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11 January 2023

TVsionary podcast: What can the content industry expect from the metaverse?

Word from the content industry: The content industry by those who make it.

By MIP Markets

TVsionary is the only podcast where leading players from the global entertainment content industry freely share their thoughts and insights on the current and future state of this fascinating sector. In every episode, we discuss a specific subject with 3 or 4 industry experts. As such, TVsionary is the go-to podcast for entertainment content professionals, conceived and produced by MIP Markets.

Content in the metaverse

The advent of the metaverse is opening up a new arena for all types of players. How can broadcasters and content producers prepare to have a place in this new space?

The metaverse seems to be on everyone’s lips these days, but what exactly it entails remains hard to define. And while entertainment content companies are lining up to announce their metaverse strategies, what does this space really have to offer to the industry? To some, it represents no less than the future of the internet, while others see it as an ill-defined concept that doesn’t have much of a future beyond gaming applications.

We asked four content industry experts to give us their take on the metaverse and what its advent could mean for their industry:

-        Brandon Relph, the CEO of UK-based production companies Nile and Studio B

-        Diego Ibañez, Chief Brand Officer at DeA Planeta Entertainment in Barcelona

-        Scott Greenberg, the head of Fox Entertainment’s Blockchain Creative Labs, in the US

-        Chrisoph von der Marlsburg, from Nexar, an extended reality solutions provider based in Germany

Taking the metaverse beyond gaming

Simply put, the metaverse means pushing the boundaries of the digital world one step further, connecting humanity in a more all-encompassing way than our current digital interactions. The gaming industry has already successfully latched on to these capacities. “In some ways, I think the metaverse is a bit of an overblown concept,” says Brandon Relph. “I find struggle with finding its use cases outside of gaming. But what I do find really valuable about all this metaverse talk is the concept of having shared online experiences. I love the idea of virtual concerts for example, being together in the digital world.”

In this new frontier that is the metaverse, a lot remains to be done in terms of infrastructure, content offer, business model, etc. In short, the entertainment content industry doesn’t seem to be ready to fully embrace that space. “The metaverse is like a virtual world connected by nodes, and we have to populate those nodes,” explains Diego Ibañez. “There are a lot of people gathering for events such as the Superbowl in Fortnite, for example. You have to be able to provide a lot of content.”

Despite the will to be present in the metaverse, the big question therefore remains: how can content owners use their catalog to create something truly innovative and appealing for this space? Fox took a step in that direction by creating its Blockchain Creative Labs, a place where the company tries to turn its IP into desirable digital assets such as NFTs. But in the own words of its boss Scott Greenberg, “it’s still the early days. What we find the most fascinating about technology is that we’re shifting from centralized to decentralized data, and that’s a fundamental difference both for content consumers and content owners, as it represents a shift in ownership and control.”

Fan engagement and virtual production

To start tackling this new frontier, the first thing industry professionals need to do is to think about how the metaverse can help them better serve their customers. “To me, the real opportunity is to make people deeper fans of their favorite content,” says Brandon Relph. “Within Roblox for example, brands have successfully created deeper fan engagement by creating or sponsoring games.”

So far, most entertainment content companies aren’t that familiar with the metaverse, which is problematic as this is not something you want to get into without serious preparation. “It should be seen very much for now as an auxiliary thing and not a core focus,” advises Mr. Relph, stressing the fact that even most 15 to 20-year-olds today don’t clearly see how the industry can successfully invest the metaverse – at least not yet. “That should be a red flag that things aren’t quite as big as you might think.”

It's all about figuring out the best-fitted use for your activity, which includes looking at technical and production aspects where the metaverse can offer a lot, says Christoph von der Marlsburg. “The metaverse opens new paths for creativity in terms of planning, preproduction and setting up concepts for what you want to do. For example, you can pre-produce content much more easily thanks to connected virtual tools.”

Taking advantage of virtual production, content creators can work without the constraints of time and space and eliminate the boundaries between pre-production and production. These behind-the-scenes applications of the metaverse could turn out to be a fundamental aspect of how it can transform the entertainment business.

If you’re curious to hear more of what these industry experts have to say, sign up to OneMIP to listen to our episode of the TVisionary podcast about the metaverse – and more!

 

About the author

MIP Markets, The world's entertainment content markets: MIPTV, MIPCOM, MIPJUNIOR , MIP Cancun, MIPDOC, MIPFORMATS, MIPDRAMA & OneMIP. Build by RX Global.

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