Warner Music Group is coming to play in The Sandbox.
Through a new partnership announced today (Jan. 27), WMG’s artists can start a second life and connect with fans in the NFT marketplace that is The Sandbox.
Next up, the virtual gaming platform will host WMG “Land,” a digital funhouse where the music giant’s roster can stage concerts and participants can enjoy “musical experiences,” reads a statement.
A real estate auction of sorts will kick-start the project in March, when consumers will be invited to buy “Lands” adjacent to the WMG site.
To date, the virtual platform has worked with a host of recording artists, including Snoop Dogg, Deadmau5, Steve Aoki, Richie Hawtin (aka Plastikman), though the latest deal with WMG is said to be its first with a major music company.
“We’re shaping The Sandbox as a fun entertainment destination where creators, fans, and players can enjoy first-of-a-kind immersive experiences and be more closely connected to their favorite musical artists through NFTs,” comments Sebastien Borget, COO and co-founder of The Sandbox. This “strategic partnership,” Borget continues, will bring “the open metaverse one step forward in the direction of fan-owned and community-driven initiatives – the possibilities are very exciting.”
The agreement, the joint statement continues, “opens the doors to WMG talent” appearing in the virtual creation, suggesting its acts can opt-in when the time comes, though its unclear who is at the head of the queue.
Among majors, WMG is seen as an early adopter on NFT, Web3 and Metaverse-related initiatives, and usually by several months. Earlier this year, the music giant teamed with digital collectibles platform Blockparty to allow its artists to trade NFTs.
With the market for NFTs steaming into the mainstream, music-themed worlds are being embraced by million as a pandemic-proof place to kick back, hang, and discover new music and ideas.
When the physical event was canceled in 2021, Australia’s Splendour in the Grass pivoted and launched a virtual festival, working alongside Linden Lab, the American digital entertainment developer that’s best known for building Second Life. The result was Splendour XR, featuring 50-plus virtual performances in a space made to look like SITG’s home proper in Byron Bay.
“Our partnership with The Sandbox adds a new layer of possibility in the metaverse, with the ownership of virtual real estate,” notes Oana Ruxandra, chief digital officer and executive vp, business development at WMG. “As a first-mover, Warner Music has secured the equivalent of beachfront property in the metaverse. On the Land, 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.”
A subsidiary of Animoca Brands, The Sandbox claims more than 40 million app downloads on mobile.