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Gaming platform Roblox steps up interest in music

Game creation platform Roblox has announced a partnership with Marshmello label Monstercat and appointed a global head of music, as the company makes moves in the music space.

In April, Roblox, a tween-friendly virtual gaming/social media platform, became the latest gaming platform to create a virtual concert venue, hosting an in-game live stream of the Lady Gaga-curated benefit concert One World: Together at Home.

Roblox users could complete quests based on the concert and wear free virtual merchandise, such as a caps, headphones and rucksacks, to show support for the event.

The virtual concert was part of Roblox’s growing interaction with the music business, as Jon Vlassopulos, a former director of business development at BMG and founder of Tinder-style swiping music discovery app Fab.fm, heads up music strategy at the company.

The partnership gives Roblox developers access to a new library of music content to use when making games for the platform

Roblox has also recently joined social virtual-reality platform Sansar and video game developer Psyonix in partnering with Canadian indie label Monstercat, which also has its own licensing subscription service to allow game streamers to use its music on YouTube and Twitch.

The partnership gives Roblox developers access to a new library of music content to use when making games for the platform, which is comprised of millions of games built by professional developers and the Roblox user community.

“Proudly announcing our new partnership with Roblox,” reads a post on the Monstercat Twitter page. “Our mission to empower creators continues with access to over 50 tracks, with more music added soon. Can’t wait to see your creations in-game!”

As well as “empowering creators”, the partnership aims to allow artists to use the site as a promotional outlet, targeting Roblox’s 150 million active monthly users.

The potential for crossover between gaming and live music has been exemplified recently by events such as Travis Scott’s ‘Astronomical’ in Fortnite Battle Royale, which drew 27.7m viewers, and Marshmello’s famous record-breaking 2019 in-game appearance, also in Fortnite, with IQ calculating that gamers could represent 750m new live music fans.

 


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Lindsey Stirling performing live as avatar

Electronic violinist Lindsey Stirling is putting on a new kind of interactive virtual concert, performing live to fans in avatar form.

The concert, put on in collaboration with streaming platform Wave, will take place at 3 p.m. (EST) on Monday 26 August.

Stirling will perform through her avatar, powered by art body motion and face capture technology. Fans will also be able created their own avatars and attend the virtual show by downloading the Wave virtual reality (VR) app, supported by HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

Throughout the concert, Stirling will interact with fans “in a variety of direct, mysterious and surpris[ing] ways”. Limited edition concert merchandise will be available to buy.

The show, streamed live from Wave’s Los Angeles studios, will be available to watch live via the artist’s YouTube channel and Facebook page, or Wave’s Twitch channel. Fans that miss the live performance can watch it back for 24 hours after premiere time.

“[Stirling] is the perfect artist to be the first to use Wave on YouTube”

“Lindsey is a trailblazer, entrepreneur and incredibly talented artist,” says Adam Arrigo, Wave chief executive and co-founder. “We’re excited to be collaborating with her and helping her extend her reach to fans around the globe using the power of our platform. With her pioneering spirit, she is the perfect artist to be the first to use Wave on YouTube.”

The show is the latest in a growing trend of virtual concerts and artist-to-fan interactions, which include Korn’s upcoming in-game appearance in AdventureQuest3D, Marshmello’s record-breaking Fortnite concert and Monstercat/ Linden Lab’s Call of the Wild Experience, a virtual world for artists and fans.

VR livestreaming is also becoming a popular way to broadcast shows to fans, with the UK’s MelodyVR producing its first ‘Live in VR’ event in December 2018.

During the virtual concert, Stirling will debut material from her new album Artemis. The artist is kicking off a number of European dates on 12 September; full information and ticket prices can be found here.

 


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Second Life maker partners with EDM label on VR shows

Sansar, a ‘social VR’ platform developed by Linden Lab, the creator of Second Life, has joined forces with influential indie label Monstercat to create Monstercat: Call of the Wild Experience, a virtual world that will connect the dance label’s roster with their fans in virtual reality (VR).

Described as “a first-of-its-kind collaboration that changes the face of live concerts and gaming”, Call of the Wild Experience launches on 12 July, when Monstercat will throw a virtual party to celebrate its eighth birthday, with performances from more than a dozen Monstercat artists.

In addition to offering a venue for virtual concerts, Call of the Wild Experience will also host artist meet-and-greets, giveaways and ‘exclusive fan quests’, says Linden Lab.

At its height, Second Life – launched by San Francisco-based Linden in 2003, and one of the first online virtual worlds – had around a million regular users, including major businesses, brands, universities, religious institutions and even countries (in 2007, the Maldives became the first nation to open an embassy; Sweden following suit shortly after).

It also hosted a number of virtual performances by major artists, including Duran Duran, Suzanne Vega and, perhaps most famously, U2, in the late 2000s.

Virtual concerts were thrust into the mainstream once more earlier this year when Marshmello performed inside Fornite, which reportedly became the most-attended ‘concert’ in history, with more than ten million people tuning in.

“This is the future of live music, and we’re excited to have Monstercat on board”

With Sansar, Linden Lab hopes to revolutionise how fans see shows, providing the capability for artists to broadcast their performances to an unlimited number of people, while allowing performers to monetise their work through ticketing and virtual commerce, says Ebbe Altberg, CEO of Linden Lab.

“Partnerships like these help us realise the very best of what virtual reality has to offer: access, connection, immersion [and] the feeling that we’re part of something bigger, no matter who we are or where we live,” comments Altberg.

“With the Call of the Wild Experience, we’re giving fans all over the world the chance to connect in a shared experience with other fans and the artists they love – but more than that, we’re using gaming to elevate the concert experience, [through] questing, raffles, special in-game prizes, across both VR and PC.

“This is the future of live music, and we’re excited to have Monstercat on board.”

“We’re offering our fans something truly unique in the Monstercat: Call of the Wild Experience – their own space to meet, connect and share creative ideas with each other,” adds Dan Scarcelli, head of programming at Monstercat, which released Marshmello’s platinum-selling ‘Alone’ in 2016.

“Social VR has the power to transform how communities gather online, and we’re thrilled to be leading the charge with Sansar.”

 


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