Aim/purpose – This article aims to examine the relationships between the 360-degree viewer experience and video genres. Design/methodology/approach – The presented empirical study was based on the respondents’ evaluation of two 360-degree videos: a documentary film and an episode from a web series. Findings – The viewers evaluated the 360-degree video documentary as more interesting, more engaging, creating deeper immersion in the plot, and delivering more information compared to their experience when they would watch video if it were produced as a traditional film format. The study showed the differences in viewers’ evaluation of 360-degree documentaries and web series episodes. The evaluation of 360-degree videos was different between the two groups of respondents varying in their perception of navigation. Research implications/limitations – Our study suggests that by implementing 360-degree video features in documentary films, we can evoke a more intensive viewer experience compared to the situation when the viewer would watch videos in the traditional film format. It also indicates that film production should take into account the different viewer’s perceptions of being actively engaged in the navigation. The limitations of the study: the qualitative study with the convenient respondent sampling, the subjective evaluation of respondents’ statements, and the subjective choice of the evaluated 360-degree videos. Originality/value/contribution – The study contributes to film production by highlighting the significance of viewer perception of navigation and the video genre as factors impacting the viewer experience.