Gaming might be the first application that comes to mind when one thinks of virtual reality (VR), but consumer interest spreads far past that.
Greenlight VR conducted a survey of 1,200 people and found that a greater share of survey respondents expressed interest in other VR content categories such as travel, movies, and live streaming events.
According to the survey results, 73.5% of respondents showed interest in travel, tourism, or adventure VR content, while 67.3% were interested in movies and recorded videos. Furthermore, 67% were interested in live events and 65.9% in home design. Gaming actually ranked sixth at 61%.
The results were largely the same among respondents who considered themselves “high-tech spenders.” Among this group, virtual travel and adventure ranked first and second, respectively, and gaming ranked fifth.
The survey suggests that developers in the VR ecosystem might be focusing too much on gaming. Platforms should consider a wider range of categories when developing their content and crafting their marketing strategies.
An encouraging sign for VR adoption was the respondents’ indication that they were pleased with their experiences. Among those that had used VR devices in the past, 86% noted that it was a positive interaction and that they were highly likely to use VR again.
The tech industry has promoted the prospect of VR for the past few decades. But only now, with headsets backed by big names like Sony and Facebook, is VR finally becoming a concrete product with mass market potential. While VR technology is largely associated with the gaming industry, the platform offers a new set of content opportunities in entertainment, advertising, and more.
But where is it all going?
Margaret Boland, research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on virtual reality content that examines how various VR headset categories will shape VR content development and looks at the trajectory for mobile gaming revenues to get a sense of how spending on VR content might develop. The report also lays out what types of content users and developers can expect on VR platforms, including gaming, video entertainment, and advertising.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
- VR headset manufacturers are driving both the development and distribution of VR content by investing significant technical and monetary resources in developers, in an effort to build up an exclusive content library.
- High demand for VR headsets by mobile and console gamers will fuel demand for VR content. The VR content market will take an increasing portion of the mobile gaming software industry.
- Beyond gaming, VR video entertainment will remain short form until demand for VR headsets increases.
- Ads featured on VR headsets will likely have higher view-through rates than standard video ad spots.
- Other industries are also beginning to experiment with VR content. Travel companies, publishers, e-commerce merchants, and social platforms are beginning to see potential in this new category.
- VR content faces major hurdles that could keep developers from investing: The VR experience must be good enough for people to take up the devices. In addition, developers need to know that a sufficient user base exists to be worthy of the resource investment in VR content.
In full, the report:
- Provides a breakdown of each type of VR headset, what platforms they run on, and how content will differ for each.
- Includes estimates for global VR headset shipments by category.
- Includes a mobile gaming forecast to give a sense of the most important market that will drive spending on VR content in the next five years.
- Lays out what other industries are developing VR programs.
- Discusses some of the potential barriers that could dissuade developers from investing in VR content.