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Metaverse, CX, TV, Cookies & More – What Really Matters To US Brands & Agencies Right Now?

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According to a recent survey 98% of brands and agencies in the US plan to maintain or increase their spend on advertising this year – but how does the accelerating innovation in the industry impact on those plans and what will be the new tech and tools used to deliver results?

The Drum is set to publish a proprietary piece of research from the US that will answer these questions and provide insights into the challenges on the minds of the most influential brands and agencies in the US.

The report will provide a snapshot of what really matters to senior marketers and agency leads in the US and equip our readers with tangible insights on the core areas of industry and media interest.

The future of TV, the customer experience (CX) economy, consumer tech trends, the business impact of sustainability, audio and the power of sound, the rise of gaming and how to build brilliant brands are among the top themes for brand marketers and agencies this year.

Marketers specified challenges including the cookieless future, targeting and segmentation, diversity, equity and inclusion, measurement and attribution, along with the metaverse, web3, connected TV, tech innovations and the role of influencers.

Differences between the views of brands and agencies are in evidence, with agencies noting Connected TV, over-the-top (OTT) and streaming as key issues for media more so than brand marketers. Marketers identified tech innovation higher on their agenda than the agencies surveyed.

This exclusive report will explore the research and these key themes and more, with solutions to answer these most pressing challenges.

“Chaotic macro environments have resulted in changing focus and spend patterns, so it’s essential to understand the key areas of interest and where these audiences will be placing their budgets” said Dan Botten, head of research and insights, The Drum.

“We’ll pull these findings together into an exclusive report that will explore all of this in more detail, along with commentary and insightful interviews with key industry players. This will be an invaluable resource for anyone looking to understand what’s on the minds of marketers and their key agency partners in the US.”

Register here for a first look at the report, when it launches in the coming weeks.



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Korean IT names add open-source and upgraded functions on metaverse platforms

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[Source: Naver]

[Source: Naver]

Korean IT majors are eager in grooming their metaverse venues as open-source platforms for growth and diversity to gain global competitiveness.

Zepeto, metaverse platform operator under Korean internet giant Naver, is providing more virtual spaces where players can play game within its Zepeto metaverse this year, according to industry sources. Naver Z has added a feature that allows players in Zepeto to create games using cross-platform game engine developed by Unity.

[Source: Nexon]

[Source: Nexon]

Nexon, a major video game publisher, is working on metaverse project dubbed MOD based on its blockbuster title MapleStory. In MOD, players will be given access to MapleStory characters, background images and other various items used in the role-playing game to create their own video game.

Nexon ran a game developing contest for MOD last year, where 180 out of 297 contestants contributing in adding game options.

The company plans to open full-fledged platform at home and abroad with features enabling creators to collaborate on game development for profit. It is confident the new project would be a success since MapleStory is played by more than 200 million in 130 countries across the world.

SK Telecom, a major wireless carrier, has been upgrading its metaverse platform Ifland by enabling avatar characters with greater functions and role.

[Source: SK Telecom]

[Source: SK Telecom]

Korean IT names are hoping for a metaverse jackpot like Roblox, an online game platform that has thousands of games created by players themselves with those played by other users. Its ecosystem is expanding rapidly with daily active user count jumping 28 percent in a year to 5.4 million and trade made with Robux, Roblox’s in-game currency, amounting to $224 million in the first quarter 2022.

Traditional video contents creators are joining the bandwagon.

Redwoods, a local TV show production house, has teamed up with Kakao Enterprise to open a contents creation studio for metaverse platforms. The two signed an agreement last Friday to open a metaverse contents studio within Redwoods Park to be built in Wonju city in Gangwon Province.

By Lim Young-shin, Lee Jae-cheol and Cho Jeehyun

[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]



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Metaverse features expected in HTC’s new phone

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HTC is expected to launch a new mobile phone with metaverse features on Tuesday, as the virtual reality (VR) gear and smartphone maker continues its Web3 expansion. 

