more complex developments that allow promoting cross-media contents for radio, television and web, which already involves a different and single source type of production for all mediums”:
And is that the environment in which media operate has been characterized, by Pérez Tornero (2018), by information digitalization, media convergence, the lightening of systems and media production devices, the Internet extent, interoperability between networks and mobile communication. In this ecosystem, the author considers that contents must be easily transferred between mediums; expand in several mediums with different formats relieving or complementing themselves and allowing accessing them in different space and time circumstances. Transmedia contents adapt to all of this.
From the moment Henry Jenkins incorporated the transmedia narrative concept into public debate in 1999, many authors (Jenkins, 2008; Jenkins, 2009; Jenkins, 2011; Scolari, 2013; Costa, 2013; Porto and Flores, 2012; Costa and Piñeiro, 2012; Guarinos, Gordillo and Ramírez, 2011; Moloney, 2011; Haye, 2011; Ossorio, 2012; Irala, 2014; Mayor, 2014; Lamelo, 2016; Larrondo, 2016; Rost and Berguero, 2016; Serrano, 2016; Rodríguez, Paíno, Ruiz and Jiménez, 2017; Galán, Rodríguez and Marzal, 2018) have made theoretical contributions from different fields (fiction, advertising, journalism, etc.) to characterize this form of storytelling. As a summary of all of these, we can determine that a transmedia narrative is a story told through different autonomous fragments that are disseminated adapting to the very own language of each channel and foster the interaction between users to increase its dissemination and provide new contents (Calvo, 2018 and Sidorenko, Calvo and Cantero, 2018).
Transmedia formula production and dissemination are designed to provide a more participative, interactive, creative and empathetic users’ consumption. Therefore, we are facing a context in which projects and journalistic and innovative infotainment contents flourish in an attempt to combine all of these features. Multimedia formats with immersive capacity are created as a useful tool for these projects, providing a new content diversifying resource based mainly on the participation and empathy of users.
Transmedia contents are not novel on television. Costa (2013: 564) cites as example the Swedish series Sanningen om Marika (STV; The company P., 2007) or Défiance (Universal Cable Productions; Trion Worlds, 2013). In Spain, Mayor (2014: 81-82), highlights Antena 3 productions like Los Protegidos, Hispania and El Barco. Competitive shows like La Voz on Telecinco, Top Chef on Antena 3 or Master Chef and El Ministerio del Tiempo on Spanish Televisión also comprise transmedia universes with autonomous content on multiple platforms and with a clear intention of motivating the participation of viewers.
In addition, the use of transmedia strategies is especially useful to contribute towards contents differentiation in moments when there is a tough dispute to gain the attention of the audience who receives a huge amount of news impact, to disseminate contents at different rates and to create and maintain a community of users around the contents (Serrano, 2017).
In spite of the proven success of some of these mentioned initiatives that follow this logic on television, the truth is that products that meet these characteristic are not very numerous. If we circumscribe to the ambit of autonomous public networks that are object of this study, Azurmendi (2018) has confirmed that transmedia contents are limited despite being proven these kinds of products connect more with young audiences. Larrondo (2016, p. 109) states that “the transmedia bet, although diffident still, is truly symptomatic and revealing about the interest of autonomic broadcastings in Spain to place themselves in the forefront, even if their public service condition constrains and forces them to face, in a particular way, corporate and professional decisive challenges, and therefore, productive and creative ones, too”. As affirmed by Manfredi (2004, p. 296), public service channels have to transform and adapt to changes, among which there is “innovation culture”.

