Spotify has become the first streaming music service to join the metaverse, launching a new virtual island on the Roblox platform.
The island lets users meet their favorite musical artists, play different sounds, explore quests, collect virtual merchandise and listen to music, Spotify confirmed.
Increasingly younger people are spending more of their time in virtual worlds, such as Minecraft and Roblox, where they interact, rather than passively watch or listen.
Roblox is a platform, allowing developers to create games that act as individual worlds for the more than 44 million daily active users to join. However, it has come under fire for not doing enough to protect its younger users.
Almost half are under 13 and studies have shown there are worlds with parties featuring strippers and naked avatars having simulated sex.
They are also able to communicate through chat boxes, leaving children as young as nine exposed to inappropriate content, although the Spotify content is expected to be well moderated and controlled.
When users sign in to the island, available through the Roblox website or app, they will see a central mainland surrounded by a collection of islands – each with a theme.
There is also a ‘musical play box’ featuring a soundtrack that is powered by Spotify’s audio creation tool, Soundtrap, that can be played, paused and skipped by users.
The first theme island to launch will be K-town, dedicated to the world of K-Pop, coming online later this Spring and featuring a meetup with Stray Kids and SUNMI.
Spotify has become the first streaming music service to join the metaverse, launching a new virtual island on the Roblox platform
The island lets users meet their favorite musical artists, play different sounds, explore quests, collect virtual merchandise and listen to music, Spotify confirmed
Launched in 2006, Roblox is a platform rather than a game, allowing individuals to build their own worlds, or join others – including some high profile games.
While Spotify is the first music streaming service on Roblox, it isn’t the first brand to embrace the platform and its young audience – with 67 per cent of users under 16.
However, according to a report in the Motley Fool, 23.8 million of Roblox’s 47.3 million daily active are over the age of 13, and the demographic is getting older.
So far some large clothing brands have joined Roblox in the hope of building a new allegiance, including Nike, Forever 21, Ralph Lauren and Vans.
Having music isn’t new to Roblox either, as both Lil Nas X and Twenty One Pilots have given concerts inside the virtual world, but Spotify is the first to have its own world.
The Lil Nas X concert was viewed 33 million times, created thanks to a motion capture incarnation of the musician as he performed in the real world.
Increasingly younger people are spending more of their time in virtual worlds, such as Minecraft and Roblox, where they interact, rather than passively watch or listen
Launched in 2006, Roblox is a platform rather than a game, allowing individuals to build their own worlds, or join others – including some high profile games
Spotify describes it as a ‘paradise of sound where fans and artists from all over the world can hang out and explore a wonderland of sounds, quests, and merch.’
‘Through this interactive world, we’re creating a place where fans can link up and create new sounds together, hang out in digital spaces, and gain access to exclusive virtual merch. Spotify Island is an audio oasis that has it all.’
What is the metaverse?
The ‘metaverse’ is a set of virtual spaces where you can game, work and communicate with other people who aren’t in the same physical space as you.
Facebook explained: ‘You’ll be able to hang out with friends, work, play, learn, shop, create and more.
‘It’s not necessarily about spending more time online — it’s about making the time you do spend online more meaningful.’
While Facebook is leading the charge with the metaverse, it explained that it isn’t a single product one company can build alone.
‘Just like the internet, the metaverse exists whether Facebook is there or not,’ it added.
‘And it won’t be built overnight. Many of these products will only be fully realized in the next 10-15 years.’
The suggestion, from the description, is that Spotify will be hosting live artist events within its Roblox island, including meet and greets with musicians.
‘Players can also enjoy an immersive audio experience by creating music and exploring sounds at the virtual beat-maker stations powered by Soundtrap,’ Spotify said in a statement about the new Roblox collaboration.
Sountrap is a virtual music studio, allowing users across multiple devices to record, edit and produce songs without being in the same room.
‘The island will have other musical Easter eggs at every turn for eagle-eyed users to discover. Users can even climb to the top of ‘The Charts’ by collecting points,’ Spotify went on to explain.
The world has been designed around the shades of the Spotify logo, and there will be heart shaped ‘like’ icons users can collect, and trade for digital merch.
To access the themed side-islands, which will be activated throughout the year, users have to start on the mainland, then portal across.
Each of these islands will include dedicated artist interactions, as well as mini-quests and exclusive content.
The first themed experience fans can expect on Spotify Island is K-Park, an homage to all things K-Pop, which will launch later in the spring, with an interactive meet and greet involving Stray Kids and SUNMI.
‘Through Spotify Island, we’re creating an easy opportunity for artists to connect with fans and to partner with Spotify on the creation of in-game virtual merchandise,’ a spokesperson said.
Spotify describes it as a ‘paradise of sound where fans and artists from all over the world can hang out and explore a wonderland of sounds, quests, and merch’
The suggestion, from the description, is that Spotify will be hosting live artist events within its Roblox island, including meet and greets with musicians
‘Spotify’s portion of those sales will go directly back to the artists themselves. We’ll work with artists to create more opportunities like this in the months ahead.
‘Spotify immerses users in a world of audio no matter how or where they’re listening. Now, with Spotify Island on Roblox, we’re bringing new, unique experiences to fans and artists alike.’
One of the visions for the island is to turn Roblox players into the next generation of creators, including through sound production apps on the island and beat maker stations – as well as using a ‘stage’ area with cannons and bubbles.
‘The stage isn’t the typical artist broadcast to fan experience. We’re flipping the script and empowering players to be the creators and truly feel like they’re the artist performing,’ Abby Stewart, Director of Business Development at Spotify, told TechCrunch.