MTV is creating a new virtual space in Roblox as part of a new category of awards recognizing musical achievements in the metaverse.
For the initiative, MTV is partnering with Super League Gaming Inc. to target the young Roblox demographic in an effort to bring more viewers to the Paramount Media Network’s channel.
Originally designed as a physics simulation engine, Roblox has transformed into a 3D environment where brands can create immersive experiences for customers to meet and express themselves through 3D avatars. With gaming becoming a mainstay of modern society, generating more revenue than the film and television industries combined, marketing teams from Wendy’s Co., Gucci, Nike and recently Mexican Chipotle don’t want to miss out. Depending on their sector, each company has equipped virtual rooms with virtual goods and experiences. Nike went so far as to create a ‘Director of the Metaverse’ role.
But virtual rooms have benefits beyond the fashion room. The metaverse has been a proof base for the music industry’s response to canceled concerts during the Covid-19 pandemic: metaverse concerts. Music artists such as Charlie XCX and Travis Scott have already performed in virtual spaces.
MTV initially pioneered an expedition into the metaverse through the popular Microsoft game Minecraft. Executives from MTV and Paramount Media Network are now excited to bring the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) to a wider audience on Roblox. The company targets older children whose musical palette is forming and who may become future viewers of the channel.
Other Roblox games will feature virtual billboards that take them to the VMA experience.
Users will get a chance to vote for their favorite metaverse performance through MTV logo tokens obtained from playing three VMA-related games.
There has been no indication that non-fungible tokens will be added to the mix, a growing trend for music artists.
MTV’s move to spark more widespread adoption
With viewership for the September 2021 VMAs down 17% for the all-important 18-49 demographic, MTV’s foray into the metaverse for the Aug. 29 event is sure to spark more industry interest, according to metaverse experts.
A metaverse expert Cathy Hackl believes that any attempt to enter the space must get buy-in from various stakeholders within a company. Brands must have a Discord presence to connect with Gen Z buyers. Ads will also evolve from being direct-to-consumer to direct-to-avatar.
According to Bloomberg Intelligence, the metaverse is expected to have an $800 billion market by 2024. Internet availability and speed will be critical to its widespread use.
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