Consumer virtual reality valued at $8.3bn
While virtual reality is still in its early days, the first wave of consumer headsets is about to hit the market. Futuresource Consulting has released a report on the matter – ‘Virtual Reality – Niche or Mass Market?’ – and the findings provide interesting insight.
Chief among them is that global leaders such as Google, Facebook, Samsung and Sony are backing virtual reality technology and are establishing the ecosystems required to support mass market adoption.
“Consumer awareness is currently good for a comparatively new technology, but there is a long way to go, with the important 16-35 demographic in particular needing to be more aware. The big issue is, for all the hype, only three per cent of consumers have tried VR,” said Adam Cox, Senior Analyst, Futuresource Consulting. “This needs to be a lot higher if people are going to be persuaded to part with a significant amount of cash. They need to understand what they’re going to purchase and no amount of marketing can do that – with VR you have to try it! VR has the potential to create significant revenue opportunities across the industry and it will fail if consumers aren’t aware of the technology or don’t have the opportunity to try it.”
“Opportunities to try VR are currently rare for the average consumer. A considerable number of headsets are now available, but in order to try VR, consumers have to largely rely on friends or colleagues with headsets or go to trade shows or other similar promotional events. The channel, therefore, has a huge role to play in educating consumers – it is the logical place for consumers to have contact with VR for the first time.” He continued. If people don’t have the opportunity to try before they buy, it will limit headset sales and risk a backlash from people who have spent a great deal of money on the strength of the hype, but are disappointed with the reality of VR,” says Cox.
While sales of virtual reality gear are currently low, the next six months will see the launch of many high-profile products, such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Live and the PlayStation VR headset, which join the already released Samsung Gear VR.
Futuresource’s research reveals that consumers are most excited about experiencing VR movies (39 per cent) and gaming (38 per cent).
Could VR be the next 3D?
3D was heralded with much excitement but ultimately didn’t take hold in the industry as strongly as was expected. Some people are asking what if the latest innovation on the market, virtual reality, has the same potential to disappoint?
Our very own Simon Gauntlett gave an overview presentation at the recent EBU Production Technology Seminar and had one thing to tell the audience: Virtual reality is to be taken seriously.
The explosion of new VR products on the market, along with the predicted growth of the industry (in the billions by 2020), and the uptake by organisations getting involved in the development of VR.
A number of broadcasters have already experimented with integrating VR, such as The BBC with Strictly Come Dancing, FOX producing golf in VR and Sky News putting a VR camera in a refugee camp. Many broadcasters have established a commitment to producing more VR content in the future.
In order to help VR to grow and meet high industry expectations, work needs to be done to ensure we work together as a whole to standardise the technology and make it as easy to adopt as possible.
Rovi reveals shifting consumer entertainment and technology habits
The world of entertainment and the technology that supports it have changed significantly, meaning advertisers and content creators are facing very different challenges that they were a decade ago.
New technology means that the way people interact with content has changed, with new streaming and viewing platforms being available than ever before. Traditional pay-TV providers have had to radically change the way they retain customers, as OTT content becomes available.
In the recent Rovi survey, 4,000 pay-TV and OTT content subscribers revealed that despite the fears, only 3% of global viewers have cut the cord and abandoned traditional networks. The stakes are still high, though, with 51% of UK-based respondents considering cancelling their subscriptions.
The report highlights a number of trends emerging in viewer behaviour, specifically around the areas of discovery, search and recommendations for content.
• 47% of UK viewers most often watch live TV content,
• …although 54% now prefer consuming content in other forms and on their own terms, including on-demand TV or DVD/recorded content.
• ¼ of UK consumers plan their days around their favourite TV programming
• …with 16% doing this every day
• 40% admit to ‘staying up too late’ to binge-watch their favourite TV programmes
• 32% frequently stream to devices while using public transport
• 28% stream content while at work
DTG Staff | 07.02.2016