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MUSIC & GAMING: A NEW WAY TO PLAY

Cover image for MUSIC & GAMING: A NEW WAY TO PLAY
Photo of Dara Jegede
by Dara Jegede

MUSIC & GAMING: A NEW WAY TO PLAY

New report explores how music companies and creators should rethink building and monetising fandom

LONDON—Tuesday, April 13, 2021: MIDiA Research, in partnership with Twitch, release a report, Music & Gaming: A new way to play, examining the growing opportunity for music artists to leverage the games industry’s fan economy to develop their careers, connect with their audiences and monetise their craft.

The report considers how artists and music companies can capture the full potential of this opportunity by reimagining and expanding the way they currently participate in the gaming opportunity, which largely focuses on marketing and promotion to drive streams on digital music services and ticket sales.

Music companies are looking to the games industry for the next wave of growth, and with good reason: in 2020, games revenue was almost four times the total size of the global music industry and is set to continue to grow much faster. The opportunity, however, goes far beyond licensing music to gaming services. With the gaming industry successfully growing to £138 billion in value – 68% of that through in-game monetisation – the music industry and its global community of creators, have a huge opportunity to translate such a model into music.

Many artists have been able to monetise virtual online performances through tickets, fan contributions, virtual and real merchandise and in some cases, sponsorship and advertising revenue.

Crucially, artists can use live streaming performances to focus on the three elements that drive a new and better relationship with their fans: instant global reach, community development, and direct monetisation. As they do this, many artists are realising that audiences of hundreds can be enough to put on viable online performances, where they can make more money in a three-hour session on Twitch, for example, than they can from one million streams. 

The report highlights how this new way to develop and monetise fans has become critical for a growing cohort of artists that have engaged fully with live streaming services, citing two case studies featuring mxmtoon and Johnny & Heidi. 

mxmtoon states in the report: “Twitch felt like a space where I could cultivate a community and share that love with other people! Starting streaming just seemed like a natural next step in trying to connect even further with my audience.” 

Finally, the report examines how this process is leading to more fundamental changes in how artists find, entertain and bond with fans. And how this phenomenon – catalysed by the necessity for artists to connect with fans online when touring has been impossible – represents a new format for the music industry.

Mark Mulligan, managing director at MIDiA Research said: “For many, live streaming started out as a solution towards creating a live experience between artists and fans in the midst of the pandemic. However, its rising popularity as well as growing opportunity calls for the music industry to take a page out of the games industry's playbook and understand that digital intimacy is the key to opening the box to monetising fandom. 

“The benefits can be multiplied when they are taken to music fans who are also gamers, audiences that will most quickly understand and translate the concepts of digital fandom across to music.”

ENDS.

DOWNLOAD the report

- Read Karol Severin's commentary

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