Is Video a Game Changer for Virtual Reality? - eMarketer

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Is Video a Game Changer for Virtual Reality?

Many people believe it will be one of the most popular uses of VR

July 11, 2017

Adoption of virtual reality (VR) headsets hasn’t grown by leaps and bounds. For one, the devices aren’t cheap. While there are affordable options out there, some can leave a substantial dent in a consumer’s wallet.

And many consumers don’t want to shell out money for a device they feel doesn’t have enough content. But video may change their perception.

Attitudes Toward Using Video with Virtual Reality (VR) Among VR Device Users Worldwide, Feb 2017 (% of respondents)

A study of VR device users worldwide by Ericsson found that more than half (54%) of respondents felt that VR devices will be the new screens for video. And almost as many (53%) said video will be one of the most popular uses of VR.

Just over half of respondents think video in VR will become popular because it will combine with social networking.

But not everyone had a positive attitude toward video in VR. In fact, over a third of respondents (38%) felt that watching video via a VR headset was restrictive, because they would only watch it alone and not share the experience with anyone else.

And there’s also the question of quality. A third of VR device users felt their video experience via a headset would be restricted because of poor resolution.

VR has been slower to catch on in the US, and will not reach mass adoption in the foreseeable future, according to eMarketer.

US Virtual Reality Users, 2016-2019 (millions and % change)

eMarketer expects just 22.4 million people in the US will engage with a form of VR at least monthly this year, with that figure increasing to 49.2 million by 2019.

But while VR headsets provide a more immersive experience, engagement will remain low due to their often high cost. This year, only 2.9% of the US population will use a VR headset at least monthly, eMarketer estimates, with that number growing to just 5.2% by 2019.

Rimma Kats


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