Music and the Metaverse: Part Four

The future of playing music & what it means for your Metaverse experience

RELICSxyz was born out of the idea that music is a foundational component of your identity, be it virtual or IRL. This is the fourth in a short series of hot takes on how we see music and the Metaverse 🤝.

Check out our other essays on the transition of music from Web2 to Web3:

Stay tuned for the next editions of our essays coming soon. Keep updated by subscribing via the button below.

It was Spring 2020. The entire world had gone into lockdown, and music festivals and public gatherings were a thing of the past. Artists tours were suddenly canceled without warning, and getting together with our friends IRL felt like a distant memory.

We turned to the internet.

Online platforms like Twitch and Discord exploded overnight, and parties were now being hosted online. It was peak Web2. We gathered with our friends on Zoom, and musicians who had previously been touring and selling merchandise suddenly had to seek out alternative forms of income.

This was familiar territory for Monstercat Co-Founder and CEO Mike Darlington; finding alternative sources of income for artists. Monstercat spent the previous 9-years bridging the gap between technology and music, by providing soundtracks for games like Fortnite and Rocket League. When the pandemic shift happened, Mike saw an opportunity to launch music NFTs. Indie artists suddenly had another income opportunity, that wasn’t just streaming their pandemic tracks.

Enter, RELICSxyz.

After two years of work RELICSxyz was launched in January 2022, and with it, its two core products; RELICS (fully-licensed music, more on this in a future post) and IDOLS.

Just like the Discman was to the CD, and iPods were to mp3’s, IDOLS are your music players for the Metaverse. When paired with RELICS, IDOLS provide the soundtrack for your Metaverse life, a feature that is becoming increasingly more important within virtual worlds.

We argue that the future of listening to music in the Metaverse doesn’t just need music NFTs, but also needs a whole new music-playing product. The Metaverse needs a sound system.

As virtual worlds continue to increase in popularity, it has become apparent that just like video games, the Metaverse is missing music, yes. But just like video games, the Metaverse is also missing a way to easily interact with that music. The Metaverse needs sound systems that give the player choice, control and creative expression.

In 2022 there were over 400 million Metaverse users monthly, with speculation that by 2026, 25% of people will spend an hour or more in the Metaverse each day.

At present most Metaverses utilize a looping track set by the builder that fits the vibe of the visuals, or just no music at all. That’s a lot of dead air.

Video games like Rocket League and Fortnite made the leap to full-length songs and playlists through the use of Monstercat’s diverse catalog of music, and gave the user unique ways to interact, control and customize that music. We envision the same future for the Metaverse, taken one step further, through our music-playing IDOLS.

Consider hosting a party in the Metaverse with your closest friends.

It may seem out there now, but we also never saw parties as a use case for Zoom and here we are…

When you host a party IRL you set the tone for your “environment” (aka your house or apartment) with your music. Most have a favorite streaming playlist or radio they put on their sound system, or some audiophiles even have a collection of records they like to play on their record players. The music that's played sets the mood for the entire gathering. While the sound system is usually something beautifully designed, a showpiece of our environment we flex to attending guests.

It is our vision that IDOLS become your Metaverse sound system for your virtual environments. And when not in use or “on mode”? They act as a unique piece of art designed by some of the most celebrated artists in Web3.

Currently IDOLS have the ability to be dragged and dropped into Metaverses like Decentraland, with more exciting integrations to be announced in the coming year.

Sitting around for hours on Twitch, “just hanging” with friends seemed like a far-fetched idea before the pandemic. Now? Standard cultural experience.

The leap into the Metaverse for most music-lovers isn’t that far away. We firmly believe that together, RELICS and IDOLS provide a solution for that growing demand for real-world quality music experiences.

Come experience your Metaverse sound system.

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