New Consumer Data Finds VR Headset Usage Expected To Increase In 2019, According To Greenlight Insights

Greenlight Insights Press Releases, Virtual Reality

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Despite Lower-Than Expected Consumer HMD Sales in 2017,  New Developments in Social VR & Avatars Key To Future Adoption

SAN FRANCISCO (April 30, 2018) —   70% of virtual reality headset owners expect to use their devices more in the current level of usage, according to a new report by Greenlight Insights, the global leader in market intelligence for virtual and augmented reality.  The 2018 Virtual Reality Consumer Report also finds that social interactivity, avatars, and location-based entertainment are highly important to consumer mass adoption.

Now in its 4th consecutive year, the 2018 Virtual Reality Consumer Study surveyed 4,217 U.S. consumers aged 18 to 70 years about use, spending, and sentiment toward major products, applications, content, including augmented reality.

“Consumers’ exposure to virtual reality and their knowledge of competing platforms continues to rise,” says Alexis Macklin, Analyst at Greenlight Insights. “In the U.S., there are remarkable differences in how various clusters, namely geographic, socioeconomic, and psychographic, are using and expecting from virtual reality, especially social VR.”  

Key Findings

  • Familiarity with VR  Continues Its Year-Over-Year Climb. In 2018, 78% of respondents are familiar with 360-degree or VR compared to 22% of respondents not comfortable in their knowledge to self-identify as familiar. In 2015, just 45% of respondents are familiar with 360-degree or VR.
  • Direct Trial Experience Is Highest Among Gen Z & Millennials. 55% of Gen Z respondents who are familiar with VR have tried VR. This compares to only 19% of those respondents 55+ years old. Moreover, 48% of Millennial respondents could accurately name at least one VR headset brand, such as Oculus, HTC Vive, and Sony Playstation VR without any assistance.
  • Owners Intend To Use Headsets More Next Year. 67% of respondents who own a VR headset say they currently use their device at least weekly. Furthermore, 70% of VR headset owners anticipate using their device more than their current usage in the next 12 months.
  • Headset Owners Want A More Social Virtual Reality. Led by Generation Z and Millennials, 77% of respondents who own a VR headset say they are interested in interacting socially with other people in VR. Playing games, watching videos and video communications ranked highest as social VR activities of interest.


The 2018 Virtual Reality Consumer Report

Focusing on four generations and five distinct age groups, the 2018 Consumer Study provides insight into how consumers are interacting with virtual reality products, applications, content, services, attitudes and behaviors toward location-based VR, social, advertising — and what their preferences might be in the future. Topics covered in the survey and featured in the report include:

  • Familiarity
  • Profiles of Owners, Intendors, and Rejectors, including Demographics, Psychographics & Lifestyles Traits
  • Device Brand Ownership & Usage
  • Content Use Cases, Genres & Spending Data
  • Location-Based Virtual Reality
  • Social Virtual Reality & Avatars
  • Future Adoption Trends: Intent to Purchase & Concerns
  • Augmented Reality: Familiarity & Use Cases

More details on the report, as well as how to order the report, can be found online at

About Greenlight Insights

Headquartered in San Francisco, Greenlight Insights provides proprietary market data & analysis to technology, entertainment and media professionals to help them make strategic decisions. Visit to learn more or call +1 415-854-8232.