I know how it works: trends flash and fade like neon lights on a nighttime boulevard. The metaverse was a huge neon sign for a long time, full of hype and little reality. Thus, the metaverse, that nebulous realm of digital experience, has been caught in a tug-of-war between exuberant optimism and skeptical scrutiny.
As the world speeds forward, one newly published report from Market.us dares to paint a picture of what lies ahead – a forecast that goes against the currents of conventional wisdom.
The report, akin to a torchbearer guiding us through the digital labyrinth, predicts a metaverse that will swell by over 40 percent each year, catapulting its annual value from a present $64 billion to a staggering $2.3 trillion by the eve of 2023. A prediction that stirs the senses, echoing the excitement of prospectors who once sought gold in uncharted territories.
Yet, the fervor surrounding this projection stands in stark contrast to the whispers circulating in certain circles – those who dismiss the metaverse as a mere relic of last year’s buzzword heap. But the question that persists, like an itch beneath the skin, is whether these conflicting narratives merely reflect divergent interpretations of an intricate amalgamation of gaming and interactive formats.
Market.us, with its report, embarks on a quest to cast a broad net over this ephemeral concept of the metaverse, drawing diverse entities into its fold. Here, gaming giants like Epic and the social media titan Facebook stand shoulder to shoulder, intertwined with financial institutions venturing into the nebulous realms of crypto and the Web3 domains. The definition, you see, is an ever-shifting canvas – a tapestry woven by the actions and interactions of its inhabitants.
But how does one define this elusive metaverse? Market.us’s interpretation beckons us to conceive of digital arenas where human interactions transcend the mundane, where individuals partake in a dance with multidimensional content, overshadowing the traditional confines of the written word. The landscape is dotted with metaverse initiatives from around the world, even if many of these embryonic ventures took their first breaths in the bygone days of 2022.
Amidst the frenzy of the media’s rapid cyclone, a cadre of steadfast entities remains unwaveringly committed to the metaverse’s trajectory. Luxury brands, those we associate with opulence and extravagance, align themselves with metaverse gaming like Roblox and Fortnight. Meanwhile, the monolithic presence known as Meta is refining its foray into gaming through Horizon Worlds, a realm that witnesses the triumphant launch of the acclaimed shooter Super Rumble.
In a candid conversation with BeetTV, Sarah Stringer, the EVP of US Media Partnerships at Dentsu Media, dispenses sagely advice to brands that dare tread upon the metaverse’s hallowed ground. “When contemplating the metaverse,” she intones, “one must strip away the word and simply contemplate immersive experiences.” A perspective as profound as it is pragmatic, reminding us that slow adoption of virtual reality and the lofty price tags of novelties like Apple Vision Pro have engendered a skewed perception of the market’s value. While some may linger in skepticism, metaverse spaces on everyday devices, from gaming consoles to smartphones, wield magnetic allure, casting their spell, especially on the young and the digitally native.
Yet, another voice emerges from the crowded theater of discourse – a recent publication from the media haven of OMG Futures, christened “Avoiding the Regretaverse.” In this missive, a clarion call reverberates against the hollowness of unfounded optimism and the pitfalls of unbridled exuberance. The metaverse, the report claims, remains ensnared in a tapestry woven by exaggeration and misrepresentation, trodden upon by the footfalls of ‘hyperbolists’ who spin their wild tales of the technology’s prowess.
This proclamation comes not from a detached observer but from a stakeholder vested in the gaming and metaverse marketing domains. Yet, it offers a tempered view, eschewing the monolithic perception of the metaverse in favor of a perspective that portrays it as a harbinger of changing consumer dynamics. Behaviors are poised to shift, the prophets declare, consumers are to transform, and brands are to metamorphose.
Behold the statistics, for they are harbingers of change. Gen Z, that digital generation, presently dedicates 15 percent of their ‘fun budget’ to the metaverse, a percentage predicted to ascend to a resonating 20 percent by the year 2027. As the clock turns, nearly two billion denizens across the globe will spend an hour or more daily within the metaverse’s digital embrace, an embrace that spans work, commerce, education, camaraderie, and entertainment. Herein lies the birth of a virtual goods market, a market that may burgeon to a bewildering $200 billion in valuation.
Penned by Phil Rowley, the harbinger of futures at OMG Futures, the report resonates with an oracle’s timbre. Rowley paints a narrative that portends a watershed moment in the annals of mediated communication, a moment where brands must transmute to stay afloat amidst the tidal wave of transformation.
A sentiment echoed by Sarah Stringer and Phil Rowley alike, the metaverse is unveiled as both a mirage of overinflated promises and a tapestry woven with threads of underappreciation. A dichotomy where some march to the rhythm of unrealistic short-term aspirations, while others remain seemingly paralyzed to confront the cataclysmic shift looming on the distant horizon.
They beckon media brands to embrace a strategic and far-reaching perspective. Stringer, a luminary in the digital expanse, calls for introspection into immersive brand assets, the adornments that individuals don in this ethereal realm. Indeed, the metaverse bridges the chasm between brands and individuals, forging novel connections that defy the boundaries of convention.
Rowley’s voice resonates in harmony, offering a tapestry of wisdom woven with strands of guidance. Brands are urged to sculpt their definitions of the metaverse, to shun misconceptions, to position gaming as a portal to the masses. A clarion call is sounded, beckoning brands not to relinquish advertising but to extend its tendrils into the new domain, to navigate the realms with discernment, embracing strategies that embrace both sophistication and reach.
And what of the future? The metaverse, in its infancy, is likened to an unpolished diamond. A diamond that Bain & Company, in its report “Taking the Hyperbole Out of the Metaverse,” envisions as a treasure chest brimming with a $900 billion bounty by the dawn of 2030. However, this same report acknowledges a paradox – while the metaverse’s hype has waned like the embers of a once-blazing fire, its evolution will remain unhurried, taking five to ten more years to reach a semblance of maturity.
The metaverse is not a singular platform, a solitary behemoth, but an ecosystem where diverse platforms intermingle, each attracting their legions of devotees. The competition for dominion is fierce, and within this arena of digital dreams, virtual experiences rise like titans, claiming a significant 65% of the metaverse market share by 2030. App stores, devices, infrastructure, and content-creation tools follow in procession, a symphony of