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Buying Virtual Land in the Metaverse: What Brands Need to Know

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Rent vs buy

Unlike Roblox, the land area in The Sandbox and Decentraland is capped, which means there are a limited number of plots available. This ceiling has created a de facto market for real estate marked by premium prices. The average 1×1 layout on The Sandbox and Decentraland costs around $11,000, according to Nystrom.

Metabrge, which has land on both platforms, spent over $25,000 on a 1×1 plot in Decentraland and almost $15,000 on a 3×3 plot in The Sandbox.

Care Bears, on the other hand, received its land for much less since it is both a partner of The Sandbox and entered the market nearly a year and a half ago when a plot was worth just over $43. The brand declined to share financial details of its contract.

The juxtaposition of these two shopping experiences underscores an important point for brands to recognize about these markets: like the cryptocurrencies they are based on, they are volatile and their instability affects any NFTs that are built on them. .

“It’s crypto, and it has its own fluctuations and volatilities, so the price of land on each [platform] can vary significantly from day to day,” said Litman of Media.Monk.

For this reason, parcel rental can be a safer and more cost-effective option for brands. Much like renting an apartment in the real world, brands can establish a rental agreement with a willing landowner and receive rights to that property by paying a fixed-term deposit.

Mediahub, for example, leased land from Decentraland to build an office that would allow it to show customers a metaverse. The agency used a third-party platform called Rentabyl and now pays about $400 a month for posting permissions on a plot, which it can update whenever it wants, said Simeon Edmunds, senior vice president. and Creative Director of Mediahub’s Radical + Disruption Lab.

“It’s super expensive to buy a property rather than rent it, as long as you’re flexible about where you want to be and how much space you want,” he said.

Identify hot spots

What a brand does with its land will depend on the location of its land within the platform, represented by X and Y coordinates on a grid.

Themed neighborhoods have already emerged across Decentraland with names like Fashion Street, Crypto Valley, and the Museum District, and The Sandbox has its own share of mini-environments, including a Las Vegas-inspired kingdom and the upcoming Hong District. Kong by real estate tycoon Adrian Cheng.

Land use cases are often facilitated by the content of these neighborhoods, and brands need to prioritize locations that match the types of experiences they want to create, said Litman of Media.Monks. An upcoming fashion show, for example, will take place in March in the luxury fashion district of Decentraland and will support a host of events, including runway shows and after parties. Retail stores that sell digital wearables make more sense to be in this area than, say, Crypto Valley.

Last October, Decentraland hosted a music festival in the Festival Land neighborhood that featured big-name DJs and artists. Brands purchasing plots in this area should feel comfortable designing experiences that appeal to music lovers and heavy foot traffic. This also applies in undefined areas that nevertheless contain prominent landowners, such as the plots surrounding Snoop Dogg’s estate in The Sandbox.

The use cases will also depend on the purpose of the brand’s presence. Mediahub, for example, built an office in Decentraland because it wanted to show projects and other business-related work to clients, Edmunds said.

JPMorgan’s metaverse presence is not intended, at least currently, to offer financial services, and instead exists as a living room to browse and browse.

While the company declined to comment for this story, Carla Hassan, chief marketing officer, spoke about the activation on a recent episode of Ad Age’s Marketer’s Brief podcast. “I really believe that whatever we do, it can’t feel like a gimmick. You can innovate in places, sure, but it has to feel relevant and feel like it’s contextual or in the right context for any brand,” she said.

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