According to IHS Markit research, VR entertainment was worth an estimated US$222 million in 2016.
IHS Markit expects in-home VR entertainment content spend to be dominated by interactive content over the forecast period – namely games, experiences and apps – with 360° forecast to only account for a tiny proportion of the overall market.
TV producers and broadcasters have been wrestling over how much and in what ways they should invest in VR content, with no clear consensus emerging yet.
“The best strategies for in-home content monetisation remain unclear,” according to IHS Technology director of games research Piers Harding-Rolls while presenting the stats at IHS Markit’s Media and Technology Conference in London this week.
He said that questions still remain about whether in-app purchases work for VR content, if advertising works in VR and whether subscription will work with VR video services.
Meanwhile, the global installed base of VR headsets is due to climb from 18 million in 2016 to 91 million in 2021 Harding-Rolls said that smartphone VR would continue to hold a “significant volume advantage” over the market in years to come.
Google Daydream was predicted to be the most popular VR headset by 2018, overtaking Samsung Gear VR – though Samsung itself is a hardware partner for the Daydream platform.
In terms of content,
At its I/O developer conference in California last month, Google said that the first standalone virtual reality headsets to run using Google’s Daydream VR platform are due to launch later this year.