Immersive Media Market Overview: The Future of Social Media and Gaming
The media industry is constantly evolving, and one of the latest trends is the emergence of immersive media. This technology allows users to interact with social video game-like content through virtual worlds.
The immersive media market has been growing rapidly and is expected to continue in the coming years.
This article provides an overview of the immersive media market, including what it is, its ecosystem, and how it is disrupting traditional media.
What is Immersive Media?
Immersive media is a type of content that merges social media and video games. It is characterized by interactive, social video game-like content delivered through virtual worlds.
Immersive media encompasses social video games, virtual worlds, VR & AR, and haptic devices.
The metaverse is also a key concept within the immersive media market. It is a vision of interconnected virtual worlds where individuals can create and participate in various activities and build a virtual life that is as rich and nuanced as their real-world identity, perhaps even more so.
Immersive media gives users the opportunity to build virtual lives in online environments where they can interact with other users, curate digital identities, and even own virtual homes and possessions.
The convergence of video games and narrative media has come into view through popular shows like The Last of Us, which show that video games can have plotlines and elements that are remarkably human.
Immersive media is expanding the gaming sector by developing immersive virtual worlds, which are becoming a popular leisure activity.
The Immersive Media Ecosystem
The immersive media market is an expansive ecosystem that encompasses several existing industries. The gaming industry is a major market, with an estimated $184 billion in 2022. This includes revenue from browser-based PC games, downloaded/boxed PC games, console games, and mobile games.
The player base for the industry is estimated to be 3.2 billion individuals who contribute to the industry through purchases, ranging from premium items to in-game microtransactions.
The virtual goods market is another subset of the gaming industry and accounted for almost $61 billion in 2021, primarily driven by mobile purchases. Virtual goods, such as non-physical items and in-game currencies, are becoming an essential part of the gaming experience, promoting achievement, escapism, relaxation, and exploration.
Immersive media is expected to continue to penetrate the tech stack and transform experiences in new ways.
The digital advertising industry is even larger than the gaming market, with an estimated value of $680 billion, accounting for 69% of the overall expenditure on media ads. As non-gamers seek out virtual worlds for entertainment, advertising becomes an even more important avenue for reaching these consumers in their preferred environment.
Immersive Media is Replacing Traditional Media
Immersive media disrupt traditional media, and younger generations prefer it to traditional and even social media.
Television, radio, and print have been facing a decline in popularity as networks struggle to find content other than sports to draw in younger crowds. Video games have also edged out physical sports.
YouTube and TikTok have largely supplanted traditional and social media platforms. While staples like Facebook and Instagram remain popular, they are less popular among younger users who prefer sharing experiences in video games over social media scrolling.
Meanwhile, social gaming is threatening all forms of social media.
Gen Z prefers gaming to every other form of entertainment. While 26% say video gaming is their favourite entertainment type, only about 10% of the generation prefers social media or TV and movies.
As the development of immersive virtual worlds broadens the gaming sector, other forms of entertainment are being enveloped in the space. This merging of entertainment types is ultimately a positive force for gaming and virtual worlds and, for the time being, a drag on the usage of traditional social media, TV, and movies.
The rise of gaming has also had a significant impact on the entertainment industry as a whole, with gaming revenue surpassing that of the movie industry in recent years.
This has led to a shift in focus for many entertainment companies, who are now looking to invest more in the development of gaming and virtual reality experiences.
For Gen Z, the appeal of gaming lies in its interactive nature and the ability to connect with other players from around the world. This social aspect of gaming has become increasingly important in a world where social interactions are increasingly taking place online.
As per the reports, the gaming industry continues to evolve; it is likely that we will see even more innovative and immersive virtual worlds that blur the lines between traditional forms of entertainment. This is an exciting time for gamers and the entertainment industry.