By Chuck Martin
Television viewing is coming to virtual reality.
While VR headsets have been most notably used for gaming, many consumers around the world expect to use VR for TV and video viewing within the next few years.
Almost a third (30%) of consumers say they will be watching TV via VR headset, negating the need for big screen TVs, based on a new global study.
The study comprised a survey of 20,0000 people in 13 countries (Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Italy, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the U.K. and the U.S.) who have a broadband internet connection at home and watch TV or video at least once a week. The eighth annual study was conducted by Ericsson ConsumerLab.
Many consumers expect their habits will change over the next few years, including a move to watching TV in virtual reality. Here’s how consumers anticipate their habits will change over the next five years:
- 30% — I will watch TV in virtual reality, as if I was inside the content
- 29% — Will talk to my devices rather than using buttons or screens
- 27% — Will get most news from social media
- 27% — Will watch more 360-degree video content
- 25% — Will spend more time watching video than today
- 24% — Will get live sports from streaming services
- 20% — Will not watch scheduled linear TV anymore
- 18% — Will spend less time watching video content than today
- 12% — Will not watch news on the TV anymore
- 12% — Will watch less on-demand, since I will get lost in the variety of content
- 6% — Will not watch on a big TV screen anymore
Of course, not everyone sees their habits changing, with almost a quarter (23%) saying they don’t think they will have changed over the next five years.
The big change coming is from using virtual reality as a solo experience to watching the same content together with others.
More than two in five (41%) consumers with VR headsets already watch movies and TV programs on their devices with others and more than a third (35%) watch other video content with others.
One of the potential inhibitors to the growth of virtual reality is cost. Nearly 55% of those planning to get a VR device would prefer if the headsets were cheaper.
Additionally, about half of consumers think there should be more immersive content available and a third would be more interested in VR if they could get a VR bundle from the TV and video provider.
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