As consumers and investors fervently search for the next big thing, it often hides in plain sight. From past innovations like the automobile, to modern breakthroughs like the internet, world-altering ideas endure years of ridicule and rejection. However, there comes a time when these ideas become inevitable and are integrated into society. In the case of the metaverse, it may only be a matter of time before we see that long-anticipated boom.
“A metaverse is a virtual world where users share experiences and interact in real-time within simulated scenarios,” said Deepak Agarwal, Project Manager at GlobalData. “It is still largely conceptual but could transform how people work, shop, communicate, and consume content. Although it is in the early stages of development, it has the potential to be the next mega-theme in digital media.”
In 2021, the metaverse’s market size reached $22.9 billion. As companies continue to invest in the technology sector, the upside for something as dynamic as the metaverse is seemingly endless. According to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, the metaverse market will register an astonishing 39.8% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), reaching $996 billion in 2030.
Tech giants have dominated in North America and the Asia-Pacific region. Such support has pushed the metaverse to new heights, with 50% of its market share held between the two regions. Furthermore, the metaverse’s impact on media and entertainment has launched it to the forefront in recent years.
“As of 2021, media and entertainment markets captured a sizeable revenue share of the metaverse market,” said Agarwal. “The entertainment experience we have seen through metaverse has been through music and concerts. A couple of notable ones among them are the dead mouse performance at metaverse festival in Decentraland and the grimes-hosted concert that closed out metaverse fashion week. Also, in the non-blockchain world, Travis Scott in Fortnite had put on an enormous concert which showed $20 billion, including merchandise, versus the 1.7 billion from the regular show.”
The upside of the metaverse is implicit in its ability to give any industry a unique virtual platform. Whether that be through a single event or a virtual place of operation, the metaverse provides enterprises the opportunity to connect with consumers from around the world. As a result, some of the industry’s most revered tech titans have acknowledged the metaverse’s diverse potential.
“The hype around the metaverse is largely focused on consumer use cases. Gaming and social media companies are at the vanguard, but enterprises will lead the charge in the next five years. This shift will be driven by the future of work and digital transformation initiatives ongoing across sectors ranging from retail to healthcare and financial services. Big Tech is championing the metaverse, with Microsoft and Meta promoting it as the ideal environment to support hybrid working,” according to GlobalData’s recent metaverse report.
Where the metaverse goes from here largely depends on the progression of technology. Although the metaverse brings a lot to the table, the way it interacts with blockchain, AR, VR, AdTech, payment platforms, machine learning, data governance and many other technologies is where its value truly lies.
“The large-scale adoption of next-gen technologies including AR and VR will accentuate the adoption of metaverse by most of the stakeholders involved,” said Agarwal.
Ultimately, it’s not far-fetched to say the metaverse will grow exponentially in the coming years. With its standalone virtual offerings, as well as the way it complements the world’s current technologies, it very well could be one of the most prominent advancements of this generation. Although, whether or not it ascends to such heights by 2030 depends on consumers, technology and other factors out of its control.