3. Objectives and method

This study intends to understand how 360° video format is used on the 13 Spanish regional networks: Radio Televisión Andalucía (RTVA); Corporación Aragonesa de Radio y Televisión (CARTV); Ente Público de Comunicación del Principado de Asturias (RTPA); Ente Público de Radiotelevisión de las Islas Baleares (EPRTVIB); Radiotelevisión Canaria (RTVC); Castilla-La Mancha Media (CCM); Corporació Catalana de Mitjans Audiovisuals (CCMA) with its five televisión channels (TV3, Canal 3/24, Súper 3, Canal 33, Esport 3 and TV3 Cat); Corporación Extremeña de Medios Audiovisuales (CEXMA); Corporación de Radio e Televisión de Galicia (CRTVG); Radio Televisión Madrid (RTVM) with Telemadrid and La Otra; Radiotelevisión de la Región de Murcia (RTRM); Euskal Irrati Telebista (EiTB); Corporación Valenciana de Medios de Comunicación (CVMC) and Radio Televisión Pública de Ceuta (RTVCE).
After approaching the theoretical concepts that are going to be used and the examination of the literature related to 360° format videos production by television networks and transmedia narrative, a methodology that combines quantitative and qualitative structured techniques is proposed as follows. First, with the objective of knowing the 360° contents production of each of the autonomic networks, we have analyzed their websites and Facebook and YouTube social platforms, therefore the time framework extends from the first disseminated contents in this format to the date of the elaboration of this study (December 2018). The selection of these mediums resulted from networks typically having a repository of their contents on their websites available for citizens. On the other hand, Facebook and YouTube are frequently used platforms for 360° format contents dissemination, since they permit easy display.
The data obtained have been codified in a table with the following variables: medium, title of the video, dissemination platform, date, type (entertainment, information and fiction), adaptation of the 360° videos specific codes for an effective communication (used on a suitable setting, camera placement, voice-over, titling, etc.) and topic.
On a second stage, a qualitative study of each of the videos found on the first stage was carried out in order to determine if they were isolated pieces or fragments of a story with extensions on other platforms or mediums. The analysis continued with the elements of the second group to determine if they fit into a narrative transmedia strategy. To this effect, a set of indicators validated through the conceptual framework were considered: the broadcasting of stories through several channels, the existence of different autonomous fragments, the adaptation of the messages to the channel through which they are disseminated and the participation of the user (Calvo, 2018 and Sidorenko, Calvo and Cantero, 2018).
Before moving forward, it is necessary to make an observation about this study: we did not carefully examine each of the found stories linked to the 360°videos to put together the entire transmedia universe around them because the means for this research did not allow carrying out a study of such magnitude. Now, we consider these circumstances do not diminish the credibility or relevance of this study since, in order for transmedia narrative to happen, a minimum number of channels for its dissemination is not necessary; verifying the existence of at least two mediums is sufficient, through which the story can be disseminated in autonomous fragments –having their own sense without the need of consuming other parts of the story- that benefit from the specific language of each medium and that, somehow, facilitates the participation of users through “re-mediations and echoes” (Salaverría, 2018, p. 25).
As a final stage, in the light of the results obtained, and after their analysis, a series of conclusions are presented.

4. Results

4.1. 360 videos on regional television

The study of the Internet corporative webpages and the Facebook and YouTube profiles of the 13 Spanish regional television networks has revealed that only 7 of them have disseminated 360° format videos on these platforms: Castilla- La Mancha Media (previously named televisión de Castilla-La Mancha); TV Galicia; Canal Sur; TV3; the network of Islas Baleares (IB3); Radiotelevisión Castilla y León; and Canal Extremadura.
In total, 84 videos in immersive format were counted, all of them using as platforms their respective YouTube channels for their display and, in some cases, supporting dissemination through Facebook.
The greatest production of these kinds of contents belongs to TV3 with 32 videos, followed by CMM (30 videos) and Canal Extremadura (17 pieces). Far behind, IB3 offers two videos and TV Galicia, Canal Sur and Radio Televisión Castilla y León only one.
As for the type of content, 78.6% are mainly related to entertainment, while 19% are more related to information. The remaining 2.4% are videos hard to classify, either for their brevity or content.
Regarding content analysis, we proved that the most repeated topic is animal health (20%), since the seventeen 360° videos from Canal Extremadura are part of the series Veterinarios (3) broadcasted during 2016 and 2017. Next, appears culture (19%). In this case the majority of videos (13) belong to the program El lloc de fets (4) from TV3, a series of historical recreations, based on historical investigation, that have their settings in different points of the Catalan geography.
Contents related to tourism and the valuing of artistic and natural heritage also stand out (14%). Here, CMM production approaching to places such as the Almadén mines; Mundo River; El Hosquillo Hunting Park; Hayedo de Tejera Negra; The Jewish House, Toledo; or the Cuenca Cathedral; among other places (5) stands out.
360° videos are also used by public networks to show their back offices. 13% of the sample is related to productions that show users how a television or radio program is made, how special equipment operate in order to cover certain occurrences (The National Day of Catalonia (6) or the general elections on June 26th (7) ) or that allow you to live first-hand the premiere of new seasons on television (Merli (8) , from TV3).
Sports and social affairs hold, each one, 9.5% of the studied videos. In the first case, the works of CMM regarding the rise of Albacete Bolimpié stand out. For social affairs, TV3 gathers the greatest production with the documentary about refugees, My friend (9) .
Traditions and celebrations like The National Day of Catalonia, Corpus Christi in Toledo, Sant Joan in Ciutadella, Alvarada de Cañete or the Fair of Albacete accumulate 8% of the videos in immersive format (10) .
Technology, humor and programs difficult to categorize complete the chosen topics for 360° production in Spanish regional television networks.

