The US$900 Billion Metaverse Opportunity is Knocking, Reports Bain & Company
A recent study by global consultancy firm, Bain & Company, delves into the economic potential of the metaverse, despite simmering scepticism about its immediate impact. Bain's report, titled “Taking the Hyperbole Out of the Metaverse”, underscores that the metaverse could burgeon into a $900 billion market by 2030, yet it emphasizes that significant scaling may still be a 5-10 year journey away.
The report demystifies the notion that the metaverse will be a single, unified platform. It anticipates a pluralistic metaverse where large platforms enhance their immersive capabilities, while smaller environments vie for larger user bases, potentially operating as independent entities.
For SME business owners, especially those in industries such as entertainment, manufacturing, healthcare, education, and employee training, which have demonstrated a proclivity for metaverse-type technologies, the findings highlight a crucial window of opportunity. Engaging in this nascent "seed stage" could position companies favourably in a market that’s projected to explode in value over the next decade.
Chris Johnson, a partner in Bain’s Technology practice, pointed out that “technologies that power the metaverse are already taking root across various industries, with immersive gaming platforms being a prime example, engaging hundreds of millions of users monthly. The trajectory toward more immersive and collaborative experiences, powered by advancements in foundational technology, is clearly underway."
However, the metaverse terrain is complex, with varied strategies playing out in real-time. Some companies are adopting a vertically integrated approach, encompassing multiple segments of the metaverse technology stack, while others opt for a horizontal strategy, zeroing in on one layer of the stack.
Five Key Battlegrounds:
Virtual Experiences: Estimated to be about 65 percent of the metaverse's market size in 2030, extending beyond gaming into immersive fitness, entertainment, and innovative enterprise use cases.
Content-Creation Tools: Representing about 5 percent of the projected market size, providing software tools, and interfaces pivotal for crafting metaverse worlds and experiences.
App Stores and Operating Systems: About 10 percent of the metaverse market, critical in the seed stage to deliver curated, top-quality experiences, maintaining user engagement with specific platforms and devices.
Devices: Projected to be 10 percent of the market, overcoming technological hurdles to introduce standalone devices, and ensuring metaverse content compatibility across all device types, including PCs, gaming consoles, and smartphones.
Computing and Infrastructure: Also at 10 percent, placing hardware companies in a position to advance the development of high-performance chips, servers, and networking technologies to facilitate high-quality graphics and reduced latency.
Moncef Maghrebi, Partner at Bain & Company Middle East, comments, “The efficacy of vertical vs. horizontal strategies in the developing market remains to be seen, and the eventual shape of the ecosystem will likely morph over time."
For SME owners and executives contemplating a metaverse strategy, considerations around which segment of the ecosystem to engage with and how to navigate the developing landscape will be pivotal. As per Bain & Company’s insights, strategic engagement during this embryonic stage of the metaverse might well be the key to unlocking future market leadership in a digital economy that's boldly stepping into new dimensions.