Welcome to the metaverse: The Drum immerses itself in future of the internet

For The Drum’s first Deep Dive of 2022, we are exploring the present and future of the metaverse, finding out what its immersive entertainment experiences mean for marketers, consumers and creators.

The metaverse represents potential. Many of us have already experienced its early iterations and executions, from its depictions in sci-fi to the immersive virtual extensions of entertainment properties on Roblox. But for the moment, few of us have a holistic view of the entire metaverse – and fewer know what it will be in a few years.

So as we start this deep dive into what the metaverse means for marketing, most of that potential remains unexplored. The term ‘the metaverse’ provides us with a framework to discuss everything from virtual reality to NFTs to digital-only festivals – but right now, nobody can really say what the final form of the metaverse will look like (despite Facebook/Meta’s best attempts to own the space from the start).

From our interviews, we know that marketers have a huge role to play in defining the future of the metaverse, from creating the event spaces within platforms to selling consumers on the tech that allows them to experience it. Younger audiences are already habituated to the concept through gaming, with platforms like Fortnite, Roblox and Minecraft influencing buying habits and creation tools for the wider metaverse.

At the same time luxury brands are selling digital-only products in the metaverse, recognizing the new audience and commerce opportunities. Combined with the rise and rise (so far) of NFTs, it has provided brands from fashion, liquor and automotive with space to extend from the physical to the digital. Broadcasters including ITV are also experimenting with bringing their IPs into the space and many more will follow.

But with that untapped potential comes great responsibility. VR experiences including the Emmy-nominated Traveling While Black and We Wait have already demonstrated that the metaverse at its best will create empathy through shared experiences. Marketers have as great a role to play in encouraging that aspect of the metaverse as they do to ensure it is financially viable for brands.

As we stand on the cusp of web3, The Drum’s Metaverse Deep Dive will explore the following:

  • The role of marketers in the metaverse

  • Whether gaming platforms will continue to define the metaverse

  • How VR can be the ultimate liberator for users

  • The practical considerations of creating marketing experiences in the metaverse

  • How we sell the tech and trust in metaverse platforms to a mainstream audience

  • How the space will develop over the next five years, and whose responsibility it is to ensure it lives up to its potential

For more on the exciting new opportunities for marketers in this rapidly evolving space, check out The Drum’s Metaverse hub.