Gaming platform Roblox has inked a deal with Sony Music that will call for more virtual experiences within the Roblox metaverse featuring Sony artists.
These virtual concerts and events will in turn help artists generate new revenue streams and reach more fans, the companies said. In the past year, for instance, Roblox has hosted virtual events with both Lil Nas X and Zara Larsson.
Roblox notes that 36 million people watched Lil Nas X debut his song, “Holiday,” in Nov. 2020 within a virtual concert venue that also comprised merch sales, mini-games, a scavenger hunt, and behind-the-scenes interviews. Larsson, for her part, attracted over 4 million visits to her listening party event, which took place around a virtual rendering of her Swedish lake house and featured games, challenges, and merch.
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“With this new agreement, we look forward to expanding our successful partnership with the Roblox team to further unlock commercial opportunities at the intersection of music and gaming,” Dennis Kooker, Sony’s president of global digital business and U.S. sales, said in a statement. “Immersive online environments represent a meaningful opportunity for reaching a growing number of fans who want to use virtual communities to enjoy shared music experiences.”
Music Business Worldwide notes that Roblox last month was hit with a $200 million copyright infringement lawsuit from various indie and major music publishers in the U.S., spearheaded by the National Music Publishers’ Association, alleging that Roblox had enabled creators to use unlicensed music.
In a release announcing the Sony deal, Roblox said it uses advanced screening technology for uploaded music, has no tolerance for repeat offenders, and quickly responds to all submitted DMCA requests.