Make Way for the Virtual Dance Floor
On our blog about “music’s place in the 21st century” we rarely get to write about anything as futuristic (in a ‘shape of things to come’ way) as this, via Music Business Weekly:
Yesterday (February 2), DJ star Marshmello played an exclusive in-game concert in Fornite at 2pm ET. Fortnite players could watch the virtual show for free, so long as they made sure their avatar was available at the concert’s location (Pleasant Park).
The numbers are now coming in on the event’s audience, and they’re mighty impressive: according to reliable sources, over 10 million concurrent users witnessed Marshmello’s virtual concert. These people’s in-game avatars were all able to hit the virtual dancefloor in front of Marshmello’s own avatar and show off their moves.
Mark Mulligan in Music Industry Blog:
For my son and his friends this was every bit a shared live experience, each of them talking to each other via Xbox Live and dancing with each other on screen. In-game live experiences like this are nothing new, but it may just be that we are beginning to get to a tipping point in shared gaming experiences for Gen Z that will shape their entertainment expectations for years to come.
and Darren Hemmings in the Motive Unknown newsletter:
I tweeted over the weekend that this brought to mind when US rock bands of a certain age talk about the influence KISS had on them. Often it wasn’t about the music so much as the spectacle of it all, and how much that impacted them as a child or teen. I think there’s parallels here; these are the kind of great experiences that really get fans hooked in, and strikes me as a colossal win for Marshmello as an artist.
At a point where I often grumble that innovation is drying up in music, this proved to be a fine example of how great things can come together to make a massively successful event for all involved.
Marshmello’s DJ set is also now exclusively available on Apple Music, no doubt a high-profile pay-off of the streamer’s association with Dubset.
Video games took some of the blame when music industry profits declined in the late-90s/early-00s. We reasoned that kids who once spent their allowance on music were instead using it on games. There was probably some truth in that, setting up tension between the game and music industries. But we’re now starting to see cooperation in marketing games and music that’s going leaps beyond background songs and Guitar Hero. And as journalist Cherie Hu talks about on a recent episode of the Music Tectonics podcast, the integration of music and non-music media and interactive entertainment may be the big music business story of 2019.
Regardless, we’ve come a long way since this:
🔗→ Marshmello just played a live set to 10m people in video game Fortnite
🔗→ Marshmello Just Live Streamed on Fortnite…So Just What is a Concert?
🔗→ Marshmello’s Fortnite concert shows it should be done