What's Really Holding Virtual Reality Back?

| March 18, 2020

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It's been nearly four years since HTC and Facebook's Oculus launched this generation of virtual reality (VR) with the Vive and Rift headsets, respectively. They were supposed to be revolutionary products that would open up a new world of innovation that would disrupt nearly every aspect of our lives. Instead of being in every home, as hoped, VR is still a novelty with only a few million headsets in the market. HTC and Oculus are actually trailing Sony's (NYSE:SNE) PSVR, which recently surpassed 5 million headsets sold since launch. And the number of headsets being used on a regular basis is well short of that number. So why hasn't VR taken off, and can HTC and Oculus fix what's ailing the industry?

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MEDIA AND BROADCASTING

FILM PRODUCERS FLIP BARGAINING TABLE WITH UNIONIZING EFFORT

Article | May 21, 2021

Movie producers often find themselves negotiating with talent and crew members, and/or their production union representatives, over pay and benefits. But a group of 108 producers flipped the script Thursday in announcing they were looking to form a union of their own.Higher minimum pay and health benefits were cited as the two major reasons. While the group, called the Producers Union, boasts some heavy hitters such as Chris Moore (Manchester by the Sea) and Rebecca Green (It Follows), they made it clear that the traditional image of a Hollywood producer is misleading. Many are just getting by, project to project, looking for a breakout hit to up their quote. According to a survey released this year, 41% of producers made less than $25,000 in the pre-pandemic boom times of 2019. The Producers Union has developed a constitution with provisions for dues and diversity initiatives, with the aim of eventually negotiating a collective bargaining agreement with distributors and other film financiers. Previous efforts by producers to unionize have been thwarted by the courts and the National Labor Relations Board, according to Variety, as the NLRB saw them as supervisors and employers – which creates a high barrier to organizing.

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Google’s next streaming player will reportedly run Android TV and come with a remote

Article | May 21, 2021

After trying to establish the Chromecast and later Chromecast Ultra as affordable, flexible streaming devices, the company is now focused on pushing Android TV into more living rooms. According to 9to5Google, Google is currently working on a follow-up to the Chromecast Ultra. But this time, Android TV will be the software that powers it. And like its main competitors — Roku, Fire TV, and Apple TV — Google will now bundle a remote with the device.

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MEDIA AND BROADCASTING

Games video creators can help attract new audiences to esports, if rights holders empower them to

Article | May 21, 2021

Those who have been following MIDiA’s games coverage for a while will have seen our posts about the growth problem of esports and suggestions around putting focus on the entertainment angle, rather than just on the sports angle, in order to most effectively capitalise on the opportunity. We have known for a while that esports viewers are only a subset of the broader games-related video viewing audience.We also know that esports audiences enjoy live entertainment in general, more so than many other entertainment consumer segments. MIDiA’s Q1 2021 consumer survey enabled us to dive deeper into how this opportunity can be approached. As a part of our upcoming Esports Viewer Dossier 2021 update, we have looked at the esports viewers, in comparison to consumers who say they watch games-related videos but not esports. The former represents the current state of play, while the latter represents esports’ potential audience growth opportunity.

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VIRTUALIZATION

Watch out Warzone and Fortnite: Ubisoft is coming after free-to-play

Article | May 21, 2021

Ubisoft announced last week that it is adding specific focus on free-to-play, alongside its AAA catalogue. In doing so, it is following a route that has been very successful for Activision with its Warzone strategy. Free-to-play games which draw audiences via big franchise names and monetise via in-game spending are going to be increasingly common among AAA publishers. The focus on in-game spending and particularly on the cosmetic, rather than the progress-related, parts will be the key revenue component. As games become less finite and more perpetual (consumer goal is less about ‘finishing them’ and more and ‘playing/spending time in them’), the opportunity to monetise needs that stem from this perpetual engagement (e.g. socialising or expression) starts to outweigh the mere monetisation of access to a packaged product. Simultaneously, free-to-play games also act as a powerful marketing driver for AAA releases as they come out, as well as streamability and word of mouth for the franchise.

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