Sony and Warner have tested the water element universe. What changes will this bring to the trillion-dollar music industry?

In November 2020, Roblox and American singer Lil Nas X cooperated to hold a virtual concert on Roblox using motion capture technology, which attracted 33 million viewers around the world to watch online. Although there was no concept of Metaverse at that time, The event has become a record-breaking event in the industry.

Then we saw more and more singers hold concerts in Roblox. In May 2021, the online new song release event of Swedish pop queen Zara larsson (Zara larsson) was held on Roblox, attracting 36 million Gamers participate; in November 2021, Roblox announced that it will host its “first-of-its-kind” virtual concert for rising star singer Tai Verdes, who will perform four songs in the game as a virtual avatar.

After that, Roblox went public, and the Metaverse concept came out of the circle, bringing changes to the music industry, and a new era of music is taking shape .

For example, fans will no longer need to spend hundreds of dollars to grab a concert ticket, and only need to use the headset to enjoy the concert at home; and singers are no longer restricted by real concerts , which can bring the audience a highly integrated audio-visual immersion through technology.

So, how exactly does the Metaverse change the music industry, and how does this inspire music practitioners?

How can the Metaverse change the music industry?

The arrival of the Metaverse has pushed the music industry to move further into the development stage of digital entertainment. The integration of music scenes and virtual worlds has become a general trend. Therefore, the development of immersive digital scenes will affect the music industry in many ways.

◉ Large-scale number of people

In recent years, offline performances around the world have been affected by the epidemic, and a large number of performances cannot be staged as scheduled, so the demand for online performances has gradually increased.

In the past two years, the online performance market at home and abroad has shown a trend of rapid growth. According to iiMedia Research, the number of users of online music performances in China exceeded 80 million in the first half of 2020 .

Online performances are not limited by the geographical environment and physical space. Take the National Stadium Bird’s Nest as an example, where a concert can accommodate up to 90,000 people, which is already an indoor venue with a large number of audiences.

In April last year, rapper Travis Scott held a virtual concert in “Fortress Night”, which attracted nearly 28 million players to watch, and once became the music LIVE with the most players online at the time in the game’s history.

The number of viewers for a concert has jumped from tens of thousands to tens of millions, and the number of viewers for a virtual performance is no longer limited by the size of the venue, and even fans from all over the world can enjoy the immersive experience of being in close contact with idols viewing experience.

◉ Diversified scenes

With the rapid development and use of XR technology, 3D rendering technology, and motion capture technology, many music companies have begun to try more customized performance scenes through these Metaverse-related technologies.

As mentioned above, the form of online performance not only breaks the limit of the number of viewers, but also breaks the limit of scene construction .

On November 19, 2021, the famous American singer Justin Bieber held a Metaverse concert on the virtual music platform Wave. Wave converted Bieber into a digital image in real time through advanced broadcasting technology and real-time image engine, and then projected the virtual image to Virtual stage, and relying on motion capture technology to make virtual images and real people perform synchronously.

Justin Bieber’s 30-minute concert has created multiple virtual scenes to fit different songs. On the one hand, it can vividly convey the connotation of music, and on the other hand, it also provides fans with a new immersive music experience.

With the blessing of the virtual stage, performers can move in a large space without being affected by external environments such as light and background. The performance stage can be mountains, deserts, seas or even the vast universe.

Although the current technological means still need to be refined, it is undeniable that customized scenes will create more possibilities for music .

◉ Interactive diversity

Speaking of the concert, the author can’t help but think of the wonderful performance of Queen Queen’s Live Aid Live Aid in 1985. The passionate performance of the lead singer Freddie Mercury has resonated with tens of thousands of people, and the audience waved and sang, and I recall it today. It still looks amazing.

With the development of technology, the performance of the concert has more light and shadow special effects, and the audience can also wave light sticks to echo the singer, and the effect of the whole concert is even more wonderful.

Sony and Warner have tested the water element universe. What changes will this bring to the trillion-dollar music industry?

Although such a performance scene has been very spectacular, there are still some bottlenecks.

On the one hand, such a presentation method is either expensive, or limited by technology, it is difficult to realize more scenes; on the other hand, for the audience, despite the resonance of watching the concert with many friends and interacting with the singers on stage The passion it brings, but you can only watch the stars perform from a distance, and the experience must be discounted.

With the help of Metaverse-related technologies, we can create digital avatars and virtual scenes of musicians, so as to create an interactive community for musicians and fans in the Metaverse that can span time and space .

