fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Poppy launches own interactive metaverse app

Grammy Award-nominee Poppy has launched a brand new Metaverse app for iOS and Android called ‘PoppySphere’.

Developed in partnership with artist development company Hifi Labs, PoppySphere is “a virtual 8-bit universe for fans to explore, with dynamic rooms and secrets to uncover as they navigate a realm of iconoclastic creation”.

Users around the world can customise their own avatar and text chat while playing games and uncovering “hidden secrets”. Fans of the US artist can also submit ideas for music, games, wall art and room designs that, if chosen, can earn them exclusive gifts.

“We’re really interested in the true direct-to-fan connection,” says Hifi Labs CEO, Joe Barham.

“We’re really interested in the true direct-to-fan connection”

“We love working with artists who view the cutting edge as an opportunity and our focus is on helping artists build their own platforms to create the best possible relationship with fans.”

“I am overjoyed to be launching my very own Metaverse,” Poppy said in a statement. “A fully customisable virtual space to hang out and talk with the PoppySphere one on one.”

She added: “The possibilities are endless so, make yourself at home.”

In September, Poppy launched Roblox’s new ‘Listening Parties’ feature, making her new album ‘Flux’ available through “all of the [Roblox] experiences” and participating in a Q&A on the platform.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Universal Music Group forms ‘NFT supergroup’

Universal Music Group (UMG) is capitalising on two of the biggest trends of the last year – NFTs and the metaverse – with the formation of a new ‘NFT Supergroup’.

The multinational music cooperation is collaborating with collector Jimmy McNelis to convert four of his ape NFTs into a band called Kingship.

McNelis, an early buyer of Ethereum, acquired hundreds of ape NFTs from the creator of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, which gave anyone who bought one of the apes full commercial rights to use the image.

McNelis was later approached by Universal’s 10:22PM record label, a “next-gen Web3 label” which was set up by former Sony exec Celine Joshua.

Joshua pitched him on the idea of creating a new group and picked four characters that she thought would work as a band before signing the ‘metaverse group’ to the label.

10:22PM is now working with a team of crypto artists and animators to turn the two-dimensional apes into three-dimensional beings.

One of the band’s members, the golden ape, is currently valued at over $300,000 USD

One of the band’s members, the golden ape, is currently valued at over $300,000 USD. McNelis has a collection that he estimates is worth more than $100 million.

The company will record music for Kingship that it releases on streaming services and the band will perform and participate in video games, virtual-reality applications and across the constellation of digital experiences known as the metaverse.

Joshua and her team are going to create these characters stories’ from scratch. They will put together a marketing campaign to introduce the apes to potential fans, explain how they met and describe who they are. “It’s just like just like the way we introduce new artists to the world,” she told Bloomberg.

Kingship is just one of the ape-themed virtual bands to follow in the footsteps of Gorillaz, an English virtual band created in 1998 by musician Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett.

US music producer Timbaland is also cashing in on the trend, starting new company Ape-In Productions that will also use Bored Ape Yacht Club characters to form a music group.

Timbaland’s group, named TheZoo, features six Bored Ape characters – such as Lincoln Aperaham and Safari Ferrari – and will release their first song ‘ApeSh!t’ on Wednesday, according to Variety.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Justin Bieber partners with Wave on virtual experience

Global superstar Justin Bieber is partnering with virtual concert company Wave for an ‘interactive virtual experience’ in the metaverse.

Wave’s technology will allow Bieber to transform into a digital avatar (pictured) and perform songs from his chart-topping album Justice for the first time in the metaverse.

According to a statement, the show will give fans a “futuristic look into the metaverse, merging gaming, real-time motion-capture, and live musical performance into an immersive interactive experience”.

Fans will also have a chance to appear live on stage alongside Bieber during dedicated fan moments, and influence his performance and environments in real-time.

“Justin is paving the way for artists to incorporate a virtual ‘tour stop’ to reach audiences who can’t attend in-person”

“Justin Bieber is not only one of the world’s biggest artists, he is also one of the most forward-thinking. This partnership allows for limitless, virtual opportunities for him and his fans,” says Adam Arrigo, CEO of Wave.

“By combining Wave’s technology with Justin’s creativity, we’ve created a unique, interactive experience that complements his upcoming physical tour. Justin is paving the way for artists to incorporate a virtual concert ‘tour stop’ to reach new audiences who can’t attend in-person or want a different kind of live music experience.”

Wave has hosted virtual experiences for blockbuster artists such as The Weeknd, John Legend, Dillon Francis, Tinashe and more.

