Uncovering Consumers' VR Behavior & Attitudes (New Report)

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Who’s using virtual reality (VR) today? What are their motivations? What are the VR use cases and content categories that resonate most? And for those uninterested in VR, what are their reasons?

A lot can be learned about VR’s market opportunity by answering questions like these, and uncovering sentiments of the consumer public. And in VR’s early days, such data is scarce yet critical to positioning strategies.

So ARtillry set out for answers. Working closely with Thrive Analytics, ARtillry authored questions to be fielded through its established survey engine. The result is the first wave of Thrive’s Virtual Reality Monitor™ (VRM).

Tapping a considerable sample of almost 2000 adults, the data returned telling consumer behavior patterns, useful in ongoing VR strategy refinement. That includes content, hardware and other components.

See the key takeaways below and preview the report here. To access the full report, subscribe to ARtillry Insights. 

Top findings include:

  • VR headset owners showed high satisfaction compared to other categories of consumer tech products. However many non-owners (38%) reported disinterest in VR ownership.
    • VR's immersive experience presents a double-edged sword: It produces highly visceral and satisfactory user responses... but you have to see it to believe it
    • This creates a challenge to scale distribution, given inherent adoption barriers like price and technological invasiveness. Education, retail installations, VR arcades and mobile VR will be the 'gateway drugs' to reduce that friction and cultivate tomorrow's VR owners.
  • Among the things that VR users desire, more and better content top the list.
    • This validates that content is king in VR, just like other mediums.
    • Content is currently a gap in VR’s value chain, challenged by a classic "chicken & egg" dilemma, given low overall headset penetration.
  • VR affinity correlates to youth and natural technology interest among digital natives.
    • Willingness to spend $400+ on VR equipment shows a reverse correlation to age, with one exception: Ages 25-34 are more willing than ages 18-24, likely due to spending power.
  • $400 is a significant price point, validated by Oculus’ recent Rift pricing adjustment.
    • We’ll see more price competition: emerging sectors often trade margins for market share.
  • Native thinking is a VR success factor: building specifically for the form factor.
    • Just like with smartphones, VR apps and games that utilize unique aspects (i.e volumetric movement) will outperform those that shoehorn legacy 2D media into a VR experience.


The report is available to preview, and full access can be granted to ARtillry Insights subscribers. In partnership with the VR/AR Association, ARtillry Insights delivers a bundled research package to equip subscribers in AR and VR sectors -- and those entering from other sectors -- to make informed business decisions. Learn more or subscribe here

Mike Boland

Michael Boland is Chief Analyst and VP of Content for BIA/Kelsey, covering online and mobile media. Mike is a frequent speaker at top industry conferences such as BIA/Kelsey events, Search Engine Strategies, ad:tech, and WHERE 2.0. He has authored in-depth reports on the changing local media landscape including online video, social networking and mobile. He contributes regularly to highly read online news sources such as Business Insider and the Huffington Post. A trusted source for reporters covering the interactive media space, his comments have appeared in major news and trade media, including the Wall Street Journal, Fortune and Forbes. Previously he was a San Francisco-based freelance writer for business and technology magazines, such as Red Herring, Business 2.0, and Mobile Magazine. Mike began his career in business analysis and journalism as a staff reporter for Forbes magazine, where he covered tech & media.