Music giants are launching into the metaverse

Image: Preechar Bowonkitwanchai/Shutterstock via ETX Daily Up

For Spotify, the metaverse is the future of music. The music streaming company has just launched its own virtual world on Roblox, one of the most popular digital spaces along with Decentraland and The Sandbox. It comes in the form of several islands where players can interact with the avatars of their favorite artists or access new content. They can also complete quests to unlock virtual goods that can be used anywhere on the video game platform.

While the various activities are still limited at this stage, Spotify will soon be offering gamers the opportunity to discover a theme park dedicated exclusively to the world of K-pop. They will be able to meet avatars of South Korean boy band Stray Kids and singer Sunmi.

“Spotify immerses users in a world of audio no matter how or where they listen. Now, with Spotify Island on Roblox, we’re delivering unique new experiences for fans and artists,” Daniel Ek’s company said in a statement.

Everyone in the Metaverse

With Spotify Island, the Swedish band offers a taste of what awaits music fans in the not so distant future. It follows in the footsteps of US-based Epic Games, which in April 2020 managed to lure 12.3 million Fortnite players to a never-before-seen (and entirely virtual) Travis Scott concert. A total of 27.7 million viewers headed to the online video game to experience the American rapper’s monumental show, titled “Astronomical”, after four more broadcasts of the event.

Spotify isn’t the only player in the music industry looking to enter the metaverse. Warner Music Group has purchased a digital parcel on The Sandbox platform to build a property that doubles as a music theme park and concert venue.

“On LAND, we will develop persistent and immersive social music experiences that challenge the boundaries of the real world and allow our artists and their fans to engage like never before,” said Oana Ruxandra, Chief Digital Officer and Vice Executive President of Business Development at Warner Music Group.

In the meantime, Universal Music aims to enter the virtual worlds through a music group consisting of three virtual primates from the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection and another primate from the Mutant Ape Yacht Club collection. Each is assigned a personality and a story of its own. The group will perform virtual concerts and participate in video games on online platforms.

Put the players first

Although the metaverse is still in its infancy, this digital replica of the physical world has the potential to become a veritable Eldorado for the music industry. The major players all hope to capitalize on the new sources of revenue that the development of this virtual universe promises. For Universal Music, the idea is to make money by selling NFTs related to Kingship’s business such as unreleased tracks, tickets to exclusive events, or virtual merchandise. Spotify hopes to do the same with its islands on Roblox.

But efforts are still needed to engage the music lovers of tomorrow. Investing in the metaverse is above all a way for music giants to attract new audiences, foremost among them video game players. And for good reason: the most passionate gamers are also the most dedicated music fans, according to a Twitch report conducted with MIDiA Research. While subscribers to a music streaming service spend an average of 6.9 hours on their favorite activity, that number jumps to 7.6 hours for video game enthusiasts. They also spare no expense when it comes to indulging their passion. One in five gamers purchase products to support their favorite artists, while only 8% of average consumers do.

While the advent of the metaverse marks a crucial step in bringing music and video games closer together, younger generations remain skeptical of this new technology. Only 9% of American teenagers consider buying a virtual reality headset to explore these virtual worlds, according to a study by investment bank Piper Sandler.

The French seem more curious about the infinite possibilities offered by the metaverse: 22% of 18-25 year olds in France frequent these accessible alternative worlds, according to the Heaven agency. It is possible that the arrival of Spotify and others in the metaverse will encourage them to take the plunge. J.B.

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