45 Virtual Reality Statistics That Will Rock the Market in 2021

Virtual reality, the overarching term for a variety of computer-generated experiences taking place within a simulated environment, has been a topic of interest among tech enthusiasts (and sci-fi fans) for years. Like these virtual reality statistics you’ll read indicate, the time is approaching for this technology to take off among consumers as well as in the industry.

Eye-Opening Virtual Reality Statistics

  • The global AR and VR market is expected to grow to $209.2 billion by 2022.
  • Global VR video gaming revenues reached $22.9B in 2020.
  • There are more than 171M VR users worldwide.
  • 78% of Americans are familiar with VR technology now.
  • The consumer VR market worldwide is set to reach $2.6 billion by the end of 2020.
  • Demand for standalone VR devices will grow over 16 times between 2018 and 2022.
  • 70% of VR headset-owning consumers have bought a game on it.
  • 14 million AR and VR devices were sold in 2019.

Thanks to a number of factors—more affordable hardware, faster internet speeds, and a receptive audience—the growth figures have been striking over the last 4-5 years. The projections for the next few years are even more awe-inspiring.

As it happens with any new technology, estimates from different sources do not always match up; even one year of slower or faster performance than predicted can force major revisions in estimates, and the entry of a major player like Apple can completely change the ecosystem. With that in mind, we are sure these latest sets of statistics will help provide a clearer idea of virtual reality market growth, changes in perception among consumers, and its utility in business.

That said, let’s check out the latest VR stats:

The Real Virtual Reality 2021 Statistics

So what does the future hold for the VR market? The following virtual reality statistics for 2020 will expound on the trend.

1. The consumer VR market worldwide is predicted to reach $3.7 billion at the end of 2021.

(Source: Statista)

Although the COVID-19 pandemic harmed the VR market worldwide, it is expected to make a good recovery this year.

VR statistics for 2021 indicate that the consumer virtual reality (both hardware and software) market size is projected to experience an increase of $1.1 billion, compared to what we had in 2020.

2. China is projected to have the most substantial AR/VR spending worldwide in 2024.

(Source: IDC)

Virtual reality market projections show that worldwide spending on AR/VR is likely to reach $72.8 billion by 2024. 

Predictions have been made that China will have the most significant AR/VR spending at 36% by the same year. Closely followed by the United States and Western Europe.

3. VR/AR devices will see a growing increase in demand over the next few years.

(Source: Statista)

Virtual reality sales statistics show that the number of VR/AR devices shipped worldwide is expected to increase to 68.6 million units in 2023. What’s more, AR and VR headsets are projected to have massive sales of over 30 million units annually by the end of 2023.

4. The engineering industry will derive great benefits from the adoption of VR.

(Source: Swag Soft)

According to VR statistics for 2021, the implementation and development of VR in engineering can reduce model design time by 10%, and construction time by 7%. This results in an increase in overall efficiency.

5. VR is gradually gaining ground in e-commerce.

(Source: Swag Soft)

VR stats for 2021 show that the adoption of VR in e-commerce can boost online shopping conversion by 17%. For comparison, the average eCommerce conversion rate is 2%. VR experiences can significantly influence the purchasing decision of customers.

6. In 2021, 17.7% of people will use VR in the US.

(Source: eMarketer)

Virtual reality market statistics predict that 58.9 million and 93.3 million people in the United States will use VR and AR respectively at least once a month this year. It accounts for 17.7% and 28.1% of the total US population.

This is a significant boost compared to what we had in 2020 – 52.1 million and 82.1 million people in the US used AR and VR at least once per month.

7. User experience is one of the greatest obstacles to VR adoption. 

(Source: Statista)

VR adoption stats for 2021 show that 27% of VR industry experts claim that user experience (e.g. bulky hardware and technical glitches) is an obstacle to the mass adoption of VR. Reports go further to reveal that 20% cite customer and business hesitation as an obstacle to embracing VR. Also, a poor content offering by the VR industry was cited as an obstacle by 19% of respondents.