In such a scene, fans can interact with idols at close range, and the way of interaction is not limited by space and technology. For example, they can dance with idols at close range, or throw virtual love to idols, or in a In the virtual universe, for a unique cosmic concert, the audience can take a spaceship and launch various fireworks or barrages to cheer up the idols.

In the Metaverse, there is only the unthinkable but the impossible.

◉ The Magical Uses of Blockchain

As a hot emerging technology in recent years, blockchain has been widely used in the digital economy recently. Since it can ensure that the data and assets placed on it are non-tamperable and traceable, and no center can control it at will, users will truly retain the rights and interests corresponding to the digital assets after they acquire digital assets.

Therefore, blockchain technology is very suitable for making digital assets, and such digital assets are usually realized in the form of NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens) or digital collections.

Professional musicians can create their song works as NFTs, and sell these NFTs on the Internet. People who buy NFTs will also get the author’s works. In addition, the creator receives royalties whenever someone buys or sells a copy of the artwork.

The whole process is based on the support of blockchain technology, and the whole process can be carried out on the network. The creator can get the full income, and there is no intermediate issuer to take away most of the profits. Therefore, blockchain technology is also known as creator-friendly technology, which can greatly improve creators’ monetization ability .

On the other hand, blockchain technology can also very well monetize the influence of musicians.

For example, by releasing music-related digital collections, making it like a vinyl record, it has a collection attribute, and at the same time, it can be well displayed to others and become a new social currency; or release virtual peripheral products related to singers, It can also be further combined with the entity. Based on the virtual peripheral products, the corresponding physical peripheral products will be presented. The combination of virtual and real will promote the common development of the digital economy and the real economy.

These business models will be one of the mainstream scenarios of the fan economy in the digital age. Creators will be able to open up many commercial landing scenarios with their personal influence, become a new engine of economic growth, and allow themselves to gain rich influence .

How are the current music giants merging with the Metaverse?

So in the face of this change in the music industry, how are the global music giants laid out, and how they view the changes brought by the Metaverse to the music industry, let’s start with a few typical music giant companies to provide Everyone do a dismantling.

◉ Sony Music Entertainment

Sony Music Entertainment (SME), as a major company in the global music industry, has artists all over the world, from Michael Jackson to Avril Lavigne, to domestic Wang Leehom and Li Yifeng.

His every move represents a direction indicator for the industry, and when it comes to Sony’s layout in the Metaverse, we have to mention the famous virtual singer Hatsune Miku that it signed. It can be said that Sony, as a veteran music company, has long taken the lead. Joined the big play of the Metaverse.

Sony and Warner have tested the water element universe. What changes will this bring to the trillion-dollar music industry?

Since the popularity of the Metaverse last year, Sony Group has continued to increase its efforts in the field of the Metaverse. In December last year, it co-produced with Unreal Engine and held a virtual concert with Madison Beer, a beer girl. A Metaverse football stadium; in April, Sony participated in a $2 billion financing of Metaverse-related game giant Epic Games.

In May not long ago, Sony Music Entertainment announced the establishment of the Greater China Division of RCA Records. The new label will focus on the discovery and training of artists in Greater China, and invest in artists in VR, AR, NFT, Metaverse, etc. The development of this field will open up more artistic and commercial opportunities for them.

After the Sony Group held its fiscal 2021 corporate strategy meeting, it said it has the ability to play a leading role in the virtual world (Metaverse) or immersive virtual world.

And Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said at the strategy briefing, “The Metaverse is both a social space and a real-time cyberspace, where games, music, movies, and anime meet, and our goal is to turn the mobile space into a new entertainment space…we believe that mobile will be the next big trend.”

◉ Warner Music

Compared with Sony Music, Warner Music can be said to have more flowers in various fields of the Metaverse.

As early as September 2019, it began to deploy blockchain technology, one of the infrastructures of the Metaverse. Warner Music participated in the investment in Dapper Labs, the company behind the blockchain game CryptoKitties (CryptoKitties). The funds raised by Dapper Labs are aimed at Create a new blockchain Flow.

In May 2021, Warner Music Group announced a partnership with Genies, the world’s largest virtual image technology company based on the Flow chain, and Genies will develop 3D virtual images and virtual props NFT for Warner Music Group’s stars.

Fans will be able to purchase exclusive, limited-edition props for their avatars, such as clothing, accessories and looks, to commemorate key moments of a song or album release and to use on social media. Warner Music began to flexibly use its own artists to explore new ways to monetize fans in the digital economy .

