Warner Music Group will open an outpost in the virtual world The sandbox, and he hopes music lovers will express their fandom by picking up a nearby property. In an announcement, WMG described its new home as a “combination of musical theme park and concert hall.” It will work with The sandbox to host concerts and other “musical experiences”. But so far there has only been talk of one specific event: a special sale of digital real estate called Land, which Sandbox users can purchase “coveted” plots in March.
The sandbox has previously collaborated with individual artists like Snoop Dogg for experiments, but this is apparently a larger, more ambitious installation. “Warner Music has gotten the equivalent of a beachfront property in the metaverse,” boasted WMG’s digital director of business development, Oana Ruxandra. (A press release did not offer images of the space, and it’s unclear if a virtual beach is involved.) The sale of the land will offer spaces adjacent to the WMG property, although WMG does not didn’t make it clear whether this offers tangible benefits or whether buyers simply get emotional satisfaction – and potentially high house prices – from the abstract notion of proximity.
The sandbox Land sales have precedent in virtual worlds like second life, another place where companies have opened up virtual experiences. Likewise, virtual concerts have taken over fortnite, Minecraftand Roblox – the latter has signed its own agreements with the music industry and organized “listening parties” where artists can debut new music. Last year, WMG also invested in the virtual concert platform Wave.
Unlike all of the platforms above, however, The sandbox is built around blockchain and non-fungible token (or NFT) technology. He is particularly concerned with ownership and the ability for players to monetize game resources, a key part of what is sometimes referred to as the “metaverse”. With the similar platform Decentralized, he led a recent push to make virtual earth a sought-after commodity, though some observers are skeptical of the phenomenon. Regardless of the larger business strategies at play here, you can at least make a good case for becoming virtual instead of real neighbors with a concert hall: if the music gets too loud, you can just turn off your computer and fall asleep.