Video Gamers and the Music Business: Time to Level Up

To the tune of 10 million concurrent viewers, American producer/DJ Marshmello played a live DJ set on February 2 to Fortnite players in Pleasant Park, a virtual location in the massive multiplayer game that took 2018 by storm. Gamers tuned in, showed up with their customized avatars, and danced on the virtual floor and on the DJ stage with Marshmello.

Accumulating more than $3 billion in revenue last year alone, Epic Games’ latest venture into live music seemed natural, as the in-game dance “emotes” have long been a meme-able signature feature in what’s mostly a first-person shooter gaming experience.

If this all looks bizarre to you, you’re probably not much of a gamer (or you don’t have kids yet). But it’s worth taking a look at the gaming community, and how music plays a part in their lives, because 10 million concurrent viewers does not necessarily equal 10 million streams on Spotify or Apple Music.

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