Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Universal Records in Second Life: Soundscape

3pointD reviews the latest marketing push by Universal to promote its artists.

From the press release:

"Working in conjunction with InWorld Studios on a landmark new music experience, Universal Motown Records and Universal Republic Records are unveiling "Soundscape," the first virtual music performance center for major recording artists in the Massively Multiuser Virtual Reality (MMOVR) 'Second Life.' "Soundscape" is a VR venue, showcase, and store, but most of all it is a place for music lovers to meet and chat in 3D. It combines all the trends on the web -- multimedia, personalization, social networking -- with the experience and synthetic animation of gaming.

This innovative online VR breakthrough will enhance the listening and visual experience of music fans throughout the online community, creating a 3-dimensional virtual reality synthetic world which allows online users to pro-actively interact with their favorite artists and music in ways never before imagined.

A user signs up to 'Second Life,' creates an 'avatar' or a 3D image of him/herself, dresses the avatar, establishes an identity, and then begins to live and interact within the world of Second Life. "Soundscape," the first virtual music performance center/venue custom built for a major recording artist within Second Life, creates an exciting new music destination for fans of Universal Motown Records Group recording artists."

From the post:

"Universal’s presence in Second Life was built out by virtual-world services firm InWorld Studios. While the Universal “Soundscape” appears to cover only a portion of the world’s St. Martin region, [<-- SL link] it's a pretty nice build, featuring a concert stage and sound booth, VIP lounges, and scattered buildings with links to purchase the artists' albums on the Web and sign up for mailing lists.

One thing that’s going to happen as a result of projects like this is that SL’s technology will quickly be pushed to the limits, and we’ll soon get to see whether Linden Lab is up to the test. LL’s business model will also get a critical test. At the moment, the company seems to add new land regions in some proportion to the growth in memberships. But as broad-based attractions like this crop up more frequently in the world, the ratio of landowners (i.e., paying customers) to basic (free) accounts is sure to fall."

Universal Motown CFO, David Ellner is on the advisory board of IWS.



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