Move Over, Coachella: The Best Concerts Are On Roblox

One of the biggest names in gaming is opening new doors for the music industry

Rujula Rao
Marker

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Courtesy of Forbes India

Imagine a future where you could connect with top artists from the comfort of your own home. No more crowded venues or long lines. Just pure fun. Covid-19 forced musicians to think creatively and reach out to fans in new ways. At first, the concept of a virtual concert seemed lame; who wanted to stare at their screen and watch a livestream for 2 hours?

Enter Roblox, the company that redefined the virtual concert. They realized that people wanted to do more than watch live music — they wanted to be part of an immersive experience. Such events turned out to be successful for both Roblox and participating musicians, showing that the most enjoyable concerts are not at physical venues — they’re on your computer, just a few clicks away.

The quintessential concert-going experience involves feeling the general hype from everyone around you; Roblox captures this and expands on it in a completely virtual setting. They use motion-capture to film the singers and simulate a real concert. Here are some of the features that were available to fans at the Twenty One Pilots Roblox concert:

  • No predetermined setlist meant that users could vote on which songs they wanted to hear.
  • Emotes, virtual merchandise, and other digital goodies (both free and for sale)
  • Pre-concert minigames and scavenger hunts that users could participate in to win prizes
  • Behind the scenes footage of the motion-capture process and a Q&A with the two band members
Twenty One Pilots doing motion capture. Courtesy of Roblox

Whether fans purchase virtual merch (verch, for short) or play minigames, there’s something for everyone. That sense of excitement and hype is replicated in multiple ways, giving every person the chance to mold their ideal concert experience. Not only is this inclusive, but it also eliminates any stresses that come from an in-person concert. On Roblox, there’s no need to push to the front for the best view or worry about losing an earring in the mosh pit.

Twenty One Pilots tested both regular livestream and Roblox concerts last year. Although there was a required fee to view the livestream, there were few perks; 3.6 million people tuned in over the day. On the other hand, the Roblox concert was open to everyone and was significantly more interactive in terms of activities & games; there were over 13 million visits in one weekend.

Roblox avatars. Courtesy of Roblox

Perhaps the best part about such events is that they give artists in-depth data about their fanbase:

“Artist teams are beginning to rework how to market tours, merchandise and album releases… They might target certain fans with a presale or offer VIP access. Or choose tour dates based on where they have built up a fan base via livestreamed concerts.” — Angelica Ayala-Torres, United Talent Agency

With so much data at their disposal, artists can cater to their fans by tailoring experiences to what they know people will enjoy. If they choose to do live tours, they know which countries and cities to target to maximize profit. This information is valuable for artists because they no longer have to make conjectures about what their listeners want; they can create unique experiences to appease their diverse fanbase.

The success of these virtual experiences is beneficial for Roblox as well. March marks the first anniversary of the company going IPO; while it’s had a tumultuous year so far, its quarterly gains keep increasing.

Courtesy of Statista

A rise in profits grows the overall player base and daily active users. And the more virtual concerts that occur, the more likely it is that this Roblox hype will continue. Lil Nas X’s December 2020 Roblox show drew in more than 33 million people over one weekend — and there is no physical venue in the world that could comfortably seat 33 million people at once. Such events are unique to the digital space and can bring people from all corners of the world into one place. As long as Roblox hosts these events, it’s a win-win situation for both them and artists.

The “metaverse” concept is rising in popularity, and immersive music experiences are going along for the ride. In an age when it’s difficult to attend concerts in person, the Roblox alternative has proven to be better than average — it’s one that all artists can take advantage of to make sure they are delivering quality content to fans. While external obstacles may prevent us from physically attending concerts, there’s no limit to how much fun our digital avatar equivalents can have. So time to dust off your Club Penguin and Runescape skills and dive into the world of Roblox concerts.

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Rujula Rao
Marker
Writer for

economics student | informative pieces about current news & trends | oxford comma user | she/her