Virtual Reality: The Content Conundrum

20,000 foot view: At the start of 2016 the tech hype machine was going into overdrive over the potential for Virtual Reality to finally break through to the mainstream. January’s CES in Las Vegas featured the launch of Fox Studio’s The Martian Experience, their second VR project in conjunction with a major big screen production. At the same time Facebook’s Oculus Rift was busy generating media interest around the Q1 launch of its first consumer VR headset. However what was lacking from the conversation was how to make VR an experience for the mainstream TV and film consumer. The $599 price point for the Rift headset, and bonus-feature positioning of The Martian Experience, effectively limit the technology’s appeal to tech and media enthusiasts only. What VR is waiting for is its mainstream cross-over moment, and the potential of VR to revolutionize scripted drama could just be the medium in which to achieve this.

Key Findings (Data Points Are Removed From This Preview Summary)

  • VR hardware currently receives seventeen times the investment of VR content ($X billion compared to $X million)
  • VR has failed twice before to break through to the mainstream
  • Original scripted drama has pivoted SVOD towards the mainstream and offers a template for VR
  • VR is going to need VR optimized content to compel VR device sales among mainstream consumers
  • HTC now dominates VR content spending with its $X million Vive X Fund
  • Content companies need to plan for VR going mainstream or risk being left behind

Companies Mentioned: Facebook, Fox Innovation Lab, Google, HTC, MelodyVR, MIT, Oculus VR, PlayStation, Samsung, Sega, Skybound Entertainment, Sony, Valve, Wevr

Charts: 3
Pages: 12
Words: 2,200
Includes PDF, Slides, data set and synopsis