8. Facebook was the world’s largest vendor of VR headsets in 2020.

(Source: Finances Online)

In 2020, there were 5.5 million units of VR and AR headsets shipped.

Virtual reality statistics for 2020 show that as of the second quarter of the year, Facebook was the market leader when it came to headset shipments, accounting for 38.7%.

Sony followed with 21.9%, and Pico placed third with 9.2%.

Virtual Reality Market Statistics

Let’s start with some general facts about the market.

9. The worldwide AR and VR market size is forecast to grow 7.7X between 2018 and 2022.

(Source: Statista, Greenlight Insights)

Augmented reality refers to the addition of digital elements to a live view (e.g., Google Glass, Pokemon Go) while VR implies a complete immersion into a simulated world. In 2018, the size of the worldwide augmented reality and virtual reality market was estimated to be $27 billion. This number looks a bit small, considering there were about 1 billion AR users alone in 2020.

However:

This is expected to grow to a whopping $209.2 billion in just 2 years.

According to another recent report by Greenlight Insights, global AR and VR revenues will total $209 billion by 2021. VR revenues will account for about 36% of this sum.

10. The consumer sector accounted for the largest share (53%) of global VR and AR spending in 2020.

(Source: IDC, Finances Online)

The estimation of the combined global VR and AR market by IDC for 2020 was $12 billion.

The same source stated that the largest VR spending was in the consumer sector, amounting to 53%.

It is followed by the distribution and services sector with 15.8%, and the manufacturing and resources sector at 13.8%.

11. The VR worldwide market share was $6.1B in 2020.

(Source: Finances Online)

So, how much is the VR market worth? Unfortunately, the lackluster performance of the VR industry in 2020 has forced many stakeholders to revise their predictions.

That said, recent reports predict that the global virtual reality market size will be worth $20.9 billion by 2025.

12. Recent stats show that China was the largest AR/VR spender in 2020 at $5.8B.

(Source: IDC, Finances Online)

The US was the second biggest spender with $5.1 billion, followed by Western Europe at $3.3 billion.

More than that, virtual reality market statistics indicate that China accounted for over 38% of the global AR/VR share in 2020. This value will increase to 56% by the end of 2021.

13. 26 million AR and VR headsets were owned in 2020.

(Source: CCS Insight, Finances Online, CNBC)

This is an impressive improvement, considering that only 14 million VR devices were sold in 2019.

14. The sales of smartphone VR devices consistently fell over the years.

(Source: CCS Insight, IBC)

A significant reason for the dip in the sales of devices is the decreasing interest among people for smartphone-based VR devices. Some of them have several issues, including that they are heavy and tie up the phone for the duration of use.

However, standalone devices like Oculus Quest are expected to drive future sales. 

The company, which sold an estimated 1.2 million units of the Quest device in 2020, expects its sales to skyrocket by 2025, predicting 5.6 million units to be sold.

15. Demand for standalone VR devices will grow over 16 times between 2018 and 2022.

(Source: CCS Insight)

The latest forecasts show that the sale of standalone devices will grow from nearly zero in 2017 to more than half of the total AR and VR devices market in 2022 (29 million units). Tethered headsets, which require a connection with a computer, smartphone, or gaming console for use, will stay around for a while, selling 18 million units in 2022.

16. Worldwide spending on VR content and apps is forecast to reach $3.77B in 2021.

(Source: Statista)

According to VR statistics, spending on location-based VR is expected to account for an additional $700 million. The total spending on VR content/apps and location-based VR is expected to rise from $2.54 billion in 2019 to $3.77 billion in 2021. Spending on AR content and apps is nearly 2.5 times that on VR content and is expected to grow at a higher pace as well.

17. VR video gaming revenues are expected to reach $2.4B in 2024.

(Source: Finances Online)

VR stats for 2021 show that the VR gaming revenue sits at $1.1 billion. This value is expected to grow to $1.6 billion by 2022 and eventually reach $2.4 billion by 2024.

18. A cosmetic brand in 2020 recorded outstanding growth in sales after creating an AR filter.

(Source: Finances Online, Big Commerce)

In 2020, a brand called “We Make Up” created an AR filter on Facebook, which had a surprisingly positive effect on the brand.

