The population of The Metaverse has just reached a key milestone - 400m unique monthly active users. That's an impressive number (approx. the populations of the USA and UK combined) and we're going to dig a bit deeper into this number.
Firstly, how did we arrive at 400m? We've got over 12 years of experience tracking and analysing the demographics and user data for virtual worlds. This means we have direct relationships with many of the platform operators, access to third party metrics and also a good sense of how popular each virtual world is. Additionally, we have proprietary tools and research methods to calculate (and remove) duplicate account data and users with accounts in multiple worlds. We combine all of this knowledge and insight to create our virtually world famous 'Metaverse Universe Chart'.
The chart on the left shows the overall user numbers by age. What's very obvious here is the dominance of young teenagers. Virtual worlds like Roblox (210m MAUs), Fortnite (80m) and Minecraft (160m) have an average user age of 12 - 13 years old.
Of course, they attract users either side of this sweet-spot by tweens and young teens are the major players here.
There are almost 100m unique MAUs within this two-year age range - 25% of the total market.
Moving into older age ranges post 13 it's very clear that the number of active MAUs starts to drop-off quite considerably, but why is this?
This presents a variety of challenges (and therefore opportunities) for the slew of virtual worlds being built on blockchains - more on this in another post.
The chart on the right shows the overall population number cumulatively. Interestingly and importantly, just over half (51%) of the entire Metaverse virtual worlds market is aged 13 and under.
Moving up the age ranges, 78.7% of the total market is aged 16 and under and a whopping 83.5% of the total market is aged under 18. Let this sink in for a moment...
As shown in our Universe Metaverse chart, almost all the virtual worlds currently in development are being built on blockchains, meaning that users typically need a crypto wallet in order to create a full account.
The minimum legal age to create a cryptocurrency wallet (and certainly the minimum age to buy and sell crypto legally) is 18.
So, of the 400m unique monthly active users, only 13.2% (52m) can legally register and join a blockchain-based virtual world. There's an important gap (or perhaps a chasm) here that needs to be explored further. We'll be doing that shortly.
For the purpose of segmenting the overall Metaverse population into meaningful cohorts, we segment the numbers as follows:
1. Browser-based virtual worlds with an average user age 13 and under
2. Browser-based virtual worlds with an average user age over 13
3. Virtual reality-based virtual worlds
4. Browser-based virtual worlds on a blockchain
5. Virtual reality-based virtual worlds on a blockchain
The pie-charts to the left shows the overall 400m population by these cohorts.
Virtual worlds accessed in the browser with an average user age 13 and under and not built on blockchains is clearly the major driving force in the Metaverse market at present accounting for 340m unique MAUs (85%)
The next highest cohort is the older age bracket from the largest cohort, off-chain browser-based VWs with an average user age 13 and older. This segment represents 45m unique MAUs or 11.3% of the market.
We estimate that there's 10m unique MAUs populating virtual worlds accessed via VR headsets. This is a segment we expect to grow strongly in the near future.
The remaining segments contain the new kids of the block - virtual worlds built on blockchains and understandably the user MAU numbers are low because even the active platforms are relatively new.
Erring more towards the optimistic side we estimate there's just under 5m MAUs (or 1.3% of the total Metaverse population) within these platforms.
To be honest here, we expect user retention and engagement numbers of these types of virtual worlds to be pretty low at present as the primary reason for creating an account and therefore entering the worlds is for land sales. The operators of these platforms need to think beyond the land sale aspect to ensure they have profitable businesses able to be run as going concerns in to the future.
We'll be expanding on a few of the key points in this article in upcoming future posts. Feel free to contact us for more information about Metaversed consulting and advisory services.
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