TDG: Global Consumer VR Revenue to Top $18 Billion in 2025

TDG: Global Consumer VR Revenue to Top $18 Billion in 2025
Headset Sales for Gaming Apps and the Trend toward Personalized
Video Viewing to Drive Consumer Uptake

January 6, 2015 (Plano, TX)

Among the standouts at this year’s CES will be virtual reality or ‘VR,’ which involves the use of a head-mounted display that tracks the user’s head movements and translates them into an immersive wide-angle video display. TDG’s new report, The Future of Consumer VR and Its Impact on Video Viewing, 2016-2025, outlines the forces shaping the diffusion of this groundbreaking technology, and offers detailed global and US forecasts for both headset shipments and VR-related revenue.

Before one can accurately assess the relevance of VR to non-gaming video experiences (e.g., watching TV shows and movies), it is necessary to grasp the nature of contemporary video viewing. Take, for example, the increased personalization of video viewing and the shift from social to individual viewing contexts.

According to Joel Espelien, TDG senior analyst and author of the new report, video viewing has evolved from a social medium (traditionally understood as groups of viewers sitting together in a living room to watch TV programs on a television set) to an individual experience (defined by solitary viewing on smaller, more personal screens with audio delivered via headphones). The table below demonstrates just how widespread this behavior has become.


As illustrated, when all devices are considered, a majority of video viewing time is done alone as opposed to in a social context. Even television viewing time (both linear and streaming) is almost evenly split between solitary and social. According to Espelien, the fragmentation of viewing among multiple screens and the trend toward individual viewing is key to understanding the future of VR viewing.

“Driven initially by gaming applications, the trend toward personalized video experiences will pave the way for the adoption of virtual reality (VR) as the next screen. Low-cost, mass-market VR headsets (using either a smartphone or PC for processing) will hit the market in 2016, and content providers and advertisers of all stripes are currently developing content for this new platform.”

But VR faces strong forces that will limit its growth, including an aging population (reluctant to accept the VR experience); physical limitations (including VR nausea); social concerns and constraints; and competition from other screens.

Despite these challenges, VR headsets will experience notable growth over the next decade (2016-2025), which will drive content sales and VR video viewing. By 2025, VR will have a global user base of more than 275 million (60 million in the US alone). As well, global VR-related revenue will top $18 billion by 2025.

To learn more about TDG’s new report, contact us at or 469-287-8050. Those attending CES can see Joel Espelien speak on Wednesday, January 6, as he discusses the ‘Top Five Innovations to Watch‘ with The Wall Street Journal’s Will Rothman.

Wendy Stockard
About The Diffusion Group (TDG)
TDG provides actionable intelligence on the quantum shifts impacting consumer technology and media behaviors. Since 2004, we have helped both leading and emerging technology vendors, media companies, and service providers understand and master how consumers access, navigate, distribute, and consume broadband media–whenever and wherever they may be. For more information, visit our website at

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