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The Metaverse – a game-changer for content creators

15 February, 2022

Simon Harris

Technology, Media & Telecommunications Valuations Partner, PwC United Kingdom

+44 (0)7841 490474

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The metaverse provides immersive ways to engage consumers - and a huge commercial opportunity to creators agile enough to adapt to its possibilities.

The hype around the metaverse reminds me of the earlier days of social media. Many were unsure whether it was a flash-in-the-pan or if it had real substance. Safe to say we all know how that panned out.

For me, the metaverse represents a ‘reboot’ of the internet, something far more immersive and interoperable. There’s huge potential for content owners and creators – music and video in particular. In video gaming we are already seeing uploads of DIY games and concerts being hosted in video game environments.

Although a game-changer, I don’t think the metaverse will replace other channels (e.g. the screen, attending performances in real-life). It will be complementary, driving innovation and incremental revenue streams. Gartner believe that by 2026, 25% of people will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse1 - significant but hardly the full span of our entertainment consumption time. Successfully harnessing the metaverse’s potential will rely not just on strong IP, but an understanding of how different technologies can support creators. So let’s explore.

AI will play a significant role. It will be used more in the creation process; helping to curate an evermore bewildering level of consumer choice. It will also help define the worlds into which people immerse themselves. Other technologies will need to advance to make the metaverse a reality, from hardware like headsets or AR glasses to faster bandwidths via 5G and beyond.

“The metaverse will be a vastly different experience, putting pressure on creators to adapt to make the most of the immersive environment and maximise impact. ‘Uberfans’ will be able to join the red carpet crowd at the Bond premiere, get backstage access to their favourite band, or be immersed in a spin-off of their favourite TV show. ”


So I do think there is a huge commercial opportunity. NFTs and blockchain will be facilitators, but with quite a different role to today. NFTs will support commercial activity but, outside of gaming and luxury brands, I’m not yet convinced that owning NFT collectibles connected to music artists or TV shows will supersede other means of consumption.

Trust will be a huge factor, echoing some of the concerns around social media. Participants in this alternative world, and government bodies, will need to consider its governance. 

None of this is going to happen overnight. Many are already dipping their toes in the water, as the major IP owners know they cannot afford to be left behind. And no doubt many of the entertainment giants will continue to dominate, as they have successfully navigated other technological shifts. But what is clear is that anyone operating in the media content arena needs to start thinking about their engagement now.

Some are doing this through partnerships, learning from other parties’ strengths. The data-savvy players can use this to target what their audience is looking for.

However the metaverse pans out, it seems inevitable that the impact will be far-reaching. The positive is that there are many potential rewards for content creators and owners who are agile. For more on this topic, please watch my interview with Nick Callaghan, Head of Industry, Entertainment at Meta.

1 “What is a Metaverse”, January 28, 2022

Simon Harris

Technology, Media & Telecommunications Valuations Partner, PwC United Kingdom

+44 (0)7841 490474

Email

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Simon Harris

Simon Harris

Technology, Media & Telecommunications Valuations Partner, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7841 490474

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