The clickthrough rate went up by 53%. It also experienced a 28-point increase in sales and a 7.9-point rise in brand awareness.

19. Gaming will also remain the sector with the maximum VR investment, though its share is expected to come down.

(Source: Perkins Coie)

According to a worldwide survey of startup founders, tech company executives, investors, and consultants, 59% of respondents believe gaming will dominate the investment directed to the development of AR/VR technology.

This number has come down from 78% in 2017 earlier. Other major sectors seeing investment are education, health care, and real estate. The largest growth is expected in marketing and advertising, retail, manufacturing, and automotive.

20. The number of VR startups has increased by 14% in less than a year.

(Source: AngelList)

How many virtual reality companies are there? As of January 2020, the number of VR startups worldwide listed on AngelList was 2,270, a significant jump from a little over 1,800 in May 2018. The list also mentions 978 investors, meaning that many of these startups have also managed to find significant funding to develop their projects.

Virtual Reality User Statistics

We now know the size of the market. But how keen are users on VR?

21. In 2020, there were more than 57 million VR users in the US.

(Source: Finances Online)

The number of virtual reality users has been growing at an extraordinary pace in the last six years. 

VR adoption stats for 2020 showed that there were 57.4 million VR users in the US and 90.9 million AR users.

And it looks like the only way is up, as predictions have been made that the number of AR users in the US will reach 95.1 million by 2022.

22. 70% of VR headset-owning consumers have bought a game on it.

(Source: CCS Insight)

That gaming is the most popular use that VR is put to by consumers is also reflected in the high number of VR users who buy games. Nearly 70% of consumers who own a dedicated VR headset such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or Sony Playstation VR have bought games for it. More than half of smartphone VR headset owners have also bought games for their gaming phones.

23. 78% of Americans are familiar with VR technology now.

(Source: Greenlight Insights, GlobalWebIndex)

This is a remarkable improvement from just 45% in 2015. Another recent virtual reality demographics study by GlobalWebIndex claims VR technology awareness to be as high as 90% among consumers in the UK and US.

Apart from simpler and cheaper devices like Google Daydream coming into the market, the rise in familiarity is also attributed to the coverage VR has received in the news.

Movies like Ready Player One and partial VR viewability of events like the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics have also contributed.

24. Only 28% of VR set owners use these devices daily.

(Source: Greenlight Ventures)

39% say they use VR sets once a week, 19% once a month, 8% once every six months, and 6% just about once a year. This compares poorly with other technologies like smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

VR sets have traditionally been complicated, with multiple wires and controllers, or time-consuming to set up, and the variety of content has also not grown as fast as it has with other devices. Simpler devices like Oculus Go are likely to solve some of these issues.

25. Younger and male users are more likely to have used a VR headset.

(Source: GlobalWebIndex)

According to the GlobalWebIndex study of virtual reality user demographics in the UK and US, 35% of users in the 16 to 34 age group have used a VR headset, while the figure is 26% for the 35-44 group, 12% for the 45-54 group, and just 6% for the 55-64 group. In terms of gender, 30% of men surveyed had used a VR headset at least once compared to only 16% among women.

26. 77% of people who use VR want more social engagement in it.

(Source: Greenlight Ventures)

77% of the respondents of a consumer survey who own a VR headset say they are interested in social interactions with other people in VR. This interest is also reflected in virtual reality trends showing the popularity of apps that allow users to interact with other users in a virtual setting. Among social VR activities of interest, playing games, watching videos, and video communication rank the highest.

27. 70% of VR users intend to increase their use in the next year.

(Source: Greenlight Ventures)

With increasing familiarity and more content, there seems to be the possibility of a noticeable increase in VR use in the coming months. 38% of VR users say they intend to increase the use a lot more; 32% say they want to do so by a little more. Only 7% want to decrease the amount they are spending on VR devices.

