Warner Music Group’s investment in non-traditional areas of the music business – especially in what is known as the online metaverse – is not slowing down.
On Friday April 30th, WMG announced its investment in technology company Genies to develop avatars and create NFTs for Warner artists. That happened three months after Warner pumped an eight-figure sum into the social gaming platform Roblox after investing in the virtual artist record label Spirit Bomb.
Today (May 3rd) WMG improved this strategy a few steps.
This time around, it’s invested in Wave – the virtual concert platform that previously attracted investments from Tencent, Scooter Braun, Justin Bieber, The Weeknd and Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin.
Warner has not confirmed the dollar amount invested in Wave, but has acquired a minority stake in the company.
Los Angeles-based Wave combines broadcast technology and real-time gaming graphics to turn artists into digital avatars in a virtual world where they can play live-streamed concerts for fans to watch and interact with.
Warner said Wave “will develop virtual performances, experiences and monetization opportunities for its artists,” including “new forms of ticketing, sponsorship and in-show interactions for fans.”
It added, “Through Wave, WMG will be able to forge stronger artist activations and add new and fan-preferred features to their shows to encourage audience engagement.”
Wave offers fans interactive offers such as live chats, virtual giving and voting as well as public appearances in real time during artist performances.
Adam Arrigo, Wave CEO and Co-Founder said, “WMG has an incredible history as a pioneer in the music industry. They share our vision of driving the future with new technologies that benefit artists and fans alike.
“We are excited to work with you to create interactive events unlike any other virtual concert that has ever been experienced.”
“Commercial opportunities in the Metaverse have exploded in recent years. In recent months there has been a turning point in the general acceptance of immersive social experiences and virtual communities.”
Oana Ruxandra, Warner Music Group
Oana Ruxandra, EVP, Business Development and Chief Digital Officer at WMG, said: “Commercial opportunities in the Metaverse have exploded in recent years. In the last few months there has been a turning point in the general acceptance of immersive social experiences and virtual communities.
“Wave is an undeniable leader in interactive virtual entertainment and the right partner to expand WMG’s efforts. Our artists and their fans will have great experiences as we drive new forms of consumption and monetization. “
To date, Wave has hosted more than 50 wave events for a range of pop stars, DJs and artists including The Weeknd, John Legend, Dillon Francis, Alison Wonderland, Tinashe and others performing for millions of viewers around the world.Music business worldwide