Streaming Metaverse 101: Will It Work? Metaverses you can stream in
At a first glance, you might think that streaming and the metaverse are two radically different concepts that don’t mix well. You might consider streaming to belong to the web 2.0 era, now nearing its end with the advent of web 3.0, also known as the metaverse. You certainly wouldn’t be the only one — even high profile publications like Forbes (and others) have explored the possibility for the streaming industry to virtually end once the metaverse becomes more widespread and adopted. But other thinkers and tech experts, especially those who are working on a metaverse for creators, ourselves included, of course, beg to differ. Streaming in the metaverse will reach new heights.
Not just the popularity of streaming will very likely skyrocket in the metaverse, but this niche of influencer marketing will be transformed for the better, too. If we think about what the metaverse brings as a plus, compared with the networking age of the internet (web 2.0), immersion, blockchain security, user ownership, Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) and awesome visuals almost immediately spring to mind.
All of these metaverse features directly apply to streaming, because all of them will make this activity that much more engaging, rewarding and complex (in a good way). But before we dive into how streaming metaverse activities will look like, let’s properly define our terms first.
What Is a Streaming Metaverse?
The metaverse is a term that comes up increasingly often and with an urgency that keeps building up as the tech world is on the verge of making it happen. But while we’re all talking about the metaverse, we might in fact be talking about several metaverses depending on how we define the term. The metaverse concept comes with varying definitions and a central idea we mostly agree upon, but the contents and functionality of each metaverse can set it apart greatly from all other metaverse worlds.
This brings us to the streaming metaverse definition we need today in order to explore the implications of streaming in the web 3.0 further. A streaming metaverse is an immersive and decentralized world where streaming users can produce and distribute their streaming content by connecting directly with their audiences, in a viewer-streamer relationship mediated by smart contracts and the self-governing rules of a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO).
Why Should You Join the Metaverse as a Streamer?
Will Streaming Survive in the Metaverse?
According to the Conviva report on streaming released at the end of 2021, we are all consuming streaming content as a greater pace than ever before. As you can expect, there was a huge jump in streaming during the pandemic and its lockdowns, but the upwards trend continued afterwards as well. At a global level, we are consuming 7% more streamed content year-over-year, with some continents like South America leading the charge (64% more streaming), followed by Oceania and Africa with almost equally impressive numbers (54 percent and 51 percent more streaming than the year before).
The market research report by Grand View Research reports that the global streaming market was worth over $42.6 billion in 2019 with a booming upwards trend of more than 20 percent per year projected growth. It’s expected that the global streaming market will reach a total of $184.3 billion by 2027.
A huge chunk of this market will continue to be owned by large streaming giants like Disney, Netflix, HBO and so on; but individual streamers or the platforms that host their content (YouTube, Tik-Tok, other social media platforms etc.) are an important part of that growth as well. Especially as we transition from the web 2.0 to web 3.0, this shift will favor individual users and content creators (streamers included) over large content output houses.
That’s because the audiences prefer authenticity, micro-niches and the communities that form around shared interests, and streamers themselves will prefer to create their content in a decentralized space (the metaverse), instead of the Big Tech platforms they are using now with limited benefits.
But will streaming survive in the metaverse for sure?
Not just survive, it will do better than that. Not only are figures pointing to the fact that the popularity of streaming isn’t going away anytime soon, but many tech experts say streaming will prove to be the entry point to the metaverse for many casual users. Some go as far as claiming the very future of the metaverse relies on streaming as its central pillar.
The early adopters of metaverse technology will probably be hardcore tech enthusiasts, visionaries or gamers. But a huge chunk of the tech-savvy population (especially young millennials and Zoomers) will soon follow thanks to streaming, a type of cultural consumption that is already immensely popular and mainstream.
Benefits of the Metaverse for Streamers
So why should you as a streamer join the metaverse or prefer it over the web 2.0 platforms you’re using now for streaming?
