Interest in NFTs, Metaverse Led by Men, Youth

March 15, 2022

A slim majority (54%) of consumers purport to have heard about the “metaverse,” according to survey results [excerpt download page] from Hub Entertainment Research, which also found that interest in new digital technologies is higher among youth and males.

Despite relatively high awareness of the term “metaverse,” the report finds that fewer are confident in describing it: just 1 in 3 respondents are “very” (15%) or “somewhat” (18%) confident they could describe the metaverse to someone else, although that figure grows to a majority (28% and 34%, respectively), among those who have heard of the metaverse.

Previous research from Ipsos has found a lower level of familiarity with the term “metaverse,” by 38% of adults, with only 1 in 6 adults overall able to correctly identify the meaning of the term.

Presented with a description of the metaverse, and asked to say how they feel about it on a 0-10 scale (where 10 = “I love this idea” and 0 = “I hate this idea”), about one-third (32%) of the respondents to Hub’s survey scored it a 0-2 (hatred), versus 19% who scored it an 8-10 (love).

Of note, though, is that men were almost as likely to love (25%) than hate (28%) the idea, while for women hatred (35%) of the concept outweighed love (14%) by a considerable margin.

And, as expected, youth were significantly more keen on the concept of the metaverse than older adults, with love outweighing hatred among the under-35s by a roughly 3:1 margin, while the opposite was true for those ages 35 and older.

1 in 4 Own A VR Headset

Some 25% of respondents surveyed reported owning a virtual reality (VR) headset, per the survey’s findings, with this figure rising to 40% among those who have heard of the metaverse.

Respondents claimed some level of interest (either “somewhat” or “very” interested) in a range of VR applications, including socializing with friends (58%), playing videogames (54%), attending a movie premiere (52%), attending a concert (51%), doing their job (50%) and attending a TV series screening (48%).

Once again, interest in these VR use cases was significantly higher among the 13-34-year-olds surveyed than among the 35+ group, at an almost 2:1 ratio for each application.

Interest in using VR or artificial reality (AR) applications for shopping remains lower in the US than in other countries, though, according to previous research.

1 in 2 Have Physical Collectibles; Men Share Collections

Half of the survey-takers said they have some form of physical collectible, with the most popular being coins (18%), comic books (13%), and sports trading cards (13%). Once again, physical object collection is a significantly more popular activity among younger than older respondents, with this gap exacerbated even further when it comes to spending money on digital collectible content.

Men (52%) are considerably more likely than women (36%) to share their collections with other people (such as by posting pictures on social media), per the report, and are also more interested in an online platform built to share them (75% and 65%, respectively).

Men are also far more apt than women to have heard of non-fungible tokens (NFTs; 70% and 43%, respectively), though the gap between genders narrows when considering these groups’ ability to explain the tokens to someone else.

Finally, the gender gap continues when looking at interest in various types of NFTs, including gaming, sports, player, and sports gaming NFTs.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 1,092 US consumers ages 13 and older.

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