The MTV Video Music Awards are just around the corner, and it is already making the headlines for the nominees and songs across various categories. However, this year, the award show decided to add another category: Best Metaverse Performance.
For the uninitiated, there are numerous metaverse platforms such as The Sandbox, Roblox, Decentraland, and more. These are 3D virtual worlds where people can curate experiences, host events, and a whole lot more.
Artists such as BTS, Ariana Grande, Lil Nas X, and many more have performed on different metaverse platforms, and the award show decided to honor and appreciate their performance by adding an award for the same.
The nominees for this award are Ariana Grande, BTS, BLACKPINK, Twenty One Pilots, Justin Bieber, and Charlie XCX. The voting for this category will end on Friday, and the award will be announced on 28th August 2022.
While some people appreciate this move and like how the show is expanding its horizons, others believe that it’s a way to pull more crowds for the show. In 2011, the show garnered a record-high 12.4 million viewers, but since then, the cabler audience has been steadily declining. In 2021, a decade later, the show dramatically dropped to 900,000 viewers.
Whether or not this move would increase the show’s viewership is an indicator of how celebrities across industries are looking to move towards the metaverse. Before I move on to other industries, let’s look at the music industry itself.
- In 2019 Marshmello performed in the first-ever metaverse concert in Fortnite and amassed a gathering of nearly 11 million people. It was deemed the game’s biggest event, and people even started considering the metaverse as the future of live music.
- Travis Scott later performed in the game, but his 10-minute concert seemed like it was something entirely different from what people had witnessed during Marshmello’s set. There were about 12.3 million people gathered in a concert, where a giant-sized Travis Scott was stomping around while playing his set, smashing the stage, doing some bits while the complete arena was underwater, and more.
- Like this, numerous others have performed on platforms such as Roblox, and there are far more people who’ve bought lands and invested in metaverse projects to curate their own experiences and events.
If we look beyond just performances, artists, musicians, and celebrities are planning something much bigger than we have ever seen. For instance, earlier this year, Steve Aoki announced his A0K1VERSE.
The grammy-nominated EDM artist, who does about 300 shows a year, decided to launch an all-encompassing NFT project. The idea was to create an NFT collection to help him build his community of loyal fans. People with the NFTs would get access to his tickets, presale of NFTs, early access to his merchandise, and a whole lot more.
Other Hollywood celebrities such as Paris Hilton have also announced metaverse projects. Recently, she tweeted that she’s partnering with The Sandbox. This would include buying land where she can curate glamorous events such as rooftop parties, community events, and other experiences in her digital Malibu mansion.
But, besides actors and musicians, others are also joining the bandwagon. Recently, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay announced that Hell’s Kitchen will now be available on The Sandbox.
The metaverse platform partnered with ITV Studios and decided to bring Hell’s Kitchen into their virtual world. People will now be able to register and compete on The Sandbox to become the winners and the head of one of Ramsay’s restaurants.
If all this isn’t wild enough, here’s the kicker. There’s a virtual pop star, Polar, who is a massive social media sensation with real-world followers. She was created by TheSoul Publishing, a media company that aims to disrupt the entertainment industry.
Polar first appeared in Avakin Life, a metaverse game similar to Second Life. From there, the metaverse figure began appearing on TikTok and amassed a following of about 1.6 million. In fact, she has over 500,000 subscribers on YouTube. While not everyone appreciates the songs and the dance moves of this sensation, she’s hard to ignore.
It is also fascinating to see what’s next in the metaverse world. Celebrities began jumping on this bandwagon with simple NFT collections and memorabilia. However, today, the concept of leveraging a metaverse has progressed a long way. We, as the audience, are being offered full-fledged experiences such as concerts, events, get-togethers, and more.
So, the million-dollar question is – how far can this trend go? Considering the metaverse is still in its nascent stages, what will we see next when it comes to celebrities and their metaverse ventures? I guess we just have to wait and find out!