Media companies need to start thinking about their place in the metaverse

By Amit Das

Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. (The Times Group)

Mumbai, India


We have been hearing about the “new normal,” “phygital workplace,” and “hybrid work” for the last 20 months. When we look at the larger picture, I believe we are moving toward a future where the metaverse will be a strong and important pillar in our way of working and interacting with each other in the workplace or our personal lives.

While this is a change we may not witness immediately, we will move at an extremely fast pace toward this future reality.

The metaverse is going to be our digital lifestyle. It is the convergence of our physical and digital worlds that will be made possible by the adaption of different technologies like Augmented Reality (AR), blockchain, 5G, and other technologies. The metaverse has the potential to enhance the experience of consumers in a content-centric media industry. It will open up newer possibilities for immersive storytelling and improve the experience.

Society is headed toward a mixed reality world, and media companies need to be prepared.
Society is headed toward a mixed reality world, and media companies need to be prepared.

So far, we have only read about the metaverse from science fiction, and that gives us a very dystopic view. What we need is to visualise what it will look like so we don’t try to escape reality but rather embrace and augment it with virtual content and experiences that make us feel more connected to the world, more productive at work, and realise a sense of happiness.

Shifting concept of work

The fact is there is an immensely stimulating shift happening with the concept of work. It is more of an evolution and work transformation we are witnessing. With time, and as we enter the metaverse, work will start becoming less physical and more mental for most of us because of the tools we will start using. It is going to become more fun, sometimes more gamified, and maybe more challenging, too.

Generation Z has entered the workplace with great gusto. When we think about the jobs they will have in the future, we believe it will involve a lot of creativity and building, both in physical and virtual formats. In the metaverse, we will all be building a different world. Of course, physical work will exist as there are physical beings in a physical world, but the concept of work is expanding and will continue to do so.

This is a chance for every individual to reimagine what they will become in the metaverse. There might be new ways to create new things. Today we largely measure things by likes, shares, and subscribers. Would that change with virtual experiences and communities, when there is a high possibility most of your interactions will be with bots? It’s going to be an evolution of learning how and what you are measuring to determine success and whether this is more than a number.

Shifting view of business

The metaverse would also change the way organisations and leadership look at business. The main focus areas would be communication, strategy, and self-reflection.

It is critical for employees to understand more of what is happening. After all, change is a team game. Communication achieves this. It is key to create a dialogue with employees, educate them about changing technologies and lifestyles, and keep the floor open to discussion.

It is also important for organisations to be strategic and think through their responses to and actions within the metaverse. Metaverse platforms open up huge opportunities for organisations to work, interact, and nurture businesses in literally brand-new ways. Such state-of-the-art technological transformation needs organisations to step back and create holistic strategies.

Looking internally

Finally, it is going to be important for organisations to look internally and self-reflect on who within your company has the experience needed right now to start thinking about the metaverse and building teams. You might have innovation teams that have been developing AR and Virtual Reality for a long time. In this case, they would be your team leads. They know how to think three-dimensionally and spatially. You might have crypto natives who work for you, who you don’t even know are crypto natives. The smartest person might be the youngest person in the room.

Business leaders will have to help develop a metaverse that will be equitable, safe, and sustainable, and serve society at large. Organisations will have to create bespoke metaverse solutions that meet business needs.

The metaverse environment will be a ground-breaking solution. It will allow brands to craft interactions at a much deeper level. It will enable organisations to build a strong business presence. Taking advantage of metaverse capabilities will create limitless opportunities for organisations to ensure employee and customer loyalty by providing enhanced user experiences and conquering new markets.

About Amit Das

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