Pandemic Increases Consumer Time With VR

Segment from Episode 323 of the Beyond Social Media Show

David Erickson: This is from Nielsen.

COVID 19 Effect On Media Consumption

David Erickson: The pandemic has had an effect on a lot of us for a lot of various reasons, including media consumption. And for those of us–myself not included–but those of us who have VR headsets, these are some stats on how people are actually using that in the wake of the pandemic.

VR Headset Owners

David Erickson: Roughly seven in 10 (71%) of people who have virtual reality headsets have spent more time using their device as a result of COVID-19. Not surprisingly, at all.

Community Virtual Reality

David Erickson: It is–but if, you know, you think of it as a solitary activity. But there’s apps called VR Chat and Rec Room that are among the most popular of VR apps on computers. And these are virtual social spaces, so it’s not just a solitary activity. But I thought that was interesting, if not surprising.

BL Ochman: What fun.

David Erickson: Yeah.

BL Ochman: I wouldn’t have expected that to be something that was done in a group.

Chart: Pandemic Increases Consumer Time With VR

With access to real-world destinations limited during the pandemic, consumers are spending more time escaping into virtual reality.

Among VR headset owners, roughly seven in 10 (71%) have spent more time using their device as a result of COVID-19, and VR is far from a solitary activity. VR Chat and Rec Room, which are virtual social spaces, are some of the most popular VR apps on PC.

Brands wouldn’t need a long-term strategy around virtual gatherings if people stopped attending them once it was safe to resume in-person events, but all signs point to increased virtual socialization being here to stay.

In its second-quarter 2020 earnings call, Activision Blizzard revealed that gamers continued to play hardcore, online games at higher levels even as lockdowns eased.

Venture capitalists are also bullish on the outlook for virtual events. The Wave, a platform for live virtual concerts, raised a $30 million funding round in June 2020. Read the rest at Nielsen.

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