| Over 85 million virtual reality (VR) headsets will be in use in China by 2021, as digital entertainment continues to surge, spurring strong growth in industries such as internet video, cinema and video games, a new report from PwC claims. |
Its Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2017-2021 found that China’s demand for virtual reality VR headsets will reach 85.9 million within five years, overtaking the US’s projected 68 million.
“The entire VR market is new, with increasing VR device penetration and continual investment in the industry, its potential is very promising, even if profitability is an issue at present,” said Jane Kong, PwC China entertainment and media partner.
VR content revenue is forecast to hit US$3.6 billion in China by 2021 with over half coming from video, and 46 per cent from gaming.
“No one will get rich from hardware alone. The end game for these firms will be attempting to become the standard platform for VR and start to charge royalties or commission from content sales,” Kong said.
Box office revenues have also shown that Chinese consumers still have strong demand for cinema. Last year, China’s box office was worth US$6.2 billion, and this is expected to soar to US$10.7 billion by 2021 as the country continues to build more cinemas.
The total number of cinema screens exceeded the US in 2016, with 41,056 screens compared with 40,928 in the US. By 2021, China will also lead with 575 IMAX 3D screens, more than any other country in the world.