IT’S PROBABLY 10 years or more before the metaverse becomes any kind of a meaningful concept. A parallel digital existence that might give IP owners an alternative and profitable outlet – and we ordinary people somewhere to enjoy our favourite brands in new ways and absorb new experiences with our fellow avatars. 

But the entertainment industry never ignores a new outlet. So what should they be wary of as they start to explore the metaverse?  Here are some action points for content creators and owners…

Don’t panic

THE METAVERSE is a big buzzword right now, but it’s very much a work in progress. There’s still plenty of evolution that needs to happen in VR, AR, AI, social media, 5G, voice, data analytics, VFX and streaming, before we’re all living double lives in the metaverse. One of the most effective things content creators can do is make amazing stories and characters that fans want to engage with — because that will guarantee a role in the evolving metaverse.

Develop prototypes 

ANY IP owner with a valuable franchise should start exploring how their content might cross over into the metaverse. What exactly would a scripted series, an entertainment format, a documentary or a kids show look like in this environment? What would their engaging USP be in this environment? Experimentation via Nvidia’s omniverse might be an option. Keep in mind that the metaverse opens the door to left-field competition. For example, in the metaverse, would people be drawn to a Love Island-themed dating world or a Tinder-themed dating world?


Consider rights models

CONTENT owners and creators are used to new windows emerging, so it’s worth considering what a metaverse right might look like and how it might be paid for. A hybrid between a traditional TV right and a licensing right, a meta right will eventually need to be allocated its own position in the value chain. The role of NFTs and microtransactions is also like to gain prominence.


Find partners 

MOST IP owners are going to need a metaverse partner if they are to gain traction in this emerging world. So, start figuring out which big tech platform or Hollywood major or left-field start up is the best cultural fit. Everyone in the TV and film content chain is familiar with partnership models, so adding a meta dimension makes sense. Just keep in mind that the major players will probably seek to exert the same control as they are doing in the context of streaming.


Embrace gaming culture

GAMING looks certain to lead the way into the metaverse, so TV creatives need to embrace it. And in some respects, they already have. Squid Game, ‘guessing game’ formats, elimination formats and detective series are all examples of the gamification of television. But perhaps it’s time to roll up your sleeves and go to an eSports event; the 10th edition of eSports Bar is co-located with MIPTV this year so that could be the best place to discover the future. Or play a round of Fortnite, just for research…


Navigating The Metaverse Maze

eSports Bar is co-locating with MIPTV for 2022. Photo: Yann Coatsaliou/360 Medias


Prepare for pushback

THERE’S AN inexorable inevitability about the metaverse – but that doesn’t mean it is necessarily a good or healthy thing. Alongside any technological obstacles, issues around data, privacy, harassment, cybercrime and safeguarding children are all certain to arise. And there are also some experts who can’t really see the point of it all. So for now just keep making great programmes: after all the annual streaming content budget is still going through the roof.


About Author

Andy Fry is a freelance journalist who contributes regularly to leading TV and marketing trade magazines - MIP Daily News, Lions Magazine, Location International, Broadcast, KFTV, Playback, C21, TBI, DTVE and many more. He is co-chair of the UK Sponsorship Awards and provides strategic advice and copywriting services to leading TV studios.

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