HTC Announces Success of Viveport Subscriptions before CES 2018
Along with updates to Viveport VR and Vive Video user interface.
At a press event yesterday, prior to today’s opening of the Consumer Electronics Show, HTC announced the success of its Viveport subscription service, Vive, noting that users are now downloading more VR titles via subscription than paid download, reports Variety. The company launched Vive in April 2017, offering room-scale virtual reality games and experiences for $6.99 a month, following a one-month free trial. Subscribers could download up to five titles each month, including TheBlue, Everest VR, Mars Odyssey, Apollo 11 VR, Hindenburg VR, and more.
At launch, there were 50 titles available via subscription. Now there are more than 300 games and apps, including games and experiences like Wands, Glider Island VR, Kittypocalypse and High Noon VR which are only available via subscription.
According to Variety, the developers get 70 percent of the revenue from the subscriptions, while HTC keeps 30 percent. Though HTC did not share subscriber numbers, Viveport president Rikard Steiber told Variety that the revenue was ‘starting to become meaningful for developers.’
During the press event, HTC also announced they are launching a new browsing experience for the VR storefront, allowing users to browse and access room-scale previews of titles so they can preview the games and experiences before they purchase or download.
In addition, HTC announced an update, released yesterday, to the company’s VR media player Vive Video, an immersive, cinematic video player for standard, 3D, 180° and 360°, which includes an integration with Vimeo. Viveport’s website says the update includes a curated catalog of streaming content offered in partnership with Vimeo, a mini-browser interface for reviewing the catalog without leaving the user’s current video, subtitle and audio track selection, and the ability to change viewing environments.
Last September, Statista surveyed 348 people, ages 18 to 69, who had tried a virtual reality headset. Of those, 10 percent had tried an HTC Vive VR headset.
The fact that subscriptions are overtaking paid downloads shows that the subscription model is advantageous for HTC. Rather than paying for a game or experience, subscribers can try up to five different games or apps each month and either change them out or keep using the ones they like the most. And, of course, they still have the option of purchasing the VR games and apps they use the most. While the initial investment to use the HTC Vive VR system is over $600, users can affordably sample different games and apps through the Viveport subscription.