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Report: VR ‘huge cultural impact’

Professional media network Digital Production Partnership (DPP) has released the latest of its Home Truths industry insight reports, focusing on the impact of immersive technologies, such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and 360° Video.

The Home Truths report comes from the latest DPP AT HOME event, which brought together an invited group of DPP Members drawn from across the media industry to consider the full range of immersive technologies, and generate business insight.

Attendees at DPP AT HOME were unanimous in their view that immersive technologies will have a huge cultural impact. But they believe these technologies will create new kinds of media, which – in the next five years at least – will exist alongside traditional television, rather than significantly impacting its market share.

DPP Members considered the types of audio-visual media consumption to which immersive technologies are best suited. Gaming – a form of media that already exists alongside television – was seen as by far the best-suited application of the technology. Storytelling, on the other hand, is seen as an area of great potential, but with considerable innate challenges for these new technologies.

But, after gaming, it is around the creation of experiences that DPP Members believe immersive technologies – and VR and 360° Video in particular – will have the greatest impact.

“What is most significant about this conclusion,” says DPP Managing Director and author of the Home Truths report, Mark Harrison, “is that although established TV providers already create experience-led content – especially in live programming – such content can also work very well in non-broadcast contexts. We expect to see a significant market emerge for the creation and supply of VR and 360° Video experiences in areas such as retail, travel, galleries, amusement parks and standalone applications for the home.”

The Home Truths report concludes that production companies who think beyond broadcasting, along with many suppliers and service providers, will all profit from this new form of media experience. But many broadcasters – and especially those who do not have live output at the core of their business model – could afford to wait several years before entering this new market.

“The innovation-reflex in our industry is very strong,” adds Harrison. “But if companies look closely at the conclusions in our report they’ll get a better sense of whether it is necessary to respond now – or not.”

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