AR Workers Confident in Profitability

From Facebook’s Oculus Rift to Snapchat Lenses, the immersive media space has certainly become a headline grabber. But the big question is: How profitable could virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) activities be in the near future? According to July 2016 research, fewer than half of VR professionals in the Americas anticipate gains from this work over the next 12 months.

In July, Greenlight Insights (formerly Greenlight VR) and Road to VR surveyed 514 VR professionals in the US, Canada and Mexico about their expectations on profitability of both VR and AR activities.

According to the data, 45.2% of respondents felt that their VR and AR activities will be cost-effective to their organization in the next 12 months. In contrast, 22.4% said they do not anticipate being profitable in that timefrome.

Of those that are expecting profits, 35.7% of VR professionals anticipate hitting VR- and AR-related revenues of $250K or less, according to the same study. But even more promising, another 38.4% are forecasting between $250K to $5 million-plus in revenues.

Devices that power home-based video viewing showed high US penetration rates in separate studies published in September 2016. Nielsen noted that 24% of US households had smart TVs in Q2 2016, while 76% had DVD or Blu-ray players, 53% subscribed to a subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service and 44% had game consoles. The study also noted that 94% of households had HDTVs.

A study by Verto Analytics found that in addition to the 90% of US internet users who had desktops or laptops, 31% had smart TVs, 29% had game consoles and 21% had streaming media devices. Since consumers need only one such device to enable connected TV viewing, the combined penetration rates—coupled with the likelihood that other household members might be using the same devices—amount to mainstream adoption of home-based video streaming technologies.

Research from Ericsson, a communications technology company specializing in mobility, broadband and the cloud surveyed more than 30,000 internet users worldwide ages 16 to 69 who have a broadband internet connection at home and watch TV and view video on a weekly basis. Generally, the study found that more respondents are conducting digital activities via a smartphone or tablet, while at the same time watching TV, than they did in 2014.

For example, two years ago, less than a quarter of TV and video viewers said they browse the internet, related to the content they were currently watching. Fast forward to 2016, and nearly a third of respondents said they were doing so.