Gaming for Gold: The Reinvention of the Music Industry
A halt on live entertainment is enough to induce a wave of panic on artists and PRs alike. But just because that medium isn’t available doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to continue growing your brand, your audience, and your exposure.
If you’re in the entertainment business, it’s time we talk gaming.
- VR AND VIRTUAL CONCERTS
Imagine your Coachella headline slot cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic – that’s a devastating blow to any artist’s career. Still, throughout five dates in April 2020, 27.7 million viewers tuned into Fortnite to watch Travis Scott’s “Astronomical”, an immersive virtual concert. The result? Scott’s single “The Scotts” racked up 7.45 million plays in its first 24 hours on Spotify, where it remains a Number One hit.
This is not just a stride in technological advances – it also proves that the landscape of music performance and promotion is changing.
The collaboration of music and VR is not a new concept. Still, in the past, it never really surpassed the experimental phase. It lacked agency, accessibility, and interactivity. The gaming industry provides a platform with access to captive audiences, social role-playing and incremental monetisation. Most importantly, Gen-Z consumers (71% of whom readily identify themselves as “gamers”) have a newfound appetite for virtual entertainment. It’s in music’s best interest to cash in on the market.
Sony’s music division is already floating the idea of “One Sony”, a giant merge of Sony Corp’s other divisions (movies, TV, PlayStation). And in terms of gaming, Epic Games’ Fortnite is at the centre of this new revolution.
What makes Fortnite an appealing medium is its business model. The game is free to play, but every ten weeks a new batch of themes, maps and items can be purchased. The same strategy can be applied to the leadup of virtual concerts.
Considering that the digital gaming market generated a reported $125.3 billion in revenue in 2018 (already over $40 billion more than what the recorded-music market projects to make by 2030), music companies should be on the prowl to join the revolution.
We spoke about this with Rob Samuel who looks after the social media channels for the latest Call of Duty. You can check out the full chat here.
“Even as we see some of the larger music studios begin to experiment with concerts hosted in virtual reality arenas, and as artists look for ways to connect with fans directly outside of the tightly controlled-ecosystems populated by music-streaming and social media platforms, nothing compares to the blend of trippy hedonism that Fortnite was able to execute in this collaboration.”
– Josh West
- STORYTELLING – 3D MODELLING AND BRANDING
Maintaining your branding when you don’t have the means for staging concerts, meet and greets or holding interviews is exceptionally crucial. Technology is your friend, and it’s important to use it wisely.
Twitch has been around since 2011, allowing gamers to stream their progress and build a following. Musicians have recently jumped on the bandwagon and are using Twitch to promote themselves and keep their audiences interested.
By sharing music, giving instrument lessons, or simply telling stories, artists can engage with fans on a more personal level. It’s a simple means by which you can “stay in the game” and commit to growing your brand regardless of the circumstances.
- MULTI-PLATFORM STREAMING
Following on the above, you need to find ways to raise product awareness and keep on marketing. Instead of dwelling for hours on what platform to use to deliver your message, you might want to consider using them all. Yes, all.
- It’s easy. Tools like Castr and Restream allow you to easily and quickly transmit one live feed to multiple platforms, simultaneously.
- It extends your reach. People are more likely to click if there is a single link, rather than having to go to another website, log in, and then access it.
- Archiving footage is (mostly) automatic. Having your video available on-demand is essential for maximum reach and effectiveness
Keeping up your brand during times like these may seem overwhelming, and the mediums may feel weird at first. But keep in mind that just as you are eager to keep yourself in the public eye, audiences are keen to be entertained. The music marketing world is on the brink of a tech revolution, and exciting times await.