McKinsey: Metaverse Spending to Hit $5 Trillion by 2030


May 9, 2023

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While only a few companies are testing metaverse spending today, global consulting firm McKinsey & Co. has published a report claiming total metaverse spending will reach $5 trillion by 2030.

Created as a fictional idea in a novel in the early 1990s, the metaverse has become much more than a dystopian concept of the future. It has become a reality in the minds of the makers and app developers of tomorrow. McKinsey’s report shows that e-commerce will rise to a total value of $2.6 trillion by 2030 while virtual learning will be valued at $270 billion. In fact, McKinsey expects e-commerce to be the largest sector in the metaverse.

Advertising and gaming will be valued at $206 billion and $125 billion, respectively, the report says.

McKinsey surveyed more than 3,000 consumers and more than 400 C-level executives from 11 different countries to determine the future value of the metaverse. Interestingly, 79 percent of consumers surveyed reported they’d already made purchases in the metaverse. Among the most preferred metaverse activities for consumers are shopping, attending social events, playing games, and physical fitness.

How Businesses Will Use the Metaverse

Typically, businesses don’t show up until there are enough consumers to make it worth their investment. Currently, the metaverse is a small seed of its future growth. But there are businesses testing metaverse marketing right now and planning to make the move into the metaverse when it makes sense for them and their customers.

Ninety-five percent of executives surveyed said they expect the metaverse to have a positive impact on their business and industry within five to 10 years. Twenty-five percent expect the metaverse to drive 15 percent of their organization’s growth margin within five years.

Last year, businesses spent a total of $57 billion in the metaverse. Thus far this year, companies have spent more than $120 billion. That includes venture capital and private equity investments.

Currently, the largest segment of metaverse spending is in gaming. Roblox is one company leading the way. There are also other gaming companies with metaverse applications today or that are developing metaverse applications. These include blockchain-based virtual world Decentraland, Fortnite-creator Epic Games, and Pokémon GO-creator Niantic.

There are companies creating applications for business, as well. Apple, Google, and Microsoft are all focused on the business applications of the metaverse with various products and applications already developed or in development. Virtual learning is one application that seems to have gained traction among corporates and institutional education organizations. Communication and business productivity tools are also in development with the metaverse in mind.

While some cryptocurrency enthusiasts have begun thinking about what currency will look like in the metaverse, it’s likely that fiat money won’t be necessary. Whether the dominant metaverse currency will be bitcoin, ether, or something else remains to be seen. Ethereum Co-founder Vitalik Buterin believes the future currency of the internet will be multiple currencies, not just one that rules them all.

If McKinsey is right about its prediction, we can expect the metaverse to be a multi-trillion-dollar enterprise with the potential to outpace all the world’s real-world economies by 2050.