Roblox, the online gaming platform and virtual world, is hosting another pop star-headlined, in-game live performance, this time with Swedish singer Zara Larsson to mark the release of Poster Girl: Summer Edition, the expanded version of Larsson’s third album, Poster Girl.
On Roblox, Larsson’s ‘Dance Party’-themed experience will see her perform a selection of tracks, including her new album title track, Poster Girl, as well as past tracks Lush Life and Never Forget You from Larsson’s 2017, US-certified platinum album So Good.
The first performance, including an exclusive Q&A, will take place on Friday, May 21, 2021 at 4 PM PDT.
Epic Records-signed Larsson, or her avatar at least, will also perform three more times over the weekend; 22nd May at 1PM PDT; 22nd May at 9PM PDT; 23rd May at 9AM PDT.
The virtual Dance Party will feature mini games, and exclusive merchandise including emotes, an avatar bundle, and a free item. And yes, there will also be in-game pigs.
In its Q1 results for 2021, Roblox announced that its Average Daily Active Users (DAUs) rose to 42.1 million, an increase of 79% year over year. Hours engaged in the game also increased 98% year over year, hitting 9.7 billion hours during that time period.
Little surprise, then, that artists like Larsson are looking to capitalize on Roblox’s huge audience.
In November 2020, Lil Nas X and a gigantic, neon-lit Billy Ray Cyrus performed Old Town Road against a virtual Wild West saloon on the Roblox platform. It was viewed over 30 million times across four weekend performances.
Two months earlier, Ava Max (virtually) launched her album Heaven & Hell on Roblox. Nearly 1.2 million unique players attended the event, which had a peak audience of 166,620 fans, The Verge reported.
Ava Max’s record company home, Warner Music Group, subsequently invested an eight-figure sum into Roblox as part of a $520 million funding round in January 2021.
By March, Roblox had gone public and hit a $45 billion company valuation.
“During the past year we’ve worked to create new and innovative ways to connect artists with their fans.”
Sylvia Rhone, EPIC RECORDS
Sylvia Rhone, CEO of Epic Records, said of Larsson’s Roblox tie-up: “During the past year we’ve worked to create new and innovative ways to connect artists with their fans.
“Bringing Zara to Roblox to perform and interact with the Roblox community is an incredible match and we know her fans will love the performances this weekend.”
“Roblox Launch Parties continue to be the best way for artists to reach millions of fans over a weekend.”
Jon Vlassopulos, Roblox
Jon Vlassopulos, Vice President and Global Head of Music for Roblox, said: “We are thrilled to welcome global pop sensation Zara Larsson to Roblox.
“She has created a magical pink wonderland that you have to see to believe and there is definitely going to be a lot of fun, games, and dancing this Friday.
“Roblox Launch Parties continue to be the best way for artists to reach millions of fans over a weekend, connecting them and their music in unparalleled fun, interactive, and immersive ways.”
Larsson said: “I like to write songs, but I’m a performer first and a writer second. This album will be fantastic when played live, and I’m really excited to be able to play a select list of songs to the whole world for the first time inside Roblox.”
The Zara Larsson tie-up with Roblox continues the recent ramp-up of Sony Music‘s activity in tandem with interactive entertainment.
Sony Music parent Sony Group Corp has invested some $450 million into Epic Games in the past 12 months. Epic Games, not to be confused with Epic Records, is the home of Fortnite and creator of video game ‘building block’ Unreal Engine.
Anonymous US producer Marshmello was one of the early adopters when it comes to virtual concerts, performing to over 10 million gamers on Fortnite in February 2019.
In April last year, Epic Records-signed artist Travis Scott followed suit, playing an in-game show in Fortnite, drawing a total of 27 million observers.Music Business Worldwide