Sales tripled, shopping for price wars, and the hidden “corner” of the Metaverse became popular

Metaverse “stimulant” stimulation, VR resurrection.

“Pico is the brand with the most shipments in our store,” He Yang, a sales manager at an offline electronic digital collection store in Shanghai, told Tech Planet.

On the negative floor of this mall, ByteDance’s VR brand Pico is in an inconspicuous corner of the collection store, with an area of ​​less than 10 square meters. The entire mall is only crowded on weekends. On weekday evenings, no more than 5 customers enter the store. The collection store even only needs to leave two employees to look after the huge store.

But in March, 150 Pico were bought from the collection store. Even in June when Shanghai just resumed work, 70 customers bought the new toy Pico.

Perhaps because of the Metaverse, or the layout of Internet giants such as ByteDance and Tencent, the C-side VR market has once again become the focus. According to IDC data, in 2021, the C-end of the domestic VR all-in-one market will account for 46.1%. Not only VR equipment, offline experience stores have also recaptured young people in the past two years.

At present, Pico and iQIYI “Qiyu” are the few domestic manufacturers that can widely introduce their products to the consumer market. In the past two years, they have been vying for users with low prices, and they are also complementing the content ecology.

Data can show that their input is feedback. According to IDC data, in the first quarter of 2022, China’s all-in-one VR shipments accounted for 228,000 units, accounting for 88.9% of the overall VR shipments. Top three.

However, compared with overseas markets, the domestic VR industry has a big gap in terms of shipments and content output. The Metaverse may be a stimulant, but the sustainable development of the VR industry will depend on the long-term investment of manufacturers.

01 VR all-in-one machine is selling well, “flying” to young people

The VR market has come back to life in recent years. Whether it is capital or consumers, there is renewed enthusiasm for VR.

The large-scale VR content distribution platform ” Immersed World ” recently announced that it has completed tens of millions of yuan in A1 and A2 rounds of financing within six months. By the end of 2021, Immersive World has expanded nearly 100 VR experience stores in over 30 cities across the country.

At present, Immersive World is the brand with the largest number of VR experience stores in China.Chen Xin, CEO of Immersive World, told Tech Planet that under the influence of the epidemic in the first half of this year, the speed of store expansion was affected to a certain extent, but the number of stores still increased in the first half of the year. After May, the demand for entertainment is still very strong. “Our cities with high repurchase rates can reach 60%-70%, and the national average repurchase rate is now around 43%.”

Compared with offline VR experience scenarios, VR all-in-one machines have become the focus of the market in recent years. To a certain extent, the VR all-in-one machine detonated the market and drove VR out of the circle.

Although the VR home scene and the offline scene are two independent markets, Chen Xin also said that the marketing promotion of VR hardware manufacturers such as Pico in the past two years has given users a stronger understanding, which is actually very beneficial to the offline market. . “There are open-screen advertisements on Douyin every day, and the improvement of the entire user’s awareness is also gradually lowering the user’s threshold for offline consumption.”

The VR equipment boom has set off several rounds, and it is no longer a new concept, but this round is detonated in the consumer market, and VR equipment has also “flyed into the homes of ordinary people”, not just in the laboratories of giants.

Data speaks for itself. Byte’s Pico and iQiyi’s “Adventures” are two powerful players currently shipping in the domestic C-end market. According to the Wellsenn XR report, in the first quarter of 2022, the global shipment of Pico was about 170,000 units, with a market share of about 6.18%, and the global shipment of iQiyi’s “Qiyu” was about 23,000 units, with a market share of about 0.84%.

In the second quarter of this year, according to Feigua data, Pico maintained a high frequency of daily broadcasts in the three live broadcast rooms of Douyin for nearly three months, and the total sales volume of the three live broadcast rooms exceeded 35,000. A rough estimate is that the Pico series sold over 30,000 units. Only from the channel data of Douyin live broadcast room, it can be seen that the sales of Pico have increased significantly in the second quarter.

Sales tripled, shopping for price wars, and the hidden "corner" of the Metaverse became popular

Source: Flying Gua data Pico Douyin live broadcast room sales data in the past 5 months.

