dentsu's Dan Calladine on the Growth of AVOD, Chatbot Misinformation, and the State of the Metaverse

On this week's episode of The MadTech Podcast, Dan Calladine, head of media futures at dentsu, joins ExchangeWire's Grace Dillon and Mat Broughton to discuss the growth of AVOD, concerns about chatbots spreading misinformation, current views of the metaverse, and more.

AVOD revenue growth to outpace SVOD in Europe

What could these findings mean for media companies? How do they compare to other markets?

Revenue from ad-supported video on demand (AVOD) services is expected to grow more rapidly than that from their subscription-based (or SVOD) counterparts in western Europe. According to analysis from Digital TV Research, AVOD will generate USD $16.2bn (~£13.2bn) by 2028, up USD $10bn (~£8.1bn) from USD $6.6bn (~£5.4bn) in 2022. SVOD, meanwhile, is forecast to see revenue rise 41% from USD $17.2bn (~£13.9bn) to USD $23.6bn (~£19.2bn).

Revenue from content watched via over-the-top (OTT) devices is expected to increase 67% to USD $45bn (~£36.6bn) by 2028. The UK will account for USD $10bn (~£8.1bn), or 22%, of total ad spend on OTT viewing over the next five years. Germany and France are expected to bring in USD $8bn (~£6.5bn) and USD $7bn (~£5.7bn) respectively over the same period.

Chatbot inaccuracies spur misinformation fears

Have we underestimated the potential harm of chatbots? Could these inaccuracies discourage brands and advertisers from experimenting with them?

The launch of chatbots has been the cause of much excitement in recent months, but some worry that these technologies’ tendency to make mistakes could have far-reaching consequences. OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which has been incorporated into Microsoft’s Bing search engine, and Google’s follow-up effort, Bard, have both been spotted providing inaccurate responses to users. One such example is ChatGPT incorrectly stating that its rival had been shut down, citing a joke comment on a news article and a fake news write-up as evidence.

The above instance indicates chatbots’ incapacity to discern reliable sources and determine what information is factual. The Verge’s James Vincent argues that this demonstrates the potential for AI language models to be used to spread misinformation online, and that added disclaimers about the accuracy of these chatbots may not be enough to prevent such an outcome.

The metaverse is still alive and kicking

Do you agree with Griffin’s analysis? Is the metaverse still the future?

Significant job cuts at Meta have been taken by some as proof of the metaverse’s demise. However, this isn’t the case, argues Doug Griffin, who points out that this conclusion incorrectly conflates the company with the virtual space. Griffin also asserts that the tendency to overestimate the value of new technology in the short run and to underestimate it over the long term could well apply to the future of the metaverse.

Considering the expansion of the internet and enhancement of mobile technologies, the landscape is ripe for metaverse development, and the space’s success is more dependent on consumer interest than on infrastructure, says Griffin. With virtual spaces already off the ground and expected to grow, the future of the metaverse appears more assured than critics claim.