Spotify announced today that it will be the first music streaming brand to be officially featured on Roblox with the launch of “Spotify Island,“a place where artists and fans will gather to play interactive quests, unlock exclusive content, and buy artist merchandise.
Roblox’s new Spotify Island destination will actually consist of a central mainland surrounded by a set of themed islands that players can explore and interact with by walking, running and jumping, as well as touching and picking up various objects. The worlds themselves have a color palette based on Spotify’s shades of green, with a touch of orange and magenta.
There is also a music playbox in the top right corner of the world that will play the soundtrack from Soundtrack, one of Spotify’s audio creation tools. According to the company, music here can be played or paused, and players can skip tracks.
Meanwhile, the in-game merchandise store will feature various Spotify-exclusive merchandise that can be used in other parts of Roblox, as well as special artist merchandise that will serve as an additional source of income for creators. Spotify says artists will be able to retain Spotify’s share of these merchandise sales (minus Roblox’s share), and Spotify can help design merchandise if needed.
Initially, four free items can be unlocked by completing missions on Spotify Island, doing activities such as playing sounds in the world’s crystal cave and trampoline, or collecting musical notes scattered throughout the island.
There are also little hearts around Spotify Island that can be collected to unlock hidden Easter eggs. For example, one easter egg will change the island mode from daytime to nighttime for an individual player. They can then pick up glow sticks from the ground to leave light trails behind them as they run. The leaderboard will keep track of the hearts collected by the various visitors to the island.
According to the company, Spotify’s vision for the island is to turn Roblox players into content creators. At launch, this is achieved by having players create sounds on their virtual stations to create beats that run on Soundtrack, and moving around the “stage” where they can interact with items such as the confetti cannon and bubbles, effectively becoming performers. But over time, the company plans to expand this experience without going into details.
“The stage is not a typical artist broadcast to fans. We’re changing the script and empowering players to be creative and truly feel like an artist,” said Abby Stewart, director of business development for Spotify.
Spotify also reports that the island will continue to evolve, opening up new worlds to explore music and fandom. The first of these will be K-Park, a custom-made experience designed as a tribute to Kpop culture. The first two artists activated in this space are stray kids and sunmi. The latter will have Roblox merchandise available starting today, while Stray Kids merchandise will arrive in the coming weeks.
The launch of the Roblox world comes at a time when music has become an important competitive advantage for online gaming platforms as they position themselves as the future entry point for interacting with the “metaverse”.
Fortnite helped kickstart this trend with their Travis Scott in-game concert in 2020followed by his ariana grande concert last year, and his later collection Items on the theme of Coachella and music meant to celebrate the festival on its platform. Meanwhile, Roblox also held his first virtual concert in 2020, when Lil Nas X performed there. in a specially designed online event space with multiple stages inspired by the artist’s music. And last year, Roblox solidified its intentions to bring more artists into its online game worlds with announcement about a partnership with Sony Music to help artists find fans on Roblox and earn money.
Spotify, which already hosts over 2.2 million gaming-related playlists, said it saw the potential to reach a younger generation of music lovers with the launch of its gaming experience on Roblox. More than 80% of people in the US play games, according to a Deloitte survey, and Gen Z gamers spend an average of 11 to 13 hours a week playing their favorite games.
“We want to meet this new generation of gamers for who they are, and at the same time open up new opportunities for fans and artists to get involved in the game,” said Alia Calhoun, Global Head of Affiliate Marketing, in a showcase of the Roblox world to select the press for Monday.
While Spotify Island may attract a variety of fan bases that follow their favorite artist around the world to pick up some Roblox swag, the lack of any virtual concert news along with the announcement is a little disappointing. However, Spotify seems to have scheduled the concerts at some point given that it built a big-screen stage behind it. But when asked directly about its plans, the company declined to say anything else. It only said that Roblox users should “stay tuned” for special programming in the future.
Credit: techcrunch.com /