Fans can sign up on wave.watch to experience the ‘Justin Bieber – An Interactive Virtual Experience’ for free on 18 November at 18:00 PT/21:00 ET. Rebroadcasts will follow on 20 and 21 November for audiences worldwide.

In other metaverse-related news, Roblox has today announced the first virtual concert fully designed by community developers.

Burgeoning US star Tai Verdes will appear in avatar form to perform in a virtual venue designed by Roblox studio, Melon – a mainstay developer on the platform responsible for previous launch parties for the likes of Ava Max, Why Don’t We, Zara Larsson, and KSI.

Unlike previous Roblox launch party venues where artists appeared on a video screen, Verdes will appear in his avatar form and perform from his Venice Beach-inspired boardwalk on Roblox.

The exclusive space, which is open today, features the “latest technological advancements available to developers” and will showcase a live Q&A with Verdes after the first concert performance on Saturday morning.

“Roblox has always been about empowering our developer community to build next-generation experiences”

“Tai Verdes is at the top of his game right now and we are thrilled he’s performing his new single on Roblox,” says Jon Vlassopulos, Vice President and Global Head of Music for Roblox.

“Roblox has always been about empowering our developer community to build next-generation experiences on the platform for the global community to enjoy.”

Roblox has previously hosted virtual events for Lil Nas X, Royal Blood, Twenty One Pilots, KSI and Electric Daisy Carnival.

​​The Tai Verdes Concert Experience is set to premiere this Saturday (13 November) at 11:00 PT exclusively on the Roblox platform and the show will repeat each hour through Sunday 14 November at 23:00 PT.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Deadmau5 residency launches new platform in metaverse

World-renowned producer Deadmau5 has developed a permanent virtual residency in Core, a new user-generated gaming platform by developer Manticore Games.

The experience, called Oberhasli, includes music, games, and other content curated by Deadmau5 and allows fans to connect and socialise with each other. Users can even listen to a sneak preview of Deadmau5’s next single at the jukebox.

Oberhasli launched on 15 October with a live performance by Deadmau5 but the metaverse continues to exist even after the one-off performance.

The virtual world is intended to be “a place to visit again and again, with fresh music, games, and content,” according to a press release.

“We’ve seen virtual concerts in the past, but after making a splash, they fizzle out; there’s no shelf life to them,” says Joel Zimmerman, aka Deadmau5, in a statement.

“With Oberhasli, I want to create a permanent mainstay for the artists’ metaverse, regularly updating it over time, switching things up and keeping it cohesive with real-world news and ancillary events.”

“We’ve seen virtual concerts in the past, but after making a splash, they fizzle out; there’s no shelf life to them”

Frederic Descamps, CEO and co-founder of Manticore Games, added: “We think the Metaverse will be built by thousands of creators, game makers, and artists who can share unique interactive experiences with their audience and generate income from their work. Oberhasli isn’t a sponsored marketing stunt — it’s a persistent home for all things Deadmau5 inside of Core.”

Deadmau5’s live performances are over but the digital concert is available for replay every hour in Core.

In addition, fans can complete an exclusive scavenger hunt to enter for a chance to win a ‘Guest List for Life’ prize to Deadmau5 concerts or a meet-and-greet with Deadmau5 at one of his in-person shows.

The experience is currently only available on PC but the website notes that it will be coming soon to other platforms.

Core is the latest platform to throw its hat in the ring by hosting live music experiences in the metaverse.

Fortnite and Roblox have led the charge so far, while Decentraland recently launched the world’s first multi-day festival in the metaverse.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Pioneering festivals set to launch in metaverse

Virtual blockchain-based world Decentraland is preparing to host the world’s first multi-day festival in the metaverse – a virtual world made up of permanent, shared, 3D virtual spaces.

The event, simply titled ‘Metaverse Festival’, will feature more than 80 high-profile artists and personalities across four days and five stages.

Deadmau5, RAC, 3LAU, Nina Nesbitt, 3Lau, Alison Wonderland and Aluna (of AlunaGeorge) are all scheduled to make appearances.

The festival organisers have even secured Paris Hilton – whose in-game avatar was designed by avatar technology company Genies.

Alongside music, Metaverse Festival will also offer a funfair, games, merch stands, a VIP lounge, chill-out zones, a psychedelic sculpture garden and – in a world-first – virtual portable toilets.

“Every festival needs portable toilets – even in the metaverse”

According to festival coordinator, Sam Hamilton, “every festival needs portable toilets – even in the metaverse”.

“These are no ordinary portable toilets. Every toilet contains a different experience. Some good, some bad, some mind-blowing. Definitely worth your while checking them out,” he adds.