According to third-party platform data, on JD.com, in the past three months, Pico’s main product, the Pico Neo3 Pioneer Edition, has sold over 38,000 units. This means that in the second quarter, the sales of Pico on Douyin and JD.com have reached nearly 70,000 units. Pico also has hundreds of dealers and other e-commerce channels across the country.

iQIYI’s “Qiyu” also released relevant data on the 618 e-commerce promotion on June 1. Qiyu VR’s 1-minute sales on June 1 exceeded that of the whole day last year, and the 4-hour sales increased by 12 times year-on-year. “Adventures” told Tech Planet that compared with last year, sales in the first half of this year have increased significantly.

In May of this year, according to a report by Sina Finance, ByteDance even raised its sales target for PicoVR products to 1.8 million units in 2022, as the marketing effect far exceeded expectations, from the original target of around 1 million units. In fact, Qiyu also raised its sales target for this year accordingly, but the official data has not been disclosed to Tech Planet.

02Not only new users, but also content ecology

The popularity of the market is not surprising to VR manufacturers. The enthusiasm of consumers to buy stems from the manufacturers’ tireless subsidies and bombardment promotion.

The Pico Neo 3, which was launched for the consumer market in May last year, was initially priced between 2,499 yuan and 2,999 yuan. After ByteDance became the resource backing of Pico, Pico also followed Meta (Facebook) and embarked on the road of subsidies. “I just came here in March this year, and the price of the product was reduced once at that time,” He Yang told Tech Planet. But 3 months later, he received a price reduction notice again.

June is a critical time for the e-commerce promotion. Now the offline price of the Pico Neo3 “8+256G” version has dropped to 2,299 yuan. During the 618 period, the prices of some Pico models even broke the 2,000-yuan range and dropped to 1,799 yuan.

At the beginning of this year, ByteDance even held a month-long half-price in-app purchase event for Pico products. A byte employee said that at that time, the sales volume of in-app purchases was expected to be nearly 10,000 units.

Not only Pico, but at the end of last year, the original price of the Dream VR all-in-one machine released by iQiyi “Qiyu” was already 1999 yuan. During the 618 period, Qiyu’s products also broke the price range of 2,000 yuan.

“For many parents, one or two thousand is the usual price to buy toys for their children,” He Yang explained. For young people, the price of VR all-in-one machines is not expensive in electronic devices. “Switch has always been two or three thousand. It is still affordable to buy a VR all-in-one machine for more than one thousand, and you can also punch in and get cash back,” Yang Chao, a VR all-in-one player, told Tech Planet.

After punching in for three months, the price is halved, there is no reason to refund within seven days, and the purchase of equipment will send game content. These promotions reduce the consumption threshold in disguise.

Seizing the market through low prices is the common strategy of Pico and “Qiyu”. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg once said that once the number of users exceeds 10 million, the VR content and ecosystem will usher in explosive growth.

In fact, Pico and Qiyu have also had their own strategies in terms of content ecology in the past two years.

From celebrity concerts to virtual idol VR live broadcasts, ByteDance is trying to link all possible entertainment formats with VR. Since the launch of Neo3, Pico has held the VR concerts of Wang Feng, Wang Xi, Zheng Jun and many other stars, and these will be Pico’s exclusive content.

For the sake of the content ecology, ByteDance also made “dramatic” acquisitions or cooperation.Byte’s recent acquisition of “Wave Particles” is to expand VR social business.

Pico’s team is also rapidly expanding. According to public information, the total number of the Pico team has risen to more than 300 people, and various positions are still being recruited on ByteDance’s recruitment website. Ren Lifeng, director of Watermelon Video, Song Binghua, director of Douyin Variety Show, and Wu Zuomin, director of Douyin Entertainment, and other senior content personnel in entertainment have all transferred to the relevant departments of Pico.

Compared with the expansion of Pico, the team of “Adventure” is in a relatively stable state. At present, the team has about 100 people, and there is no obvious expansion of recruitment.

In terms of game ecology, “Adventure” follows a boutique strategy. “We are unlikely to introduce some games that are not of high quality and are purely random.” In addition, Qiyu noticed that VR players are more interested in online games, and they will take this type of content as one of the key directions in the future.

