While virtual gigs and shows first appeared in the context of the pandemic's various lockdowns and restrictions, they have since evolved into sophisticated and professional global "experiences." This format is particularly attractive to tech giants, who see it as an opportunity to establish their position in the music industry.
Her songs are eagerly awaited. Indeed, Rosalía has conquered the world music scene with her flamenco pop style that combines tradition and modernity. Now, the 29-year-old singer is showing her 21st-century side when it comes to showcasing her forthcoming third album, "Motomami." March 17, she will perform the 14 songs featured on the album in a major concert... broadcast on TikTok.
The queen of flamenco pop has teamed up with video artist STILLZ to create videos, filmed with a smartphone, illustrating the different songs on her latest album. "Fans will be able to experience each song off of 'MOTOMAMI' through a different concept, all created by Rosalía, allowing for a truly immersive experience," says TikTok in a statement.
Album preview concerts are nothing new. Stromae gave one, February 24, unveiling to a handful of privileged people exclusive tracks from his new album, "Multitude." But where the Belgian artist chose the AccorHotel Arena in Paris to stage this performance, Rosalía has opted for TikTok. And it could be a wise choice, since the Catalan singer is followed by over 16 million people on the platform -- a record for a Spanish musician.
For TikTok, this partnership above all allows the platform to consolidate its status as a heavyweight in the music industry . The social network has become the top source of musical discovery among young people, thanks to its short video format. It has notably propelled the careers of artists such as Doja Cat, Lil Nas X, Dua Lipa and Megan Thee Stallion. TikTok fuels this creative ecosystem by allowing musicians to interact with their fan base through new immersive formats. Coldplay, The Weeknd, The Chainsmokers and ABBA have all held virtual performances there in recent months. And this is even at a time when physical concerts and tours have resumed around the world.
Music is taking a digital turn
The ByteDance subsidiary is not alone in rethinking the music experience, as the advent of Web3 suggests that a new age of the internet is dawning. Many in the music industry are working hard to move into the metaverse , the digital space of the future where users can do everything from karaoke with colleagues to attending huge concerts. And Warner Music Group is taking the lead. The group recently built a property on The Sandbox, to allow internet users to attend musical performances and other virtual events featuring the label's talents. "[...] We'll develop persistent, immersive social music experiences that defy real-world limitations and allow our artists and their fans to engage like never before," said Oana Ruxandra, chief digital officer and EVP of business development at Warner Music Group, back in January.
But are music fans really inclined to attend concerts online? The question is still up in the air. In December, Meta staged several concerts with Young Thug and David Guetta as headliners in its virtual reality platform... an initiative that was met with general indifference. But was it a marketing misstep or a more general dislike of livestreamed music performances? It seems that the first option is more plausible. As the flagship format of covid lockdowns, livestreaming has managed to win over music lovers. In fact, 60% of them said that they plan to continue watching concerts broadcast on the internet, even after real-world venues reopen.
And that's good news for the start-up AmazeVR, which has just partnered with Megan Thee Stallion to stage her "Enter Thee Hottieverse" North American virtual reality concert tour. The American rapper will perform some of her biggest songs in an ultra-realistic virtual world, according to AmazeVR. Her fans, however, will not have to go online, but to a movie theater to experience the show. The "Enter Thee Hottieverse" tour will be released between April 5 and July 3 in 10 theaters across the United States. Augmented reality headsets will be available for audiences to immerse themselves in Megan Thee Stallion's "Hottieverse." And so, a new era for musical creation begins...