See related article: Smartphone giant Huawei doubles down on blockchain technology

Fast facts

  • In a tweet earlier in June, HTC’s VR and metaverse arm Viverse teased a phone-shaped graphic without disclosing additional details or specifications.
  • HTC hasn’t responded to Forkast’s request for comment by press time.
  • The Taiwanese consumer electronics firm has shifted its focus to VR gear production, with its latest phone release dating back to January 2021.
  • Chaoying Huang, HTC’s general manager for APAC, said in March that the company intends to roll out a metaverse-related phone in 2022, clarifying HTC was not ditching the smartphone business, Taiwanese tech media Business Next reported.
  • In 2017, Google bought a US$1.1 billion slice of HTC’s smartphone hardware business.
  • HTC is among the early phone makers to experiment with blockchain technology.

See related article: Samsung joins South Korean pilot to test CBDC on Galaxy smartphone





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Developers In India Key To Metaverse: Meta India Md | Bengaluru News

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Bengaluru: Meta, the parent company of Facebook, expects a lot of the software work and applications related to the metaverse to happen out of India. Ajit Mohan, VP & MD for India at Meta, said the country will have the largest app developer ecosystem in the world in two years, so many of the metaverse applications will be built here.
In an interaction with TOI, Mohan said Meta is not building the metaverse, but is rather focussing on building toolkits for other companies and developers to build the metaverse. “This is an important point to highlight. We are helping to build what will become the metaverse, which is a combination of these connected immersive spaces that will be built by millions of other developers and creators,” he said. Meta’s ambitious metaverse plans were on full display last year when founder Mark Zuckerberg made the surprise announcement to change the company name from Facebook to Meta. The move also catapulted the concept of the metaverse into global public consciousness.
One of the crucial tools for the metaverse is the headset, which Meta is hard at work on. Its Oculus Quest is already a market leader in headsets. Last week, Zuckerberg released a video showcasing newer prototypes of the VR and AR headsets that the company has been working on over the last few years and said that they are spending at least $10 billion this year on R&D on VR/AR tech.
Many today believe that the metaverse will be the next version of the internet. “Fundamentally, it means the transition from the 2D world to the 3D world, a transition from anything that we looked at on a mobile screen, to one where you will be in it,” Mohan said. What fascinates him the most, he said, is that interactions in the metaverse can cause one to form real memories of being in a shared physical space with other people.
There are plenty of challenges still to overcome to build a metaverse that gives the feel of a physical world. More than anything else, hesaid, Meta is trying to solve the vexing problem of creating a sense of physical presence between people when they’re not in the same room. At the moment Meta’s Horizon Workrooms project, which uses the VR headset called Quest 2, can replicate certain real-life behaviours. For example, if a person on your right is speaking, the sound will come from the right. It can also capture hand movements and gestures to a certain extent.
But all of that is just the beginning. Right now, Mohan said, a lot of work is being done by Meta to capture facial expressions accurately. “A lot of the feedback that we get from people in the physical world is based on how others are responding to us. And that’s the one thing that the avatars of today limit you from doing. But imagine if you can start rendering people’s facial expressions with the help of cameras and sensors. The more you can replicate the real sense of being in a shared physical space, the more natural it will become to adopt the metaverse,” he said.
One of the company’s primary goals, Mohan said, is for a billion people to experience their version of the metaverse in 10 years from now. “If a billion people have to adopt it, it has to be affordable. So even today, the devices that we’re putting out are either at cost or below cost,” he said. Multiple companies are building similar immersive spaces. Would these spaces be interoperable? It’s a question that Mohan said Meta takes very seriously. “I think there is a belief that there are too many closed systems in the mobile world. The assumptions that we have about the physical world should translate to the metaverse as well. If I buy accessories for my avatar, like sunglasses, it shouldn’t disappear when I land in Bengaluru.”





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