LOS ANGELES — Will live cams become the most popular market segment for virtual reality adult entertainment?
According to a recent poll conducted by adult industry news media organization XBIZ, about 42 percent of respondents believe that live cams will clinch it as the top segment in VR adult entertainment.
Other market segments ran neck to neck in second and third place in a poll conducted at adult industry social network XBIZ.net that asked, “What will be the biggest segment of virtual reality adult entertainment?”
29 percent of those polled felt that 3D-rendered virtual worlds, such as Red Light Center, will be the largest segment, while 28 percent said that recorded video content (porn) will score the largest market share.
Jean-Marie Kesch, director of business development for Docler Media, the parent company of premier live cam network LiveJasmin.com, said he’s not surprised at the poll’s result.
“In my opinion live cams and virtual worlds would make the most sense, just as your poll results reflected,” Kesch told XBIZ.
However, Kesch said the viability of VR in adult entertainment “is still an unknown at this point in time.”
“As we know many major mainstream companies are investing a lot of money and research into virtual reality products and services, so it’s fairly safe to say that we will see an influx of this type of entertainment in the coming years,” he said.
Adam Grayson, chief financial officer for adult studio Evil Angel, noted that he believes virtual adult worlds is where the excitement is for marketers, as well as consumers.
“I think the inevitability is [3D-rendered virtual worlds] since that's the literal meaning of ‘virtual reality,’” Grayson told XBIZ. “The other ones (and frankly, most of what is being billed as VR now) is really just augmented or enhanced reality.
“But I get it — ‘VR’ is a buzzword so everyone wants to capitalize,” he said.
Colin Rowntree, founder of BDSM site Wasteland.com and co-founder of adult search engine Boodigo.com, said that the polls results ring true to him.
“Live cams are definitely going to be able to exploit this new market,” Rowntree told XBIZ. “My only thought as for the big challenge here is how to get all of the cam performers any specialized camera equipment needed to broadcast VR.
“Recorded content presents far fewer challenges as folks starting to produce that — Wasteland.com and Sssh.com [operated by wife Angie Rowntree] among them — have a controlled studio environment with just one set of cameras to film the 360-degree footage,” he said.
“The considerable workload with this is the sheer volume of data and storage needs in the editing process, but I'm looking forward to the next generation of 360 cams coming out soon that the footage is shot on a single camera, versus 16 GoPros cobbled together on a rubber rig which, sadly, is the current way of doing it.
Rowntree noted that he’s seen at least one 3D-rendered virtual world that likely will be an advancing favorite for market share.
“I've seen the demo of what Brian Shuster at Utherverse is about to unveil, and it's simply stupendous,” Rowntree said. “This indeed will be a winner as RedLightCenter has so many years of knowing how to run a 3D interactive community with lots of micropayment options built in already, so we are very much ahead of the game here.”
Recent findings from Juniper Research reveal that wearable VR head-mounted display headset shipments will approach 30 million globally by 2020.
Juniper calls 2016 the “watershed year for VR,” noting that the Oculus Rift headset rollout in the first quarter, as well as other rollouts by Sony and HTC, likely will help define consumer appeal for the format.