Tue. Jul 5th, 2022

Putting on a VR headset and doing things like dressing up as a dinosaur, which I thought I had outgrown after puberty, has always been one of my major issues with the Metaverse according to the Zuckerbergian vision of mixed-reality media.

Definitely, our lives will become more digital in the next few years, especially as 5G and home internet speeds improve. However, this has been going on for the better part of two decades now. I do all of my banking, work, and shopping online. Evolution, not revolution, is the metaverse’s goal.

Metaverse and Commercial Winner

Nonetheless, there is one intriguing area of the metaverse that hasn’t been discussed as frequently. A more dynamic, dynamic, and immersive internet is inevitable when audio is added to the mix, according to many experts.

All you need to enter the audio metaverse, instead of a VR or AR headset, is a pair of headphones. Most commuters already listen to music, audiobooks, and podcasts on earbuds, some of which cost hundreds of pounds.

It’s not hard to envision a future in which headphones open up a new metaverse frontier. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. If you’re in the market for new shoes but haven’t found the perfect pair yet, your voice assistant may prompt you to take a closer look at a store that has something you’d like in its catalogue. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of an audio version of Minority Report in the future, given how much change has already taken place in the audio industry.

For example, look at how streaming has transformed the music industry like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Nowadays, people can listen to virtually anything they want via a single platform – usually Spotify or Apple Music – while television programming changes constantly as it is unbundled and then rebundled.

It’s causing some strange reactions. Since Joe Rogan’s podcast has been spreading misinformation about Covid-19, Neil Young recently said his music should be removed from Spotify in protest. There’s one snag in this plan. Neil Young no longer has the exclusive right to decide where his music can be played. Hipgnosis, a hedge fund based in London, bought half of his back catalogue a year ago.

Red Hot Chili Peppers and Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks, and Stevie Nicks’ publishing company, Primary Wave, have all signed similar deals with Hipgnosis. Dylan sold his entire catalogue to Universal Music Group in the same month for £225 million dollars ($325 million). Exclusive rights to mega-artists who won’t live forever and won’t be able to benefit from film and television royalties after they die are worth a lot of money to hedge funds and record labels.

Furthermore, a fascinating piece written by music blogger Ted Gioia and published just last month explains how the market for new music is actually shrinking. Most people prefer to listen to their favourite oldies, despite the fact that the internet provides an endless source of new music.

No wonder all the money is being spent on bidding wars for old songs rather than searching for the next Ed Sheeran. Deepfakes will be even worse when they get so good that you can resurrect Elvis Presley and bring him back on stage and star in a Jailhouse Rock sequel.

Commercial Conundrum

Lucy Barrett, the client director of Radiocentre and the newly-elected president of the World Radio Alliance, sent out a warning last week.

However, “commercial audio formats such as music streaming services and podcasts have emerged over the past decade, but commercial radio’s dominance in the sector remains pretty much intact,” she said. There are expectations and perceptions about new formats’ growth that are not in line with reality, which is typical of media in general.

AA/forecasts Warc’s of advertising spending show how accurate she is. In 2022, digital ad formats are expected to account for 10% of total commercial revenue, or £73 million this year. Digital is still small, but it has grown rapidly since 2015, when it was only £20 million (less than 4 percent of all commercial revenue).

Digital streaming now accounts for two-thirds of all listening, according to the most recent Rajar audience figures. This growth is expected to continue in the coming years.

By Adam

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