Virtual reality may have a future as an advertising medium. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and its Mobile Marketing and Digital Video Centers of Excellence has released “Is Virtual the New Reality?: A Market Snapshot of VR Publishing and Monetization,” exploring virtual reality’s promise and pitfalls as the “the next big thing” in digital advertising.

“We have only scratched the surface of what virtual reality, augmented reality, and 360-degree video can offer as advertising channels,” says Anna Bager, senior vice president and general manager, mobile and video, at IAB. “The Pokémon Go phenomenon has raised the profile of AR and VR, bringing the power of the medium into the mainstream, just as major brands and publishers have begun to tap into its breathtakingly immersive capabilities. IAB is committed to helping drive VR forward as a robust marketing platform—and terminology, definitions and emerging ad formats are all in the works.”

Interviewing two dozen leaders in advertising, publishing, VR software, and developer platforms, the report offers key takeaways, lessons learned and future plans in the emerging virtual reality field, including thoughts on augmented reality and 360-degree video. Those surveyed highlighted immersive storytelling, shopping and product demos, and the medium’s power to stir emotions in a new way, as some of virtual reality’s major strengths. They also noted that virtual reality’s current rate of adoption could lead to monetization challenges given the limited audience.

The IAB “Is Virtual the New Reality?: A Market Snapshot of VR Publishing and Monetization” report can be downloaded at