Spherical Video: Who's Watching Immersive Content, Anyway?

360 Video Reach: Who’s Watching, Anyway?

Apr 10, 2017

It’s no secret that 360 Video, often referred to as Spherical Video, offers brands an opportunity to connect with their audiences in new and exciting ways. And there’s plenty of research to show that it works. Spherical Video engages viewers much more deeply than traditional video and creates a sense of empathy that leads to action. But some brands are still hesitant to invest time and money into the world of immersive media due to concerns about reach. Which raises the question: Does anyone even watch 360 Video?

In short, the answer is yes. They absolutely do.

How Large is the 360 Video Audience?

Unlike totally interactive VR experiences, watching 360 content doesn’t require the use of expensive equipment or VR headsets. Spherical video can be enjoyed with affordable VR viewers like Google Cardboard, and even on laptops and mobile phones. Because of this, 360 Video is the most popular form of virtual reality today. In fact, according to Facebook, more than 280 million people have already seen a 360 video on Facebook, over 250,000 360 videos have been uploaded to the social network, and more than 3 million hours of 360 Video have been viewed in Oculus VR.* And as the prices of VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear continue to fall, the popularity of headsets will grow, further fueling demand for immersive experiences like 360 Video.

What Does the Audience Look Like?

A recent study conducted by Nielsen found that nearly one-fourth (24%) of US consumers aged 18-54 said they will likely use or purchase VR in the next year. The study referred to this audience as PaVRs. According to the study, PaVRs tend to be young and have above average incomes, spend 7% more time online than the average consumer, and spend nearly twice as much as the average consumer in most categories – including live event tickets (195%), quick-serve restaurants (179%) and alcoholic beverages (175%).

As Harry Brisson, Director of Lab Research at Nielsen says, “Advertisers will be pleased to find that PaVRs are triple A consumers: they adopt new products and service, they advocate for the brands they love, and they appreciate premium quality – and are willing to pay a premium price.”

As brands and agencies begin to explore how 360 Video can play an important role in their marketing mix, they can rest assured that the audience for immersive content is large, it’s growing, and it’s a prime market for advertisers.

If you’re curious about the benefits of spherical video for your brand, learn more about SubVRsive’s 360 Video Production services here.

*Facebook Data, October 2016.