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The music industry could do with a bit of that rebellious, revolutionary rock ‘n’ roll energy- Shatadru- Metastar Media

The internet as we know it is changing. And thanks to metaverse technologies, online experiences are fast becoming much more immersive and realistic, with the potential to transform forever how we engage with our favourite artistes. 

Music is one creative industry that has the potential to be transformed,  and disrupted the most. In the current digital music landscape, revenue from streaming is insignificant for a large number of artistes, and discovery of great art is lost in the massive influx of new content daily. 

Artistes are in dire need of platforms where they can directly engage with their fans on their own terms, build their brand and monetize that to the best of their ability across various offerings. When live shows shut down, artistes lost their main connection to fans along with their primary source of revenue. Hence, when it comes to music and the metaverse, the artistes are leading the way driving adoption and creating new revenue streams directly from their fans. And beyond monetization, artistes are able to connect directly with those fans in ways that they wouldn’t be able to in real life or via social media, and make these experiences much more accessible and memorable.

Direct-To-Fan is the underlying philosophy that is driving metaverse and Web3 adoption in the music industry. However, the technology has many applications within the artiste’s ecosystem. One cannot talk music and Metaverse and not talk about virtual concerts, the entry point for most. Imagine a concert with millions of attendees. It would be impossible in the real world. But it’s a breeze in the metaverse, as shown by Ariana Grande’s series of virtual shows which attracted an audience of 78 million. That’s the world imagined — and increasingly realized — by the metaverse. 

So much so that the MTV Video Music Awards have now introduced a “Best Metaverse Performance” category in 2022. The tech is still nascent however we are getting more and more authentic representations of life in the Web3 sphere, and the momentum shows no signs of letting up. 

And as the connection and engagement with the core fanbase grows, it opens up a myriad of revenue opportunities for artistes. Merchandising is an area that most Indian artistes have ignored, which can present a significant revenue stream. Furthermore, the merchandise universe is finding a whole new iteration in Web3, with NFTs and other digital & ‘phygital’ collectibles adding a whole new level of personalization for fans who cherish a feeling of closeness to their icons. 

Virtual products also present big opportunities for brands and artists, proving a new way for brands to collaborate with artists and take steps into the metaverse – sponsorship of virtual events, design collaborations on virtual clothing, and virtual product launches, to name just a few. We’re also seeing digital assets like NFTs applied to live concerts. For instance, Coachella auctioned life-time passes as NFTs for concertgoers to receive a VIP experience at the festival.

As artistes are increasingly able to connect more directly with their fans and redefine what’s possible in the metaverse, another emerging trend is the inclusion of fans in the actual creation of music or videos, creating opportunities for fans to be a part of the creation of their art. This is still a new concept but represents the next phase of interactivity between artistes and fans.

Direct-To-Fan is the new mantra, powered by metaverse and Web3 technologies that help artistes become more independent and autonomous, address monetization limitations in the current business model, and bridge the gap between artistes and fans. As another generation of artists rises, they’re likely going to rely more and more heavily on the metaverse as means of connection, distribution and monetization.

Rock ‘n’ Roll has always been about embracing the counterculture and going against the grain. While the term is most widely associated with music, but the rock and roll mindset can and does extend into every sphere and exists in every dimension — including non-physical ones like the metaverse. And the music industry could do with a bit of that rebellious, revolutionary rock ‘n’ roll energy. 

The writer is a seasoned music industry professional having amassed over 15 years’ experience at the country’s top music labels and entertainment brands. He is currently the co-founder of Metastar Media, a pioneering media tech company, that works with artistes to enable them with the latest Web2 and Web3 technologies

— Shatadru, Co-Founder- Metastar Media

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