On Adweek's Metaverse Marketing podcast, host Cathy Hackl takes listeners on a journey into the future and prepares marketers to master the metaverse. Get up to speed on the tech that’s shaping the future of the internet; discover new opportunities and overcome the challenges presented by the metaverse; and learn how brands can prepare for tomorrow, today.
We started this journey in an effort to better understand where the future of the internet is heading, as well as to help you explore the metaverse. And just as we were doing that, something quite interesting happened.
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, announced that the company will become a metaverse company and marked the shift with a name change to Meta. If ever there was a timestamp in history, this would be it. While Facebook may be a part of that journey, as we've heard it time and time again from experts throughout this season, no one company will own the metaverse and no one person's vision for the future of the metaverse will prevail. We're all building it together.
But what will the future of the metaverse look like? In episode 8 of Adweek’s Metaverse Marketing podcast, we explore what the next decade of the metaverse will look like, how it will enable new kinds of ontological exploration, how brands can future-proof their businesses and enter the metaverse, and the implications of the metaverse on future generations.
Fashion's Future Moment
It was May 2019 when Dutch startup, The Fabricant, made a splash on the fashion scene with the debut of their Iridescence dress, a luminous cape-like gown that glowed with highlights of purple. But this was no ordinary dress.
The Iridescence dress is a digital asset that was auctioned on the blockchain for $9,500 and delivered by digitally tailoring the dress onto the photos of the buyer. For those paying attention to what is happening in the fashion industry, it was this sale that made us rethink what is valuable in fashion.
In episode 7 of Adweek’s Metaverse Marketing podcast, we will discuss what fashion could be when divorced from physics and explored only as a creative expression, how direct-to-avatar might just be the next direct-to-consumer, and perhaps the most important question of all, what will you wear in the metaverse?
When the American digital artist known as Beeple sold a digital artwork at Christie’s Auction House for over $60 million, it became the most expensive NFT ever sold at an auction. It was a metaverse moment that crystallized the hype surrounding this new form of digital media. But what exactly is an NFT and why are they so important?
NFT stands for non-fungible token and is essentially a unique and noninterchangeable unit of data stored on a digital ledger such as the blockchain. These tokens can be linked to anything from art, texts, video or even bits of code. So, what does this have to do with the metaverse?
In episode 6 of Adweek’s Metaverse Marketing podcast, we will explore the rise of non-fungible tokens, how they have impacted the worlds of art, fashion, collectibles, and real estate, their place in the metaverse, and how they can unlock new opportunities to engage with audiences, as well as new revenue streams.
Entertainment at the Core
What if it was possible to walk the halls of Hogwarts, explore the deserts of Tatooine, or be emersed into J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth? Would you want to explore one of these imaginary worlds? "People like the idea of an escapist experience, whether that be on TV, in a video game, or on some kind of shared virtual space,” says Anshel Sag, Principal Analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. “I think that helping people to momentarily escape reality is really what entertainment's purpose is."
The metaverse presents itself as a realm of infinite possibilities and opportunities to make those dreams a reality, but how we get there is still being established.
In episode two of Adweek’s Metaverse Marketing podcast, we explored how collaboration and co-creation are important aspects of digital citizenship in the metaverse. In episode four, we discussed how gaming is building its rules and infrastructure. Today we're looking at gaming's close cousin, entertainment, and how it's the glue holding everything together.
Who am I in the Metaverse?
When most of your time spent with others is on digital platforms, is your digital identity a better representation of who you are than your physical identity? As we look forward towards the future, our avatars will play an increasingly important role in how we enter the metaverse and how we represent ourselves there. "The purpose of the avatar inside the metaverse is to really truly look inside ourselves," Kelly Vero says. The avatar can become an exploration of the self, but it can also give us the opportunity to be multiple selves, explore multiple identities, or different facets of identity at once.
In the metaverse, everyone can create a unique identity, no matter how similar or different to your physical appearance and IRL identity. Identity is oftentimes heavily influenced by culture. And the culture of the past 30 years has been informed largely by one thing—the internet.
The internet and the evolution of social media have made way for all types of conversations about identity, self-determination and even gender. So how will the next evolution of the internet—the metaverse—inform our identity in the future? That's the question we'll explore in this week's episode of Adweek's Metaverse Marketing podcast.
What's Gaming Got To Do With It?
According to 2021 research from Statista: 38% of video game players are ages 18 to 34 and 7% are 65 years and older. In 2021, women accounted for 45% of gamers in the U.S. And lastly, two out of every five people across the world are gamers.
They're not only your kids, but also your aunt, friend, and possibly even your grandma. You need to look no further than gaming to start seeing your first glimpses of the metaverse.
Gaming—and particularly multiplayer games—have paved the way for the metaverse, especially when it comes to infrastructure. So much of internet culture is driven by fun and games, so it makes sense that the next evolution of our digital lives will continue to be shaped by gaming culture. However, gaming as we know it is just the beginning.
While early experiments are linking the blockchain to gaming, there's still no universal standard for an economic system in the metaverse, which makes it messy and hard to pin down. As you'll hear on this episode of Adweek's Metaverse Marketing podcast, once we agree on such a system for transferring money and ownership, a whole new world of opportunity is likely to be unlocked.