03 Metaverse: VR’s Consumer Stimulant

The craze of the Metaverse has brought the VR industry back to the public eye, but can the Metaverse really save VR?        

In fact, many industry practitioners told Tech Planet that many start-ups that are really doing VR do not like to label themselves as Metaverse. From an industrial point of view, for startups, the short-term Metaverse concept may be helpful in the financing stage, but it is very short-term and may cause some harm in the medium and long term. “After all, the Metaverse is still a concept. In the future, start-ups cannot realize it, and the industry may face another wave of doubts.”        

According to data from Zhiyan Consulting, the number of investments in China’s VR/AR industry in 2021 is 99, an increase of 38 compared with 2020, a year-on-year increase of 38.38%, but the investment amount decreased by 71.84% compared with 2020, reaching 10.92 billion yuan.        

Compared with the investment side, the greater promotion of Metaverse is on the C side. Many consumers flock to VR in order to visualize the concept of the Metaverse. Many VR players have sued Tech Planet that because the concept of the Metaverse became popular last year, they want to experience what the “Metaverse” is. Some players bluntly said, “I bought it last year because the Metaverse was hot, and the Quest equipment was cheap.”        

Chen Xin, CEO of Immersion World, and Qiyu officials also told Tech Planet that compared to the capital circle, the popularity of the Metaverse concept has a greater effect on C-end consumers. Some consumers choose to experience VR because they want to know what the Metaverse is. .        

It is for this reason that it is not electronic enthusiasts who wear VR head monitors to make friends, entertainment and fitness in the virtual world, but more electronic “noobs”. “Many children find it fun to experience, and parents buy it. They may not have heard of this brand before,” He Yang also told Tech Planet.        

“In the past few years, most of the VR users were more professional people with high hardware requirements. In other words, these people are professional gamers, and most of them have been in contact with PC-type VR equipment”, responsible for iQIYI Qiyu VR People told Tech Planet, “With the development of the market in the past two years, there have been a lot of mass users pouring in. Most of them have never been exposed to VR before, or have only watched and heard it.”        

In Chen Xin’s view, compared to before, consumers’ awareness of VR has improved. “In 2015, the damage to users was the greatest. Previously, the offline experience provided users with a very poor experience. Now users have a stronger stickiness to VR. In fact, the repurchase rate can already explain everything.”        

Bringing consumers may be the greater value of the Metaverse concept. Back in the industry, what everyone cares about is not the Metaverse, but the content ecology, technology and products.        

Although domestic manufacturers have continuously increased their investment in content in recent years, the current domestic VR content ecosystem is indeed richer than before. However, compared with overseas markets, there is still a big gap in the domestic VR content ecology.        

According to data from Zhiyan Consulting, the number of consumer VR applications in China will reach 13,165 in 2020, an increase of 3,728 from 2019, a year-on-year increase of 39.5%, but no phenomenon-level applications have yet appeared.        

At present, the game content of Pico and Qiyu is mainly based on introduction. Qiyu has a self-developed team but the content output accounts for a small proportion. “Players are now attracted by content. VR has grown rapidly overseas in the past two years because there are several killer applications, and no popular VR games have appeared in China,” a VR industry practitioner told Tech Planet.        

Chen Xin also said that from the perspective of VR users, the core thing that attracts attention is the content. “Because users don’t consume technology, they consume content, and content is completed on the basis of technology, so you have to give users better content.”        

VR player Liu Chang chose to buy Pico in order to better experience the VR chat app, but eventually returned the choice due to poor experience, and later bought Quest 2 from overseas. “The systems of the two are quite different. The ecology of Quest is obviously richer. I have paid for 4 or 5 games,” Liu Chang told Tech Planet.        

Hardware and content ecosystems actually complement each other. Only the continuous increase of VR equipment shipments can drive the output of VR content. Compared with the sales volume of Quest 2, domestic manufacturers still have a long way to go. For a long time in the future, expanding new users may still be the top priority of domestic VR manufacturers.        

This article is from the WeChat public account “Tech Planet” (ID: tech618) , author: Xi Rui

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/sales-tripled-shopping-for-price-wars-and-the-hidden-corner-of-the-metaverse-became-popular/
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