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Google Moves To Deliver VR Content Hardware Sales Tipped To Get A Boost

Google is investing millions into Virtual Reality content a move that could drive hardware sales for retailers and brands currently in VR hardware.

The investment into films and programs is part of a plan to line up exclusive content for the debut of its new Daydream service in the coming weeks.

Google is entering what has quickly become a crowded marketplace, with products from Facebook, Sony, Samsung Electronics and HTC. Whereas Sony’s Morpheus headset is tethered to its PlayStation video-game console, Google is focused on mobile-based VR, whereby consumers snap their phones into a visor or headset. With the headset on, Daydream presents users with an array of apps, from YouTube to HBO Now.

According to Bloomberg Google will help promote projects from Hulu and fund the production of 360-degree videos with YouTube stars like the Dolan twins and Justine Ezarik, said sources.

The division of Alphabet, has also partnered with video-game producers and sports leagues to boost its biggest virtual-reality initiative.

“It’s apparent they’ve spent a lot of money internally,” said Finn Staber, co-founder of TheWaveVR, a virtual-reality startup developing a music app for Daydream.

The company is relying on apps, shorts and games to promote Daydream, a hybrid store and software service that Google hopes will be the dominant way people engage in virtual reality, much like Android is for smartphones. An update to Android software that will support Daydream began rolling out Monday. The idea is to encourage the growth of the technology and ensure Google maintains a central role in helping people find things to watch.

“Google’s Daydream will help advance mobile virtual reality,” said Oren Rosenbaum, a digital media agent at United Talent Agency who spearheads its VR effort. “Mobile virtual reality is what’s going to get the most people to strap things on their head.”

While competitors are targeting users willing to spend hundreds of dollars for top-notch VR equipment, mobile will reach mass audiences, Staber said. In June, he watched a live performance at the video-game expo E3 in Los Angeles from the comfort of his home.

“It’s revolutionary,” Staber said, adding he and his partners had been collaborating with Google’s VR team over the past few months.

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