Spotify announced a partnership with the Roblox gaming platform on Tuesday (May 3). In a blog post, the streaming platform declared itself “the first music-streaming brand to have a presence on Roblox.”
Roblox was founded back in 2004, but it became wildly popular during the initial stages of the pandemic: By the summer of 2020, the company reported that roughly 75% of U.S. children between the ages of nine and 12 used its services. It’s free to join Roblox, where gamers create an avatar, build their own worlds, interact with each other, and choose from millions of different games to play.
Roblox’s many users — that number was at more than 43 million people a day back in October — will now have access to “Spotify Island,” where they can “can mingle with artists, complete interactive quests, and unlock exclusive content,” according to the streamer’s blog post. “We’re creating an easy opportunity for artists to connect with fans and to partner with Spotify on the creation of in-game virtual merchandise,” Spotify wrote. “Spotify’s portion of those sales will go directly back to the artists themselves.”
Just as there is a “like” button on the Spotify app, Roblox users will be able to collect “Like” icons and trade them in for merchandise; just as there are Spotify charts that artists compete over, Roblox users “can even climb to the top of ‘The Charts’ by collecting points” on Spotify Island. Spotify’s announcement indicated that the streaming platform will also roll out a variety of additional mini-islands throughout the year. The first, arriving later this year, will be “K-Park, an homage to all things K-Pop” that will offer users “the chance to interact with artist superstars Stray Kids and SUNMI.”
Roblox was one of many gaming platforms that exploded during the pandemic. The gaming industry generated more revenue in 2020 than the film industry and the American sports leagues combined. It’s not surprising, then, that the music industry has appeared increasingly interested in trying to form partnerships with popular gaming companies, leading to events like Travis Scott’s virtual concert in Fortnite.
Roblox hosted a virtual concert by Lil Nas X along with a launch party for Zara Larsson’s Poster Girl Summer Edition. In addition, the company settled a lawsuit with the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) last year.