Last week, we discussed how “other worlds” represented one of the three kinds of experiences that might propel the use of VR, specifically Google Daydream View. For this, Google has lined up the backing of some major news outlets leading with CNN. Today we’ll look at another major content source for Daydream; video.

Google partnered with some top-tier video service providers at Daydream’s launch, including its longstanding partners Netflix, Hulu and HBO Now. Here’s how they break down in terms of monthly active users (MAU).


Even though these are all subscription services, even HBO Now is attracting a higher MAU than CNN, which topped the chart of those producing new environments for Daydream.

Nevertheless, the reach of these video services were dwarfed by Google’s own YouTube, which attracted 243 million monthly active users in October. That represented a drop from the warmer months, although still an order of magnitude beyond Netflix’s October MAU. It may have been driven by the lack of any major fall “premieres” that subscription services use to compete with broadcast networks during the fall, as well as increased competition from election coverage.


Google’s homegrown TV and movies store on Google Play will also support Daydream, which picked up another compatible handset with both versions of the Nougat-upgraded Motor Z becoming certified as DayDream-ready. Needless to say, YouTube is Google’s best app bet for spreading the word about Daydream. Developers would be wise to create even 2D videos to promote their VR games and other apps.

As with the news companies we covered last week, there are some caveats. In this case, most if not all of the video will presented in a traditional 2D format, not in a VR format. However, much of it -- particularly on subscription services -- is of proven appeal. An additional note is that unlike with certain free news sources, CNN and USA Today for example, consumers are less likely to have multiple subscription video apps installed. But in the case of many of the services, they have access to other media (notably the web) with which to promote the Daydream experience.

AuthorRoss Rubin