Asia’s multibillion-dollar marketing and media industries are about to be redefined by the emergence of the Zoomer audience and the arrival of the metaverse.
For the as-yet unacquainted, Zoomers is the term given to the new generation of kids and teens coming through and metaverse is the name given to an emerging digital world of shared space that will see the internet evolve from today’s interaction.
At the moment people experience the internet by creating physical interaction. However, in the Metaverse—meta = beyond and verse = universe—advanced physical reality will merge with augmented reality, the internet and new virtual spaces to bring people a holistic 24/7 information and communications environment on demand.
There are two leading indicators pointing to the arrival of the metaverse. First is the fact that the world’s big three gaming platforms, Roblox, Fortnite and Minecraft have quadrupled in size since 2017. Across Asian countries, our newly completed ZDI research tells us that between 72% and 78% of teens are gaming.
So it is clear that, with this degree of acceleration in usage, gaming platforms will overrun social media as Zoomers’ preferred communications forums. In other words, they won’t need to ‘go to’ social media, social will be incorporated into all their other digital activities.
The second indicator is that Zoomers are already democratising prime-time media. Our ZDI research across APAC sees that 62% of Zoomers are actively using media in the traditional prime period, but only 31% are watching TV. They spread out across social media (49%), gaming (50%), surfing the web (49%), watching online videos (54%) and watching movies online (61%).
The ‘Digital Natives’ we recognise today will be known as ‘metaverse colonists’ into the future. Zoomers will be redefining what new online behaviours look like, with more activities moving into the metaverse that are currently compromised in reality. With this, the marketing rulebook will be rewritten.
Marketers and agencies are just starting to identify useful tips for demystifying the oncoming metaverse, where brands will need to reinvent themselves in meaning and purpose to attract the Zoomer audience.
Brands that invest the time and have the creative foresight will have first-mover advantage considering that Zoomers are expecting a very different value exchange with brands—from social responsibility to edutainment-style platforms through to discounted tickets and virtual concerts, meaning the advertising model as we know it will be changed forever.
Will Anstee is CEO of Totally Awesome.