The UK set to become the largest and fastest-growing VR market in EMEA
by Vassilis Economou
- According to PwC’s forecasts, the UK’s virtual reality market is set to grow annually at a rate of 76%, which should make it the largest in Europe, the Middle East and Africa by 2021
For the 18th year in a row, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has issued its Global Entertainment & Media Outlook, an analysis of the consumer and advertisement spending of the past five years. The Outlook also utilises data from previous years to forecast the consumer trends for the following five years, and this edition is focused on the 2017-2021 period.
According to the Outlook, the entertainment and media sector of the United Kingdom will grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 3% for the aforementioned five-year period. As a result, PwC estimates that the revenue of the sector will grow from the £62 billion (€70.5 billion) that were generated in 2016 to £72 billion (€82 billion) by 2021. This would be an increase of £10 billion (€11.5 billion) over five years, which would make the UK the second-largest market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), behind Germany.
The most impressive findings of the forecast come from the virtual reality (VR) sector, which is predicted to experience the fastest growth rate in the entire entertainment and media sector in the UK. The audit firm forecasts a growth of a staggering 76% year on year, and the VR sector will be valued at £801 million (€910 million) in 2021. It should be pointed out that at this rate, the UK will also become the largest market for VR in the whole EMEA region.
Phil Stokes, UK head of Entertainment & Media at PwC, commented on the data: “We forecast that the number of virtual reality headsets in use in the UK will pass 16 million by 2021. Around 12 million of these headsets will be portable mobile VR devices that use a smartphone at their core, as these are more affordable for consumers. Furthermore, dedicated home VR headsets – which belong to the higher-end spectrum – will account for three million consumer headsets, while portable dedicated headsets – a new category of self-contained devices that have superior capabilities to smartphone-based ones – are forecast to account for one million.”
It seems that new technologies will enjoy the lion’s share of the industry’s growth in the years to come, and as consumers gain control of their content and have increased access to new entertainment formats, the companies should make every effort to adapt in order to retain their position and attract new customers.
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