Spotify launches into Roblox Metaverse and tests new NFT partnership

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Overview of K-Park

Market share of MIDIA Music subscribers Q2 2021

Q2/21 streaming music market

The most recent music streaming statistics confirm Spotify’s market share at 31%, essentially equal to Apple/Amazon Music combined.

Two of their recently announced business strategies show that they have Web3 innovation and diversification in mind.

The first of these strategies includes Spotify Island, which merges the number one music streaming service with one of Gen Z’s most popular gaming and metaverse platforms, Roblox. From early news, the approach appears to be as much a social fan hub as it is gamification of artist branding and content. From the “main” island, users will access themed experiences promising interaction with artists, mini-quests/games, and access to exclusive content.

The first themed island, slated to launch in late spring, is K-Park, a place for “all things K-Pop.”

Virtual in-game merchandise is also being teased as part of the new ecosystem. For example, users can explore an “Audio Oasis” to gather “Like” icons, then use them to collect/trade metaverse goodies. Going forward, individual artists, labels, and specific releases are expected to begin populating the virtual archipelago.

With the promised integration of Spotify’s Soundtrap, an online digital audio workstation we’ll talk about in a few minutes, I don’t see why a Web3 DAW couldn’t be used in the virtual world to create licensed remixes/NFTs of the content from a thematic artist. In the context of the Roblox game environment, it could be collaborative, contest/prize based, and traded/sold from a Roblox compatible marketplace, or Spotify’s own creation.

The second of these recently announced business strategies is that Spotify artists’ NFT collections will now be accessible through the Android app, with a move from their profile page to the OpenSea NFT Marketplace.

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The execution parallels the collaboration between sound.xyz and OpenSea. Currently, access is only available to a few artists. In initial reports from Music Ally, some subscriber responses resemble the reaction of the gaming community to the Epic Games LOOT NFT market (not so receptive).

Many top artists are co-founding and “implementing” new NFT music exchanges with different revenue sharing models. NFTs can be controversial and with the use of this OpenSea trial, Spotify can gauge user response before fully entering an NFT marketplace – whether they remain a collaboration or enter this space.

Spotify Island’s Soundtrap integration has game-changing potential

Spotify acquired web-based DAW Soundtrap in 2017. With creative implementation, its functions can become a web-based content creation tool3.

Soundtrap Online DAW User Interface

Soundtrap interface

I use the term “game changer” in terms of a metaverse-based digital audio workstation (DAW) that is tied to your Spotify/Roblox account and used to create, record, and tokenize new media . For example, you purchase a pass that grants access to unique stems and/or samples of a featured theme or artist.

At this point, there’s no reason not to control audio using new interfaces compatible with Roblox’s “VR World”. How about a DJ deck or space objects that can control sample volume and position, as well as other Soundtrap features?

When using the DAW interface, all samples and run time, custom mix choices such as automation and effects processing can be stored. Essentially, you have a saved Soundtrap project that could be repackaged as metadata and could be used to play your creation in Spotify Island – by you or other authorized users.

Attach this metadata to a token and you have an NFT!

Royalty tracking can be managed if the metadata of music created in this way is encapsulated in the virtual world. Of course, access would be via Spotify Island, but your custom mix could be used in a new AND retain a backwards path to all copyright sources. The riddle of “interlocking” musical NFTs that were created with Snoop Dogg’s Mixtape can be solved in this scenario.

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