Remember Neo from Matrix? Or Jake Sully meandering about the ‘flying mountains’ of Pandora in Avatar? You are soon going to do all that and more by embracing Metaverse. Imagine yourself orchestrating your work and leisure as Tony Stark wearing Augmented Reality glasses and instructing dear Jarvis on the go.
In the evolution of technology, we have reached a point to embrace the next big thing. Lo and behold, here’s Metaverse, a new dimension for which, we the custodians of communication need to prepare and adopt early.
For starters, it began with Blockchain which led to decentralised finance using Cryptocurrencies and NFTs. These boost Web 3 where business on the internet will proliferate and enable us to live in our Avatars in the infinite dimension of Metaverse.
Metaverse is seeing an early adoption in the gaming, culture, and entertainment industries. Yet this virtual universe is much larger than just gaming. It’s about an entire digital playing ground that will encompass how people interact, how they consume traditional media, engage with celebs and KOLs, converse with their teams, purchase products, etc. It is about enabling collaborative 3D environments via the internet, with the purpose to increase their engagement through immersive experiences.
What’s in it for the media and entertainment World
The internet today is getting steadier at 15 to 20 percent of the GDP of the world economy. Entertainment, Media, Cinema are a significantly smaller part of it. With Metaverse we are going to witness cross-proliferation of media extending into gaming and similar simulated environments. This presents the immense opportunity to incorporate talent deals with influencers of all spheres. Kamal Hassan made entered the Metaverse with his avatar exploring the emerging intersection of the digital and physical world. Globally stars like Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, Rihanna, Migos are already a part of it. In the NFT world, Amitabh Bachchan clocked close to $970,000 from the auction of his digital memorabilia. Salman Khan follows suit with Bollywood’s biggest NFT drop to date with Bollycoin powered by NFTically. From popularity level medium to large all influencers are jumping on the NFT bandwagon.
What it means for the businesses and enterprises
Metaverse for enterprises is already in play where companies like Reliance Industries, HDFC Life, and others are creating simulated 3D environments for collaborative training and development. New Delhi-based XR Central (XRC), an extended reality-based products solutions company, helps its clients create immersive collaborative virtual spaces such as experience centres, museums, virtual retail stores, and gaming engines. Here’s an important fact – the Chinese gaming giant companies Tencent, Bilibili, and NetEase, and China’s biggest telecoms have joined forces with several tech companies to form the Metaverse Industry Committee in China. They aim to bring in policies and create a charter of the same.
Big bucks await for the individuals
Many avatar technology companies partnering with Influencer marketing agencies are collaborating worldwide. The firm Plutoverse has conceptualised a virtual avatar for adults called DeerDost on Instagram. It will be a part of India’s first adult animated web series. The firm aims to create more virtual avatars, virtual versions of icons from Bollywood and sports, virtual worlds, and so on. Various touchpoints can further be created for these virtual avatars, such as the NFTs, digital merchandise, animated shows, virtual concerts, and more.
With so much activity taking place, the Metaverse is expected to bring in great scope for profitability for the individuals and brands. Globally its market size was about $47.69 billion in 2020 and will grow to $828.95 billion by 2028, as per the Emergen Research report.
As the metaverse shall soon become the successor to Web 2.0, who builds it, and how, is extremely important to the future of the economy and society as a whole. Mark Zuckerberg has been advocating and promoting the Metaverse concept for a few years. He has acquired Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality companies to build the ecosystem. Among the latest step was to rename Facebook as ‘Meta Platforms, Inc.,’ committing $10 billion to develop the Metaverse as the next version of the internet. But then neither can it be built overnight nor by just one entity.
The Metaverse is poised for infinite growth that will have immense opportunities for marketing, branding, and communications. It’s going to be a marketer’s paradise where creativity and imagination will fuel engagement.
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