28. Hardware cost is the biggest entry barrier keeping the VR adoption rate down.

(Source: GlobalWebIndex)

Users of high-end VR devices are slightly more likely (54%) to consider hardware cost as the primary reason preventing more users from adopting VR compared to budget (48%) or mid-range (50%) users. Budget and mid-range users are more likely to find issues with the user interface or the viability of VR.

Issues like motion sickness with prolonged use or lack of viable use-cases are not a major concern for high-end device users. The second biggest entry barrier turns out to be the lack of sufficient content that can justify the investment in VR.

29. 64% of VR users think VR has the greatest potential in gaming.

(Source: GlobalWebIndex)

Almost two-thirds of users in the virtual reality survey believed that gaming is the area that will benefit the most from VR technology. This could also be a reflection of how the industry has developed so far, with the technology’s potential in other areas not really becoming as widely known. Other areas in decreasing order of expectations are film and TV (52%), sports viewing (42%), classroom education (41%), and social media (38%).

30. 53% of AR and VR-aware users believe VR has a higher chance of hitting the mainstream first.

(Source: GlobalWebIndex)

Since both AR and VR technologies are broadly trying to transform the same industries, the public’s perception of their relative potential is an interesting aspect to gauge. Virtual reality statistics also indicate that once users have actually tried out both AR and VR, their perception changes, with 50% saying AR has a greater potential to hit the mainstream compared to 47% in favor of VR.

31. In 2020, 55% of users found the VR experience satisfying.

(Source: ReportLinker, Finances Online)

The reality of VR technology has failed to live up to the hoopla around it for many consumers. Hardware issues, lack of content, and low growth beyond gaming are some of the problems making people think of VR as an overhyped fad. This is a matter of particular concern for the consumer VR industry that has failed to sustain the momentum behind the technology.

32. Samsung is the most widely known brand in VR technology.

(Source: Nielsen, ReportLinker)

Which VR is the best? Given the wide choice available, right from the very cheap Google Cardboard to the high-end HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, it depends on what you want and how much you are willing to spend.

The most well-known brand in VR, however, is Samsung, thanks to its Gear VR headset. This was also the case in 2017 when Samsung Gear VR was the most well-known device among the general population as well as gamers, even though the brand’s awareness seems to have come down in the last two years.

The next most popular brand is Sony with its PlayStation VR.

33. More professionals are considering adopting VR/AR for training purposes in 2021.

(Source: Finances Online)

The benefits of VR/AR are just about limitless. Research has shown that training that incorporates VR reduces the chances of work-related injuries by 43%.

For this reason and more, virtual reality data stats indicate that 70% of professionals believe that more businesses will use VR when training employees.

Virtual Reality in The Industry

VR can be used by many companies. Let’s see some of the possibilities.

34. 43% of manufacturing companies say VR will become mainstream in their organization within the next three years.

(Source: Capgemini)

According to this survey of manufacturing companies from across the world, an additional 38% believe it will be mainstream technology in their organization in three to five years. However, AR is seen as more relevant and is more widely implemented than VR in manufacturing.

35. The implementation level of VR in manufacturing is the highest in China at 51%.

(Source: Capgemini)

Through focused research and development efforts, direct investment, and building of human capital, Chinese firms, along with the Chinese government, have launched a concerted campaign to become the leader in VR technology. France is the European leader in this regard. The US scores very high on companies that have proof of concepts or pilots but lags a bit in terms of wider-scale implementation.

36. 82% of companies implementing AR/VR indicate that benefits exceed expectations.

(Source: Capgemini)

The operational benefits of AR and VR include increased efficiency, productivity, and safety. In terms of the scale of implementation, VR statistics show the companies that implement these technologies on a large scale are more likely to experience noticeable operational benefits.

37. Repair and maintenance are the most popular focus of AR/VR implementation efforts in manufacturing.

(Source: Capgemini)

Other parts of the value chain where AR and VR are seeing major implementation are design and assembly, immersive training, and inspection and quality assurance. Within repair and maintenance, jobs that get done using AR and VR include viewing of reference videos and digital manuals, remote expert assistance, visualization of specific components and functions behind physical barriers, and superimposition of step-by-step instructions.

