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Digiday+ Research: 80% of publishers don’t see a big future for their businesses in the metaverse

One can scarcely swing a cat without hitting a story about the metaverse, or NFTs, or blockchain in media. But close to half of publishers think that none of these emerging technologies will have a significant impact on their businesses over the next few years, according to new Digiday+ research. 

In January 2022, Digiday surveyed several dozen publishers on a number of different topics, including how their businesses make money and what they are prioritizing for the future. 85 of them answered a multiple choice question about how they regard emerging technologies. 

Respondents were asked to choose which emerging technology from a list that included NFTs, the metaverse, blockchain and cryptocurrencies, would have the biggest impact on their business “over the next few years.” 

Respondents also had the choice of selecting “none of the above,” which is what more than 40% of respondents did. The metaverse was the second most popular choice, but just 20% of respondents selected it. 

Many of the choices respondents considered sit right on the bleeding edge of technology — for example, Meta, which has in some ways staked its future as a company on the metaverse, openly admits that much of the technology that will power the metaverse is years away from even existing. 

But interest in them is significant enough that small cottage industries of endemic advertisers and publishers have grown up around them. The B2B publisher Blockworks hopes to double its revenues in 2022, to $20 million, by doing things like selling NFTs to readers

And on the consumer end of the spectrum, several cryptocurrency companies and exchanges thrust themselves into mainstream American consciousness by buying up Super Bowl ads this past weekend. 

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