Warner Music Group Invests in Gamification to Compete in Music Metaverse

Warner is searching for a senior metaverse director with experience building games, suggesting a gamified future for the music industry.

The Warner Music Group logo appears on a phone screen
Warner Music Group rivals Sony and Universal. SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

Warner Music Group is looking for a senior metaverse director with extensive experience in building games to further establish its footprint in the promising but unproven virtual space.

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The expansion of metaverse technology means many companies are hiring high-level executives charged with leading the company into the metaverse, and Crate and Barrel and Disney are among the non-tech companies who have hired executives with expertise. In the music industry, the metaverse offers additional streams of revenue through digital concerts, custom wearables and advertising, along with fostering brand awareness and fan connections.

As the third-largest record label in the world based on revenue, it is natural for Warner to pursue a piece of the metaverse market share. And its search for a gaming expert rather than a business executive to fill the role suggests Warner is planning a gamified experience for the future of its brand, which could include elements like competitions and scoring points within an elaborate digital world.

Universal Music Group has made similar advances as Warner regarding creating avatars and non-fungible token (NFT) wearables, and it has also launched 10:22PM, a label signing artists who create content in the metaverse. Sony Music Entertainment’s artists have performed multiple concerts in the metaverse, including shows by hip hop and rap artists Lil Nas X, 24kGoldn and Travis Scott, viewed by 80 million people and translating to tens of millions of dollars in merchandise sales. But although Universal and Sony are active in the metaverse, neither have a designated metaverse director like Warner is looking for.

Warner, whose artists include Dua Lipa and Ed Sheeran, has already started building its metaverse presence. In Sept. 2021, Roblox hosted a concert by Twenty One Pilots, a Warner act, which yielded 13.4 million visits. The company struck a deal with Genies, an NFT marketplace, to create avatars and digital wearables for artists in April 2021. In a similar deal in September, Warner tapped OpenSea, another NFT marketplace, to allow certain artists early access to new digital products and custom landing pages. Warner didn’t disclose how many or which artists would have access to the perk. The company also announced in January it would build a music theme park and concert venue in The Sandbox, a popular metaverse engine. It hasn’t actually launched yet, much less hosted any virtual concerts. 

Correction: This article has been updated to remove misleading information about Warner’s presence in the metaverse.

Warner Music Group Invests in Gamification to Compete in Music Metaverse