Media and entertainment companies should combine multiple tech tactics to get consumers into physical venues as well as digital worlds.

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Image: Shutterstock/Ira Lichi

Adapt and reinvent on a massive scale. That’s the 2022 strategic advice for media and entertainment companies looking to use blockchain, NFTs and metaverse experiences to engage consumers and build new products, according to Deloitte’s new report. Analysts said they see these individual trends growing as individual forces and working together to reorganize “the structural foundations of the internet.”

The report, “2022 Media & Entertainment Industry Outlook,” identified these trends:

  1. Expanding business models for streaming video services with lifetime customer value replacing subscriber counts as the most important metric
  2. Enhanced consumer experiences at stadiums and other entertainment venues to bring people out of their COVID-19 cocoons
  3. Social media evolving to be more about shopping than socializing
  4. NFTs supporting digital product innovation and the expansion of blockchain, cryptocurrency and the decentralized web
  5. Steady progress toward virtual worlds becoming more common and accessible 

The key to success will be combining technologies to drive innovation and evolve business models, according to the report. Media and entertainment companies should think about how to use augmented reality, virtual reality and NFTs to create new experiences and build new digital products. Deloitte analysts said they see each of these trends as part of the overall growth of virtual experiences in digital worlds:

“Each of these trends is slowly marching humanity closer toward the metaverse (or metaverses), where people will spend more of their time in immersive, social, digital worlds, while the digital world will move further into the physical one.”

Here are two recommendations about how companies can use these technologies to shape 2022 strategies.

Use AR, VR and streaming to create options for everyone

The COVID-19 pandemic continued to keep people at home through 2021 and uncertainty about the latest wave of the virus is extending this problem into the new year. Managers at concert halls, sports stadiums and movie theaters are coping with this ongoing uncertainty and trying to figure out how to convince ticket buyers that it’s worth the risk to venture out for a live event. Deloitte analysts recommend that venues offer mixed-media, live-streaming, and augmented reality and virtual reality experiences to do so. The best strategy is to create options for at-home and in-person fans, according to the report:

“Companies and venues that can master the art of integration stand to benefit the most, as a result of their ability to cater to the broadest population of consumers. Experiences that embrace a hybrid approach, integrating in-person experiences with options like remote viewing, live streaming and virtual co-presence, can appeal to both those who can’t wait to leave home, and those who’d prefer to stay within their own four walls. Other options could include live events that are broadcast on streaming video services or in game worlds.”

Use NFTs to improve rights management

Deloitte analysts predict that NFTs will evolve from a novelty into a utility in 2022. The emerging ecosystem will support “entirely new lines of revenue with authentication and traceability built right in.” These digital assets create additional layers of programmability and rights management, and those characteristics will help the format grow beyond collectibles such as sports trading cards and artwork. Deloitte sees a variety of new use cases for NFTs, including:

“… greater customer relationships and loyalty by offering exclusive goods that unfold value over time, like a season pass that pays a dividend based on the team’s performance. Musicians and bands can use NFTs to offer exclusive collectibles or extend VIP services to fans. They may attach usage rights directly to songs that would automatically pay artists and labels if, for example, the song was used in a video online. Fans could buy a share of royalties when they purchase a special NFT version of an album, underwriting the artist while enjoying a stake in their future success.”

The other impact of this increased adoption will be to accelerate “the use and adoption of decentralized ledgers, like blockchains and cryptocurrencies that contain the potential to radically recompose many aspects of the economy.” 

Finally, NFTs have the potential to bridge the physical and digital worlds, according to the report, which is how the format fits into metaverse worlds and Web 3.0.

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