38. Early achievers constitute 6% of all VR experimenters and implementers but derive more than twice the benefits compared to other companies.

(Source: Capgemini)

Virtual reality data clearly shows that early achievers are witnessing, on average, a 57% increase in efficiency as compared to 23% for other companies. Similar contrasting figures for other metrics are 55% vs. 23% for safety increase, 52% vs. 21% for productivity increase, and 47% vs. 19% for complexity reduction.

39. Investing in R&D teams or an innovation center is the top strategy for expanding AR/VR initiatives among manufacturing companies.

(Source: Capgemini)

This opinion is shared by both early achievers and other companies. This is closely followed by upskilling employees by in-house specialized training, partnering with academic institutions, and hiring people with AR/VR expertise, in that order.

40. 80% of consumers feel positive about experiencing branded VR tactics.

(Source: Touchstone Research)

This is great news for marketers. Jaded by conventional forms of advertising, consumers are keen on trying out new formats that allow them to experience brand stories in a more intimate manner. This virtual reality report on marketing shows that the environment is ripe for marketers to move fast to capture audience interest.

41. 20% of consumers say a branded VR experience would make them feel more positively towards the brand.

(Source: Touchstone Research)

Only 1% would feel negative about it while the remaining consumers are neutral. If you have an advertising format where 1 in 5 customers are already in your favor for just using that format, it’s your battle to lose. According to the same research, VR also has high word-of-mouth marketability, with 81% of people who had already experienced VR reporting they had told their friends about it.

42. 13% of consumers say VR experiences will cause them to shop more in physical stores.

(Source: Walker Sands)

While more conventional and non-tech-intensive methods like F&B offerings, personalized experiences, and live product demonstrations remain the main draws for customers in physical stores, virtual reality trends show that VR experiences are catching up as a technology investment that business owners can make to encourage customers to spend more.

43. 75% of Forbes World’s Most Valuable Brands have invested in some form of AR/VR experience.

(Source: YouVisit)

Leading brands are catching up to the potential of VR. The number of these experiences, which could be meant for consumers or employees, is likely to be much higher considering that this data is from a 2015 research.

44. 13% of people who experience a vacation in VR go on to book a trip or get in touch with hospitality companies.

(Source: YouVisit)

The lifelike rendering of experiences encourages consumers to spend money to experience the real deal, too. Similar virtual reality statistics include:

  • A 16% increase in donations to Amnesty International UK’s donations after people experienced conditions in war-torn Syria through VR.
  • A 190% increase in Thomas Cook’s VR-promoted New York excursion revenue.
  • 51% of Marriott’s customers expressing intent to travel to more hotels in the chain after the company showed VR travel stories from other locations to them.

45. Virtual reality trends indicate an upward movement in the VR adoption rate in the US.

(Source: Finances Online, ARtillery Intelligence)

It looks like more and more people in the US will be using VR soon. 

Twenty-five percentage of internet users will be using VR in the US by 2023, which amounts to about 70.2 million people.

Conclusion

A VR world for us all is not happening yet. The whole idea of VR is still new to the mainstream market and it is still unclear whether the public will take to it or not. But the industry is growing and there are surely amazing things ahead.

Wanna keep up with the latest VR trends? Keep on visiting us.

FAQ

Is virtual reality really growing?

Yes.

With a market size of $10.32 billion in 2019 and an expected annual growth rate of 21.6% from 2020 to 2027, the virtual reality market surely is growing.

What are the main types of virtual reality?

What are the main types of virtual reality?

According to virtual reality statistics for 2020, there are 3 main types of VR:

  • Fully-immersive
  • Semi-immersive
  • Non-immersive simulations
How does virtual reality affect the mind?

VR immerses users in a different environment, thus altering how the brain processes the body. This way, it alters their reality, making them experience things that are not real. Also, VR can sometimes form a part of our real memory, due to excessive play. Under severe circumstances, it could lead to hallucinations.

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Tech has revolutionized the way we live, communicate, and create value. With TechJury, I found a way to help users find detailed, unbiased information about all things technology.

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