VR Adult Content Searches Spike by 115% in 5 Months
- Searches for "VR porn" have gone up significantly the last six months
- A correlation is seen between the launch of Oculus VR glasses and searches for adult content
Data from Ahrefs and Google Trends indicates that searches for VR adult content have risen significantly in the last six months - second only to the volume of searches seen during launch of the first ever VR headset in 2016.
These searches correlate almost directly with either new releases of VR technology or the Christmas sales rush seen via VR app installations year-on-year. BanklessTimes.com takes a look at the relationship between VR popularity and searches for “VR Porn” - and why this year it may be more popular than ever.
VR’s first launch
The first Oculus VR console was launched in October 2016. In December that year, Oculus launched the Oculus Touch, a pair of tracked controllers that give you the feeling that your ‘virtual’ hands are actually your own hands.
The same month, searches for “VR Porn” reached an all-time high, according to data from Ahrefs. Globally, there were over 1.2 million searches for the term in December - a huge spike in interest that has not been repeated since.
Oculus Quest 2 sparks more hot searches
Another correlation can be seen in 2020. In September 2020, the Oculus Quest 2 was unveiled. The self-contained virtual reality headset, developed by Facebook Labs, was resoundingly successful. In Q1 of 2021, the headset sold an estimated 1.87 million units worldwide.
At the same time, searches for “VR Porn” were also on the rise - going from over 267k in September 2020 and peaking at 579k monthly searches in January 2021, with Christmas being a particularly popular time for both VR sales and VR adult content every year.
Finally, the term also started rising in search from September 2021 before peaking once again in January 2022 with the second highest total monthly searches at over 922k. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) the headset market grew by 92.1% in 2021 compared to the previous year - with half of those sales coming from the last quarter of 2021 i.e. October to December.
Ever since 2016 when the Oculus headset was first launched, searches for “VR Porn” spike every December - the most popular time of year for VR player sales.
Christmas sees huge correlation in VR popularity and VR adult content searches
In the last few years, Christmas has been a milestone day for VR developers. Sales and app installations indicate that the Christmas period is regularly the biggest growth day the companies in this field see all year. Over the Christmas weekend in 2021, for example, installations of the Oculus app jumped by 150%.
A report from Digital Adult Content predicted the VR adult content market will increase from $716 million in 2021 to $19 billion in 2026, indicating that the most recent spike in searches may just be the beginning of an increasingly mainstream use for VR technology.
VR adult content value expected to hit EUR 15.5 billion
Looking towards the future, the installed base of VR headsets is expected to surpass 34 million by 2024 - while the IDC predicts the VR and AR market value to reach EUR15.5 billion by the end of 2022.
Meanwhile, the VR adult content industry is likewise set to grow alongside the popularity of wider VR use. The global value of the VR adult content market is expected to increase to $19bn by 2026. A 2021 report on Digital Adult Content actually goes so far as to urge mainstream adult content platforms such as PornHub to form partnerships with VR content providers to support this new revenue stream.
Jonathan Merry, CEO of Bankless Times says:
“With VR consoles already booming in popularity and the Oculus Quest 3 set to release in late 2023, it’s inevitable that searches for all-things virtual reality are only going upwards. With the digital adult content industry value set to hit over 200bn USD by 2030, it will be interesting to see just how much of an impact VR and other innovative technologies will have on this figure in the years to come.”