AR in M&E market poised to reach $18 billion by 2025

The augmented reality (AR) media and entertainment landscape is expected to grow dramatically from US$732 million in 2020 to $18 billion in 2025.

While enterprise value drove growth early in the AR market story, both the number of users and the perceived value in the growing consumer space will build up a significant AR market, surmised a recent report by ABI Research on the Transformative Technologies for 2021.

Advertising, gaming, streaming video, location-based experiences, sports, music, social media and more can tap into immersive hardware and software opportunities. Acceleration from other technologies, including 5G, edge computing and AI, will enable more users to experience a greater variety of AR content.

“With unique consumption and delivery requirements, great prospects are available for telcos, content creators and owners to deliver new content to AR-enabled mobile devices and smart glasses over the next five years, especially as an influx of new hardware and users across all segments takes place,” said Eric Abbruzzese, Research Director, ABI Research.

Like other markets and technologies, he said the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated some trends within the AR and VR space; the need for social distancing and the resulting shift to a remote workforce created new opportunities for remote collaboration at large.

While the immersive collaboration segment of the market is nascent, Abbruzzese said the pandemic has opened new doors and these types of technologies will continue to support a new normal and a larger remote workforce.

“The market is ultimately limited by the penetration rate of head-mounted displays (HMDs), but new hardware and trends are finally drawing more parallels to the early smartphone market, rather than other tech failures like 3D TV.

“The pandemic also brought a new perspective to VR, which was once viewed as a technology that isolated the user. Users are now discovering the impact VR can have on bringing people together, be it family, friends or co-workers, in ways that connect at a deeper level than traditional forms of communication,” said Abbruzzese.

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