But over in another corner of the metaverse, the first chapter in a potentially transformative partnership between another music company and a virtual world was already playing out.
Tencent-backed Instrumental is best known in the industry for its AI-driven A&R scouting tools, but it also runs an in-house label – frtyfve – that signs and works with independent artists discovered by its tech.
The collaboration seeks to give independent artists a platform to reach new fans through Avakin Life, Lockwood’s online community and mobile social world which has over 250 million registered accounts and over 7 million monthly active users.
The first launch in this partnership is the New Music Society (NMS)– an immersive venue within Avakin Life showcasing live digital events.
Instrumental CEO, Conrad Withey, tells MBW that there were over 500,000 attendances at the New Music Society across the weekend. To put that number into context… it’s around double the typical annual attendee figure of Coachella or Glastonbury.
“The New Music Society is just the beginning of what we hope will be a number of exciting collaborations within Avakin Life.”
Lindsay Mitcheson, Instrumental
The New Music Society opened its virtual doors with a week-long virtual residency from Nashville-based singer/songwriter Leanna Firestone.
The New Music Society venue, says Instrumental, has been “inspired by London’s iconic Soho music scene”. Within its digital walls, Avakin Life players can meet, chat and hear new music from frtyfve’s artist roster in an exclusive listening room – or attend a live performance space hosting monthly headline shows.
The talent invited to perform is being selected by Instrumental and frtyfve teams, leveraging their data science scouting technology and insights. The Lockwood team then develops the digital performance and the creative for each avatar directly with the artists.
“I’m so excited to be working with Avakin Life and frtyfve because they’re giving me an opportunity to perform my music in a way that I’ve never experienced before!”
Instrumental’s Partnerships Director, Lindsay Mitcheson, commented: “Our mission is to develop innovative partnerships that offer independent artists, like Leanna, the chance to grow their fanbase by reaching new audiences.
“The New Music Society is just the beginning of what we hope will be a number of exciting collaborations within Avakin Life. It plays to both our strengths as Lockwood develops a music proposition for their global community of users and we use Instrumental’s technology to match talent to those audiences.”
Leanna Firestone added: “I’m so excited to be working with Avakin Life and frtyfve because they’re giving me an opportunity to perform my music in a way that I’ve never experienced before! I’m stoked to be able to put on an entirely digital gig!”
“Our partnership with Instrumental shows that the future for live music is no longer limited by physical spaces and reality.”
Halli Bjornsson, Lockwood Publishing
Halli Bjornsson, Co-Founder and CEO of Lockwood Publishing said: “Our partnership with Instrumental shows that the future for live music is no longer limited by physical spaces and reality. The most exciting events are happening on interactive, digital platforms, where one-of-a-kind performances are expanding artists’ fanbases rapidly.
“In Avakin’s endless world, everyone is free to express who they are without fear. Leanna Firestone embodies that spirit, and we are proud to partner with Instrumental and bring her unique sound – as well as future frtyfve artists – to millions of eager listeners. Together, we hope these events inspire Avakins to discover new music in impactful and lasting ways.”
The New Music Society partnership is the first announced by both Instrumental and Lockwood since they each received investment from Tencent last year.
UK-headquartered Instrumental closed a growth investment from Tencent in late October and as a result has expanded its artist partnerships activities.
Fellow UK-born company Lockwood announced that Tencent had led a $25m investment round into their business in early November.Music Business Worldwide