Disney wants metaverse to keep users "actively engaged" with its shows, sports

Disney wants metaverse to keep users "actively engaged" with its shows, sports

Disney boss Bob Chapek believes that the company "should excel at" metaverse that blends physical and digital experiences.

(Image: Reuters) (Image: Reuters)
Story highlights
  • Disney is looking beyond entertainment and sports to engage its audience.
  • The company will focus on new experiences within these verticals, like sports betting and metaverse.
  • It imagines metaverse as an interactive experience for its users.

In a recent interaction, Disney CEO Bob Chapek shared the company's vision for the future, or at least hinted at it for now. Among other things, Chapek talked about his idea of a metaverse and what it means for Disney to adopt the technology going forward.

While discussing the company's first-quarter earnings for the financial year 2022 with CNBC, Chapek cleared that The Walt Disney Company will be looking beyond entertainment and sports streaming that it currently bets on. Interestingly, this expansion won't be focused on new content, but on completely new verticals, including "sports betting, gaming, and the Metaverse."

The idea is to bring an interactive experience to its sports coverage so that Disney's audience can connect in a better way to their favourite sport. Chapek wants the viewers to become "actively engaged with their favourite sporting events, stories, teams, and players" through Disney's platforms.

What Chapek mentioned next was an even more intriguing vision for the company. Speaking his mind on metaverse and the role it may play in Disney's future, Chapek said that the technology will bring a more engaging experience to a range of content that the company provides. He specified these verticles to be Disney's entertainment offerings as well as the sporting events it covers.

Chapek believes that such "blending of the physical and digital experiences" lies in the area of expertise of Disney and hence is something that "Disney should excel at." Though he did not share any concrete plans for the same as yet, he mentioned that the company envisions its use as "less of a passive type experience" but more of "an interactive, lean-forward, actively engaged type experience."

To think of it, what Chapek said syncs perfectly with Disney's ongoing efforts. Just last month, the company received approval for its patent that will display personalised 3D attractions to Disneyland visitors. The technology means to track visitors across the park and show them different augmented reality effects at every nook and corner, using mixed reality.

While this may not be the ideal form of a "metaverse," it fits perfectly with Disney's physical presence around the world. Other companies focused on metaverse are mostly digital, and hence, aim to bring a digital world to users. Disney, on the other hand, can go both ways for a metaverse experience.

Chapek's recent mention of such a "blending" of physical and digital elements reiterates this. It is clear to see that Disney has a vast scope of employing the metaverse to entertain its audience like never before. After all, who wouldn't like to spend time with Mickey or Donald in their world, or maybe enjoy watching the IPL in a digital stadium with your favourite cricketers right in front of you?