When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down live events, the music industry scrambled to find alternatives to concerts that would let artists perform and interact with their fans digitally. At the same time, metaverse platforms like Roblox, Fortnite, and Minecraft were exploding in popularity as digital gathering places. With a new digital world to create event spaces, music executives were able to curate live music events that could bring fans together digitally. It was clear that the music industry quickly saw the potential for metaverse applications in ways that other industries did not.
Today, despite the easing of COVID-19 restrictions globally, metaverse gaming platforms continue to be popular sites for digital events. Ariana Grande’s 2021 Fortnite concert drew in as many as 27.7 million unique visitors globally, with many attendees streaming the concert on other platforms like Twitch and even more viewers watching the event on YouTube. After its end, many attendees shared their perspective of the experience on other social media apps such as Twitter and TikTok via screen recording. Other events showed similar success, such as Travis Scott’s 2021 Fortnite concert that brought in 12 million viewers—a record at that time—and a recent Charli XCX concert in Roblox that spanned several weeks of interactive material in the digital world.
Looking even further ahead, music giants are preemptively entering partnerships with decentralized metaverse spaces ahead of the anticipated Web3 boom. Warner Music Group entered a strategic partnership with The Sandbox earlier this year, while the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival was brought to Decentraland via its sponsor, Absolut Vodka. Metaverses are only becoming more popular, with market forecast reports estimating that the metaverse industry will reach a market valuation of over $1.5 trillion USD by 2029, at a CAGR of 47.6% in that period of time. Currently the market is estimated to be around $100 billion.
Metaverse Events Could Be the Key to Broadcaster Success
Many media and broadcasting companies have struggled in recent years to reach Millennial, Generation Z and younger audiences. Data shows that Generation Z and Millennial media consumers prefer internet video apps such as Youtube and TikTok, online streaming platforms, and video games over traditional broadcast media platforms.
Integrating with metaverse platforms is a great way to meet younger audiences where they are already. Just like with more traditional forms of social media, content opportunities and activations within the metaverse can help broadcasters reach new audiences while strengthening their presence in a changing digital landscape. News media companies could host digital events, podcasters and radio hosts could do live interviews that interact with their audience, and traditional television platforms can stream their metaverse events live on their television networks for additional coverage.
The advantage that traditional media does have is its ability to disseminate content to a large and trusting audience. This can be a great way to get users online to interact with traditional media platforms. Just like how people are eager to get on TV in the real world, offering chances to appear on television through the metaverse can spark interest among demographics that would otherwise choose their phone or computer first.