This week, iHeartMedia debuted iHeartLand, a committed music and gaming space within the virtual online game Fortnite developed by Epic Games.
The metaverse destination was built using Fortnite’s Creative toolset with the help of Atlas Creative’s team of game developers. Fortnite players will be able to visit iHeartLand to play mini-games and participate in exclusive meetups with artists.
Interacting with audiences. “Our goal is to meet audiences where they are — delivering innovative, incredible programming to constantly challenge ourselves to take entertainment to the next level,” said Conal Byrne, CEO of the iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group, in a company statement. “From interactive performances and intimate backstories to immersive game play, native to the platform — this new world allows us to extend the reach of today’s biggest creators, artists and personalities in groundbreaking ways, and is a big next step for iHeartMedia in expanding our engagement with our users.”
Metaverse live events. IHeartLand will be the virtual location for 20 events, including a first-ever metaverse concert by GRAMMY-nominated artist Charlie Puth on September 9.
This concert and other events will be held at State Farm Park virtual arena, where the insurance company gained naming rights in June.
Minigames. Fortnite players who visit iHeartLand will also have the opportunity to play minigames and win gold, the game’s currency. Players will be able to compete with each other in these minigames and unlock other music-related experiences.
Minigames include “Speed of Sound,” a car racing game around an on-brand heart-shaped track, as well as an obstacle course game in the clouds called “Leap of Faith.”
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Why we care. Although Epic Games is tight-lipped about current user numbers, Fortnite is wildly popular and expanding its reach through mobile, free-to-play versions. This underlines iHeartMedia’s mission to “meet audiences where they are.”
For the Fortnite players who wouldn’t immediately wander toward iHeartLand to play minigames, they might get nudged to see a virtual performance by a headliner like Charlie Puth. Maybe even some of Charlie Puth’s 44 million monthly listeners on Spotify who don’t already play Fortnite will dive into iHeartLand and watch. As they say in the metaverse, it’s still early stages. But metaverse activations aren’t just about reaching specific game audiences, they’re about a new generation of cross-promotion.
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