Roblox, the concept stock of Yuan Universe , was listed in the United States on March 10, 2021, and Yuan Universe began to accelerate into people’s field of vision. Some people are very optimistic about Metaverse and call it the “Next Generation Internet.” Many giants have also laid out the meta universe one after another, wanting to be the first person to eat crabs. And new things are always accompanied by opportunities and challenges.
Google’s popularity trend of the meta universe
Previously, 01 Blockchain issued a summary of the seven major challenges of Metaverse, including intellectual property disputes, data protection and privacy concerns, challenges to existing laws, suitable currencies and payment systems, challenges from existing technologies, and the public The low acceptance and the high input of Metaverse can easily lead to monopoly. However, opportunities are always accompanied by challenges. This article focuses on the opportunities that Metaverse brings to the business world, including the continuous growth of the market, bringing new business models, pulling the distance between brands and customers, users having a better virtual experience and bringing related technologies. breakthrough.
A growing market
It is not an exaggeration to say that Metaverse is a game. More importantly, it has the attributes of gaming and social interaction.
According to The Business Research Company (a research organization in India), the global social media market is expected to grow from US$94.83 billion in 2020 to US$102.62 billion in 2021, an annual growth rate of 8.2%, and is expected to reach 309 billion US dollars, a compound annual growth rate of 32%. Among them, the Asia-Pacific region is the largest region in the global social media market, accounting for 46% of the market in 2020. North America is the second largest region, accounting for 32% of the global market. South America is the smallest region in the global social media market.
In addition, the game market is still a fast-growing big cake until now. A Newzoo report on the game industry pointed out that by 2022, consumer spending on games will grow to 196 billion U.S. dollars, with a compound annual growth rate of +9.0% from 2018 to 2022.
The rapid growth of the game market
Source: Newzoo report
Meta Universe is able to integrate games and social interactions, which also makes many companies extremely optimistic about the future of Meta Universe and begin to lay out the huge market that will be generated in the future.
After some games have incorporated meta-universe elements, they ushered in a growth explosion, which is why many companies hope to enter the meta-universe. For example, in April 2021, American rapper Travis Scott held an “ASTRONOMICAL” virtual concert in Epic’s “Fortnite” (Fortnite) game, which took players to fantasy scenes such as deep sea and space. It took only 10 minutes The concert attracted 12.3 million people to watch at the same time in the game, refreshing the music Live score of the most players online at the same time in the history of the game, and does not include the additional number of viewers on Twitch and YouTube. That month, the number of mobile game installations of “Fortnite” increased by 6 million and attracted $44 million in gold.
Meta universe brings new business models
Fortnite (Fortnite) provides an interesting example where the company gave up control of their intellectual property. After Fortnite introduced some hot character skins, many players immediately logged in to the game and spent game currency to buy skins. Players can get some rare virtual items by completing tasks, upgrading and killing monsters. And if these skins are limited editions, and there are other rare items blessed, players can actually trade through the secondary market operated by Fortnite, and Fortnite charges fees from them, then the benefits will be immeasurable.
Today’s meta-universe prototype has no secondary market, but we can get inspiration from the NFT platform, and NBA Top Shot is an example of this. NBA officials package highlights or star cards for sale in NFT format. The initial price is generally not high, about tens of dollars. However, every time it changes hands, the platform will draw a certain percentage of fees. This business model has brought a considerable amount of revenue to the NBA.
Fortnite gave up control of its company’s intellectual property rights, many companies find it incredible. For major IP companies such as Marvel Comics, DC (DC Comics), NFL, Nike, etc., it is unacceptable for them to give up control. But abandoning control rights, and extracting a certain percentage of fees from transactions in the future can be said to open a new business model.
Meta universe is a virtual world of games and social interactions. If people can dress themselves up as their favorite characters in the virtual world, then I believe many people are willing to pay for the experience. If rare skins are introduced to allow people to crack tasks and obtain rare items blessings, then the time users spend in the meta universe will inevitably increase significantly. Then create a trading market so that people can trade skin items and so on. As a result, considerable transaction costs will be incurred, just like a market maker in the financial market.
Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, once said: Metaverse will be more common and powerful than any other industry. If a company or enterprise controls the meta universe, they will become stronger than any government and become gods on the earth. There are already signs that a huge opportunity is emerging. NFT is the carrier medium of the meta universe. Beeple (an American digital artist) sold his artwork NFT for a final price of US$69 million. CryptoKitties is an NFT that focuses on cute cats. It is characterized by self-reproduction, and its price has repeatedly broken new highs, up to 1,800 ether ($6.49 million, 41.82 million yuan).
Facebook is actively deploying Meta Universe and announced that it will transform into Meta Universe within 5 years. Zuckerberg once revealed some plans for Facebook’s investment in Metaverse at the earnings conference. Facebook will sell hardware, but this is not where it really makes money. Facebook’s goal is to sell its devices as cheaply as possible, and focus on making money through Metaverse’s own business and advertising.
Zuckerberg said on the earnings call: “Our business model will not be mainly around trying to sell equipment or similar things at high prices, because our mission is to provide services to as many people as possible. Therefore, we want us to What is done is as affordable as possible, so that as many people as possible can participate in it, and then expand the scale of the digital economy.” Advertising will still play a role, but Facebook will also focus on the sale of virtual goods. Zuckerberg said that advertising in the meta universe will be an “important part” of Facebook’s strategy to profit from the meta universe, but he is more optimistic about the business of the digital world.
