Long live VR

I don’t love ads.

But, I love virtual reality.

Like many of you, my first VR experience was through an Oculus DK1. I bought it from the original Kickstarter as a Christmas present from myself to myself (yes, I’m lame), and it took about a minute of usage for me to fall in love with VR.

The real backstory of why I bought an Oculus DK1 in the first place is very weird. Basically, I am a huge space exploration fan. I have a poster of Elon Musk next to my bed, a Saturn V model on my desk, I listen to Carl Sagan to get myself to sleep, you know, the whole “weird guy package”. And, I am utterly unsatisfied that I was born 15 years too early to spend my teenage years summer vacations on Mars. So, I thought I would try to simulate Mars as closely as possible. I therefore bought the only device I knew was capable of doing that: an Oculus DK1.

And boy did it work.

So, no, I’m not some AdTech guy who saw a niche in virtual reality and jumped on it. I am a virtual reality guy who happens to think that allowing developers to monetize through other means than selling their app upfront is not such an abomination. Most VR apps already can’t justify $5 a download, and as the market gets more and more competitive, it’s going to get harder to convince users to pay a price upfront for an experience. As a big VR user myself, I want to enjoy as many apps as possible. Making them free makes it a no-brainer to download and try them all. And the only option for that to happen (and for the developer to actually be able to feed himself) is through ads.

This, is why Retinad exists.

Some of you might consider us “evil”, and I can’t entirely blame you for thinking that. After all, we are part of a business sector that is trying to sell you a bunch of stuff that you don’t need (I must admit however that ShamWow is indeed pretty good).

But, I think we’re the good guys, and that we have a shot at actually making ads fun, for once. Virtual reality is simply awesome, and most VR video ads I have experienced so far are so cool that I would download and watch them on their own, even despite the fact that they are ads.

Maybe that’s because VR is still new, but somehow, despite the hundreds of hours I spent with a headset strapped on my face and the fact that I literally download everything that comes out on Oculus Share, I would still love being exposed to these advertising experiences. But again, maybe that’s just me, as I wrote earlier, I’m a bit weird.

Anyways… The bottom line is: I don’t like ads more than you do. But I think that easy monetization will help drive up the quality and the quantity of content created for VR and we all know that content is key for the success of VR.

Long live VR.

-Sam, co-founder @ Retinad VR