The Metaverse has undoubtedly become a new arena for tech giants: ByteDance bought Pico, Samsung cooperated with Microsoft to develop HoloLens 3, Google restarted the AR glasses project, Tencent has not given up on acquiring Black Shark, Qiyu VR has gained more resources from iQiyi … After the battle for hardware entry, the leading companies are aiming at the new match point of the metaverse – VR content.
Manufacturers are aggressive in expanding the richness of VR content, and it is very lively. Apple hired several Hollywood directors to develop video content for its upcoming headset, Meta teamed up with Tribeca Film Festival to screen 20 short films, Tencent QQ Music released VR albums by musicians such as Jay Chou, Jane Zhang, and Wang Yuan, and Pico hosted singers Zheng Jun’s private VR singing and chatting session has launched the “3D Blockbuster Rekindling Project”, iQIYI and 4K Garden will soon launch the “Gypsophila” content application, and Dapeng and Lanting Digital have reached a 5G+Cloud VR live broadcast cooperation.
VR content is more suitable as a breakthrough
At present, the types of VR content are relatively single, mainly games. The latest report from market research firm Omdia shows that in 2022, the global VR content market revenue is expected to reach US$3.1 billion, with VR game revenue accounting for about 89%. Omdia said that in the short term, gaming is still the main application scenario for consumers to use VR, and as the metaverse continues to develop, video and interactive content will gradually emerge.
This can also be confirmed from the recent attempts by Tencent, ByteDance, iQiyi, Dapeng and other manufacturers in VR content. For example, the VR album launched by Tencent and the private VR chat held by Pico, users can interact and socialize in the content; iQiyi Qiyu VR and Da Peng focus on 5G+4K/8K concerts and live performances video content.
“Compared with hardware and software, content is more suitable as a breakthrough for big manufacturers.” Yuan Yu, a senior analyst at CCID Consulting, said in an interview with China Electronics News. There are three reasons for big manufacturers to deploy VR content: First, content is the core selling point of the Metaverse industry. It directly meets consumer demand and has extremely high added value. It can lay the foundation for the development of software and hardware that dominates the Metaverse. Second, the overall investment in content production is not high, and the cost advantage is obvious; finally, the profit margin of VR content is large, and VR content can be transformed into mobile phones and computers using the same script, different parameters, and different formats. , TV and other terminal content, high portability.
“Whoever has more exciting content is likely to gain more hardware users and master the entry traffic of the Metaverse.” Industry experts said, “Abundant VR content is an essential factor for the consumption of VR hardware.” “No “Playing” has always been an important factor that shackles the growth of VR hardware. After purchasing the hardware, there is not enough exciting content support, and users will also be lost. In order to make consumers pay for VR hardware, it is necessary to continuously enrich the content ecology, and “killer” applications and content will automatically lead to VR hardware. At present, manufacturers deploy VR content to attract users to purchase hardware through different forms of content.
In Yuan Yu’s view, this phenomenon also reflects that the development of the virtual reality industry has entered a more mature stage. “The previous model that focused on a certain link of the industrial chain such as hardware, software, and content is transitioning to an in-depth development model for the entire industry to create core selling points and reduce costs.” For VR hardware manufacturers, creating content-led software, hardware, and equipment configuration It is particularly important to cater to the development model of the content plot, which is also an inevitable choice to embrace the highest value-added part of the virtual reality industry.
The VR content market is rapidly expanding
Facebook’s renaming of Meta brought the Metaverse on fire, and now this trend has also “hot” the VR content market.
Through interviews with related companies, the reporter learned that the popularity of VR content is continuing to rise. “The total revenue of online and offline distribution of top VR works can reach millions of yuan. Generally, the distribution cycle of a VR content is as long as two or three years, and some works even have the situation that the second year’s revenue is higher than the first year.” VeeR Co-founder Chen Jingshu said in an interview with a reporter from China Electronics News. VeeR founder and CEO Ye Hanzhong introduced to reporters that VeeR operates the VeeR VR content platform, and also operates more than 40 “Zero Space” offline VR immersive experience halls across the country. Among them, the VR experience hall has more than 100 hours of content, 30% of which are self-made original content.
“In addition to providing VR to our own VR offline experience store, Space Zero, we will also distribute globally on the VeeR online VR immersive entertainment platform, and will also authorize third-party platforms, such as Pico, China Mobile Migu , Huawei, etc.” Chen Jingshu also revealed to reporters that the concept of the Metaverse has stimulated the demand for the VR content market. This year, the company’s VR content production plan has increased significantly compared with last year, mainly covering science fiction, thriller, fantasy, music, art and other themes .
“Current users only need to spend about 2,000 yuan to buy a hardware experience that is better than the price of 20,000 yuan in 2016. New users’ reputation and experience of VR hardware have improved significantly.” Lanting Digital CEO Sun Wenbo said that the consumer side The positive impact of market growth on the industry has already begun to show. “From January 2022, Go Now’s single-day downloads and daily activities are 3 to 5 times that of last year. Last year’s downloads were 20,000 times, and the downloads from January to May this year have exceeded 120,000 times. “Sun Wenbo said. Go Now is Lanting Digital’s VR content platform, which can provide 8K+3D+VR live content.
In addition, VR content also extends to the film field. In order to encourage the creation of high-quality VR works, the Cannes Film Festival established the XR Immersive Imaging Unit in 2019. This year, the XR Immersive Imaging Unit also hired Zhang Ziyi as a judge to further enhance the public recognition of VR films. In June, Meta partnered with the Tribeca Film Festival, during which 20 short films were screened for free on Quest2. Katie Leo, head of entertainment partnerships at Meta, said: “Virtual reality immerses people in powerful stories and is a great way for films to reach new audiences.”
Recently, Pico has also launched the “3D Blockbuster Rekindling Project”, which will launch more than 100 3D classic blockbuster copyright resources on the platform, including Marvel series, Transformers, Blade Runner, Despicable Me, Frozen and other movies. Pico said that he hopes to leverage on Marvel and other large-scale and topical film and television copyright resources to launch products closely around the specific content consumption needs of users in special times.