A Virtual Reality check for the TV industry

Interest in virtual reality (VR) skyrocketed in 2016 with predictions of it being the first billion dollar year for this exciting technology. It is, therefore, not surprising that companies across every industry, especially those in the TV industry, are experimenting with VR. The question now is, how can players in the TV industry go beyond the hype and capture the growth opportunities presented by VR? By Stéphane Le Dreau, General Manager, South East Asia, NAGRA.

Gartner’s Hype Cycle virtual reality VR

VR was listed by Gartner’s Hype Cycle as one of the trends set to be “of the highest priority” for businesses over the next few years. According to industry reports, Asia-Pacific ranks as the fastest growing regional market for VR (hardware and software) with an expected growth rate of 108.1% from 2015-2020.

Given the rising consumer interest in VR, it is little wonder so many companies are chasing this rapidly-growing opportunity and TV companies are no exception. There has been a host of pilot schemes taking off among the biggest names in the industry. Comcast and Time Warner invested in NextVR, a live-broadcasting VR company. Sky, has also teamed up with Google to launch Sky VR Studios and the Sky VR app, with indications that it will roll out VR across more of its products in the future. While it is almost certain that VR, with increasing consumer demand, will continue to achieve high adoption rates in various niche areas, the industry should resist the urge to get carried away and sort the commercially-viable prospects from the bold promises. It also must overcome negative hype as a result of high expectations and adjust to the challenges that will bring, if hopes of high growth adoption are ever to be achieved.

The VR playing field: immersive vs interactive experiences

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