Google Spotlight Stories

Film-making division within Google
Google Cemetery
Failure to Pivot


Spotlight Stories was a film-making division within Google. It dealt with creating 360-degree immersive stories. They could be watched pretty much everywhere - on phones, tablets, screens, and in VR.

The studio released 13 movies during its six years on the market. Among those were Son of Jaguar, Piggy, Back to the Moon, and Age of Sail. They also had a collaboration with The Simpsons for the show’s 600th episode – Planet of the Couches.

The studio even received an Emmy for Pearl, which was also nominated for Best Animated Short Film at the 2017 Academy Awards.

Google Spotlight Stories


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Cause of Failure

Google announced they were shutting down Spotlight Stories in March 2019. They didn’t provide a specific reason for the decision but expressed how proud they were with their work on the project.

Spotlight Stories started as part of Motorola - which Google purchased back in 2011 - and specialized in making 360-degree movies for Motorola phones only. The project became part of Google’s Advanced Technologies and Products (ATAP), and in 2015, it spread to other Android devices and the iOS and YouTube platforms.

Even though the movies were a success and received critical acclaim, Google hardly put any effort into monetizing the content. Spotlight Stories also didn’t help much with further developing Google’s VR platform or making the Daydream VR headset more popular.

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