Pair of Leading Content Providers Entering Virtual Reality
Virtual reality (“VR”) technology has become the one of the hottest tech trends in years. By simply looking through a headset, you feel like you’re transported to some amazing location, such as riding with King Arthur or commanding your own rocket ship.
Content providers, such as Netflix and Hulu, have taken notice. They have teamed up with VR producers Google and Samsung, respectively. What does this mean for the marketplace? First, Netflix and Hulu get access to technology that will take their subscribers from 2D content to 3D content. Second, Google and Samsung get access to broad-based distribution platforms (Hulu, 12 million subscribers; Netflix, 93 million subscribers) to reach consumers. That is potentially a lot of VR headsets.
Netflix will run on Google’s VR headset, Daydream, to give Daydream View owners exclusive access to Netflix content in the form of 360-degree videos. Netflix subscribers will also be able to enjoy free VR content from Google. Netflix’s debuted its virtual reality app in December 2016.
Hulu programing will be available on Samsung’s Gear VR. Hulu subscribers can also take free advantage of a broad range of VR environments. Hulu’s app has been available since March 2016.
When all of the numbers are tallied, the VR market is predicted to top a billion dollars in 2016; $700 million in hardware sales and $300 million in software and content. With these new platforms involved in VR, those dollar estimates are expected to surge in 2017 and beyond. In fact, an IDC report predicts the VR market will surpass $160 billion by 2020.