About 54% of consumers who are interested in virtual reality think it’s not a fad, but less than one third (31%) of that group have actually tried VR, Interactive Broadband Consulting Group, found in a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers who expressed an interest in the emerging format.
The study, which took aim at the VR opportunity beyond gaming and was released to coincide with this week's INTX show in Boston, discovered that 77% of those surveyed are willing to purchase VR equipment, with 18% saying they’d pay more than $250. Notably, that’s still less than the starting price of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, as well as the coming Sony PlayStation VR.
And VR skews toward men, with two times more men being interested in the platform than women, though interest balances out a bit among middle-aged respondents (age 35-54).
The movies and TV category had the most interest (50%) among all age groups, with men more interested in that category, along with live events, gaming and user-generated content. About 35% of women are more interested in men in travel-themed VR experiences, the study found.
With a nod to OTT video models we see today, 42% said they’d watch a VR ad in exchange for free content, and 34% said they wouldn’t watch ads.
“VR is on the radar of almost every mobile, cable and media client we work with and the most frequent question we get is whether this makes sense for their business right now,” said Jefferson Wang, senior partner at IBB Consulting, in a statement. “Initially, IBB predicts that the VR market winners will be companies that can break down the barriers to entry with an end-to-end play.
IBB said it surveyed 8,471 U.S. consumers during the week of April 25, 2016. Of this group, 1,025 consumers expressed an interest in virtual reality and completed the survey results detailed above.
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