The metaverse and its new possibilities are moving the digital media world. Consultancy Deloitte has dedicated its new media consumer survey 2022 entirely to this topic. The market researchers’ latest study, conducted among 2,000 consumers in Germany in February 2022, shines a light on consumers’ attitudes to the virtual world. Key findings are: 41 percent of respondents in Germany have at least already heard the term “metaverse” before, and 27 percent believe they know what it is. Deloitte experts find these figures particularly remarkable, as only a few early adopters have had experience with the metaverse so far.
Across all ages, almost 40 percent of respondents in Germany can imagine becoming part of the metaverse. Still, there is a high proportion of consumers who are still undecided. Particularly noteworthy: In the younger age groups, well over half of those surveyed are open to participating in the metaverse. It is only in the age segments from the mid-50s that interest in this new virtual world declines.
Asked about the practical benefits, a third of the study participants see virtual meetings with friends as a possible option. Virtual travel and shopping are also popular, with around a quarter of respondents rating these applications as attractive. Numerous consumers are also open to virtual brand events, be it virtual product presentations or fashion shows. The same applies to virtual visits to real sporting events. The interest in virtual goods is also respectable: 55 percent of those surveyed could imagine purchasing them in the metaverse. At the top of the popularity scale are owning video and music recordings (25 percent) and purchasing virtual concert tickets (21 percent). Virtual fashion for avatars (the digital representation of oneself in the metaverse) is also in demand. But not all consumers are open-minded; a total of 29 percent of study participants would not purchase virtual goods in the metaverse, while 16 percent are undecided. Again, the willingness to buy virtual goods decreases significantly as the age of the respondents increases.
The metaverse is emotionalizing, in both a positive and negative sense. More than one-third of respondents (35 percent) across all age groups in Deloitte’s study is concerned about the new possibilities and technologies of the metaverse. On the other hand, 45 percent rate the development as an exciting new world. This proportion is even significantly higher in the younger and middle age groups.
Deloitte sees its study as proof of the potential of the metaverse. However, areas for action are also becoming apparent. The consultancy votes for a raise of awareness and the development of attractive use cases and approachable brand and shopping worlds.