Marketing in the Metaverse Facing Regulatory Limbo

  • February 25, 2023
  • Daniel Daniele, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada

The metaverse is an elusive concept, but can be broadly described as a rapidly growing extension of the tendrils of the internet, redefining what constitutes social media. As an ever growing and immersive network of technologies, the metaverse attempts to close the gap between society and the media which serves as its vehicle. As it exists now, the metaverse is a multi-platform virtual ecosystem with an integrated economy that evolves and grows in real time.[1] A more developed vision of the metaverse has been conceptualized as “a fully immersive, virtual world run in parallel to the physical world with mass-scale adoption.”[2] The economic implications are enormous: one recent report forecasts that the metaverse market will surpass a value of $993 billion USD by 2030.[3]

Challenges Facing Regulators

One key legal challenge presented by the metaverse is the simultaneous regulation and governance of centralized and decentralized platforms, and the accompanying exchange of digital assets and currencies. In this setting, brands and consumers can interact in innovative ways, propelled by the emergence of dynamic marketing tactics, captivating  consumer experiences, and the sheer range of goods and services which transcend the division between the metaverse and the physical world.[4] It is anticipated that intellectual property rights will play an important role in digital asset protection and management. This forecast likewise extends to the role of businesses in the digital marketplace. More than ever before, marketing strategies encompass the experience embodied by a brand, which places a premium on consumer engagement and feedback. Businesses must prepare to adapt their measure of success, as new metrics of engagement, such as number of visitors, views, shares, “likes”, etc., will supplant traditional benchmarks within the economy of the metaverse.[5]