Samsung Electronics (SSNLF), which is becoming a leader in virtual reality headsets, is finding new ways to lure consumers to the burgeoning technology by inking content deals with BuzzFeed and NowThis News.
The two online media companies will produce virtual reality video content with Samsung’s Gear 360 cameras. Consumers can view the programming via the company’s Gear VR headset. The deal is expected to bring more than 140 360-degree videos to millions of users.
“Our 360-degree and virtual reality technologies enable more interactive storytelling to help consumers gain a deeper understanding of the world. These partnerships are a testament to our dedication to reimagining the way moments are captured and shared, and making these immersive experiences accessible to more consumers,” said Younghee Lee, Samsung Electronics CMO and executive vice president, in an announcement. The South Korean consumer electronics company is going after Millennials and Generation Z with the new deals.
While VR has been slow to take off in the U.S., Samsung is becoming a clear leader, with games data researcher SuperData finding it shipped the most VR headsets during the first quarter of the year. According to an update to its VR headset market report in May, the research firm said Samsung shipped 782,000 Gear VR headsets during Q1, giving it the status as the most popular VR headset vendor in the market. The sales of its VR headsets did get a lift from Samsung’s promotion centered on the new Galaxy S8 line of smartphones. The company threw in a free VR headset for those who pre-ordered the smartphone.
Sony and its PlayStation came in second with shipments of 375,000 units. The third-place vendor was Vive, which SuperData said shipped 95,000 units. Coming in a distant fourth place was Oculus, the Facebook Inc. VR unit that was only able to ship 64,000 units in the first quarter.
Looking out to the remainder of the year, SuperData forecasts the Samsung Gear VR will ship 6.7 million units by the end of the year while the PlayStation VR should ship 2.6 million units and Vive 553,000 units. Oculus is only expected to ship 346,000 for the year.