2016 was a big year for virtual reality. New devices arrived, major tech companies snapped up top execs in the space, and companies dedicated to VR production raised funding. If a new report from Greenlight Insights is accurate, the next five years of virtual reality will bring in even more money. Greenlight projects that by 2021, the VR industry will generate close to $75 billion in revenue, up from the $7.17 billion figure it is expect to reach by the end of this year.
Greenlight projects that a majority of that revenue will be generated through the sales of hardware like headsets and cameras. Compared to those areas, content makes up a relatively small piece of the pie. Greenlight has it at about 12% of VR revenue in 2017, and that portion is projected to shrink to 8.4% by 2021.
That said, there are still plenty of interesting pieces of VR content that have already arrived, and more are on the way. For evidence, we can look to the Tribeca Film Festival, where top-of-the-line VR producers are currently showing off their latest work. One of the most high-profile projects to come out of this year’s festival is Rainbow Crow, an upcoming series from Baobab Studios that will feature singer John Legend.
Greenlight’s research should obviously not be accepted as gospel, since VR is still a young industry and there’s still a lot of time until 2021. Even so, the recent report is a good reminder about the reasons why companies are so bullish on VR right now.