It can be seen that Facebook is also optimistic about the future business model of Meta Universe and is actively deploying it. Perhaps, if Facebook really transforms into a meta-universe company, its company value will grow at a terrible rate.
Close the distance between the brand and the user
Generation Z refers specifically to those born in the late 1990s to the early 2010s. Generation Z is greatly influenced by technology products such as the Internet, instant messaging, text messaging, MP3 players, mobile phones, smart phones, and tablet computers. They can be said to be the first generations who have lived in both the virtual and real worlds of electronics since they were young. The social relationships and values shaped by the development of science and technology have deeply affected the self-identity of this generation, and the acceptance of new things is great.
In order for traditional brands such as Gucci and other well-known brands to remain competitive, it is an important task to attract Generation Z as their customer base. LV previously launched the NFT game, allowing players to collect limited NFTs while also understanding the history of LV, which is a break for traditional brands. Many luxury brands have put down their bodies and launched their own NFTs to interact with Gen Z customers.
In the past, the interaction model between merchants and customers was that merchants launched new products in line with current trends, and customers went to the store to purchase products. NFT and Metaverse have broken the old interaction model between merchants and customers in the past. For example, users can buy brand-launched clothing in Metaverse, which can be further transformed or “processed” into what they like. Manufacturers feel that the customer’s ideas are good, and they can further cooperate to launch related products.
In the past, interaction methods were limited by geographic restrictions. In some countries, the overall economy is underdeveloped, so there will be fewer stores of natural brands; while in more developed regions, there will be more stores. However, in the meta-universe, you only need to have a network to interact with customers. In this way, the customer base can also be expanded. For example, in the past, you could only go to related stores to buy NBA peripherals, and the United States was the main one. Now, you only need the NBA Top Shot official website on the Internet to purchase officially certified highlights.
Consumers have a better virtual experience
Nowadays, people spend more time in the virtual world, and the meta-universe will further enhance people’s virtual experience. At present, people can only choose pictures, videos or item parameters when shopping online, but items such as clothing cannot be tried on. In the meta-universe, people can use virtual reality technology to simulate the effect of try-on, etc., so that people can further evaluate whether the clothing is suitable for them.
Since the outbreak of the epidemic in 2020, online office has gradually become a trend, breaking the geographical restriction of people going to work. And Metaverse will be able to enhance the experience of online office. In August 2021, Facebook launched a public beta version of the Horizon Workrooms platform.
Facebook’s Horizon Workrooms scene
Using Oculus Quest 2 devices to log in, people working from home can participate in meetings virtually and enjoy the feeling of being in the same room. On this platform, up to 16 people can be in a studio together, and another 34 people can join through a video call without wearing an AR/VR device. The panel of the conference room can be connected to our computer screen in real time for display.
Zuckerberg once said: It basically gives you the opportunity to sit at a table with others to work and brainstorm. For those who cannot participate through virtual reality, they can conduct video conferences. This is a great experience and you will feel like you are really with your colleagues.
In addition to online office, this application scenario can also be extended to social networking. Nowadays, our online social interaction mainly relies on videos (the most interactive) or cold fonts. And Metaverse can improve people’s sense of social experience. In addition to language, we can also observe other people’s body language and other details. This allows users to have a higher sense of participation.
The flourishing development of technology
The construction and development of Meta Universe is inseparable from strong technical support. The technology cluster supporting Metaverse mainly includes five sectors:
1. Network and computing power technologies, including spatial positioning algorithms, virtual scene fitting, real-time network transmission, GPU servers, edge computing, to reduce costs and network congestion;
2. Artificial intelligence;
3. Electronic game technology, game engine that supports game program codes and resources (images, sounds, animations);
4. Display technology, VR/AR equipment, continuous iterative upgrades, virtual immersive reality experience ladder, and continuous deepening of perception interaction;
5. Block chain technology to realize the stability, efficiency, transparency and certainty of the operation of the economic system;
The meta-universe needs powerful technology to support it. However, most of the above technologies are currently in rapid development or in their infancy, and there is still a long way to go before they are actually applied. For example, blockchain technology, which has only been more than 10 years since its inception, is still a relatively immature technology, and blockchain technology can realize and operate the economic system in the meta-universe. Next is the display technology. Today’s VR/AR technology is relatively immature, and there is still a long way to go before people can fully immerse themselves in the virtual world.
The construction and development of Metaverse will greatly promote or accelerate the research and development of related technologies. The sales of Oculus Quest 2, the latest product of Facebook’s VR/AR equipment manufacturer Oculus, continued to exceed expectations, igniting the market’s imagination of meta-universe and virtual reality.
Oculus product sales
Source: Upload Technology Website
In addition to the above-mentioned technologies, the future of Metaverse’s industrial chain will include high-end manufacturing, high-precision maps, optical manufacturing, such as diffractive waveguide lenses, micro-display and chip manufacturing, and related software industries. With the continuous development of Metaverse, people’s continued enthusiasm for it will drive the vigorous development of a series of technologies.
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