VR: Why Aren't There More Major VR TV Shows?


VR still has a ways to go before it really hits mainstream and grabs the majority of the average consumer, but the technology is ever expanding into new areas it seems and continues to build on the excitement of the areas where it's most traveled, like games. Still, there are some things that VR has yet branch out into in a big way, and major TV shows is one of these areas. While there is some VR content related to TV, there isn't much in the way of major shows that are meant specifically for VR. Part of the reason for this might still be the hurdle of creating long-form content specifically for TV due to the nature of sickness or just the uncomfortable nature of wearing a headset long enough to sit down and binge a few hours of television.

VR in its current state is still mostly designed to be consumed in bite sized increments. Even with major content like the first (and exclusive) major TV show for VR, Invisible, which you can find on Samsung's Gear VR platform via the Samsung VR app. This is a TV show that was developed in partnership between Samsung, Jaunt, and Conde Nast, and it was directed by Doug Liman, the same director behind The Bourne Identity. By all accounts, this is a major TV series. That said, it only consists of 5 episodes and each one sits at around 7 minutes in length give or take, so we're not talking about a full-length episode of Game of Thrones or another series which typically sits at around 45 minutes as watching a show for that long in VR may not be something that many consumers are keen on.


Think about an original series from Netflix. Each episode of most of their original shows sits around 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the series, and when they release a show they release the entire season at a time, so people tend to binge watch. That would consist of hours upon hours of content, and VR hardware just isn't designed to be worn for that long in a very comfortable state as most current hardware is kind of heavy. This doesn't mean that you can't wear current hardware for a longer period of time, as some people certainly do, but a majority of consumers may not be willing to do so.

A bigger reason as to why there might not be more major TV shows for VR is just the simple fact that consumer engagement and interest in the platform hasn't reached a number that is practical for large networks. Creating VR content is not only time consuming but costly, and for networks to invest that amount of time and money into a VR TV series there would have to be a large enough group of consumers with the necessary hardware that supports the technology to watch the content. All that aside, even consumers who have the technology would have to be interested in the content itself. While the interest from TV networks might be there to create VR content as the technology is definitely an exciting aspect to explore, the question for those networks might be whether or not there are enough consumers who are interested in VR that could warrant making a TV series. As consumer engagement picks up it wouldn't be shocking to see big TV networks explore further into the possibility of creating a show, but for now consumers with VR headsets might just be limited watching major network shows via Hulu and Netflix VR apps.

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Justin has written for Android Headlines since 2012 and currently adopts a Editor role with a specific focus on mobile gaming and game-streaming services. Prior to the move to Android Headlines Justin spent almost eight years working directly within the wireless industry. Contact him at [email protected]

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