Waiting For Virtual Reality Around The Corner

Waiting For Virtual Reality Around The Corner
February 15, 2017

There’s virtual reality and then there’s the reality relating to virtual reality.


Despite all the marketing and promoting of VR headsets of various types, marketers will not get much out of VR as it exists today, according to a new study.


However, in the long term, virtual reality with transform marketing experiences, unlike any marketing channel that has come before, according to Forrester.


The Forrester report, ‘Virtual Reality Isn’t Ready For Marketing Yet,’ is based on two very large surveys of online adults in the U.S., weighted to be representative of the U.S. population.


The study paints a very positive long-term picture for virtual reality while identifying the obstacles to getting there. The obstacles:


  • * Consumers don’t get it – Some 42% of adults say they have never heard about virtual reality headsets and 46% say they don’t see a use for VR in their lives.


  • * Device penetration is niche – Advertisers traditionally favor media that masses of consumers are already using. With virtual reality, platforms like Sony PlayStation or Google Daydream have just launched commercially. Forrester pegs the total VR headset market at fewer than 2% of online adults by the end of this year.


  • * Contents costs are high – The cost to develop VR content can range anywhere from $10,000 to well over $500,000.


  • * Production is complicated – Using VR content requires working with a high number of disparate partners, whose systems typically are not integrated with each other.


  • * Brands’ forays leave consumers wanting – Most brands testing VR start with lower-cost 360-branded VR videos, typically self-serving, generating low impact among consumers.


On the positive side, those who are interested in or currently using a virtual reality device are interested in a wide range of activities for them. Here’s what they would be interested in doing with their VR headset:


  • * 86% -- Watching movies, TV
  • * 85% -- Playing video games
  • * 84% -- Communicating with friends or family
  • * 82% -- Touring virtual homes, apartments
  • * 81% -- Shopping for goods
  • * 81% -- Meeting with doctors/healthcare professionals
  • * 81% -- Viewing concerts
  • * 81% -- Working, virtual workspace
  • * 81% -- Communicating with co-workers
  • * 80% -- Participating in exercise classes
  • * 80% -- Taking a class at a college
  • * 79% -- Reading magazines
  • * 77% -- Putting outfits together


Based on some of the advances we saw at CES earlier this year, virtual reality is being developed at scale. The market detail is if and when consumers will adopt it at the same velocity as it’s created.  

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