Blackpink Makes History At VMAs: What Really Is A Metaverse Concert?


K-Pop girl band BlackPink clinched the “Best Metaverse Performance Award” for MTV’s Video Music Awards (VMAs) held at the Prudential Center in New Jersey on August 28, 2022.

Welcome to the year 2022.

This year MTV, which created the VMAs, sought to attract younger audiences by staging performances in the Metaverse.

Amy Campbell, chief marketing officer of Paramount Media Networks and MTV Entertainment Studios, said: “One of the most exciting things about it is that it brings the VMA experience to people wherever they are in the world.”

The VMA experience included three games, starting from August 12 and adding a new one each Friday until the Award show on August 28. Players stocked up chances to vote for the best metaverse performance by collecting MTV-logo tokens

So, what is it to conduct a performance on the Metaverse? Who does it help? Why did it become a phenomenon? BOOM breaks it down.

How are performances conducted in the Metaverse?

In the Metaverse, artists can perform anywhere in the world. It also means the audience is global and they can watch the concerts from their homes. But that sounds like watching a show on television, right? It’s much more immersive than that.

The Metaverse is an interactive virtual space.

Through the medium of live chats, fans can access a shared virtual space. They can chat with each other, almost feeling that they are in the same space.

For the most immersive experience, users need to grab a virtual reality headset such as the Meta Quest 2.

Performers can appear as computer-generated images that look like video game characters through a 3D captured video of their corporeal bodies.

To showcase what the future of musical performance could look like, VR developer Jake Donaldson recreated the complete version of a recent dance music event ‘Tomorrowland Stage’ from Meta’s Horizon World’s virtual space.

A safe haven for smaller artists

During the coronavirus outbreak, musicians across the world faced cancellation of shows.

While ‘indie artists’ are using platforms like Spotify to amplify their reach, virtual concerts are a great way to earn revenue the digital way. With virtual concerts, comes an opportunity for ticket sales and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Metaverse, the world of audio/ visual art along with digital merch gives musicians a sense of community ownership: devoid of too many dictating terms or intermediaries between music bands and their loyal fan base.

Big fish Travi Scott, Lil Nas X jump on the Bandwagon

In 2020, American rapper Lil Nas X’s concert at Roblox garnered 33 million views. In April the same year, Travis Scott’s performance in Fortnite also attracted more than 12 million people.

The medium is also being used to recreate the magic of yesteryear bands, whose tunes left audiences in a frenzy. Swedish pop band ABBA sold more than 30,000 tickets for an upcoming virtual tour “Abba Voyage” with their de-aged avatars

Even before the Metaverse was part of Facebook’s futuristic rebrand, the stage for music, as part of an interactive multimedia space, was set. Early pioneers of the trend were Björk, in 2011, and Radiohead, in 2014. The bands experimented with app-based projects which tested how music can be streamed & presented on an iPad.

India And The Metaverse

India is catching up with the trend too.

Back in January, India hosted its first metaverse concert on Somnium Space VR with Sparsh Dangwal performing a recorded show. It was attended by around 30 people.

Litesh Gumber, founder of Cryptic Entertainment, told Indian Express, “In NFTs, those who were early were the ones who benefited a lot.”

Daler Mehendi drew in 20 million viewers from across the world when he performed at a Metaverse concert hosted on India’s Republic Day.

But it’s not just music concerts.

On February 5th 2022, Abhijeet & Sansrati became India’s first couple to get married on a 3D Metaverse. The association was conceptualised, organized and executed by agency Wavemaker India for ITC Ltd. and matrimony.com.

Many Indian brands such as SkillSoft are planning to use the platform for skilling & upskilling.

Indian jewelery brand Tanishq this year launched its new jewelery collection this year by hosting a press conference on a Metaverse platform that aimed to create a personalized and immersive 3D virtual experience for the viewers and participants.

What Else Happened On VMA Metaverse?

MTV’s Video Music Awards added the new category of “Best Metaverse Performance” for the first time this year. Eminem and Snoop Dogg performed “From the D 2 The LBC” from Eminem’s second greatest hits album, “Curtain Call 2,” in a rather “trippy performance”

Nicki Minaj was named the 2022 VMAs Video Vanguard Award winner. Red Hot Chili Peppers also performed on the show. BTS, Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, Future, Lizzo, Taylor Swift and The Weeknd earned five nominations.

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