On the other hand, Warner Music is also actively cooperating with the Metaverse project to explore more possibilities.

In January 2022, Warner Music announced that it had partnered with The Sandbox, a well-known blockchain-based Metaverse project.Warner Music will create a virtual space on The Sandbox’s virtual land that will serve as both a music-centric amusement park and a venue for artist concerts. At that time, Warner Music will hold a Metaverse concert attended by its artists.

In addition, Warner, which has deep pockets, will also deploy the Metaverse in advance by direct investment.

In April 2022, Warner Music Group announced on its official website that it has reached a partnership with the NFT badge app POAP. The two parties will provide POAP rewards for fans who participate in Warner Music’s related activities. All POAP NFT collectors will receive ID verification. digital proof. In June, Warner Music also participated in the investment in the Metaverse music platform Authentic Artists.

It can be seen that Warner Music is a two-pronged approach of investment and cooperation. It has taken the lead in deploying to the Metaverse, from infrastructure to virtual humans, NFT and other landing applications, using its own artist resources to actively explore the digital marketing method of the fan economy , as if it has become music. Pioneer of the Metaverse.

◉ Universal Music

Universal Music Group (UMG) is a global music company headquartered in the Netherlands and operating headquartered in California, USA. Together with the aforementioned Sony Music and Warner Music Group, it is known as one of the three major record companies in the world today.

In more than 60 countries and regions, it has developed a full range of services such as music production and distribution, copyright management, authorized merchandise sales and audio-visual content. It brings together many top musicians at home and abroad, including Queen, Elton John, Jay-Z, Jacky Cheung, Eason Chan, etc.

Sony and Warner have tested the water element universe. What changes will this bring to the trillion-dollar music industry?

Universal Music has a very high sensitivity to the market, and it is the key magic weapon to make it one of the three major record companies by constantly introducing new and optimized products.

As early as November 2021, Universal Music formed a “Metaverse group”, with the four characters of the Bored Ape Yacht NFT series as the protagonists, using Crypto technology to build a virtual band Kingship.

And as the online Metaverse grows and evolves, the label will develop music for the band to “perform” in animation and virtual world environments. Universal Music’s move provides an important practical use case for NFTs and opens up entirely new avenues for creating artists .

After that, Universal Music also reached a cooperation with the virtual avatar company Genies. Genies will produce avatars for all Universal Music artists, preparing for Universal Music’s artists to further enter Hollywood, and also for Universal Music to open the door to the Metaverse. Provide prerequisites.

In 2022, Universal Music Group signed a content licensing agreement with Lime Wire, a digital collection platform for arts and entertainment, that will open the Lime Wire collectibles marketplace to all Universal Music Group artists.

Artists under the Universal Music Group can sell audio, audiovisual content, artwork, award-winning tracks, tidbits, images and other content on the Lime Wire marketplace. And this is just the tip of the iceberg of Universal Music’s overweight in related fields.

Prior to this, Universal Music Group reached a cooperation with Sony Music and Solana-based NFT platform Snowcrash, and at the same time cooperated with global music brand Billboard to launch ChartStars, an NFT project based on Flow blockchain .

As the Metaverse of the next-generation Internet, NFT avatars and other user-owned digital assets are expected to play an important role in the future. The frequent actions of Universal Music have made it an important pioneer in the field of the Metaverse, walking at the forefront of the times.

◉ Tencent Music Entertainment Group

Tencent Music Entertainment Group, as the “first stock in China’s music”, is an important participant in China’s music entertainment, with two major businesses including music streaming and social entertainment. It covers many important products such as Kugou Music, QQ Music, Kuwo Music, and National K Song, providing a rich music experience for the Chinese public.

As an important Internet brand in China, Tencent has always maintained a high level of attention and investment in the field of Metaverse and Crypto, and has become a pioneer in the field of domestic music brands in the field of Metaverse.

In August 2021, Tencent Music launched the TME digital collection platform, which will be launched on QQ Music one after another. Its collections cover video, voice, vinyl records, and star peripherals, bringing fans and musicians a new experience of the next generation of the Internet.

In December 2021, Tencent Music announced the official launch of TMELAND, the first virtual music carnival in China, and launched an appointment page on platforms such as QQ Music. Users can create their own avatars and experience digital scenes such as virtual live broadcasts and virtual concerts.

Tencent Music said that TMELAND will realize a variety of personalized functions such as exclusive digital islands and free layout landscapes, and will provide musicians with creative tools, growth resources and incubation plans in the virtual music world .

