Wevr – the Netflix of Virtual Reality

Creating a cirtual reality community

Wevr (pronounced weaver) aims to create a network of content and community for virtual reality. With Facebook, Sony, HTC, Samsung, Microsoft, Nvidia, Valve, and other companies investing in virtual reality hardware, Wevr believes the best content will come from independent studios. And when VR devices go mainstream, Wevr would be the platform ready to deliver a rich library of content.

Transport is Wevr’s online VR content network where creators will be able to publish their work and users will be able to experience them. It is a solution for serving, hosting, and producing VR content across every headset. The CEO of Wevr referred to Transport as the “Netflix of VR” because it’s a platform-agnostic, one-stop browsing shop. [2]

Value Creation

  • Content creators: The biggest challenge that independent VR filmmakers face today is the access to appropriate technology to create VR works. Transport creates value by helping these filmmaker throughout the entire process. [1]
    • Software: Transport offers software that’s based on an open VR medium format. The technology comprises consumer apps accessible on various HMDs, user and maker cloud services, and a VR engine that delivers high performance playback and rendering. [3]
    • Promotion & publishing: Transport is a community of VR creators and consumers. It provides VR filmmakers access to audiences and the expertise of promoting the content.
  • Hardware manufacturers: Today, the progress of VR hardware development is ahead of the content. It’s a chicken and egg situation where the industry needs both the hardware and the content to be sophisticated enough for mass adoption. The hardware manufacturers including Samsung Ventures and HTC both invested in Wevr’s Transport network.
  • End consumer- Transport is an aggregated one-stop platform where they can get access to a rich library of device-agnostic contents.

Value Capture

  • Wevr’s Transport network have an annual subscription model that charges the end consumers for the VR contents.
    • Mobile $8/ year (360 video only)
    • PC & Mobile $20/yr (360 video + room scale)
  • The network currently supports HTC Vive and Oculus Gear, but shortly will be supporting Google Daydream and Oculus Rift.

Recommendation

  1. Double down investments on the creator’s community and content development: As the hardware development is ahead of the content today, VR mass adoption would only happen when the content quality and quantity reach a certain threshold. In order to grow, Wevr needs to grow the industry, therefore the most important task is to fill the content gap. This might include launching programs to attract more talents into content creation.
  2. Explore new revenue model: The subscription model makes more sense when there’s a wide array of content available and consumer can frequently revisit to enjoy new VR films. At the platform’s early stage, the content available are still very limited, so Wevr should consider partnering with the device providers to offer end consumer a package deal with shared revenue, where the consumer can access the library when the device is purchased. The consumer’s price sensitivity is also lower during the time of device purchase, giving Wevr an opportunity to charge a higher price.
  3. Preempt competition: As the VR industry is still in its early stage, it’s very unclear how the industry would eventually be structured. Wevr should work closely with hardware providers and keep up with any new trend of content specification and distribution. What they don’t want is to be disrupted by new specification and distribution system during mass adoption. They should also think about partnering with other channels before they turn into competition. (i.e. GooglePlay)

 

Reference

[1] http://fortune.com/2016/02/05/wevr-launching-youtube-of-virtual-reality/

[2] https://www.engadget.com/2016/02/19/wevr-the-virtual-reality-studio-you-need-to-know/

[3] https://medium.com/make-brave-vr/introducing-transport-wevr-s-vr-network-7c7f58b0f042

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2 thoughts on “Wevr – the Netflix of Virtual Reality

  1. Hi Megan! Great post! I really liked your insight that at such an early stage when not much content is available, a subscription model might not make a lot of sense. However, Wevr’s overall value creation is very interesting. I had a few questions around this:
    1. What is the value sharing strategy of Wevr? For e.g. how much percentage of the subscription revenue is given to the content creators?
    2. Just how Netflix an Amazon Video is getting into content creation, do you think Wevr would also benefit by getting into content creation themselves? Or do you think that VR is still a nascent technology for Wevr to make this investment?

  2. Great post Megan! For content creation, on the hardware side there is also a need for affordable VR cameras (current offerings are in the thousands of dollars). In comparing Wevr and Netflix, I think a lot of users got onto the Netflix platform since they found it easier (compared to other video sharing companies) to access movies and documentaries they already wanted – however for Wevr it seems this will not be the case as the company first needs to figure out how to build a user base and only then focus on creating its own content. Are there any other ways Wevr is considering to entice users onto the platform?

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