Strategic Partnerships Advance Music and Games Synergy | Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP


A newly inked strategic partnership between Sony Music Entertainment and Roblox is another indication of a mature relationship between the music, games and esports industries, a synergy that has evolved over the years and in particular, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The major record label and game creation platform have enjoyed mutual success in their recent collaborations and are now prepare to allocate more resources to develop “innovative music experiences for the Roblox community that provide a range of new business opportunities for Sony Music artists to reach new audiences and generate new revenue streams around virtual entertainment”.

Strategic partnerships between leaders in tangential media industries are often multifaceted and involve a multitude of integration, development, exclusivity and marketing obligations designed to generate new market opportunities and new mutually beneficial revenues. . Various legal issues arising from intellectual property, advertising and privacy regulations can become abundant and complex, particularly when emerging technologies are used to display, reproduce, distribute and / or publicly broadcast multimedia and entertainment content in various formats around the world. It is essential to structure an agreement clearly spelling out the details of such a partnership to ensure that the parties are aligned with their respective rights and obligations.

The formal partnership will build on the proof of concept demonstrated by more than 36 million Viewers Watch Columbia Records Signed Lil Nas X Perform Virtual First Concert built and executed exclusively on Roblox. This activation offered fans the ability to purchase virtual merchandise, unlock exclusive emotes by playing artist-themed mini-games, and access exclusive interviews with Lil Nas X.

Zara Larsson, signed to Epic Records, promoted album release at launch party and performance on Roblox, drawing record 4 million visits. The experience included a virtual concert hall based on Larsson’s Swedish Lake House, where fans took part in interactive challenges and exclusive opportunities to purchase or win virtual merchandise. Additionally, Larsson collaborated with a popular gaming influencer to produce a Roblox gameplay and interview video which quickly amassed over 2.5 million views.

The closure of live entertainment venues for over a year has served as a catalyst for experimenting with virtual audience engagement strategies, and we expect the convergence of the music and gaming industries to continue. long after the premises have reopened. Combining the massive reach of Sony Music artists with the Roblox platform offers its 43 million Daily active users will embolden this trend and hopefully lead to new revenue opportunities and technological innovation in the virtual entertainment space.

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