The new frontier of musical experiences
Music and the metaverse come together. Over the past year, the music industry has eagerly begun its integration with Web3 technologies. This evolution not only changes the way music is consumed, but also the way fans interact with the industry.
The global music industry is unavoidable. Whether it’s the top 40 hits playing through car speakers, the backdrop of a restaurant dinner, or advertising, music is all around us.
Industry is closely linked to our contemporary society. It’s no surprise how easily it jumped onto Web3. This past year has been a great year for integration. Music industry giants such as Sony Entertainment have invested in non-fungible token (NFT) platforms. Major artists like Katy Perry and Eminem have backed blockchain-based music platforms.
Social media giant TikTok has integrated Audius, a blockchain-based music streaming platform, with its app. Many musicians who have used NFTs before believe they are a game-changer for their careers and communities.
However, the metaverse expansion is now at full speed. It’s not just in-market NFTs and digital wallets that connect fans and their music world. BeinCrypto spoke with two industry crossover insiders to better understand the impact of this musical metaverse evolution.
Oana Ruxandra is Chief Digital Officer & EVP of Business Development at Warner Music Group (WMG). The company just launched its own music-themed world in the Sandbox metaverse. Bryce Carr is Director of Creator Partnerships and Music at Rally.
Recently, Warner Music Group, one of the world’s leading music labels and entertainment conglomerates, took a big step into the metaverse. In partnership with Sandbox, the music label will create a music-themed world in the Sandbox metaverse. It will be a hybrid musical theme park and concert hall. Warner Music Group will host concerts and music experiences featuring the company’s roster of featured artists.
WMG is not the only major company to take such steps. Companies like Walmart and Microsoft are also investing in digital reality. However, WMG’s enterprise opens up a whole new frontier for metaverse fan and artist engagement.
Oana told BeInCrypto how the music industry is the perfect industry to foray into digital reality. “There are so many reasons why the music industry is transforming into a digital and virtual world,” Ruxandra said. “At the end of the day, music spans all territories, all media types and all platforms, across time.”
Additionally, she pointed out that the metaverse continues to grow. With this growth comes the opportunity to create value and genuine engagement. However, the way to do this is still a pioneering act. Even for a nearly 200-year veteran of the music industry.
“There are not many certainties in the evolution of the metaverse. One thing I know with absolute certainty is that music will be consumed more as our lives become more digital. More people will listen, more often and in a wider variety of formats. There is a huge opportunity in this development. As long as we are able to provide real value to our artists and their communities.
Building authenticity with innovation
As with any new technological innovation, big questions remain. How can a virtual world bring authenticity to what actually exists in reality. “Web1 brought us the Internet and a wealth of static information. Web2 made it easy to interact with communities through centralized platforms. Now, Web3 will provide a decentralized internet owned by users and builders and orchestrated by tokens. For content and consumption, Web3 will see a shift from current content (songs, video, streaming, interactivity, etc.) to a focus on fan engagement.
Ruxandra says WMG’s main focus is authenticity. “Everything we build in the Web3 space must be authentic, true to our artists, their fans, and the platform. We build and launch deliberately.
Besides Warner Music artists, others are also using the new Web3 features to create new channels for genuine connection. Rally is a platform specifically designed for artists – musicians in particular. They can launch social tokens and start building their musical digital reality.
Bryce Carr, Director of Creator Partnerships, commented on the new artist connectivity via Web3. He emphasized that the ability to use Web3 features, such as tokenization, is not restricted to those with ties to big league entities.
“Social tokens and NFTs have tremendous potential and implications for artists at every stage of their career, from emerging talent to megastars to cult classics and legacy artists,” Carr said. “Web3 not only gives artists a shiny new tool to play with, it provides an entirely new and fairer business model for fans and artists alike.”
Moreover, he said that the journey will be different for everyone. This is something Carr knows well. Previously, he worked in young artist development for music giant Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. “Different creators will find value in these elements depending on what is important to them.”
Music and symbolization of devotion
However, another example of an individual group working with such innovations is portugal man. Recently, the popular Grammy Award-winning band took their fandom to the next level with the release of a new single coinciding with a social token.
Their system rewards fans who pre-register the new track with $1 PTM of PTM Coin, their coin which launched over a year ago. To participate, fans simply need to create a free account on Rally, a platform where artists and their fan communities build shared digital economies powered by social tokens and digital goods and services. According to their Rally page, they have over 3,000 fans supporting their initiative via crypto.
With the increased generalization of the metaverse and other Web3 properties, these tokens are the new “fan clubs”. Except, as Carr points out, “artists and their fans own 100% of the digital economy they’ve created.”
“One of the most compelling things about social tokens is that artists can share value with their fan communities, instead of extracting it from them. Now fans can own a piece of the community they’ve built with other fans.
Previously, crypto-music pioneer Dylan Rhodes spoke with BeInCrypto and specifically addressed how music NFTs, tokens, and DAOs promote collectives.
“It’s an incredibly versatile tool: artists can integrate the token into their existing communities and can be implemented anywhere, both IRL and digital. The token is used as an authentication tool to unlock content , experiments, etc. – Bryce Carr Director of Creator Partnerships, Music at Rally
Music and creation of digital culture
As with every new development that arises from Web3 communities, anticipate growth. Businesses, artists, fans, developers will find out what works and what features to leave out. However, in doing so, a new digital culture will form.
It’s hard to anticipate. At this time, little is certain about how the culture of virtual reality concerts, sets, and other musical engagements will captivate audiences. We are about to understand how artists can connect with the future of their business. On the other hand, fans of all generations are grappling with the changes as their idols move forward in the meta-realm.
There is one thing Carr knows. Despite the rapid developments in the digital world, there is a time and a place for digital and live music.
“Nothing replaces live music. But digital spaces where fans can discover and create a culture around music have become equally, if not more, important for many artists. I’m excited to see how the line between live and virtual blends as technology evolves, while allowing artists to showcase their art however they choose.
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