The Metaverse promises a transformation of the internet as we know it, offering rich virtual experiences to users and opportunities for businesses to connect with customers on a level never before possible. Driven by blockchain and virtual reality technology, the Metaverse is growing in popularity and attracting the attention of investors and developers, and a recent report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) predicts a substantial growth in the market during the coming years.
The report, “The Future of Sales and Marketing Is Here,” puts a spotlight on the Metaverse, highlighting the increase in readiness from consumers and the growth in big tech investment as key factors. Major tech companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Meta (formerly known as Facebook) have made significant investments in the space, from Meta’s $10 billion rebranding to Microsoft’s $70 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Even consultancies such as PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have gotten into virtual land speculation, investing undisclosed sums in digital real estate in The Sandbox, one of several metaverse platforms based on blockchain technology.
The convergence of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have resulted in the first mixed-reality devices from Apple and Meta, and the report suggests that several breakthroughs can be expected this year through devices, enablers, content, and corporate adoption. Consumers seem to be ready, too, with 65% of Gen Z consumers having spent money on a virtual item that exists only within a video game, according to the report.
It’s likely that venture capital investment will drive new startups to increase the production of new content and integrations with current systems, with interoperability predicted to remain limited, and an expected 43% share of value expected to accrue to content providers by 2025. The firm warns that computing power and network capabilities are likely to remain a challenge for the foreseeable future, but it encourages marketers and salespeople to embrace the exploration of new channels brought about by the increasing use of the varied virtual worlds.
While some may dismiss the Metaverse as overhyped and over-specialized, businesses are clearly taking note of the new digital world’s potential to reach consumers with hyper-personalized, real-time, cutting-edge experiences that create communities and connections that go far beyond traditional ways of living, working, and doing business.