MTV is creating a new virtual space in Roblox as part of a new category of awards recognizing musical performances in the metaverse.
For the initiative, MTV is partnering with Super League Gaming Inc. to target the young Roblox demographic in a quest to bring more viewers to the Paramount Media Network’s channel.
Initially designed as a physics simulation engine, Roblox has morphed into a 3-D environment where brands can create immersive experiences for customers to meet and express themselves through 3-D avatars. With gaming becoming a mainstay of modern society, generating more revenue than the film and television industry combined, marketing teams from Wendy’s Co., Gucci, Nike, and recently Mexican Chipotle do not want to miss out. Depending on its sector, each company has kitted out virtual spaces with virtual merchandise and experiences. Nike went so far as to create a ‘Director of the Metaverse’ role.
The metaverse: a new frontier for concerts
But virtual spaces have utility beyond the fashion space. The metaverse has been a proving ground for the music industry’s answer to canceled concerts during the Covid-19 pandemic: metaverse concerts. The likes of music artists 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 broader audience on Roblox. The company is targeting older children whose musical palette is in the process of formation and who may become future viewers of the channel.
Other Roblox games will feature virtual billboards that will take them to the VMA experience.
Users will get a chance to vote for their favorite metaverse performance through MTV logo tokens gleaned from playing three VMA-related games.
There has been no indication that nonfungible 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 VMA’s in Sep. 2021 down 17% for the all-important 18-49 demographic, MTV’s foray into the metaverse for its Aug. 29 event is sure to spark greater industry interest, according to metaverse experts.
One metaverse expert Cathy Hackl believes that any attempt to enter the space must obtain buy-in from different 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 crucial to its widespread use.