Trefis Team, Contributor
Recently, News Corp Australia made its first seed investment in augmented reality company Plattar — a cloud based platform that allows publishers to create, manage and distribute augmented reality content. The Plattar platform comprises a template driven app builder and content management system for managing augmented reality experiences and can deploy content to any device. Augmented reality is touted to be the next major component in consumer engagement, especially in the real estate and gaming. News Corp’s investment appears to be aimed at tapping the potential of this technology. According to a report by Manatt digital media, augmented reality is expected to generate $80 billion in revenue (excluding hardware) by 2020 and become the backbone of immersive journalism where readers can experience a story and be part of it. We believe News Corp’s digital real estate business can get a boost by use of augmented reality technology and an immersive consumer experience can drive the company’s revenues in future.
Digital Real Estate A Key Growth Driver For News Corp
According to our estimates, the Digital Real Estate segment accounts for more than 15% of News Corp’s valuation and we expect revenues of this division to increase from around 0.92 billion in 2016 to more than 1.31 billion by the end of our forecast period.
This segment drives revenues by selling online advertising services on its residential real estate and commercial property sites We believe the introduction of augmented reality on such websites can attract more consumers. The trial conducted by the company with Plattar for its digital real estate subsidiary REA group was successful in simplifying the property search process by allowing the user to find their ideal property via a visual search. To use the technology, the end user needs to download the app and scan the print listing on his smartphone. The app then gives 3D interactive images of location map and information about the property. This improves and simplifies the user experience to search for the desired property.
Augmented and virtual reality technology is expected to change the real estate market in future. Recently, the luxury home real estate company Southeby’s started to use virtual reality headsets to showcase high end homes in the U.S. Other property companies are also launching virtual reality property tours at their offices, as the ability to see a property without actually visiting it proving extremely useful for investors looking to buy properties in locations away from their city or country. We believe News Corp’s investment in this area will boost its digital real estate business and provide a competitive edge to the company in future.