Spotify is entering the gaming market. The company has announced Spotify Island, a new location inside Roblox where fans can meet, take on missions, shop for group merchandise, and celebrate music together in the metaverse. Spotify has described the island as a “sound paradise” that aims to bring fans and artists together.
This is Spotify’s first big push into gaming (and they’re the first streaming music platform to have a live destination inside Roblox), but Spotify and gaming are already connected. Spotify has 2.2 million gaming-related playlists, the company said in a presentation GameSpot attended. 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 Business Development).
An interactive experience, Spotify Island is a “reimagining” of the Spotify brand as a video game via Roblox. Players will immediately notice the island’s green color scheme, which is meant to be Spotify’s official branding. Spotify Island itself is described as a meeting place where gamers can play, explore and connect, with the aim of bringing artists and fans closer together. Gameplay involves platforming and parkour; players can collect items spread across the island and track their progress on a leaderboard.
One of the key elements of Spotify Island – and appeal to artists, in particular – is the sale of merchandise. Spotify partners with artists to sell virtual goods that Roblox users can use on Spotify Island and in Roblox. Similar to how Spotify pays artists for music streams, artists will also receive a share of virtual product sales through Roblox.
The success of Spotify Island will likely depend on the caliber of artist Spotify can partner with, and the company is starting with a few big global names. Korean pop stars Sunmi and K-pop group Stray Kids will be selling merchandise on Spotify Island via Roblox, with more partner artists to be announced later. There will also be four free items available to players to complete missions on the island.
In addition to Spotify’s main island, there will be offshoots. The first of these is “K-Park,” a country-themed K-pop music. This will launch in the coming weeks, and more partnerships of this nature will be announced in the future for Spotify Island on Roblox.
Stewart said fans should think of Spotify Island as a “constellation” or an “archipelago”, in that it will grow with new experiences over time. K-Park is just the first.
Spotify Island supports its Soundtrap music offering of royalty-free tracks, so players can listen to tracks inside the game while they play. Going forward, Spotify has announced that additional elements of the Spotify service will be integrated into Spotify Island, although whether or not genuine licensed music offerings will be available remains to be seen (there may be copyright issues). author).
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 “streaming time,” Calhoun said — rather, it’s a place where fans can engage with artists and fans together.
Also during the presentation, Spotify confirmed that Spotify Island will not have third-party ads. Additionally, Stewart explained how he aims to provide a “low-lift” option for artists and bands who want to engage with fans and reach new audiences by offloading them to Spotify to help get the job done.
Bands are already stretched, 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 with existing fans, find new ones, and scale through the sale of in-game merchandise – or at least that’s the plan of operation. of all that.
Stewart said artists informed on Spotify Island are “super excited,” but no one beyond Sunmi and Stray Kids has been announced for Spotify Island so far.
Spotify is just the latest massive brand to partner with Roblox. Earlier this year, Sega announced a new Sonic experience inside Roblox, while Chipotle teamed up with Roblox for free burritos.
In other music and gaming news, Billie Eilish is rumored to have an in-game concert inside Fortnite coming up, though Epic Games has yet to confirm that.
While Roblox has had a solid year, having achieved several milestones for its platform and increased revenue, its stock price has recently fallen, disappointing investors. Roblox founder and CEO David Baszucki’s base salary drops to $0, but the executive is set to receive a “Long-Term Performance Award” worth up to $233 million.