ByteDance quietly put together the “three-piece set” of the Metaverse

Finding new growth is urgent, the Metaverse is far

In order to buy the “Internet ticket for the next 10 years” in Ma Huateng’s mouth, ByteDance has spent tens of billions of yuan in real money.

From the acquisition of the VR company Pico and the game company Mutong, to the launch of social products Pixsoul and Party Island, to the virtual girl group A-SOUL and the virtual person “Li Weike”, in just a few months, the word of running fast The festival beat, and quietly put together the “Metaverse three-piece set” of hardware, games and social interaction.

Buying a ticket is not difficult for ByteDance, which has a lot of money and power. But this “Noah’s Ark”, which seems to have huge imagination space, has not yet found a clear route. The new era of Internet navigation is beginning, eager to explore the byte-beating of the next new continent, can we successfully reach the other side of the infinite vitality and “money scene”?

01 The three sharp blades all point to the Metaverse

In layman’s terms, the Metaverse is an artificial space that is parallel to the real world. It can also be understood as the artificial creation of a parallel world using technologies such as AR, VR, and blockchain (see Snow Leopard Financial News’ report “20 Questions and Answers for Meta”). Cosmic Makeup Remover).

One of the core concepts of the Metaverse is high immersion.

In January 2022, ByteDance launched the Metaverse social app “Party Island”. In this online world, users can create their own avatars, chat with friends, go shopping, watch movies, and enjoy an immersive social experience, which is similar to the Xiyang App previously launched by Baidu. Previously, the Metaverse social platform Pixsoul launched by Byte has been launched in Southeast Asia.

Games that also emphasize immersion are currently the largest output of Metaverse concepts – Roblox, the first share of the Metaverse with a market value of over $40 billion, was born on this track.

In February 2021, ByteDance launched the game brand “Dawn and Night Light Year”. In March, ByteDance spent US$4 billion to acquire Mutong Games, and a month later spent hundreds of millions of yuan to acquire mobile game developer Youai Interactive Entertainment.

To achieve a highly immersive experience in the Metaverse, it is inseparable from the support of underlying hard technologies such as VR, which are the key to opening the door to the Metaverse world.

In August last year, Zhou Hongwei, founder of smart wearable device brand Pico, announced the news of the acquisition by Byte in an internal letter. According to public reports from many domestic media, the purchase price is about 9 billion yuan.

ByteDance quietly put together the "three-piece set" of the Metaverse

(Li Weike, the first virtual person to receive financing this year, source: Li Weike’s official account on Douyin)

With the current technical conditions, games, social networking and VR are the three cores of the Metaverse, and Byte has quietly collected a “three-piece set” with real money.

In addition, the virtual human track, another emerging application of the Metaverse, has already been laid out by Byte. In January 2022, ByteDance exclusively invested in Li Weike, an AI virtual digital man. At the end of 2020, the virtual idol girl group A-SOUL jointly planned by Byte and Lehua Entertainment has officially “debuted”.

02 Bytes need new stories

ByteDance urgently needs to find new growth points.

In the cold winter of the Internet in 2021, Chinese stocks have plummeted, Internet companies have collectively stalled, and the dividend period of rapid development has drifted away. The pivotal Internet “third pole” ByteDance is no exception.

According to Reuters, ByteDance’s revenue in 2021 is US$58 billion (about 368.7 billion yuan), a year-on-year increase of 70%, a sharp drop from the 111% growth rate in 2020. It was also in this year that Byte’s domestic advertising revenue stopped growing for the first time since it was commercialized in 2013.

The more serious fact is that ByteDance’s user base is facing a growth bottleneck that is difficult to break through. In June 2020, Douyin announced that DAU exceeded 600 million; in September 2021, Douyin officially disclosed DAU data of 640 million.

In the past 10 years, the achievements of Toutiao and Douyin have helped Byte to complete the growth from zero to one and from one to ten in the era of graphic texts and short videos. Will the Metaverse be the next outlet? Can it help ByteDance realize its dream of dominating the next era?

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Metaverse market size is expected to reach $467.4 billion in 2025. Borrowing the wings of the Metaverse, many companies’ stock prices have taken off. After Facebook announced in September 2021 that it would change its name to Meta and be all in the Metaverse, the stock price rose to an all-time high of $384.33.After Microsoft confirmed its entry into the Metaverse in November 2021, its market value rose by more than $2.5 trillion, surpassing Apple to become the world’s most valuable company.

