The Threat Of The Metaverse: “Television Will Die With Its Audience” | Technology/Gadgets

To reach young people, broadcasters will have to compete with games platforms like Roblox, Fortnite and Minecraft – seen as precursors to the metaverse – which are already establishing a dominant position. — Photography Jessica Lewis / Unsplash

APRIL 10 – TV companies will have to drastically adapt to the rapidly changing world of online entertainment if they hope to survive, experts have warned.

Broadcasters are already catching up with online gaming giants in the battle for young audience attention and the ad dollars that follow.

On the horizon looms the so-called “metaverse” – a loose term covering the growing ecosystem of interactive online worlds, games and 3D hangouts that already attract millions of users.

While older consumers are still attached to traditional TV, viewership for those under 35 has halved in a decade, according to Statista, and will drop precipitously as the metaverse expands.

“Young people have gone from passive television viewers to active gamers, and they have moved away from screens to smartphones,” said Frédéric Cavazza, co-founder of Sysk, a French company specializing in digital transformation.

“TV channels will die along with their audience.”

“Part of the story”

To reach young people, broadcasters will have to compete with games platforms like Roblox, Fortnite and Minecraft – seen as precursors to the metaverse – which are already establishing a dominant position.

According to media research firm Dubit, half of 9- to 12-year-olds in the United States use Roblox at least once a week. They do everything from games to concerts to hanging out with friends.

The audience can be huge: 33 million people watched rapper Lil Nas X perform on Roblox in 2020, more than three times the number who watched him on TV at the Grammys this week.

Broadcasters must choose whether to stick with a declining market for traditional TV programming or start integrating their characters and brands into metaverse platforms, said Matthew Warneford, co-founder of Dubit.

“It means bringing people into a world, making them part of the story, playing alongside their friends – the same way Disneyland lets you and your friends be in their world with Mickey Mouse” , did he declare.

“Stay relevant”

TV companies have time to adapt, but they face a major challenge in catering to both older people watching traditional shows, middle-aged people switching to streaming, and young people wanting interactive and social entertainment.

“If we want to remain relevant, we will have to position ourselves on all these uses,” said Kati Bremme, head of innovation for France Télévisions.

The national broadcaster is still in research mode, she said, playing with augmented and virtual reality to build immersive cultural and sports experiences.

The biggest challenge, however, may be financial.

So far, TV companies have been immune to technological disruption as their advertising revenue has been largely unaffected, unlike other traditional media like newspapers.

That could change “faster than people think,” Warneford said.

It used to be difficult to bring TV ads into the gaming world because they were created by individual companies “locking them in and capturing all the value,” he said.

But with the more open field of the metaverse, brands will have much more leeway to promote themselves and sell goods directly to users.

Indeed, fashion and luxury brands are already making millions selling virtual clothing and accessories on Roblox, Fortnite and other platforms.

“If they want to reach young people, do companies continue to go to television or do they go where young people really are – in games and the metaverse?” — Studio ETX

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