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Games without frontiers

Jesse Kirshbaum, founder and CEO of creative boutique Nue Agency, explores how gaming can unlock exciting new audiences for artists

18 Feb 2021

Jesse Kirshbaum, Nue Agency

The hottest area in entertainment is gaming. The growth is astounding, with the global video game industry projected to grow by 37% in the five-year period between 2019-2023.

Like all elements of youth culture, the gaming world loves celebrity, trends, fashion and, most of all, music. The nexus of music and gaming is creating groundbreaking collaborations and partnerships.

The dramatic pause of live concerts in 2020 accelerated gaming platforms and virtual worlds to show their true potential for in-game engagement, with the Travis Scott and Fortnite concert being the current North Star for what can be achieved.

Artists are now premiering songs in games, and using this new marketing channel to grow their fanbase and social following, and to sell merchandise and more. Some are even creating their own games, such as Justin Bieber with his boxing-themed single Anyone with a game to match.

As a result, brand executives are showing increased confidence in gaming by allocating their budgets to this medium. You need only look at brands such as Adidas, Nike, and Louis Vuitton to see this in action. The savviest are linking music and gaming for the greatest impact, such as Travis Scott be-coming a creative consultant for Sony’s PS5.

The global video game industry is projected to grow by 37% in the five-year period between 2019-2023

In a nod to the intersection of these three major industries (music, gaming and marketing), 2020 marked the inaugural MusicGamingCon, hosted by music gaming publisher Amanotes and my company, Nue Agency.

We believe it was crucial to create a moment of convergence for key individuals in music, tech, media and brands, to focus exclusively on the cross-pollination of knowledge and relationships in this unique world of music interaction through gaming.

The conference featured an amazing line-up of panellists who provided plenty of tips for anyone, from artist to executive, looking to capitalise on these merging worlds.

Amanotes perfectly combine music and gaming, with 1.5 billion app downloads and over 50 billion gameplay minutes. The company’s head of marketing and partnerships, Jheric Delos Angeles, outlines some key trends:

Increase in exclusive collaborations
We’ll see more and more artists creating original content specifically for gaming, as this is a means for artists (and labels) to reach a broader, already captive audience. It will also result in some very specific interactive formats that are possible only through games’ inventories.

Music gaming apps have the potential to provide a platform for independent artists to directly showcase their work

We are also seeing curated content aligned with users’ personal preferences. It is important to deliver a variety of options at the right time, in the right context, to keep everyone engaged.

More users are getting smart curated content to fit with personal preference, parallel to how gaming/music tech is trying to enhance the experience of their audiences.

Music gaming apps as a showcase for indie artists
Music gaming apps have the potential to provide a platform for independent artists to directly showcase their work. In Amanotes, we deliver high-quality music content to more than 15 million users globally every day.

Some trends we’ve seen specific to this space are exclusive collaborations. Going forward, we predict more music for gaming content will be done as a creative effort to reach mass audiences: for example, the Monstercat collection for Rocket League.

Opportunities for expanding music education through gaming
Leveraging the dynamics of gaming allows for the creation of apps that enhance music education through the implementation of AI.

The more we come together, the more innovative partnerships are going to happen

We’re intensively testing ideas and working with AI initiatives to make music education apps, and we plan to roll out market-fitted products in the second half of the year.

As 2021 starts to kick into gear, there are many fresh ways to innovate. It’s important to have forums where we can gather to exchange ideas and open dialogue. Our goal with the next MusicGamingCon will be the emerging hybrid model of physical and digital.

We’re also hoping to make this a global conversation, with each region making their own unique contributions. The more we come together, the more innovative partnerships are going to happen.


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