What Is The Metaverse?
It’s a term that’s (increasingly) bandied around, but would you be able to define exactly what the metaverse is? After all, the CEOs of Microsoft and Facebook respectively, Satya Nadella and Mark Zuckerberg, discuss it as though it’s the future of the web. And indeed, in the autumn of 2021, the latter rebranded itself Meta, saying it would focus on ‘the metaverse of the future’. It’s also been predicted that uptake over the next couple of years could be massive.
A precise meaning can seem elusive – perhaps because the metaverse is still being built and so is almost so new it still defies an exact definition. Yet it’s something that’s likely to affect all our lives in the years ahead. In ways we may well not yet understand. And especially if your target market is young people in their mid-to-late teens and twenties, you’ll need to pay attention.
Not all of the definitions of the metaverse are the same. But one of the best definitions we’ve seen so far is in US business magazine Forbes, which describes it as:
“a combination of the virtual and mixed reality worlds accessed via a browser or headset, which allows people to have real-time interactions and experiences across distance”.
How To Access Metaverse?
So it’s about a virtual world in which potentially billions shop, live, work, learn and interact with each other. All without leaving their sofas or desks in the real world. Or, as another website put it, it’s ‘like real life, only bigger and better. Digital facsimiles of ourselves, or avatars, move freely from one experience to another, taking our identifies and money with us’.
Certainly, you can recreate being together in ways that simply aren’t possible over standard virtual meetings. So the metaverse is set to be perfect for hybrid meetings, training sessions in multiple locations and corporate events. Indeed, any time you have a scattered team, you can use the tech to bring people together and build a community. Enhancing engagement and affiliation at the same time.
“Right now, what will become the metaverse is actually a series of disconnected metaverses . . . The current set of metaverse worlds each has its own access, avatars, interactions and currency.”
What Opportunities Does Metaverse Hold For Audio Creators?
The metaverse offers some incredible collaborative opportunities. In Nikeland you can hang out and dress an avatar in virtual products from the top sporting brand. And millions have already done this!
In 2020, millions attended a virtual concert given by rapper Travis Scott, hosted by online video game Fortnite. You can already buy and sell goods via the World of Warcraft game. Some tech companies are already creating the infrastructure to form virtual words which imitate our real lives more closely than has previously been possible. The Metaverse presents many opportunities for the audio production world too.
Metaverse Audio Opportunities
- Immersive audio experiences: The Metaverse allows for fully immersive audio experiences. With the ability to place sound in specific virtual locations and have it react to user actions. This opens up new possibilities for audio storytelling and atmosphere creation.
- Virtual concerts and events: In the Metaverse, users can attend virtual concerts, events, and performances, which can be enhanced with high-quality audio. Audio production teams can work with musicians and event organizers to create an engaging and realistic audio experience for virtual attendees.
- Customizable audio branding: Companies and brands operating in the Metaverse can use custom audio branding, such as music and sound effects, to enhance their virtual presence and create a memorable experience for users.
- Interactive audio games and experiences: The Metaverse also presents opportunities for audio production teams to create interactive audio games and experiences, where users can actively participate in and control the audio environment.
- Voice acting and narration: The Metaverse can also benefit from professional voice acting and narration for virtual characters and non-playable entities, further enhancing the overall audio experience for users.
These are just a few of the many opportunities that the Metaverse presents to the audio production world. As the Metaverse continues to grow, it’s likely that new audio-related opportunities will emerge, offering exciting possibilities for audio professionals.
As with anything else, it’s best to start small and experiment. Think carefully about where you are likely to find greatest value.
If you’re dipping your toes in the Metaverse, remember to think about audio as you plan your digital realm and consider how you will incorporate sound including voiceovers, jingles and the like, especially if you are hosting events and concerts. Only in this way can you create a complete, unique and branded world.
Talk to us at Music Radio Creative – we can help!