Whether you’re still excited about virtual reality’s potential for music, or think it’s a busted flush as a mainstream consumer technology, the latest predictions from research firm SuperData are worth a read. It reckons that globally, people will spend $3.2bn on VR hardware in 2019 – plus another $1bn on mixed-reality headsets which combine virtual and augmented reality tech. The company also thinks that 2019 will be the first year when spending on VR software surpasses $1bn – it’ll be $1.1bn according to its forecasts.
However, the outlook for music within that isn’t quite as rosy: SuperData reckons that 44% of VR-software spending will be on games, and 47% on ‘location-based entertainment’ (i.e. VR-driven attractions that people go to visit, rather than using their own headsets at home). Then again, that’s the category being explored by startup Sandbox VR, which artists including Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake recently invested in. ‘Interactive media’ (including music, we think) is predicted to account for 3% of VR-software spending this year: a mere $33m.
SuperData also has some updated estimates for lifetime sales of the main VR headsets. Sony’s PlayStation VR leads with 4.7m shipments, followed by Oculus Rift (1.5m), HTC Vive (1.3m), Oculus Go (700k) and Oculus Quest (400k).