Virtual experiences across gaming, fitness and entertainment are likely to be the most competitive battleground for market share.
- The metaverse could become a $900 billion business by 2030, but may remain in an early stage of development for at least another five to 10 years, according to a new report by Bain & Company.
- Virtual experiences are forecast to be about 65% of the metaverse market in 2030, ahead of app stores and operating systems (10%), devices (10%), computing and infrastructure (10%) and content-creation tools (5%).
- The metaverse could still eventually be a force to reckon with, even as hype around the virtual worlds and their supporting technology has died down considerably now that tech companies and the marketing world have rushed to embrace generative AI, per the report.
While Bain’s report, “Taking the Hyperbole Out of the Metaverse,” forecasts a possible market size of $900 billion by the next decade, it also sees the sector remaining in seed stage for the next five to 10 years – a longer runway than seemingly promised when buzz around the metaverse was highest, as recently as a year ago.
“As the metaverse quickly evolves, we’ve already seen these types of technologies take hold within different industries,” said Chris Johnson, a partner in Bain’s Technology practice, in a statement. “This is an ongoing journey toward more immersive and collaborative experiences, enabled by rapid improvements in the underlying technology.”
The metaverse is unlikely to be one platform, but a combination of platforms with large user bases today that may become increasingly immersive and smaller environments that attract more users, per the report. The platforms are likely to remain siloed as companies look to leverage underlying data to drive revenue.
The most competitive battleground for metaverse market share is likely to be virtual experiences. While gaming on platforms like Roblox and Fortnite is currently the leading consumer application of metaverse-like technology, fitness and entertainment could grow in the medium term.
For businesses, the metaverse could be used for collaboration and productivity and in digital marketing, employee training, education and healthcare. The remaining 35% of market share is forecast to be split between the underlying technology that could make metaverse experiences truly immersive.
While the metaverse seemed to take a hit earlier this year as tech companies faced a tough economic climate, marketers have continued to experiment with activations on platforms that could be part of the eventual metaverse. Nike in June built on a multiyear partnership with Epic Games to create “Airphoria,” an online gaming experience within Fortnite, while Fenty Beauty and H&M have created experiences on Roblox.