Most headlines across the last six months have been dominated by artificial intelligence (AI) in one way or another. Meanwhile, the ‘hype’ surrounding other emerging technologies including the metaverse appears to have died down. Despite this, the metaverse could reach up to $900billion dollars by 2030, according to new research released recently by management consulting firm Bain & Company.
Bain & Company’s report, Taking the Hyperbole Out of the Metaverse, concludes that the metaverse poses real and growing economic opportunities for businesses. Companies that engage in the metaverse’s early stages of development, known as the ‘seed stage’ over the next five to 10 years, are more likely to become the market winners.
While the firm predicts the metaverse could be worth $900billion dollars by 2030, it also explained that it may remain in the seed stage for at least another five to 10 years.
Chris Johnson, a partner in Bain’s Technology practice, discussed the evolution of the metaverse: “As the metaverse quickly evolves, we’ve already seen these types of technologies take hold within different industries.
“A good example of this is immersive gaming platforms, which are already boasting hundreds of millions of monthly active users. While it’s not immediately clear how the metaverse landscape will shift, our research shows there are five competitive battlegrounds that executives should be considering if they wish to get ahead and eventually scale. This is an ongoing journey toward more immersive and collaborative experiences, enabled by rapid improvements in the underlying technology.”
Differing metaverse strategies
As consumer and enterprise applications become increasingly immersive and collaborative, Bain’s report reveals that it is unlikely that the metaverse will emerge as one singular platform.
Instead, platforms with large user bases today may take steps to become increasingly immersive and engaging, while smaller, metaverse-like environments will try to attract bigger user bases. These virtual worlds are likely to remain independent silos as private companies seek to recoup their investments by leveraging the value of the underlying data sets.
Moncef Maghrebi, partner at Bain & Company Middle East, discussed the various metaverse strategies seen: “Today, a mix of metaverse strategies exist, from companies with a vertically integrated approach that spans multiple segments of the metaverse technology stack to those with a horizontal strategy that focuses on a single layer of the stack.
“It remains to be seen which will prove to be most effective as the market develops and the shape of the ecosystem (vertical versus horizontal) is likely to evolve over time.”
Five key metaverse areas to consider
In the report, Bain & Company also explores five key areas it urges executives to consider if they want to increase their market share in the metaverse. These areas include:
Virtual experiences are forecast by Bain to be about 65 per cent of the metaverse projected market size in 2030. Despite the fact that gaming currently leads consumer metaverse applications, immersive fitness and entertainment could also be compelling in the medium term.
On the enterprise side, innovative use cases are emerging, primarily in collaboration and productivity, but also in digital marketing, employee training, education and healthcare.
App stores and operating systems
Expected to represent around 10 per cent of the metaverse market size in 2030. The app store role will be crucial during the metaverse’s seed stage, providing users with curated, high-quality experiences to keep them engaged with the platform and headset they use to access the metaverse.
Also representing around 10 per cent of the metaverse market size in 2030. We must overcome significant technological barriers before the arrival of comfortable, stand-alone devices that allow for truly immersive experiences. To achieve mass adoption, metaverse content will need to work across all types of devices- including, for the foreseeable future, personal computers, gaming consoles and smartphones.
Computing and infrastructure
Another key area is computing and infrastructure, which could represent 10 per cent of the metaverse market size in 2030. Hardware companies will face pressure to develop higher-performing chips, servers and networking technologies to render high-quality graphics and reduce latency.
Representing around five per cent of the metaverse market size in 2030. There’s a growing field of software tools that provide the building blocks, editing platforms and interfaces for creating metaverse worlds and experiences. These features make it easy for users to generate content.