The growth in the metaverse space is being driven by consumer interest in the technology, with 59% expressing excitement about transitioning their everyday activities into the metaverse. Broadly speaking, consumers expect the metaverse to play a significant role in how they socialize, shop, entertain themselves, play games and travel in the future.
Consumers’ enthusiasm for engaging in the metaverse is also echoed by business leaders, with 61% expecting the metaverse to moderately change the way their industry operates.
While the metaverse is expected to play a significant role in the eCommerce space, it will also impact a range of other industries. McKinsey expects the metaverse to have an impact of $180 billion to $270 billion on the academic virtual learning market, a $144 billion to $206 billion impact on the advertising market, and a $108 billion to $125 billion impact on the gaming market.
That being said, the effects of the metaverse will likely be felt in very different ways across the value chain.
The uptick in consumer and business interest in the metaverse comes at a time when billions of dollars are being poured into developing the metaverse. In 2021, some $13 billion were invested in the metaverse through venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE) funding. And in just the first five months of 2021, corporations, venture capitalists (VC) and private equity (PE) have invested more than $120 billion, which is more than double the $57 billion invested in 2021. It is worth noting that the increase in investment activity this year was driven by Microsoft’s planned $69 billion acquisition of Activision.
According to McKinsey, investment activity in the metaverse is comparable to the early days of the adoption of artificial intelligence, with industries that are currently leading adoption in the metaverse dedicating a sizable share of their digital investment budgets.
“There continue to be questions around the longevity and potential of the metaverse, with an extreme view regarding it as merely a rebranded gaming platform of little wider interest. We do not share that skepticism and believe the metaverse has the potential to be the next iteration of the internet,” the report noted.