The Brit Awards recognise the best and brightest musical talent. While singers and performers including Adele, Little Simz and Liam Gallagher are set to perform in the 02 Arena in London, the awards are also for the first time recognising ambition in virtual spaces.
Following in the footsteps of organisations such as the British Fashion Council, which has planted its flag in the metaverse, the Brits are recognising the value of the metaverse for music with a dedicated ceremony and gig in Roblox.
Premiering on February 11 at 5pm (and repeating hourly throughout the weekend) the concert will feature PinkPantheress in avatar form in a neon lit underground London virtual venue.
Luke Ferrar, co-chair of the Brits Digital Committee, said:
“When planning the Brits 2022 digital campaign, we knew we wanted to enter the metaverse with Roblox. What [game studio] Dubit has built within the Roblox platform is an immersive Brits experience. It has far surpassed our expectations with wonderful detail and flourishes in the world. It’s fantastic to have PinkPantheress, who reaches a huge Gen Z audience, perform in it. Very proud to have the Brits enter this space in this way for the first time.”
Back in 2020, before the topic of the metaverse had exploded among marketers, artists including Lil Nas X were already putting on and performing concerts within Roblox. Since then it has become a regular feature of Roblox’s strategy, with regular listening parties on the platform accompanying the real-world release of albums.
Other metaverse platforms have also dabbled in the space, with some extremely high-profile gigs taking place in Fortnite.
Brits 2022 is a Celebration of Music
John Vlassopolous is global head of music at Roblox. He previously told The Drum that metaverse platforms are a natural extension of what brands have done around entertainment launches in the past. “With the advent of Insomniac and EDC moving into 2022, any music brand that you might think of … ranging from radio brands to DSPs to festivals to artists, labels, venues, CPG brands and magazines will start appearing on the platform. We’ve been talking to the usual suspects in those spaces who’ve been reaching out. And we thought the festivals as an extension to concerts was a natural first step, because it’s people coming together.”
From a marketing and revenue point of view, it also allows brands and artists to take advantage of the burgeoning virtual goods space. The Brits experience will allow its users to browse exclusive virtual Brits merchandise, in addition to the opportunity to interact with artists and celebrities in virtual meet and greets. It expands the potential audience for the Brits 2022 beyond the confines of the 02 in London and allows for wider monetization options from those virtual audiences.
In addition to the metaverse extension, the Brits is taking advantage of new video formats to which audiences have been habituated. In addition to the international livestream on YouTube, the platform has commissioned artists and dozens of its biggest YouTube creators to capture content en route to the awards, on the red carpet, backstage and the day after, creating a body of Shorts and video content for socials and giving fans a window into the unfiltered moments.
Campaign has been Created in Collaboration
The campaign has been created in collaboration with creative agencies The Or, Amplify, ATP and The Fifth, led by YouTube’s in-house creative studio. The Brits is well-placed to take advantage of the growing interest in metaverse and shortform video. Experience and luxury brands are among the earliest to have developed a revenue strategy from the metaverse, and music is at the core of much short-form video created across a number of platforms including YouTube Shorts.