It can be said that Tencent Music’s first show in the field of Metaverse is Wang Zhan. It is precisely positioned to create a Metaverse platform, with user experience as the core, to build a “surreal” digital fusion of reality and virtuality for musicians, fans and partners. time and space.

After that, Tencent Music seemed to be pressed the switch, and it continued to launch a variety of digital activities.

In May 2022, the Metaverse Music Festival OZ Future Concert will be held in cooperation with Adidas Originals. In the core landmark square area, various forms of exclusive virtual outdoor advertisements such as road flags and logos were customized for the Adidas Originals brand, and digital Ozworld sneakers were provided for users participating in timed activities.

In June, Tencent Music Public Welfare and Yanran Angel Fund jointly launched a digital collection of music for children with cleft lip and palate “Sweet Angel Love Singing Troupe “Bu Shuanzi: I Live at the Head of the Yangtze River”. These are just few of Tencent Music’s attempts in related fields.

Sony and Warner have tested the water element universe. What changes will this bring to the trillion-dollar music industry?

Liang Zhu, CEO of Tencent Music Entertainment Group, once said that in the future, “it may be possible to explore the Metaverse in the QQ Music APP . Each user will have their own independent room, and they can put their own music in the virtual room, and friends can come to visit. Hear this music.”

Tencent Music Entertainment Group’s active exploration in the Metaverse has opened a window to the future for the Chinese music scene, allowing us to see more possibilities brought by the Metaverse era to the music industry.

Metaverse + Music: What to expect in the future?

In the previous article, we talked in detail about the changes brought about by Metaverse-related technologies to the music industry, and these changes all stem from the current integration of the Metaverse and the music industry, and are also things that are actually happening. As the technology matures, what expectations will it bring to the music industry? We will briefly explain it to you from three major directions.

◉ The number of participants in the music Metaverse continues to expand

Although the number of users who have reached the music industry through the Metaverse has exceeded hundreds of millions, it is still far from enough, and there is still at least 10 times room for growth in the future .

Because music allows anyone to have a spontaneous love, whether it is an outstanding industry elite, or a Liba person working in the factory fields, even for the displaced beggars, music is a comfort and a good experience.

At present, the music users touched by the Metaverse are only a small part. It will have a ripple effect with the popularity of the Metaverse itself, thereby attracting more users to participate. For the music industry, which is already in a saturated state, this is undoubtedly It is a brand new growth point.

◉ Metaverse becomes the standard for musicians

Now that we talk about changes in the number of users, participation in the Metaverse may become a standard for musicians.

Whether it is holding concerts in the Metaverse, releasing exclusive music products through blockchain technology, or establishing new ways of interacting with fans in the Metaverse, it seems that they are gradually being accepted by more and more musicians . Just as music transitioned from tape to digital, new trends have crept in .

However, at present we can see that the musicians who are interested in the Metaverse are only half-scaled compared to the overall music scene, and virtual concerts are mostly dominated by young artists. As time goes by, this kind of popularity.

It will be proven in more musicians, which will bring a great boost to the music industry itself, as much as Steve Jobs launched the iPod 20 years ago.

◉ The sense of immersion and atmosphere is further strengthened

Finally, let’s talk about the technology itself. Although the various devices related to the Metaverse experience are still relatively early, and even last week’s news broke that Meta has lowered the shipments of VR devices in 2022, on the one hand, it reflects the enthusiasm of the market. On the other hand, what we see is that the technology is far from reaching the moment when it is recognized by the public.

Therefore, in the next 3-5 years, we have reason to see better VR products appear, or more accessible AR products become mainstream, which will further consolidate certain music experiences, such as more realistic concerts, more realistic and Star interaction, or even more cool music products, these will bring new experiences with the development of technology .

To sum up, the changes that the Metaverse has brought to the music industry are already visible to the naked eye, but most of the time we can only stand in the moment and think about future trends.

Maybe the future we see now is not the ultimate, and there will be various twists and turns during the period, but just like our ancestors tried to fly to the sky hundreds of years ago, it has now become a reality, the only difference is – we do not Know when it will appear?

Then, with the yearning for a better life and the love for music, a more and more convenient experience must be the ultimate pursuit. We look forward to such changes, whether it is music or something else.

There is no doubt that in the transition from the Internet to the Metaverse, the traditional music industry will inevitably usher in new changes again.

Will the Metaverse bring new vitality to the music industry?

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