The virtual reality (VR) industry will record $7.2 billion in revenue over the course of this year, Greenlight Insights predicted in its latest Virtual Reality Industry Report: Spring 2017. The majority of the revenue — 4.7 billion — will be generated thanks to the sales of VR headsets that are continuously gaining popularity, the company believes. In the medium term, the global VR industry will transform into a massively lucrative segment, the report states, adding how all related fields will reach a combined $74.8 billion in revenue by 2021. While consumer electronics and VR content will certainly play a big part in the growth of the VR industry, analysts also expect the enterprise sector will help the industry grow by a significant margin over the next half a decade, and the same goes for location-based entertainment businesses running entertainment centers.
Regardless of high expectations, Greenlight Insights says the VR industry still has a long way to go before it manages to fulfill its potential, noting how 2016 ended up being a somewhat disappointing year in terms of commercial performance. While VR entertainment has yet to be adopted by a massive audience and the market itself is currently extremely varied, analysts believe the situation will stabilize by 2019. The aforementioned location-based entertainment centers are expected to play a key role in the adoption of consumer-grade VR as industry watchers predict many users will turn to VR centers before opting to spend significant sums of money on home VR solutions like the PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift.
The enterprise segment of the market is only expected to significantly invest into the VR segment once Microsoft releases related products powered by its operating system, analysts believe, adding how the VR market will soon be visibly split into entry-level, mid-range, and high-end solutions by 2021, not unlike the smartphone market currently is. First signs of that trend are already observable today seeing how currently available VR products span the likes of Google Cardboard, Gear VR, PlayStation VR, and HTC Vive. Finally, with new players entering the market in the coming years, the industry is expected to become much more competitive in the same period.