Hamilton says festivalgoers wanting to ‘experience’ the virtual toilets will have to “queue up like everyone else”.

“But the toilets change with each visit. No two Dump ‘N’ Pump experiences are the same,” he adds.

The central theme of the Metaverse Festival is Evolution and the event will “transform” throughout the four days, from Water on day one, to Earth, Space, and finally, Metaverse.

This metamorphosis will be visible in the main Evolution stage, presented by Bitcoin trading platform Kraken, which is sponsoring the event, along with drinks brand Heineken and crypto-exclusive fund Metapurse.

“The beauty of the metaverse is you never know what you’ll find”

“This is our way of expressing human evolution – emerging from the water onto the land, reaching space and of course the next big leap which is a pioneering exploration of the metaverse,” explains Hamilton.

The line-up will be added to up until the last minute, which Hamilton says is “the beauty of the metaverse – you never know what you might find”.

The event runs from tomorrow (21 October) until 24 October and is accessible through the festival home page or Decentraland Events page.

Elsewhere, Roblox and event promoter Insomniac today announced they will bring one of the largest electronic music festivals in the world – Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) – to the metaverse.

Taking place concurrently with EDC in Las Vegas, Nevada, sets will be streamed on Roblox after the in-person shows

The event will be the first-ever music festival hosted in Roblox and will take place in a virtual space dubbed the Insomniac World Party.

Taking place concurrently with EDC in Las Vegas, Nevada, sets will be streamed on Roblox after the in-person shows – mirroring the real-life festival – and artists will join the experience in Roblox after their sets to hold ‘meet and greets’ and interact with fans.

The festival will capture the environment that EDC is known for, replicating the event’s iconic stages and featuring interactive activities like dance battles. Joining the event will also give attendees the chance to win real and virtual merchandise.

EDC will be held in the metaverse from 22–25 October with the virtual space opening on 19 October.

Today’s news comes days after Facebook announced it plans to hire 10,000 people to develop a so-called metaverse, as the race to build the ‘next iteration of the internet accelerates.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Facebook surges ahead in race to create metaverse

Facebook plans to hire 10,000 people to accelerate its development of a so-called metaverse  – a virtual world in which people can work, game, play and even watch concerts.

The word ‘metaverse’ – made up of the prefix ‘meta’ (meaning beyond) and the stem ‘verse’ (a back-formation from “universe”) – is typically used to describe the future iteration of the internet, made up of permanent, shared, 3D virtual spaces linked into a perceived virtual universe.

Using technologies like virtual and augmented reality, Facebook says it hopes to create a greater sense of “virtual presence” in the metaverse that will “mimic the experience of interacting in person”.

Facebook has made building the metaverse one of its priorities, investing in virtual reality through its Oculus headsets and building VR apps for social hangouts and for the workplace.

In 2018, the tech giant expanded into VR live events, including concerts, with the launch of its social events app Oculus Venues.

Facebook invested $50 million in funding non-profit groups to help “build the metaverse responsibly”

The app enabled users of its Oculus Go and Gear VR headsets to watch live music and sports alongside other virtual-reality avatars.

In 2020, Occulus partnered with artist-owned streaming platform Tidal to bring a series of exclusive and intimate live performances that can be streamed in virtual reality to fans’ homes.

More recently it invested $50 million in funding non-profit groups to help “build the metaverse responsibly”.

However, Facebook claims the metaverse “won’t be built overnight by a single company” and has promised to collaborate.

A number of massive tech-centric companies that have vested interests in music, such as Tencent and Alibaba, are also investigating how to build a metaverse.

Roblox’s global head of music told IQ in January that he thinks the metaverse will be bigger than the internet and mobile

Over the course of several years, Epic Games has been expanding its hugely popular online multiplayer game Fortnite to host virtual concerts and brand events within its own virtual world.

Ariana Grande, MarshmelloTravis Scott, Steve Aoki, Deadmau5, Easy Life and J. Balvin are among the artists that have delivered virtual concerts within the game.

Other games are getting closer to a metaverse idea, too. Roblox, for example, is an online community where people come together to play, create and explore millions of 3D virtual worlds together with their friends.

The online gaming platform has also incorporated virtual concerts into its offering with performances from the likes of  Royal Blood and Lil Nas X and Twenty One Pilots.

Roblox’s global head of music, Jon Vlassopulos, told IQ in January that he thinks the metaverse will be bigger than the internet and mobile.

Startup companies including Stage11, AmazeVR, Stageverse and Sensorium have also announced ambitions to develop a metaverse.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.