If you haven’t heard of the Metaverse by now, Meta is clearly not doing its job properly! Every week there seems to be a Metaverse update and yet another brand dipping their toe in! So who will be next? Well, Logitech has now stepped into the ‘metaverse’ ring with the Song Breaker Awards…
The Song Breaker Awards finding a place in the Metaverse makes you wonder what could be next? Could we be entering into a new era where the exclusive lure of an event is null and void? Will exclusive red carpet events such as The Met Gala enter the Metaverse? Well, we’ve already seen Fashion Weeks across the world do just that! This step could be a sneak peek into the future of the Metaverse and how physical events could turn completely virtual!
- The Song Breaker Awards explained
- How Roblox is leading brands into Metaverse
- How gaming was the origin of the Metaverse and where it’s all heading
So What Is The Song Breaker Awards?
The Song Breaker Awards is an event hosted by Logitech. The latest edition of the award show was the second since its inception, with the first being hosted last year across TikTok. The show recognizes creators and their impact on music through viral trends, such as dance challenges, across social media.
TikTok has become the platform for the music industry, being crucial for A&R Managers who are wanting to hit the big time with new artists. In fact, TikTok has been instrumental in music trends, going as far as to reshape the music industry, and how new music gets released. According to TikTok, 430 songs surpassed 1 billion video views on the platform in 2021, and over 175 songs that trended on TikTok in 2021 charted on the Billboard Hot 100. This was twice as many as the year before!
TikTok’s impact on music spills over to other platforms as well. Spotify is a great example of this with its “Viral on the Internet” playlist. People are always searching for the next big thing and TikTok is the place to find it. TikTok states that 75% of its users in the U.S. say that they use TikTok to discover new artists, and 63% say that they hear music that they’ve never heard before for the first time on the platform.
So it’s no surprise then that the Song Breaker Awards was first hosted across TikTok. But why did this all change in 2022? What makes the second Song Breaker Awards interesting is its arrival into the Metaverse. Logitech clearly wanted an immersive experience and thus partnered with Roblox. If you’ve been keeping up with the news surrounding the Metaverse, then it makes sense Logitech and Roblox are collaborating.
Roblox has been testing Metaverse-like experiences through various branded partnerships as of late. Unsure of what Roblox actually is? Well just in case you didn’t know, Roblox is an online platform and storefront where users go to play games. Roblox isn’t a singular game, it’s actually a place where people try games made by others. This reflects the objectives of web3, in that the user is also the creator and has a say over the experiences on a platform… decentralisation has entered the chat.
Therefore, the fun of Roblox isn’t just from playing games, it’s from making them. Logitech saw the potential of the Roblox community and partnered with the platform to assist in making the Song Breaker Awards a virtual and immersive experience for the Roblox user. The event included a pre-show experience, enabling users to collect badges and coins while also taking part in other activities, like a rainbow river swim and virtual roller coaster.
Here is what others were saying about the event online:
Roblox & Branded Partnerships
This isn’t the first time Roblox hosted a branded event in the Metaverse. In October of 2021, Chipotle partnered with Roblox to host their Boorito event. The chain opened up a virtual storefront as well as a spooky maze, whilst also offering various skins that could be used as costumes for the event.
Chipotle gave away $1M in burritos to the first 30,000 people who attend the virtual storefront in a costume. The event’s virtual maze offered the challenge for users to collect ingredients that gave them superpowers to avoid spooky monsters in the maze. Those who reached the centre of the maze won exclusive Chipotle-themed items for their avatar.
The success of the first event would lead to Roblox and Chipotle teaming up again for another burrito event that just passed in April 2022. The Roblox community could earn special rewards, coupons and free burritos. In order to get these perks, players had to play the Chipotle burrito builder game, and for those reaching the top 5 positions on the leaderboard, they received a year’s supply of burritos!
What makes branded experiences in the Metaverse successful? Well, Chipotle and Logitech certainly got the assignment. You need to make it fun and interactive. Rewards and the element of competition served Chipotle well, whilst Logitech integrated popular creators and challenges to engage the community. The result was a memorable touchpoint with the brand that carried over to other platforms that saw users advocate for the experience! These two brands venturing into the Metaverse lays the framework for how other brands can get it right.
The Metaverse & Gaming
Iterations of the Metaverse have actually existed in gaming before the term was popularised by Meta. However, none have been fully realised as technology is trying to catch up. Games like Second Life and IMVU were early forms of the Metaverse as users became virtual avatars that interacted with each other within simulated real-world experiences.
The Metaverse tends to be tied to technology conversations surrounding VR/AR and NFTs. However, the Metaverse goes beyond anything currently in existence. The aim of any Metaverse is to establish a rich virtual space where people have no limitations, transporting users into an experience that’s not too dissimilar to real life. The exact definition states that the:
“Metaverse can be defined as a simulated digital environment that uses augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and blockchain, along with concepts from social media, to create spaces for rich user interaction mimicking the real world”.
But do we actually want a Ready Player One future? The pandemic certainly acted as a catalyst for the Metaverse hype, presenting a world where we were all confined to our houses. Social media became a must to stay connected, with 51% of U.S. adults accessing social media at higher rates than they did pre-pandemic. People were craving a social connection that wasn’t possible in person. Inevitably, everyone turned to the internet. Games like Animal Crossing exploded during the pandemic. Players had the ability to explore an island, socialize with other players and collect in-game currency. This laid the groundwork for how the Metaverse could be fully realised, and gaming was the beginning before Meta entered the conversation.
The Rise Of Virtual Worlds
There are certainly more developed experiences on the rise, such as Decentraland and Sandbox. Decentraland is a 3D virtual browser-based platform that has integrated NFTs and cryptocurrency into the user experience. Users in Decentraland can interact in a virtual world beyond our own, trading digital real estate, playing games and more.
There is also Sandbox, which is a community-driven virtual world where creators can design, share and sell in-world assets. Sandbox is designed to turn the traditional gaming market on its head. Instead of platform-owned content where the rights of creators and gamers are limited, Sandbox allows users to have complete ownership over their creations. Sandbox is made up of various elements that include the VoxEdit, which allows users to create and animate 3D objects in the Metaverse. In addition to this, there is the Sandbox Marketplace, which is a destination where users can publish and sell their assets. Finally, the Sandbox Game Maker, which allows users to create 3D games for free.
These platforms stand as current innovators of what a fully realised Metaverse could become, as Sandbox and Decentraland have begun developing decentralised virtual experiences that tie to the real world. Meta is certainly taking note and wanting to develop something similar with their own virtual world Horizon Worlds.
Where is the Metaverse Heading?
The early entry point to the Metaverse may have started with games but it has the potential to grow beyond what we can currently imagine. Brands are certainly turning up early for the Metaverse. Why? Well creating virtual and immersive touchpoints is a great opportunity to cut through the bombardment of ads thrown at consumers each day.
The experiences hosted across Roblox by Chipotle were examples of marketing that didn’t feel aggressive. Consumers had fun, interacted with challenges and, if they were lucky, walked away with a prize. We should expect more brands to follow as more ad dollars get thrown into digital marketing. However, the time of banner ads is dead and social media marketing is branching out as technology advances. The Metaverse is the next frontier, not only for the online user but for brands and advertisers too.