Musician in The Metaverse
Fortnite's holding company Epic Games conducted its first digital concert with Marshmello. Over 10 million people watched the 10-minute audio experience in Fortnite's Pleasant Park. Players couldn't use their weapons, but they could dance and explore.
Marshmello's team capitalized on the fresh, younger eyes the event drew with a Fortnite clothing line that released immediately as it concluded. Marshmello's social networks surged, gaining 62,000 new Twitter followers and 260,000 on Instagram. His YouTube following climbed 1,800%, according to Billboard.
It was impossible to ignore the scene's effect.
Epic resumed high-profile collaborations with Travis Scott in Mid-2020 and J Balvin in October. 28 million people attended Scott's Fortnite performance. Parallel to Marshmello, ticket sales climbed 419%, his socials surged by 1.8 million, as well as merchandise were shortly last on sale.
The same time as Scott's performance, Minecraft hosted a festival with American Football and Charli XCX. Minecraft's custom-world structure means people, not Minecraft, created and ran the event.
Roblox, a virtual environment with user-generated social media and social spaces, hosted Lil Nas X in December 2020. It was seen 33 million times in one weekend, and merchandise sales increased "near eight figures."
Ariana Grande appeared on Fortnite in Aug 2021, whereas Justin Bieber collaborated with virtual site Wave in November 2021 to begin his 2022 global tour. In it, Bieber admirers might appear alongside the star's image on giant displays.
Furthermore, Ben Folds performed in Second Life in 2006, and the first avatar-only musician earned a record contract in 2008. Gorillaz has been exploring since 2005. Virtual concerts are a first for game firms. Video-game systems opened up innovative set design as well as world-building possibilities IRL. Younger audiences might discover an artist, and real and virtual goods and collectibles could offer new cash sources.
Record companies, artists, producers, and investors scramble to find out their position when music and game engines clash. With the development of NFTs, a blockchain-based currency that offers decentralized, verified digital ownership rights assets not bound into any game, system, or platform, artists and companies are facing the whole emerging business and creative virtual world.
Artists may construct NFTs to sell exclusive tunes, digital goods, or entry to a closed Discord group or IRL events. NFTs are held in a cryptocurrency wallet that can prove ownership. The value derives from the authentication and the reality that they may frequently be resold, incentivizing owners to engage in the artist's work as well as community to maintain and raise their NFT worth.
Virtual artists might provide NFTs during their performances, from free tokens to meet-and-greets with the artist. The verifiable, decentralized, re-sellable nature of NFTs builds a new market around a musician and their followers.
But how easily accessible is it? Is this new way of thinking just applicable to the top 1% of artists who do have the staff and resources to create a brand-new universe for their followers to explore? Will the parity promised by the metaverse lead to a new paradise, or will the mechanisms that now control our online life continue to exist?
"Virtual musicians are all still in their birth," says Inder Phull, co-founder and CEO of PIXELYNX. According to Phull, the epidemic has sped up talks about the metaverse and also its potential economics for virtual artists, but we can't yet predict that the music business will embrace virtual worlds at large. Cost is frequently a barrier.
"Creating a virtual persona isn't inexpensive," Phull says. "Many procedures and technologies are involved. An average artist wouldn't have access to this crew. But [with free] technologies like Genies, RPM, or MetaHumans in Unreal Engine, everyone can participate.”
Genies has teamed with Justin Bieber, Rihanna, and Shawn Mendes through Universal Music Group. Epic Games' Unreal Engine's MetaHumans provides cinematic, realistic avatars instead of cartoonish ones.
RPM's CEO Timmu Tke says, "We employed 3D photo booths to scan hundreds of thousands of individuals at studio quality." We used that database to create a deep-learning Ai system that guesses a selfie's 3D face. Once you build your avatar from such a single image, you may use it throughout the internet, into the metaverse, via RPM's partners who link into its avatar network. All platforms will reflect any changes to attire, hairdo, or merch.
RPM is already widely used for a variety of virtual musical experiences. What some musicians have done, according to Tke, is either export and utilize their avatar in a music video, which requires knowledge of 3D design. "Or we've witnessed a group of individuals doing concerts in the 3D and VR universe called Somnium Space. Additionally, Decentraland hosted a metaverse music event where DJs performed using our avatars. Depending on what it is you want to accomplish.
Companies other than those involved in gaming and avatars are looking at the possibilities of virtual artists. Across its social media and YouTube channels, TheSoul Publishing's network of content development platforms has amassed more than one billion followers overall. They have "the most viewers of any entertainment and media creator throughout Facebook and YouTube," according to its website, followed by ViacomCBS, Comcast, Disney, and WarnerMedia.
In 2021, they made history by being the first media outlet to receive 100 billion social media views. A distribution agreement with digital music giant Believe will be signed by TheSoul's music division, TheSoul Music, in December 2021 thanks to those remarkable results, which have enabled the company to experiment with music. Their virtual artist Polar, a disguised teenage singer who draws inspiration from cutting-edge Japanese cartoon robot-vocalist Hatsune Miku, is leading the assault.
Although it is yet uncertain how the metaverse will present itself in the future, technologies are being developed quickly to smooth the transition to a digital avatar life. Investment, collaborations, and acquisitions are also proceeding quickly.
Future tech might wreck the metaverse. However, world-building surrounding an artist's vision is interesting. Without universal access for artists of all levels and audiences, the metaverse may not reach its full potential.
If you want to play with what's accessible for artists inside the metaverse, Phull suggests downloading Volta XR, which gives you fantastic tools and lets you imagine a performance in a customizable virtual location.