Metavers: What opportunities for companies?

Posted Sep 26, 2022, 12:28 PM

Although 41% of French people have never heard of the metaverse*, everything suggests that these shared virtual spaces will soon enter their daily lives, whether for entertainment, exchange or consumption. Because the metaverse is experiencing unprecedented growth: 210 billion dollars were injected into the capital of players in the sector and gaming tech in 2021 (compared to 30 to 40 billion dollars per year between 2017 and 2019). This amount already exceeds 250 billion over the first six months of 2022, according to EY-Parthenon**. If the gaming sector remains the spearhead of the phenomenon (there are three billion online gamers in the world), luxury, fashion, cultural goods and services are beginning to take an interest in it.

Customer experience: very real benefits

In an ultra-competitive world, brands and distributors seek to create innovative and distinctive experiences, to gain notoriety and stimulate customer engagement thanks to the data collected. The stakes are all the greater since the Z and Alpha generations (born after 1996) intend to interact without limit with their brands, even in the metaverse. Gucci seized the opportunity in 2021, opening a temporary space on the Roblox platform. An immediate success – which recorded 20 million visitors in two weeks – pushing the luxury house to open a virtual city, Gucci Town, built around mini-games, a shop to “dress up” avatars and a space for artistic creation. With more than 54 million daily active players (including 25% under the age of 9 and 42% between the ages of 9 and 15), Roblox is attracting more and more brands.

And that’s not all. A natural extension of e-commerce, the metaverse promises companies additional revenue, thanks to the sale of products, services and experiences based in particular on NFTs. These digital files, protected by a certificate of authenticity (paintings, videos, clothes, etc.), open up tempting prospects. According to Dune Analytics, the blockchain data analysis platform, NFT would have enabled Nike to generate $185 million in revenue, half by selling its NFT collections and half by capturing 7% “royalties” on successive resales of these same NFTs. This windfall, still insignificant on a group scale (less than 0.4% of Nike’s worldwide revenues), could become very profitable. Behind Nike, players such as Dolce & Gabbana, Tiffany, Adidas or Budweiser are among the top 5 brands that have generated the most revenue with NFTs.

Finally, the metaverse is emerging as a new vector for business transformation. Firstly, in terms of innovation, the security of data and transactions is at the heart of their concerns. The metaverse is then a remarkable opportunity to strengthen its attractiveness on the job market and collaboration between teams: it facilitates remote work, immersive virtual training or the organization of conferences.

Investing in the metaverse: instructions

For EY-Parthenon, one of the world leaders in strategy consulting, with more than 9,000 consultants around the world, investing in the metaverse market is becoming an imperative for companies because the barriers to entry are increasing very quickly. The EY group already supports a wide variety of clients around the world on these issues. Its approach is comprehensive, combining strategy consultants from EY-Parthenon with technology and innovation experts from EY Consulting and EY Fabernovel, to tax lawyers from EY Société d’Avocats, to help design and deploy winning strategies.

To successfully enter this emerging market, EY-Parthenon recommends a three-phase approach. First, it is a question of defining its short-term tactical objectives (creating a first collection of NFTs, orchestrating the buzz, training the teams, etc.) and its more strategic challenges, in the medium and long term (animating its community of customers , establish itself as a leader on the NFT market, develop a new profitable business model on the metaverse, etc.). Then, the test and learn stage allows you to adjust your strategy. Finally, long-term deployment involves transforming the operating model, increasing the skills of teams and building an ecosystem of partners. Eventually, like the web for several decades, the metaverse will fit naturally into the company’s overall strategy. For the benefit of profitable growth.

The great leap forward of the Chinaverse

The metaverse wave is sweeping through China, where there are more than 500 companies registered as metaverse companies, 93% of which were born in 2021 alone. With strong support from the Chinese state, which included the metaverse in its 14th five-year plan as a pillar for the development of the digital economy. By 2025, more than 37 million Chinese consumers are expected to have an identity in the metaverse, according to the IDC institute. A promising market therefore, but already highly regulated by Beijing, which has launched a state cryptocurrency, the e-Yuan, prohibiting any other private digital currency. Another manifestation of this framework: NFTs are not authorized to be traded on the secondary market, to avoid speculative drifts such as money laundering.

On the NFT side, there are countless limited editions launched in China by the big fashion houses and which Generation Z are already crazy about. The jeweler Qeelin has launched its art toys in a twin version, that is to say both physical and virtual; Pomellato offers its Nudos art collections in collaboration with a Chinese artist… More than 14 brands also participated in Shanghai Fashion Week 2022 in its metaverse version, with a virtual model named Xiao Mei, launched for the occasion.

From Shanghai, EY Fabernovel’s Chinese office closely monitors this effervescence and supports its clients around three strategic pillars: brand enhancement, acquisition and engagement of new clients (particularly the famous generation Z), as well as exploring new business models.

Patrice Nordey, Partner, EY Fabernovel

A market worth 800 billion dollars in 2024

On October 28, 2021, Mark Zuckerberg renamed Facebook to Meta, a sign of his group’s interest in the vast metaverse market. Of the $800 billion in revenue forecast for 2024 by Bloomberg, EY-Parthenon estimates that 55% will come from gaming and

components (virtual reality software and hardware), 25% live entertainment

(sport and culture, immersive platforms, etc.) and 20% of advertising and NFTs. This last segment has literally exploded in the past two years, going from 80 million dollars in transactions in 2020 to more than 20 billion in 2021, according to the reference site NonFungible. Over the first eight months of 2022, it already exceeds 18 billion dollars, despite the collapse of cryptocurrencies in the spring. New NFT buyers say they are less motivated by speculation than by experience and possession of a unique and certified object. As a result, great prospects are opening up for brands and distributors. »

“New NFT buyers say they are less motivated by speculation than by the experience and possession of a unique and certified object. As a result, great prospects are opening up for brands and distributors. »

Frédéric Fessart, EY-Parthenon partner

“Investing in the metaverse is becoming an imperative because the barriers to entry are increasing very quickly. »

Pierre Dresco, EY-Parthenon partner

* Appinio survey for EY-Parthenon (May 2022) conducted with

of 500 French people aged 16 to 64

** Source: EY Embryonic Platform

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Metavers: What opportunities for companies?

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