Fortnite and Roblox have made headlines with virtual performances from Travis Scott and Lil Nas X. But the world of hyper-casual games also offers opportunities for artists.
In the latest issue of Music Week, we explore the increasing synergies for gaming and music.
Mobile game and app developer Gismart launched it Games For Artists programme in the summer to build partnerships with labels and managers. Here, Lana Meisak, VP, business development and marketing, takes us inside their plans…
How is the Games For Artists programme going?
“Since launching in June, we have received significant interest from artists and record labels. Our Games for Artists programme enables music artists to be integrated into the game based on what works best for their needs and the users’ game experience. This is a great opportunity for artists to reach a global audience of fans in a matter of a very short time. When it comes to games, artists are increasingly looking beyond just their music being featured, but are instead demanding physical characters or another integration into the gameplay too.
“There is underestimated value in promoting their brand and music through hyper-casual games, as it is a mass-market game genre. There has never been a better time to do so than now since the genre is evolving and the audience has reached unprecedented numbers of over one billion players monthly, and most of them come from brand new games.”
What are the opportunities for partnering music and gaming?
“Given the nature of the industry and the restrictions posed by the pandemic, musicians are looking at new ways to engage with their fans, promote themselves and earn revenue at the same time. There has always been great value in artists promoting their brand and music through gaming, but there has never been a more important time to do so than now, especially with the rise of the hyper-casual gaming genre. Because we are seeing this opportunity in the market, we are offering artists integration in our fresh hyper-casual game releases. The most successful games generate about 400,000-700,000 downloads a day and have reached 60 million players, so artists will get the opportunity to reach brand new audiences.
“Hyper-casual games come in a variety of themes – such as runners, puzzles, action, and so on – and, depending on the game, an artist can be integrated in many different ways. For example, the artist can appear as themselves in the game, either as a playable character or the host helping players to pass the game's challenges. The variations of integration are offered based on the game scenario, artist persona and their promotional needs. The artist’s music may be integrated into the game as well but this is not always a necessity; it could be an option if it makes sense for the game and the artist.”
Music labels are always looking for new promotional opportunities for their artists and hyper-casual games are offering unprecedented global reach
What successes have you had in pairing music and games?
“Games for Artists is a recently launched program, so at this point we can’t discuss any partnerships just yet. But we are in close contact with a number of music labels and artists’ management teams, and hope to be in a position to announce our first partner artist soon.
“However, we have previously partnered with international and emerging artists for other projects, which proved to be successful for both the company and the artists. One of them was the collaboration with The Chainsmokers in Beat Maker Go – one of the most popular music-making mobile apps that has consistently stayed in the App Store’s music-making top charts for the last few years. In just three months, our promotional campaigns featuring The Chainsmokers received over 115 million impressions across the top social platforms including Instagram, Tiktok, YouTube and Facebook.”
Why does the gaming industry want to work with artists, what value do they add to a project?
“We want to provide game players with new, engaging content and we see a great synergy in partnering with music artists. At the same time, we understand that, as of now, hyper-casual games is one of the biggest gaming genres in terms of promotional potential for artists on a global level.”
Do labels need to develop their work on this side of the business?
“Music labels are always looking for new promotional opportunities for their artists and hyper-casual games are offering unprecedented global reach in a very short timeframe. Some of our hyper casual games have become hits in a matter of days, attracting around 700,000 players a day. Not many other channels can offer the same level of reach. Acquiring audiences for the games with smart targeting via advertising can work well for artists’ marketing in a particular [territory] or with a particular audience. This is a great way for artists to connect with the public in a cool and engaging way and promote themselves in a non-conventional style.”
How will these partnerships grow and evolve?
“We are building a partnership framework for artists where they can jump on appropriate opportunities and partner with our new games on a regular basis rather than a single artist partnership. Potentially it can all grow into a long-term venture with music labels.”
To read the full report on music and gaming, pick up the latest issue – subscribers can click here.
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