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New Research Shows Adults Are Interested In Metaverse-Based Live Music And Sporting Events.

As the number of total users of virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) continues its steady growth, with AR users projected to pass the 100 million mark by 2024 – all this while radio is trying to establish its place in the metaverse – there's new evidence that adults are interested in meta-based live music and sports events.

According to the results of a survey conducted by Morning Consult among more than 4,400 adults in March, nearly half of all adults say they are very or somewhat interested in attending a live music event in the metaverse, while nearly four in ten feel the same about a live sporting event. In addition, creating an avatar for the digital world and purchasing virtual apparel for that avatar elicits interest from four in ten and three in ten adults, respectively.

For Millennials and Gen Z respondents, there is greater interest in these activities. Six in ten (61%) millennials and 54% of Gen Z are very or somewhat interested in live music in the metaverse, while 56% of millennials show interest in meta-based sports events. Also notable is the greater interest from Black and Hispanic adults: around half of each express interest in live music or sporting events in VR.

As part of its analysis, Morning Consult notes recent metaverse-related moves from major entertainment companies, such as Sony Group Corp.'s partnership with the UK's Manchester City Football Club to create a “global online fan community” and last year's performances by artists such as Ariana Grande and Travis Scott in Epic Games Inc.’s Fortnite video game.

At the same time, AR and VR have steadily moved into the mainstream, having once been the domain of the gaming community, according to eMarketer, with users expected to grow 11% and 9% to 89.4 million and 66.8 million – representing one-quarter and one-fifth of the population, respectively – in 2022. eMarketer predicts 16.6% of the U.S. population will use AR driven by social network use – via sites such as Snapchat, Instagram or TikTok – in 2022, growing to 19.8% by 2025, while total users are expected to increase by more than 20 million between now and 2025, with 35.5% of internet users expected to use AR by 2025.

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