×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Oculus Has No Plans for Virtual Reality Subscriptions, Exec Says

Facebook-owned Oculus won’t jump on the VR subscription bandwagon any time soon, said Oculus VP of Content Jason Rubin during an interview with Variety this week. Rubin said that game developers already generate significant revenue with VR titles, but did acknowledge that monetizing cinematic VR is still a bit of a challenge.

Oculus competitor HTC launched its own Viveport subscription service for VR games and experiences earlier this year, but Rubin dismissed this model as inadequate for the medium. “Music as a subscription makes a lot of sense,” he said.

He argued that the same was true for video, but not for VR. “Interactive entertainment is so different,” he said. Some games would lead users to play for 10 hours, while others would keep them busy for 120 hours or more. “How do you put those 2 things in a subscription and divide up the money?”

The result would ultimately be that publishers with good products keep them to the pay-per-download model, and only mediocre apps would show up in a subscription plan. “That’s not helping anybody,” he said.

However, he also acknowledged that it can be challenging to make money with cinematic or experiential VR. It’s hard to sell a 20-minute VR video that’s watched once or twice for $20 when the same amount of money gets you a game that keeps you busy for many hours. “There is a market that needs to sort itself out in non-interactive VR.”

Part of Facebook’s VR strategy has been to kick-start the market for immersive content. The company committed $250 million on VR content investments last year. Much of that money is being used to seed the Oculus Store, with Rubin saying that the company already footed the entire bill for “dozens of titles.” But Rubin has also seen independent developers make significant amounts of money with games on Oculus. “People can make a living, absolutely,” he said.

Rubin made these remarks on the sidelines of Facebook’s fourth annual Oculus Connect developer conference in San Jose, Calif. Wednesday. The company used that event to announce a new $199 standalone VR headset, dubbed Oculus Go, which will go on sale some time early next year.

More Digital

  • Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his Night

    ‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, DreamWorks Animation claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.” Ads placed for the fantasy film had an estimated media value [...]

  • ‘Tomorrow and Thereafter,’ ‘Diane Has the

    MyFrenchFilmFestival Prizes ‘Tomorrow and Thereafter,’ ‘Diane Has the Right Shape’

    Actress-director Noémie Lvovsky’s “Tomorrow And Thereafter,” a heartfelt homage to the director’s own mother, and Fabien Gorgeart’s “Diane Has the Right Shape,” about one woman’s surrogate motherhood, both won big at the 2019 UniFrance MyFrenchFilmFestival which skewed female in its winners and viewership, making particularly notable inroads into South East Asia and Latin America. Opening [...]

  • soundcloud-logo

    SoundCloud Launches Tool to Distribute Music to Other Streaming Services

    SoundCloud today announced a new distribution tool that enables artists to distribute their music to other streaming services. The feature, currently in open beta the service’s Pro and Pro Unlimited platforms, means that artists can upload their music to SoundCloud competitors including Apple Music, Amazon Music, Spotify and Instagram. “Creators using the SoundCloud Premier distribution feature keep [...]

  • Alison Meyer - Whistle

    Whistle Taps Refinery29's Alison Meyer as VP of Marketing

    Whistle has hired Alison Meyer, previously with female-focused Refinery29, to head up brand-marketing solutions for the male-centric digital media player. As VP of marketing at New York-based Whistle, Meyer will lead partnership marketing for the company’s slate of original programming and branded content. She reports to Whistle president and COO Michael Cohen. Meyer’s appointment comes on [...]

  • Snapchat - NHL Highlights

    Snapchat Expands NHL Pact to Add Hockey Highlights, Curated Stories

    Snapchat is adding more action from the ice under a new multiyear deal with the National Hockey League. The NHL, in association with Disney Streaming Services, is delivering a new weekly highlights show on Snapchat recapping the top 10 plays of the previous week and will produce Curated Our Stories on the platform for select games [...]

  • Hulu Adds Another Interactive Ad: This

    Hulu Adds Another Interactive Ad: This One Lets You Get Offers Via Email

    Hulu lets its subscribers choose the show they want to see. Now the video-streaming service is increasingly letting users choose to respond to certain commercials right away. A commercial from Sleep Number, the manufacturer of the bed with an adjustable mattress, that has run on Hulu for the past several weeks allows viewers to request [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content