At least in Singapore, the Metaverse seems to be alive and well, bringing in large-scale partnerships with artists and record labels. Last week, Warner Music Singapore announced a collaboration with Singapore-based Metaverse and gaming company Affine to provide some of the company’s artists’ contributions to Affine’s upcoming games.
The metaverse as a concept is somewhat vague, but essentially it is about creating a single virtual world across the internet. People will then be able to experience this world using virtual reality goggles and other digital interfaces.
What does cryptocurrency have to do with the Metaverse? It’s because this new Metaverse needs some kind of unified economy, and to make that happen, it’s going to take more than unstoppable, decentralized, internet-native money. It comes from the thought, is there a better way?
This “virtual world” is the ultimate vision of the Metaverse, but a more practical application would be to integrate all the small game worlds into one giant world, where one item becomes “interoperable” with another. That’s it. Imagine being able to use items from league of legends of dota 2 — that’s what the current Metaverse games are supposed to be.
In the case of Affine, the company is taking a slightly different route with the concept of “evolution.” The new Nexus World metaverse is based on each user’s real-world geolocation, allowing players to play in virtual environments that simulate their surroundings, including major cities around the world.
Another interesting aspect of the Metaverse game is land rights. There are many projects creating virtual worlds and selling parcels of virtual land in this metaverse. This is made possible by assigning each piece of land to a non-fungible token (NFT), making it easier to track the owner of each parcel. Buying and selling these parcels of land is also very easy, creating a vibrant virtual real estate economy.
Music revenue in the metaverse
Of course, convincing people that this virtual land is worth it is not easy. A game must have some kind of interest and traction that makes the land at least somewhat valuable. The killer of the Metaverse game is that the land can generate real revenue, for example by hosting virtual concerts on the land and receiving a portion of the revenue from ticket sales. This can be his NFT format.
Perhaps this is the goal behind Affine’s partnership with Warner Music. The stated goal at the moment is to include his work on J.M3, one of his WM Singapore label artists, in his new Nexus World game. In addition to producing custom songs for the game, J.M3 (Jamie) will also make cameo appearances as an avatar in the game’s trailers, “providing fans with an immersive audiovisual experience,” in the company’s words. J.M3 is a Singaporean artist producing unique songs that are bilingual in English and Chinese.
Gerald Ang, Managing Director of Warner Music Singapore, said the decision to collaborate with Affine was made to “explore innovative and creative approaches to promote Warner Music Singapore’s artists”. , explained that it aims to expand the reach of artists in a “groundbreaking way”.
Record labels are generally very receptive to innovation. For example, Spotify (New York Stock Exchange: Spot), the company that popularized music-streaming services, offered a significant portion of its stock to major record labels that found the writing on their walls direct-to-selling music CDs. Faced with stiff competition from illegal music downloads, Spotify offered a middle-of-the-road approach, and record companies were quick to jump on it.
Metaverses and NFTs in general can breathe new life into the industry, for example doing one-off limited editions of popular songs as NFTs. Alternatively, a virtual concert within the Metaverse could be a groundbreaking and exciting new approach.
Artists such as Ariana Grande, Post Malone, Foo Fighters and many others have held virtual concerts. These were mostly concentrated in times of pandemic, where traditional concerts were almost unfeasible.
Much of the Metaverse hype has died down as people realize that COVID-19 is largely under control and that they can indeed “get back to normal.” Additionally, virtual reality platforms still leave a lot to be desired, especially when used to host events where physical interaction and overall ‘atmosphere’ provide a large part of the appeal. After all, using headphones in a quiet room makes for a much better listening experience than a concert, which is still very popular.
Affyn is building the world of the Metaverse piece by piece, slowly gathering players and key partnerships, mostly on a local level. The combination of augmented reality and VR can help fill the initial gap as well as its viral success. Pokémon GO years ago. Perhaps, much like the Internet in the early 90s, the Metaverse will permeate our lives when the underlying technology becomes a truly viable alternative to the “real” experience.