Frontline Marketing

VR Growth To Slow In 2018; Marketers Favor Influencers Despite Millennial Distaste

By | December 8, 2017 |

Virtual Reality Progress Stumbles

For the first time, quarterly shipments of virtual reality headsets have surpassed one million units, according to a report by Canalys. PlayStation VR drove the largest share of shipments, with 49 percent of the total figure coming from Sony’s headset. The Oculus Rift came in second with 21 percent, and the HTC Vive trailed at 16 percent.

“VR adoption in the consumer segment is highly dependent on price, and Oculus’ strategy of lowering prices has definitely helped drive adoption,” said Canalys research analyst Vincent Thielke.

According to research by YouGov, total sales of PlayStation VR headsets have reached two million, just six months after the VR platform hit the one-million-sold milestone. Despite this growth, YouGov research director Tom Fuller predicted that adoption will drastically slow in the future. “The penetration has plateaued,” he told Variety. The constraints to growth in VR have not been addressed. I don’t see industry-wide efforts to address these.”

VR manufacturers can address this issue by reducing costs, Fuller recommended. A survey by YouGov found that 56 percent of VR non-adopters report high prices as the largest barrier to entry.

Influencers Becoming Uninfluential

Millennial consumers are beginning to reject celebrities as influencers, a new survey by Roth Capital Partners finds. Among Americans ages 17 to 37, 46.5 had a negative view on the effectiveness of celebrity endorsements and an additional 32 percent were indifferent. Only 21 percent responded that a celebrity endorsement would influence their purchase behavior at all.

In general, millennials are mistrustful of paid sponsorships, with 40 percent responding that they erode credibility for both celebrities and influencers. Rather than one-off paid posts, millennials approve of authentic endorsements, with over 50 percent claiming that an influencer using a product multiple times was more important than just one post.

Despite this disfavor among millennials, 86 percent of marketers used influencers in 2017, and 92 percent of those found it to be effective, according to a survey by Linqia. Even with this widespread support, 76 percent claimed to find difficulty tracking return on investment from influencer marketing efforts.

Among individual social networks, marketers favor Instagram most, with 92 percent reporting it the most important influencer platform for 2018, and Snapchat least, with 50 percent reporting it the least important influencer platform for 2018.

Mobile Content Consumption Predictions

Consumer spending on mobile app stores across all platforms will pass $110 billion in 2018, according to research by App Annie, a 30 percent increase over last year. Some of this revenue will come from the newest monetization trend, in-app subscriptions. Additionally, non-game app revenues are projected to grow more quickly than those for games in 2018.

EMarketer has released a new set of predictions on internet and mobile usage, indicating that this year, 46.8 percent of the world’s population will access the internet at least once per month. By 2021, this number will jump to 53.7 percent, or 4.14 billion people. This growth will be driven primarily by increased penetration of internet-capable mobile devices in regions such as Latin America, Eastern Europe and Africa.

A new forecast by Ericsson predicts that the video consumption on mobile devices will go on unchecked, at least until 2023. Six years from now, 75 percent of all mobile data traffic will come from video sources, up from 55 percent in 2017. Additionally, total data traffic will increase eightfold, from 14 exabytes monthly to 110 exabytes—the equivalent of 5.5 million years of HD video every month.


(Editor’s Note: This post will be updated until Friday, December 8.)