Companies like Facebook and Google are pouring in billion-dollar investments into the industry and don’t appear to be profiting too much. They only make money from their sales but when will their investments pay off and make VR Advertising into reality?

Oculus Rift - Original Kickstarter
Picture Courtesy: Kickstarter, Oculus

It’s been almost 10 years since the original Kickstarter for the Oculus Rift and it is hard to find ads. Very few apps implement them and when they do, they are not done as efficiently.

Current Version

Some games on Steam have implemented ads to play while waiting. Having a screen in front of you that you can’t escape from is a harsh reality and different from regular advertising.

In applications where you see videos in theaters or with your friends watching videos, regular advertisements are still present but make sense for these types of applications.

All of these are fine but they don’t really capture the main focus on virtual reality. These ads will most likely get the same results as regular ads on Youtube since they are basically the same thing.

VR Advertising - Shows Bigscreen to use for ads
Picture Courtesy: Bigscreen

Potential Future of VR Advertising

Although they aren’t as mainstream yet, you should be prepared for 360 video ads coming. This seems like the ultimate goal for VR and the perfect ad that can be achieved in this medium

Imagine before playing a game, you have to watch an ad for another VR game. Of course, this would all be altered for different types of demographics but imagine the ad was a demo for a game.

You would be able to for less than a minute see how the game feels like and how you would enjoy it. This advertising is extremely powerful since the user is physically in their game and can see how they enjoy it.

Another hypothetical is if you were being advertised a horror movie. By having a 360 video in the scene of the movie and making you witness what is happening will feel very different in VR rather than on television or on a computer.

Big companies haven’t started advertising but smaller companies are trying to get ahead. VirtualSky, a virtual reality advertising company is able to make 360 ads on different platforms and create immersive videos.

Video Courtesy: VirtualSky

Conclusion

360 ads are not coming yet and we still have a while until they do. VR isn’t at the place to be bombarded with advertisements just yet, only some in specific types of content.

It’s just like the internet was when it first started. In the beginning, only enthusiasts were apart of it and didn’t want to drive people from coming by running ads. People need to learn and develop with it and a couple of years after, advertisements in this medium blew up and became extremely profitable.

It is likely VR is taking the same path since all the previous criteria are being met. As cheaper and more accessible versions of VR are being released like the Oculus Quest, a stand-alone headset, ads are soon to come.

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