Spotify is entering the gaming market. The company announced Spotify Island, a new location within Roblox where fans can meet, undertake missions, purchase band merchandise and celebrate music together in the metaverse. Spotify described the island as a “sound paradise” that aims to bring fans and artists together.
This is Spotify’s first big push into games (and they’re the first music streaming platform to have a live destination within Roblox) but Spotify and games are already linked. Spotify has 2.2 million game-related playlists, the company said in a presentation in the presence of GameSpot. Spotify Island’s arrival in Roblox today, May 3, is Spotify’s attempt to reach the next generation of fans (and subscribers), said executives Alia Calhoun (global head of partner marketing) and Abby Stewart (director of partner marketing). business development).
An interactive experience, Spotify Island is a “reimagining” of the Spotify brand as a video game via Roblox. Gamers will immediately notice the island’s green color scheme, which should match Spotify’s official branding. Spotify Island itself is described as a meeting place where players can play, explore and connect, with the aim of bringing artists and fans together. The gameplay includes platform and parkour; players can collect items scattered across the island and track their progress on a leaderboard.
One of the key components of Spotify Island, and particularly of its attractiveness to artists, is the sale of merchandise. Spotify is partnering with artists to sell virtual merchandise that Roblox users can use on Spotify Island and throughout Roblox. Similar to how Spotify pays artists for music streams, artists will also receive a reduction in virtual merchandise sales through Roblox.
Spotify Island’s success will likely hinge on the caliber of artist Spotify can partner with, and the company is starting with some big global names. Korean pop stars Sunmi and K-pop band Stray Kids will sell merchandise on Spotify Island via Roblox, with other partner artists to be announced later. There will also be four free items available to players for completing missions on the island.
In addition to the main Spotify island, there will be offshoots. The first of these is “K-Park”, a land focused on K-pop music. This will launch in the coming weeks and there will be more partnerships of this nature announced in the future for Spotify Island on Roblox.
Stewart said fans should think of Spotify Island as a “constellation” or “archipelago” as it will expand with new experiences over time. K-Park is just the first.
Spotify Island supports its Soundtrap music offering of royalty-free songs, so players can hear the songs in-game as they play. In the future, Spotify has anticipated that additional elements of the Spotify service will be integrated into Spotify Island, although it remains to be seen whether or not the original licensed music offerings will be made available (there may be copyright issues).
Roblox has hosted in-game concerts before, and that would seem like a natural fit for a company like Spotify, but Calhoun said Spotify’s goal is to do something different. Spotify Island isn’t just for “airtime,” Calhoun said, but it’s a place where fans can interact with artists and fans together.
Also during the presentation, Spotify confirmed that Spotify Island will not have third-party advertising. Additionally, Stewart talked about how he aims to provide a “low-lift” option for artists and bands who want to interact with fans and reach new audiences by downloading it on Spotify to help get the job done.
Bands are already strained, Stewart said, in part due to COVID-related pressures and the impact on tour dates. Spotify Island could be a way for artists to help engage existing fans, find new ones, and earn money by selling in-game merchandise, or at least that’s the plan for how this could all work.
Stewart said knowledgeable artists on Spotify Island have been “super excited,” but none other than Sunmi and Stray Kids have been announced for Spotify Island so far.
Spotify is just the latest huge brand to partner with Roblox. Earlier this year, Sega announced a new Sonic experience within Roblox, while Chipotle partnered with Roblox for free burritos.
In other music and video game news, Billie Eilish is rumored to have an in-game concert inside Fortnite on the way, though Epic Games has yet to confirm this.
Although Roblox has had a successful year, having passed a series of major milestones for its platform and increasing revenue, its share price has recently fallen, disappointing investors. Roblox founder and CEO David Baszucki’s base salary is falling to $ 0, but the executive is poised to receive a “Long-Term Performance Award” worth up to $ 233 million.