As time goes on, it seems that there is only bad news for VR these days. Facebook has been facing nothing but bad news for the last month. Sony is not being forthcoming with when the next batch of PSVR headsets is shipping. Now, there are reports which cast doubt on the use case of VR in the first place. Two new studies relating to VR have been published, and both are quite damning in their findings.
Lack of knowledge and lack of interest
The finding was first published in Advertising Age. The first, by Forrester Research, says that 42% of US males have never heard of Virtual Reality. This presumably includes mentions in popular culture, which is even more damning. Furthermore, 46% says that they couldn’t see a use for it in their lives. There is likely some overlap in these demographics, but again is disheartening for anyone working in Virtual Reality. A lot has been said about the potential for VR beyond entertainment. If almost have of the US market doesn’t see the use of it, there is going to be a long uphill battle.
A separate report was published by Yes Lifecycle Marketing. This report showed that of those that responded, only 8% of marketers are currently including VR in their strategies. 35% say that they have no intention of ever using the technology. Even worse, 57% say that it just doesn’t apply to their field. Maybe this is true, maybe it speaks to a lack of vision. In any regard, this does not make for good reading for any manufacturer of VR headsets. The report goes on to show that marketers are far more likely to use traditional means of advertising, primarily social (68%) and video (56%).
Think long term
So this is bad news regarding the short-term growth of VR. However, just because this is the state of play right now doesn’t mean that there will be more interest in the future. A spokesperson for Forrester Research says as such in the original article. What is needed is a better use of VR and a wider penetration of the market. If however nothing changes by this time next year, some drastic action might be needed.
Source: Ad Age