This also means that there are many new and old giants who also have money, technology and traffic to rush into this seemingly unlimited track.

As early as 2020, Ma Huateng proposed the concept of a full-fledged Internet, and Tencent is also included in the shareholder list of Roblox, the first share of the Metaverse. Baidu launched the social Metaverse app Xiyang, and NetEase, which has obvious advantages in the game field, showed off a “Metaverse” gong when NetEase Cloud Music went public.Ali set up an XR laboratory in October 2021 to study AR, VR and other underlying technologies closely related to the Metaverse.

ByteDance quietly put together the "three-piece set" of the Metaverse

(On December 27, 2021, Baidu released the Metaverse product “Xi Rong”)

The horn has not yet sounded, the battlefield of the Metaverse has long been filled with smoke, and storytelling is not enough. With many opponents, can ByteDance break out of the encirclement?

03 See the sea of ​​stars near and far

Just like Columbus set foot on the American continent more than 500 years ago, the giants hold the tickets of the Metaverse and are scrambling to grab the next new continent of the Internet. That could be a brave new world of gold and springs.

But before that, the first thing they have to face is starvation, turbulent seas, endless waiting and confusion during the journey.

As of now, the Metaverse business of most companies is still in the stage of burning money.

After changing the company’s name to Meta and all in the Metaverse, Zuckerberg had long predicted that the possibility of this business being profitable in the next three years would be very small, but Reality Labs, which burned more than $20 billion in three years, still broke through. People’s fanatical fantasies about the Metaverse.

After the 2021 Q4 financial report was announced on February 3, Meta’s stock price has fallen by more than 24%, and the market value has evaporated by more than 200 billion US dollars. Zuckerberg’s net worth also shrunk by $31 billion in one day.

GF Securities said that virtual idols may become the first profitable projects in the Metaverse. Tianfeng Securities also believes that the first-stage Metaverse that empowers social interaction, entertainment, and allows people to gain immersive content experience can be realized in the next 10 years (2021-2030).

However, in the face of high costs and crowded tracks, it is not easy for ByteDance to stand out.

According to an industry report released by iiMedia Research, the production of 3D virtual idols, the investment of painters and modeling concepts can reach hundreds of thousands to millions of yuan. If a virtual idol needs to release a single, including arrangement, modeling, image design, stage plan customization, etc., the cost is as high as 2 million yuan, excluding communication costs.

The virtual beauty expert “Liu Yexi” who has exploded on Douyin once revealed to the Beijing News that in the more than half a year before the launch of Liu Yexi, the investment in research and development costs, personnel costs, and technology costs “far exceeded million”.

ByteDance quietly put together the "three-piece set" of the Metaverse

(Liu Yexi, who has more than 8.62 million Douyin fans after only 8 works, source: Liu Yexi Douyin official account)

Games are also seen as the closest landing scenario to the Metaverse. But right now, Metaverse games are still at a stage where the gimmick outweighs the reality.

Take the Mutong game that Byte has invested heavily in mergers and acquisitions as an example. Its biggest cash cow comes from its “Endless Showdown”, which is a MOBA game (multiplayer online tactical competitive game), similar to “King of Glory”, and Yuan Dynasty. The concept of the universe is not very relevant. Affected by factors such as technical limitations, the Metaverse did not bring substantial help to the game.

In September 2021, Zhongqingbao, an A-share Metaverse concept stock, disclosed that the Metaverse game “Brewer Master” was launched. Since then, the stock price has soared, from 8 yuan to 42.63 yuan, the highest point in November.However, with the disclosure of results and the receipt of several consecutive inquiry letters from the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, Zhongqingbao gradually faded from the background of the Metaverse, and the stock price fell all the way to 26.32 yuan, a drop of nearly 40%.

In addition to being difficult to realize, Byte has to break through the shortcomings of the underlying technology on the road to the Metaverse. The realization of the Metaverse full-real experience requires complex and huge underlying technical support, including 5G and 6G network infrastructure, AI chips, ARVR, etc. Compared with the laboratory and team of scientists of the old Internet giant BAT, Byte Lab appears to be “weak.”

From this dimension, the ByteDance of collecting the “three-piece set” and winning the “ship ticket” of the Metaverse is still far from the next Internet New World.

Risk warning and disclaimer: There are risks in the market, and investment should be cautious. This article does not constitute investment advice, nor does it serve as a practical operation advice, and the transaction is at your own risk.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
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