4.2. Transmedia strategies

After the individual analysis of each of the pieces was completed, they were put into context to determine if they were part of a transmedia contents strategy or just individual productions or pilot projects. Just as stated in the section explaining the methodology of this study, four indicators have been proven: the expansion of the story through different channels, the autonomy of each of these fragments, the messages adaptation to the channel through which they are broadcasted and the facilities offered for the participation of users.
The first step was to determine the use of different channels to disseminate a single story. Data demonstrated that 17% of the videos under analysis in this study do not have directly related content on other channels that are typically used by the media. In 83% of the cases we have proven there are parts of the same story on other mediums, expanding the narrative through different channels. In this last paragraph, the works we could consider cross-platform belong to CMM, TV3 and Canal Extremadura.
The selected stories in the previous stage moved into a second stage with the intention of confirming if the spotted fragments had an autonomous meaning; that is, if it was not necessary to resort to other parts on a different medium to understand its meaning. In 13% of the cases, only with the viewing of the video was enough to have a full meaning of the fragment of the story. For the rest, there is a prevalence of recordings from a fixed position of celebrations, television programs, veterinary procedures, historical buildings, etc., but without infographic or voice elements to provide information of a context that permits to determine, for most of the analyzed pieces, what they are about.
Now, since YouTube is the dominating medium when it comes to disseminating these kinds of contents, relying on the title and the description this platform has, becomes essential to get information in order to know the meaning of the images. If we take these elements into account, we can consider the whole set of videos to be autonomous.

Source: YouTube and Facebook profiles of the Spanish autonomic television networks. Author’s own creation.
Graphic 1. 360° videos analysis as part of a transmedia strategy.

Related to the previous section, in a subsequent phase of the study the contents adaptation to the codes of the medium through which they are disseminated was examined, in order to boost the possibilities it offers for greater communication efficiency. In this section, the results demonstrated that only 11% of the ones considered as cross-platform were edited including elements (titles, infographics, headings, banners, voice-over, totals, etc.) that would allow adequate adaptation to the specific language codes.
As a final step, the last selection was scrutinized with the purpose of finding elements that would allow the participation of users. This participation could come from the content co-creation, the input of new meanings through comments or rebroadcast, all of this contributing to the emergence of a community around a narrative. In the case under analysis, again relying on the very own YouTube resources, the options for commenting and sharing the content were permitted, which was a form of participation.

5. Discussion and conclusions

Far from the tough dispute for attracting audience and sharing advertisement, public television networks have a chance to embrace innovation without compensation in the short term that would be reflected in their income statements. Their public service status forces them to seek formulas to connect with an audience that, in the past recent years, has modified the way of consuming informative and entertainment content.
On demand dissemination platforms, contents adapted for mobile consumption or the means for the participation of viewers through technology, force television networks to go beyond the traditional linear content dissemination.
This context also requires adaptation of narrative procedures. Fragmented audiences, multiple screens to which content must be adapted for efficient communication and, new languages make the modification of the narrative models and content strategies necessary.
Among the new languages, the use of 360° format videos that allow an immersive experience to users has become popular. However, the presence of these contents does not go beyond being just testimonial on Spanish autonomic television networks. Only 7, out of the 13 regional public entities, have offered the 84 videos in 360° format counted from 2016 to 2018. In the cases of Castilla-La Mancha Media, TV Galicia, Canal Sur, TV3, IB3, Radiotelevisión Castilla y León and Canal Extremadura. In the cases of the Galician, Andalusian and Castilian-Leonese television networks the production was limited to only one video. The Balearic IB3 offers on its two platforms, which is why the majority of the production belongs to CMM and TV3. Therefore, in this liquid media environment (Cerezo, 2018), we can conclude that, in line with what happens in other European countries (Watson, 2017) the immersive content offered is scarce if we compare it to that of other multimedia contents.
Virtual reality and multimedia formats with immersive capacity have burst in the context of digital and mobile revolution, with a new resource to inform and entertain. It is not about a resource that substitutes or modifies journalistic praxis, but the contrary: it allows opening the range of possibilities to create contents that satisfy the increasingly larger audience segmentation.
Therefore, these contents do not intend to radically change journalism or give a new turn to the profession, but to serve and provide it with greater possibilities. The story and the journalistic content are still the center and core of the product and the format only brings its potential qualities to diversify its dissemination.
But there is still the question if the autonomic television networks that make use of 360° videos do it as pilot experiments or as a limited bet on these types of contents. In this last case, are 360° videos included in transmedia strategies? The analysis carried out in this study has led us to establish that 73% of the immersive pieces were somehow related with contents on other platforms or digital profiles of the television network, helping delve into the stories told. However, adequate use to benefit from the possibilities offered by this narrative formula is lacking. There are few cases (10%) in which the recording work was completed with an adequate production and postproduction that included the elements to facilitate the full understanding of the narrative.
It cannot be strongly asserted whether public regional television networks have incorporated multimedia formats with immersive capacity as something trendy or with the firm conviction of betting on them, but it can be demonstrated that their use has been testimonial and limited. Additionally, for now, they have been implemented in an isolated and unstructured manner, without integrating them within solid transmedia strategies. It seems as if the productions of the analyzed broadcasters were in an experimental stage that would work to test the acceptance and penetration of these new formats. Only time will confirm if the bet extends and settles, or if, on the contrary, acquires a residual role within the new narrative forms.


