VR Usage & Consumer Attitudes (New Report)

ARtillery Intelligence’s latest report, VR Usage & Consumer Attitudes examines original consumer AR survey data. Subscribe for the full report. VRARA members get a discount.

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How do consumers feel about VR? Who’s using it? What devices and apps do they prefer? And what do they want to see next? Perhaps more important, what are non-users’ reasons for disinterest? And how can VR software developers and hardware players optimize product strategies accordingly?

These are key questions at VR’s early stages that we set out to answer. Working closely with Thrive Analytics, ARtillery Intelligence wrote questions to be presented to more than 3,100 U.S. adults in Thrive’s established consumer survey engine. And we’ve analyzed the results in a narrative report.

This follows similar reports we’ve completed over the last two years. Wave III of the research now emboldens our perspective and brings new insights and trend data to light. All three waves represent a collective base of 7,065 U.S. adults for a robust longitudinal analysis. This will continue to improve.

Meanwhile, what did we find out? At a high level, 16 percent of consumers surveyed have bought or used a VR headset, up from 11 percent in 2018. More importantly, VR users indicate high levels of satisfaction with the experience: 67 percent reported extreme or moderate satisfaction with VR.

As for price sensitivity, demand seems to inflect at $400 and $200. These are interestingly the price points for Oculus headsets including Quest, Rift S and GO. This indicates Oculus’ competitive edge aggressive price competition and accelerating market share, congruent with our separate projections.

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Furthermore standalone VR – embodied by Oculus Quest, Go and other emerging headsets – represents a key inflection point for VR this year. Though still early (this survey was fielded before Quest’s market launch), standalone VR addresses many consumer objections evident in this survey.

However, it’s not all good news: Non-VR users report relatively low interest in VR ownership – 27 percent, down from 31 percent in 2018 – and explicit lack of interest. This downward trend in interest is concerning for VR but isn’t surprising given the dip in excitement we’ve anecdotally observed.

Moreover, the disparity between current-user satisfaction and non-user disinterest underscores a key challenge for VR: you have to “see it to believe it.” In order to reach high satisfaction levels, VR has to first be tried. This presents marketing and logistical challenges for the industry to push that first taste.

The same challenge was evident in our corresponding AR report, but mobile AR’s adoption barriers are lower. This is nonetheless a common challenge for immersive technologies. It will take time, acclimation and price reductions before they reach a more meaningful share of the consumer public.

These points join several other strategic implications that flow from latest consumer VR sentiments. We’ll examine those takeaways in the coming pages, including the latest wave of findings, and our narrative analysis for what it means. The goal is to empower you with a greater knowledge position.

Subscribe for the full report. VRARA members get a discount.

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.