How will it change the face of VR in India
For this article I’m taking the liberty of using 360 videos and VR as synonyms. 360 videos in effect is a stepping stone to VR, and will only act as an catalyst to the entire ecosystem. With the average size of 360 videos being in the range of 20-30 MBs for a 1:00 min video, they take up a large portion of your bandwidth. With a majority of the users not having access to Wifi connections, they are dependent on mobile data connections to access videos online. In order to buffer these large videos on the go, even 3G connections are not adequate, and only 4G connections can truly service the immense requirement of speed. I’m sure you see where I’m taking this. More 4G connections means more people having access to high speed data, meaning more people can easily stream these videos. But, there is still an underlying problem with the entire concept. Would Indian consumers really search for such content on discovery platforms, let alone download dedicated apps?
How do you introduce the consumers to the concept of VR
As I had mentioned that I would be using 360 video and VR as synonyms earlier, there is a reason for it. While a lot of VR enthusiasts and experts disagree that 360 videos are VR and people should stop confusing, it no doubt is a stepping stone to using VR. 360 video do not offer the same kind of immersive feel of you being in another location, but it does offer you the interactivity of moving your head (in this case the phone) and changing your view, like a window/portal to another world. This will open up the people to the concept of VR and help them understand it better, without having to invest anything. Introduction of such a concept that is so purely revolutionary, needs to be gradual and continuous, not suddenly placing them in a headset, that might leave a bad experience in their head.
The second most important question that we still need to answer, where is the content? What do users consume without anyone introducing them to this concept for the first time. While, India has a sizeable population consuming online videos, and it is growing at a stupendous pace, we can be assured that the onset of cheap high speed data will push it further. 360 videos and VR in particular face the problem of adoption without being introduced. Brands and marketers will play a major role in pushing users to consume this content and look at it favourably.
Marketers will act as VR saviour’s in India
With brands in India already dipping their feet in VR and 360 videos for marketing, none of them are distributing it on a large scale basis. They are using it for either limited use as experience zones or events. This does not give them the requisite widespread reach and reap the real benefits from this new format. Mobile, can be very easily used as a platform to market themselves via 360 videos. Publishing 360 videos on apps will have a much larger audience and therefore a higher impact. VR and 360 videos have the power to trigger powerful emotions and leave a lasting impact on the users. Giving extremely crucial brand value to companies. With the 4G revolution that India is going through, brands can easily ride the wave and come in as pioneers in this field. Not only for a small portion of the population viewing their content via their exhibition zones but on a mass scale via mobile ads. This will in the long run play an important role in popularising VR and in leave a lasting impact on the minds of consumers of such content. This is a win win for brands and VR in India.
The onset of 4G as mainstream technology will be a natural fillip to the VR industry in India, giving more access to such content to consumers in a much widespread manner. However, the early adopters need to be brands who can leverage it till it is new and has an oomph factor attached to it. This will give them not just the marketing ads but a lot of allied PR activities and media attention.
Virtual Reality AdTech Startup VadR, helps brands market themselves via VR and 360 Videos. VadR currently has access to some of the largest publishers in India to publish 360 video ads and also has a pan global reach.