· Immersion — This one is easy to conceptualize and to intuitively know: the more immersive a space or a cultural product (movie, video game, streaming content), the better. Users will spend more time and appreciate your streaming content more if they feel more deeply connected to it. And the metaverse is the pinnacle of immersion for the upcoming tech age.
· Earnings — Right now, the streaming content platforms you’re using are taking up at least 50% of your earnings. (If they tell you they take less, it means that you’re actually earning them much more than you realize simply by being active on their platform). This will all change in the metaverse where communities of creators will be organized by DAO principles and will be able to retain their full earnings. Of course, this implies actual metaverses (blockchain-organized), not Meta’s version of the metaverse (that announced it will retain over 50% of creators’ earnings).
· Ownership — The same can be said for the copyright over creative output, streaming content included. Right now, the web 2.0 platforms you’re using technically own (or at least co-own) the content you create if you distribute it using their corner of the internet. In a blockchain-enabled metaverse (like our business metaverse for content creators), users retain full ownership of their streaming content or any other creative work.
· Decentralized Autonomy — You know those moments when you’d like to upload something to YT or FB but you need to check if it infringes upon some silly rules of conduct or arbitrary regulations? Not even talking about serious stuff here like infringing someone else’s rights, just about seemingly stupid rules designed by the mega-platforms you’re using in order to ensure that they are maximizing their profits. Well, those rules will finally be up to the users in the metaverse. That’s the beauty of a decentralized metaverse community.
· Innovative possibilities — Besides all of these reasons that have to do more with organization than with actual mind-blowing novelty, let’s explore what else will make streaming in the metaverse irresistible. Imagine that you’re immersed in a 3D space that you get to explore and you’re streaming your actions to your virtual audience, much as you do now, but instead of being remotely tuned into your activity, some members of your audience can join your efforts and virtually teleport next to you. Imagine that some parts of your visual field display some members of your audience streaming right back at you. Imagine that whatever you’re streaming about has a metaverse-designed experience that can collect incremental crowd efforts so that you’re working towards a goal with your community of users who watch you. Imagine that you can jump from one streaming metaverse window to the next and co-stream with your favorite streamers or just pleasantly surprise some of your biggest fans. There’s no telling what the metaverse will bring, exactly, but we can be sure it will be full of novel possibilities and the closest we got so far to a tech-enabled land of wonder.
Sources of Streams about the Metaverse
If you want to watch streaming content about the metaverse right now, where should you go? That’s pretty easy, but it depends on what your exact area of interest is.
For proto-metaverse games like Minecraft and Roblox, you have dedicated streaming sources that cover both. Here’s a well-curated list for Roblox and one for Minecraft, although, if you’re a big fan of these games, we’re pretty sure you already know where to get your best streams from.
For demos about the upcoming metaverse for content creators or debates with tech experts about the metaverse, you have the Meta Studio YouTube channel.
Streaming Metaverses (Metaverses You Can Stream In)
As the web 3.0 is just emerging, right now there are a lot of promising metaverse projects being built, but so far there aren’t a lot of finalized ones where you can actually go as a streamer and start doing your thing and building your audience.
We will update this list as developments are launched, but right now we can pretty much guess where the best streaming metaverse spots will be, at least in the beginning of the new web3 age.
· Meta’s metaverse — sadly, we need to mention this one too, because streaming here will very likely be an option and it’s pretty clear that with a huge budget and talent pool, this metaverse world will be amazing, but just not very friendly to its users on the longer run.
· Hulu has a dedicated metaverse program for NFTs and streaming.
· LIV seems to be a promising streaming metaverse platform, at least in this development stage.
· Varjo has an interesting project with impressive human eye resolution for streaming metaverse content.
· Meta Studio, our own project, is building the business metaverse for content creators of all types, streamers included, where they can monetize their content and audiences, collaborate with others, buy and sell content or services while feeling like they play. We aim to become the go-to-place for content creators in the metaverse and so far, the trends are agreeing with us.