Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Rolling Stone editors or publishers.
There’s no denying that modern advances in technology have significantly impacted the billion-dollar music and entertainment industries at large. At a rapid pace, people are integrating technology into their daily lives, and one of the most significant advancements is the way in which consumers experience all that music, media and entertainment have to offer. Whether it’s recording artists, songwriters, producers or fans, the domains of technology and music are evolving and converging at the speed of sound.
Music-streaming platforms and apps have drastically changed the way artists distribute and market their music. Whether it’s SoundCloud or Spotify, delivering music to a global audience is simpler and more easily accessible than ever. Aspiring artists no longer have to search for top producers or listeners who like their music — anyone now has an opportunity to make it big.
Smartphones have also introduced a range of new capabilities for sharing music with audiences on a global scale. Previously, music could only be made in studios with expensive recording equipment and thousands of dollars, but today, in-app recording settings and controls offer artists an alternative form of production.
These are just a few examples of how technology has impacted recording artists, creators and top media agencies. But technical advances in music and entertainment continue to evolve. Here are five ways artists, businesses and creative agencies are leveraging technology to progress industries forward.
Tapping New Audiences
The rise in musical artists today looking to influence and invest in new ventures is on the upswing. For both the artists and businesses, the industry is looking for inventive ways to reach new audiences and generate new revenue streams. The metaverse is essentially the next generation of the internet, a new virtual universe for users. This presents an opportunity for artists to reach fans through a variety of activities, including virtual concerts, merchandise sales and other integrated in-game/in-app activities.
There’s also a big focus on unlocking more commercial opportunities at the intersection of music and gaming, with immersive online environments representing a new opportunity for reaching fans through virtual communities for shared music experiences. Overall, the metaverse presents a game-changing opportunity for artists focused on creative collaborations and revenue-generating commercial experiences.
A New Avenue to Monetize
As tech giants usher in the next generation of the internet, more and more brands, artists and agencies are starting to fully understand the massive opportunity that the metaverse presents for many artists. The metaverse’s economy will not only consist of companies selling digital goods to users, but it will also likely consist of peers selling to peers. For the most part, it’s a free-market, user-driven economy but non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are changing the landscape. Not only do NFTs provide artists more control over their art, but also the ability to track exactly where royalties should go — and more quickly. As artists are incentivized to use the metaverse as a marketplace to better control and capitalize their craft, they are not only monetizing their songs, but also digital merchandise.
Digital NFTs and Wearables Are Going Mainstream
At a high level, the metaverse serves as a playground for brands to exceed boundaries in the physical world and live out their most fantastical and creative aesthetic in a space that is limitless. Most brands are digital-first companies, so tapping into the metaverse could be the next step in order to grow their digital identities, branding and content and expand their products that connect to consumers in a digital way.
As NFTs continue to spark interest, musicians like Shawn Mendes, Kings of Leon and Grimes have dipped into the popular NFT trend, joining the ranks of the fashion world and fine-art collectors. Both recording artists, record labels and top music businesses are utilizing NFTs to reinvent themselves and engage with fan bases. Furthermore, NFTs have opened up new possibilities in which musicians can monetize themselves. As for top artists like Snoop Dogg, the creation and sale of NFTs give creatives a direct say in the sales and future resales of their art. As for fans, these digital assets warrant a new way to support their favorite creators and gain exclusive access to merchandise not everyone can have. (Full disclosure: Shawn Mendes, Kings of Leon, Grimes, and Snoop Dogg are clients of Genies.)
Ultimately, the metaverse is a realm of culture and digital identity for brands to further discover their fullest potential and reach consumers in a new and innovative way with a focus on digital goods.
Rise in 3D Avatars for Fan Engagement
If you’ve already attended a virtual event, happy hour or work meeting using a digital avatar, then you’re already ahead of the game. As for top recording artists having their own personal avatar has also become a form of self-expression and a new avenue for fan engagement.
Today, artists and agencies feel a unique responsibility to ensure a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem around music. For many, it’s paramount that the artists and creatives they represent continue to leverage digital media and technology. Specifically for 3D avatars, their customization has become a unique opportunity for fan engagement, personal expression and next-generation experiences. By leveraging 3D avatars, artists can create virtual “identities” that they can then use across various digital platforms. These avatars allow fans to have an online affiliation with an artist, furthering loyalty and engagement in the virtual world.
Overall, the metaverse presents artists, creators, founders, futurists and consumers an opportunity and potential for increased social connection, experimentation, entertainment and, ultimately, profit.