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Virtual Reality Projected to Become a $7 Billion Business This Year, Hit $75 Billion by 2021

Variety logo Variety 4/11/2017 Janko Roettgers

Global virtual reality revenues will reach $7.17 billion by the end of this year, according to a new report by Greenlight Insights, which is also predicting that global VR revenues will total close to $75 billion by 2021.

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More than 65 percent of all VR revenues will come from headset sales this year, according to Greenlight. Consumer content will make up for around 12 percent, and VR cameras will make up another 11.6 percent. Over the next five years, the revenue split will slowly shift, with enterprise — think VR for construction companies, education etc. — making up for 24.2 percent of all revenue in 2021.

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Greenlight also forecast that location-based virtual reality in malls and movie theaters is going to grow into a significant part of the industry. In 2017, location-based VR will bring in $222 million worldwide; by 2021, that amount will have grown to almost $1.2 billion.

These estimates have to be taken with a grain of salt — it’s a nascent industry, after all. Adding to the uncertainty is the fact that many of the major headset manufacturers, including Oculus, HTC and Google, have yet to release any actual sales numbers for their devices.

Data shared by adult VR video company last week suggested that there may be a reason for why some of the manufacturers have yet to release any sales numbers. Samsung’s Gear VR, of which the company has sold more than 5 million units thus far, outperformed Google’s Daydream VR headset by 13X during the first three months of this year, according to Badoink.

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