Sphere of influence: How to not miss the metaverse and ETFs

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    As technological advances and innovative strategies continue to show progress in various fields, there is a renewed interest in the world of the Metaverse. Dina Ting, Head of Global Index Portfolio Management at Franklin Templeton, explores this new digital environment and the opportunities it presents. She will also discuss practical applications such as immersive entertainment and luxury brand experiences.

    Ever since ChatGPT and all things artificial intelligence (AI) started dominating the headlines, the term “metaverse” seems to have disappeared from the spotlight. But the recent debut of Las Vegas’ stunning US$2.3 billion Sphere venue, dubbed U2’s newest live concert series, highlights the continued evolution of the immersive ecosystem (and the appeal of FOMO, or “missing out”). Seems like an appropriate reminder of the fear of —about new trends).

    Tall enough to fit the entire Statue of Liberty inside, the spectacular arena boasts a collaborative virtual reality (VR) experience without the need for goggles. The giant orb’s exterior features the world’s largest fully programmable LED screen (at 58,000 square feet) and an interior space that U2 guitarist The Edge has described as “a quantum leap” that will revolutionize live entertainment. I am.

    Featuring tactile seats that vibrate in time with not only the scenes being displayed, but also next-level audio, this venue stimulates the senses with wind, temperature, and even scent effects, allowing guests to explore the outdoors and outer space. It can make you feel like you are there.

    The Sphere’s massive scale may be particularly Las Vegas-ish, but it’s the latest harbinger of a new era of immersive entertainment. Investors focused on the early stages of Metaverse development will benefit from a suite of pioneering content formats and associated technologies that can overcome the constraints of traditional imaging and filmmaking in spaces with vast, ultra-high resolution displays. I feel attracted to it. Sphere’s creators also collaborate with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on media innovation.

    Global adoption of 3D holographic imaging and LED displays is surging as companies continue to develop new ways to blur the line between virtual and physical. The global LED display market is estimated to grow to USD 23 billion by 2030, while it will reach USD 15 billion in 2022.1

    At this year’s MetaConnect conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced new AI tools such as Sous Chef Max and said, “Soon, physical and digital ,” he reiterated to attendees, “will be integrated into what we call the Metaverse.”

    Luxury brands such as Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana are also keen to invest in immersive metaverse strategies. These include new modes of personalized service, brand interaction, and experiences to enhance customer loyalty and seamless, creative collaboration among employees, as well as leveraging virtual worlds to improve business efficiency. There are some things that can be improved.

    Since Louis Vuitton first partnered with Riot Games to create avatar skins four years ago, a number of high-profile design events have been launched, including Metaverse Fashion Week. Last fall, Italian fashion house Gucci appointed a head of Metaverse, and around the same time luxury watchmaker Rolex expanded into Metaverse, filing trademark applications in the area of ​​cryptocurrencies and non-fungible token markets. Ta.

    There is no doubt that many initiatives in this emerging field will struggle. As such, investors may prefer to use a rules-based ETF strategy to gain optimal metaverse exposure. Tracking such an index provides the benefit of automatically adjusting your portfolio to include carefully selected companies that are at the forefront of this new digital environment. We continue to believe that the opportunity to revolutionize digital interactions across sectors and industries is immense, and we believe that the solutions these new technologies provide will drive demand.

    Any companies or case studies referenced herein are for illustrative purposes only. Any investment may or may not be currently held in a Franklin Templeton advised portfolio. The information provided does not constitute a recommendation or personalized investment advice for any particular security, strategy or investment product, nor does it constitute an intention to trade in any portfolio managed by Franklin Templeton.

    What are the risks?

    All investments involve risk, including the possible loss of principal.

    Investing in fast-growing industries such as the technology sector Especially in the short term, due to the rapid pace of product change and development (which has historically been volatile) and changing government regulations for companies that emphasize scientific and technological advances and regulatory approval of new drugs and pharmaceutical products. Price volatility may increase. musical instrument.

    Purchase and use Blockchain-enabled digital currency Involves risks including loss of principal. Speculative trading in Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrencies, many of which exhibit extreme price fluctuations, involves significant risks. Among other risks, interacting with companies claiming to offer cryptocurrency payment platforms or other cryptocurrency-related products and services may expose users to fraud. Blockchain technology is a new, relatively untested technology that may never be implemented to a scale that offers clear benefits.

    For actively managed ETFsthere is no guarantee that management’s investment decisions will produce the desired results.

    ETF It trades like a stock, and its market price fluctuates and may be more or less than the ETF’s net asset value. Brokerage fees and ETF expenses reduce returns. ETF shares can be bought and sold throughout the day at market prices on listed exchanges. However, there can be no assurance that an active trading market for ETF shares will develop or be maintained or that the listing will continue or remain unchanged. Although ETF shares are tradable in the secondary market, they may not trade readily in all market conditions and may trade at a significant discount during periods of market stress.

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    1. Source: Zion Market Research, May 2023. There can be no guarantee that any estimates, forecasts or forecasts will come true.


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