Gaming platform Roblox has become a significant focus for the music industry in recent months.
The firm secured an eight-figure investment from Warner Music Group as part of a $520m funding round in January, and has also served as a virtual concert platform for superstar artists like Lil Nas X, Zara Larsson and Twenty One Pilots.
In addition, in July, Roblox inked a strategic partnership with Sony Music Entertainment (SME), while in June, the company inked a “strategic agreement” with BMG to “develop new opportunities for BMG artist and songwriter clients”.
Now, in what Roblox is calling “the latest innovation in music in the metaverse”, the platform is launching Listening Parties, which will see artists premiere a new album on the platform, in select “top experiences”.
Listening Parties will give artists artists access “to millions of fans who can listen to their music while they play and hang out with their friends”, according to Roblox.
Independent record label Sumerian Records artist Poppy was the first to host a Listening Party on the platform over the weekend, with the debut of her new album, Flux.
Flux is the artist’s latest album, which comes on the heels of a Grammy performance in March of this year. Poppy is the first solo female artist ever nominated for a Grammy in the Best Metal Performance category
For this first-ever Listening Party, music was integrated throughout popular “experiences” on the platform, including Overlook Bay, RoBeats, Robloxian High School, Creatures of Sonaria, and Dragon Adventures and Poppy also joined fans in each immersive experience to play Roblox and answer questions about the album.
“Allowing Poppy’s fans to enjoy her new album Flux where they are already spending time with their friends seemed like a no brainer, and our developers have jumped at the opportunity to participate.”
Jon Vlassopulos, Roblox
“It has been such a pleasure working with Poppy and Sumerian Records to launch our first ever Listening Party,” said Jon Vlassopulos, Vice President and Global Head of Music for Roblox.
“Music is such a natural part of the way we express ourselves, entertain ourselves, and find connections with other people, and we want to keep finding new ways to make music more of an integral part of the Roblox experience.
“Allowing Poppy’s fans to enjoy her new album Flux where they are already spending time with their friends seemed like a no brainer, and our developers have jumped at the opportunity to participate!”
“We’re always looking for new and innovative ways to help our artists break through the noise and reach fans where they already are.”
Jill Pedone, Sumerian Records
Jill Pedone, Chief Strategy Officer at Sumerian Records, said: “We’re always looking for new and innovative ways to help our artists break through the noise and reach fans where they already are.
“Poppy already has an existing fanbase on Roblox so it was a natural place for us to host her Listening Party. I can’t wait for fans to get to hear the new record while they play their favorite experiences!”
“There’s so much potential for Roblox to become the place to discover great new music and it didn’t hurt that Poppy happens to be one of our favorite artists.”
Zach Letter, Wonderworks
Zach Letter, Founder of Wonderworks, said: “We were thrilled to have Overlook Bay be a part of the Flux Listening Party on Roblox.
“There’s so much potential for Roblox to become the place to discover great new music and it didn’t hurt that Poppy happens to be one of our favorite artists. Hope to see many more of these in the future!”
“Poppy is the most exciting multimedia artist of our generation.”
Joey Simmrin, MDDN management
Joey Simmrin, President of MDDN management, said: “Poppy is the most exciting multimedia artist of our generation.
”Poppy and our team at MDDN have been fans of Roblox for a while, so when this concept was pitched to us, we were more than game to give it a try. The Roblox team made this such an easy process; it was a no brainer”
A group of indie and major music publishers — via the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) — sued the video gaming platform in June for over $200 million in damages in the US, alleging widespread copyright infringement by the company.Music Business Worldwide