2 minute read 21 Mar 2019
woman running on treadmill with vr headset

How to make VR more of a reality for women

By

Martyn Whistler

EY Global Media & Entertainment Lead Analyst

Keen observer of all things media and entertainment. Storyteller. Avid reader. Bluff traditionalist, impatient for the future. Fan of sports, occasionally sporty. Fan of the arts, rarely arty.

2 minute read 21 Mar 2019

Women are the least likely adopters of virtual reality. We explore how media and technology companies can change that.

The last 12 months have seen heavy investment, major acquisitions and headline-grabbing new product launches in the increasingly popular VR sector. And there’s no sign of activity slowing. But consumers are yet to buy into the hype. There are many theories as to why this may be, but one thing is clear: women are the least likely adopters.

Three things our survey says about women and VR:

  1. Fewer women have tried VR and even fewer want to in the future
  2. When they do try it, women are less impressed than men
  3. The multi-billion-dollar brands don’t register with women

Three things media and technology companies can do to make VR a reality for women:

  1. Build out the quality of content and entertainment
  2. Focus on the use case, not the technology
  3. Find the right price points

Looking ahead

It’s not that women don’t like VR; more that, so far, the majority don’t see the point of it.

Existing users – male dominated – are more likely to choose VR as the latest gadget or as a way to heighten the gaming experience. But neither group is likely to take VR where it wants to go – mainstream. That will require more entertaining and everyday users at an affordable price.

Media companies who successfully address these customer needs will greatly increase their customer base – including more women.

Three key questions media and entertainment companies need to answer:

  1. How are you marketing VR so it appeals across both male and female customer groups?
  2. When you commission VR content, are you targeting a broad enough audience mix?
  3. How are you balancing talking about technology innovations with real-world use cases?

Summary

Our survey of adult men and women in the UK suggests that women are less likely to try virtual reality (VR) and less enthusiastic when they do. We look at why that is and what the industry can do to change the picture.

About this article

By

Martyn Whistler

EY Global Media & Entertainment Lead Analyst

Keen observer of all things media and entertainment. Storyteller. Avid reader. Bluff traditionalist, impatient for the future. Fan of sports, occasionally sporty. Fan of the arts, rarely arty.