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Juan Ignacio Cantero de Julián: Majored in Journalism from Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha with official Master in lecturing Mandatory Middle School Education, High School, Professional Training and Language Teaching also in Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha. He has worked as journalist for the digital newspaper El Deporte Conquense. He was one of the founders and funders of this project. He has taught Global Media Structure, Cyberjournalism, Sports Journalism, Spanish Media Systems, Opinion and Interpretation Genres and Institutional and Corporative Communication lessons in Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha. At present, he is writing his doctoral thesis about environmental journalism and, simultaneously, researching about virtual reality and 360° video. He also coordinates the digital medium of the Journalism Faculty of Castilla-La Mancha, El Observador.
H Index: 3
Orcid ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6631-1915

Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.es/citations?user=tze6FQgAAAAJ&hl=es

Luis Mauricio Calvo Rubio: PhD from Univerdad de Castilla-La Mancha. Majored in Journalism from Universidad a Distancia de Madrid (UDIMA) and College Master in Communication, Culture, Society and Politics from Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED). Over two decades, he has practiced his professional career as a journalist and responsible of some mediums in the printed press, radio and television ambit. During the recent past years, his professional and academic work have been focused on the possibilities for communication in a new digital environment and, especially, in transmedia journalism. Currently, he combines research and teaching with his professional work linked with corporative communication.
H Index: 3
Orcid ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4707-5259

Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.es/citations?user=WALpsnoAAAAJ&hl=es

Miguel Ángel Benedicto Solsona: He has a degree in Law, Journalism and Political Sciences. President of the Debate and Ideas Association, he is general secretary of the European Movement in Spain and partner and manager of Gobernas Consulting. He is currently a professor of Political Sciences in Universidad Europea and associate professor of International Relations in the Political Sciences Faculty of Universidad Complutense de Madrid. He has been head of Internacional en Telemadrid and worked for 6 years as consultant of the communication policies for the European Commission and is member of the Team Europe. As a researcher he was in Charles University in Prague and was a professor of the Chichester College. He is author of the books Estados Unidos 3.0 (2012), Europa a Debate (2006) and La Mayor Operación de Solidaridad de la Historia (2007).
H Index: 2
Orcid ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9447-8288

Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.es/citations?user=lTL4kmgAAAAJ&hl=es


(1) Available in <http://www.amic.media/media/files/file_352_1328.pdf> (Consulted 12-26-18).

(2) BBC News Lab in Medium <http://bit.ly/2yvtb3M> (Consulted 12-26-18).

(3) Un ejemplo de estos videos pude consultarse en https://youtu.be/nQRKdS32vX4 (Consultado el 3-04-2019).

(4) Disponibles en la lista < https://www.YouTube.com/playlist?list=PLHF437Sz2MHo9wDXCbkaogNUa7IHHJTbF> (Consultado el 3-04-2019).

(5) Video sobre la catedral de Cuenca de CMM <https://youtu.be/tNuLE39Saxg> (Consultado el 3-04-2019).

(6) Video en 360 sobre el dispositivo especial de TV3 para la Diada https://youtu.be/SG_6fdiRJRE (Consultado el 3-04-2019).

(7) Disponible en https://youtu.be/4BEY1aghWu4 (Consultado el 3-04-2019).

(8) Disponible en https://youtu.be/k3FfUD_Hhpg (Consultado el 3-04-2019).

(9) Un ejemplo de los videos en 360º de My friend: https://youtu.be/0nMrZxfzzWg (Consultado el 3-04-2019).

(10) Una muestra de este tipo de videos es el realizado sobre la Alvarada de Cañete, accesible en https://youtu.be/eX4q2kwRIKg (Consultado el 3-04-2019).