While the virtual reality industry has been around for decades, it is finally coming into its own. VR has, thus far, largely been associated with video gaming and experimental technology. However, the following stats illustrate that virtual reality in everyday life is not exclusively for sci-fi movies. Many large businesses have jumped in to VR and many VR start-ups have recently popped up. VR is serious and it’s here to stay.
- More than 2.5 million people are currently subscribed to YouTube’s 360 channel (as of this writing)
That’s more than double the amount of subscribers this channel had less than two months ago. Among the channel’s creators are digital media giants Redbull, GoPro, and National Geographic; news outlets including the New York Times, ABC, and PBS; and other big names such as Vogue, Warner Bros. and MLB.
- 50% of consumers who have demoed VR plan to purchase
If you’ve stepped inside a Samsung shop recently, I’m sure you’ve seen Samsung Gear demo chairs propped up. Or perhaps you’ve glimpsed someone wildly moving their arms through a virtual gaming world from the corner of a Microsoft store. But did you know that after receiving a VR demo, 50% of consumers plan to buy in the near future?
Virtual reality lovers don’t even have to invest their money into virtual technology. Today, you can get jump into VR simply by viewing from your mobile device. Yet many demoers still purchase VR kits for an enhanced experience.
- Google Cardboard dominates 69% of the market
Currently, due to a brilliant execution on a stealthy marketing plan, Google dominates 69% of the VR Headset market. Over 10 million Google Cardboard headsets were shipped by March of this year!
Of course, many were given free through partnerships with companies such as the New York Times. And even if you didn’t snag a free set, you can easily find them for less than $10 which is much cheaper than the competition.
- More 1 million people used Samsung Gear last month
Samsung ranks second in the VR headset market. More than one million people have used Samsung Gear VR’s website in the last month alone. The website features Coldplay concerts, Premier League training sessions, and even a tour of DJ Khaled’s backyard.
- Mark Zuckerberg paid $2 billion for Oculus
Okay, so this is an old stat, but it’s particularly insightful today. In 2014, Mark Zuckerberg, owner of Facebook, purchased Oculus Rift (another popular virtual reality headset) for $2 Billion. The crazy part? At the time, the entire VR industry was said to be worth only $3 Billion.
Since then, the virtual reality industry has more than doubled in worth year over year.
- Video = 1200% more engagement
Today, the average user watches over one hour of social media video each week. Video posted directly to social media generates 1200% more engagement than text and image posts COMBINED. For businesses that go the extra mile to personalize their videos to their audience, as much as 1700% higher engagement can be expected!
Social media sites like Facebook are investing heavily in the future of video by creating new waves of technology, like Facebook Spaces, to support the virtual reality frontier.
- 30% of Forbes 2000 plan to invest in Virtual Reality next year
There’s not much more to say. 600 of the Forbes top 2000 will invest in VR next year. That’s very strong positivity and support for the future of the industry.
- 60% Are Already Behind The Times
It’s no secret that the highest rate of return is at the peak of a new technology. While virtual reality has been a discussion for over 20 years, now is the time to invest!
Currently, 60% of consumers think only of the gaming industry when asked about virtual reality. Yet, virtual reality channels on YouTube are growing by the millions each month. Over 450 virtual reality apps have already been created. More than 500 VR start-up businesses have been created. And 50% of consumers are converted after a demo.
Now is the time to get involved – as a consumer or as a business. VR is no longer for intense gamers–it’s the future of business, marketing, social, and life. If your 2018 business strategy doesn’t include VR, you need to rethink your strategy. You won’t want to miss out.