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  • The metaverse gimmick and the forgotten value of video 

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    The metaverse and Virtual Reality (VR) has had the weight of a number of large big technology companies behind it in the last year; spearheaded by the likes of Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft. Not only did we see its proliferation increase substantially over the pandemic, but the hype has yet to deter, particularly with speculation around products such as Apple’s RealityOS and its AR/VR Headset.

    That said, the technology itself, particularly within enterprise systems, has been relatively slow in its adoption. This is because immersive content is more resource-intensive and therefore more expensive to develop, which in-turn creates quite the barrier amongst smaller companies. 

    Amongst all of the upward trajectory surrounding the metaverse, it’s easy for early-stage companies to get swept up in the overwhelm and believe that they need to incorporate this into their strategies. What’s needed, however, is a return to implementable video marketing models, and a refined strategy incorporating the value of  video and immersive technology, before companies even begin to utter the word “metaverse” as a potential revenue stream. Guy Parry-Williams, Founder of Imedia8 explores this further…

    The metaverse of madness

    The metaverse is by no-means a new concept. In fact, it has existed since the first iterations of the 3D internet in the latter part of the 20th Century and early 2000s. However, it has developed substantially in recent years, as charged by the entertainment industry in a bid to make gaming and consumer experiences more immersive. Sitting at the intersection between technological developments and consumer experiences however, lies the issue of hype.

    Over-hyping has been a long-standing issue in the tech industry. Major players and media outlets have a combined tendency to take something and transform it into a buzzword, which is louder and more overbearing than the real innovation at the crux of immersive technology.

    This has happened to VR to an extent. The global AR and VR market is expected to grow to $209.2 billion this year, but the risk here is that it will be consigned to the drawer marked “gimmick” if teams do not focus on providing the end-user with a truly new experience that is of value to them. VR for the sake of VR does the industry no favours, but when the real benefits can be identified, it will prove to be ground-breaking.

    VR is a profitable, but the adage “walk before you can run” rings true

    In the case of corporations and enterprise, the metaverse and VR is significantly more challenging to implement, because you’re working less on the basis of entertainment and more in the bustle of protocols and efficiency.

    Being able to operate and monetise VR is also incredibly tricky at a lower level because the software solutions which allow VR content to play are fairly limited compared to standard video. Additionally, the option to play 360 VR content outside of using YouTube is restricted, so it’s near-impossible for startups or SMEs to supercharge an in-house VR or metaverse strategy.

    That said, it’s not impossible to create an impactful, well-rounded video and VR strategy that gives startups and enterprises the competitive advantage. The metaverse and VR can work within business’ processes, but not without understanding how to get there first. If companies opt to join the metaverse minefield before focussing on a holistic approach when it comes to the possibilities of video, they may be at a disadvantage when it comes to unlocking the future of VR’s potential.

    Recognising the value of video

    Video marketing was experiencing an upward trajectory before the pandemic, but its inception was certainly a catalyst in many businesses recognising its value. For instance, many companies had to pivot during this time, from somewhat traditional marketing methods to ones which adopted a video-focussed, digital-first approach.

    For some, this also included adopting a variety of innovative video strategies that incorporated VR and broadcasting so that their services could still be rolled out during a time where audiences all moved online. The result was ultimately their survival – and, beyond this, they’ve been able to move past this to now grow, adapt and ultimately keep ahead of the competition. However, whilst video marketing is becoming increasingly prolific, this poses more challenges: with many businesses adopting such a strategy, cutting through the noise becomes difficult. So, being able to exhibit a video marketing procedure, but doing so in such a way that aligns with a business’ core values and highlights its USPs, is fundamental.

    Ultimately, video content is a complex beast: but when it’s done right, it not only supercharges corporate marketing strategies, but it’s also impactful in terms of revenue, too. Then, once this has been mastered and profitable, companies can look at what the metaverse means to them.

    AUTHOR

    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien