METAVERSE PUBLISHING - The process of digital transition is also involving many sectors that are historically linked to paper. One example is publishing, which with the advent of digitalization seems to live a new youth. Enough to be ready to enter the metaverse.
We understand the intensity of the push towards digitalization that is involving the publishing sector already starting from the fact that the word 'reader' today includes not only paper lovers, but also those who dedicate themselves to e-books and those who rely on audiobooks.
In addition, digital and multi-sensory channels have become fundamental for young people and are at the head of the change in the purchasing market, which is increasingly directed towards the immersive experience and digitalization. Young people who are increasingly interested in reading. For example, in 2019 54.1% of readers were 15-17 years old, 56.6% were between 11 and 14 years old. Percentages in net increase three years later thanks also to the phenomenon of the #BookTok, that great impulse is bringing to the publishing field.
The hashtag #BookTok is a widespread phenomenon on the social platform TikTok, which records 75 billion views globally and 1 billion at the Italian level. It is a trend born in 2020 to bring together in one community passionate readers and new customers of the sector forced to stay away from the restrictions for the pandemic.
Thanks to the #BookTok many famous classics, little-known readings, novelties in the bookstore quickly climbed the charts becoming best sellers, even many years after the first ironing.
The 1.701 billion euros of sales at cover price and 115.6 million copies purchased, recorded in 2021 - data collected from the report of the Italian Publishers Association - are not all due to the phenomenon of #BookTok and the advent of new readers, but they include an important slice. AIE report also shows another important data in favor of the transition to a more digital reading: the +11% of users of audio books in 2021 compared to 2020.
The importance of the digital sector in publishing is confirmed by Federico Frattini, Dean of POLIMI Graduate School of Management who states:
"It is thanks to digital that the publishing sector is experiencing a new impetus. The IEA data of 2021 say that the market is worth 1.7 billion euros and is growing strongly compared to 2020, so much so that Italy is confirmed as the sixth publishing in the world and the fourth in Europe. We frequently witness the emergence of new publishing products and native formats of different digital platforms and channels - such as podcasts and audiobooks - that are reconfiguring the publishing market, anticipating trends and trends for the coming years".
It is precisely these data and the interest in publishing by a younger and younger audience that push the industry towards the metaverse, a market that, an estimate by Bloomberg, estimates that it could reach 800 billion dollars in 2024.
The benefits of the metaverse are not only about economy. Reading in immersive virtual reality brings the narrated stories to life and make them more interactive. The metaverse and the reality increase allow you to walk through the environments described in the plot, walk among the protagonists of the scene, listen to their conversations and noises in the environments where the facts are taking place. In a nutshell: immerse yourself 100% in the story we are reading.
There are already early examples of more digital publishing. This is the case of Metabooks, the first library to land in the metaverse. It was born from the idea of the Korean bookstore of the Kyobo Book Center that on December 13 will open the doors of its virtual counterpart.
Thanks to immersive 3D virtual reality, visitors can visit Metabooks under the illusion of being in the real headquarters of Gwanghwamun in Seoul. An omnidirectional camera has 'scanned' and digitally created everything in the real library - environments, shelves, books, albums, notebooks… - and transported all in the metaverse. Visiting the library with their avatar customers can closely observe the proposed offer and buy the items they are interested in directly from the metaverse.
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Viola Meacci, student of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Pisa, has always been interested in the world of journalism. In her job, she explored the world of blockchain, cryptocurrencies, NFT and metaverse which she now very is passionate about it .