Who cares about the metaverse?


Around the world, levels of understanding and interest in what the metaverse is and could become differ wildly, according to a new report helping decision-makers navigate the barriers and opportunities of the new space.

Why it matters

Though the metaverse as a new phase of the internet remains in a state of confused infancy – somewhere between VR, gaming, social media, and what a simple hyperlink might look like in an embodied internet – the possibility that it will hit the mainstream within 10 years piles pressure on investment decision-makers. Bet or hold?

There are plenty of sceptics. However, should a ‘killer app’ emerge that proves its usefulness on a mass scale, this could start to change. As yet, there is neither a good app nor much content to enjoy once people are on a platform. We are in the very early stages, and new ideas are bound to come along.

The data

Legal firm Gowling WLG has prepared ‘The Immaterial World’, a report in partnership with research agency Censuswide, based on over 6,000 responses across six locations (UK, USA, France, Canada, UAE, and China).

Global figures

  • 73% of consumers say they have an understanding of the metaverse.
  • 63% would consider taking part in the metaverse.
  • 51% have considered buying a digital asset.
  • 19% would consider workplace team management or collaborations.
  • 23% would consider attending a trade show/conference or marketing event in the metaverse.
  • 40% are interested in knowing more about using the metaverse for financial gain.

Different uses 

  • 41% would consider playing games in the metaverse.
  • 37% would consider shopping.
  • 35% would consider ‘creative experiences’, whether art, concerts, or films.

Major disparities

Broadly, the data indicates that respondents in China and the UAE are much more enthusiastic about the metaverse than their European and North American counterparts.

  • In China, 83% of people surveyed said they would consider taking part in metaverse experiences, more than double the UK rate (37%).
  • Over half of Chinese respondents agree that entertainment and leisure brands are set to benefit from the metaverse, compared to just over a fifth (22%) in the US.
  • Consumers surveyed in the UAE are over five times (43%) as likely to feel excited about the prospect of spending time in the metaverse than those in the UK at 8%.
  • 52% of UAE respondents believe their career development could be enhanced by the metaverse.
  • 91% of respondents in the UAE and 88% in China believe the metaverse will improve their businesses, versus lower levels in the USA (67%) and France (63%).

The UK is a pessimistic outlier

True to the national stereotype, the UK’s responses portrayed a country largely unmoved by this brave new world.

  • 41% of UK respondents have no understanding whatsoever of the metaverse.
  • 21% of UK respondents don’t expect the metaverse to become mainstream.
  • Just 15% of the UK believes the metaverse will aid their career development.
  • A strong majority have major concerns: about identity fraud, crypto fraud, privacy, safety, costs, and rights.
  • A silver lining? Around half of UK consumers are yet to make up their minds.


This article first appeared https://www.warc.com/

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