Warner Music Group (WMG) is entering the metaverse with a music-focused theme park in The Sandbox, the company announced Thursday.
WMG is the owner of a slew of popular music properties, including record labels Atlantic, Warner Records, Elektra and Parlophone.
The virtual theme park will feature “concerts and musical experiences” from the music company’s star-studded roster of artists, which includes the likes of Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Dua Lipa and Cardi B, according to a press release.
As part of the announcement, The Sandbox will be hosting a LAND sale for virtual properties adjacent to the prospective festival site for fans to purchase in March. Consider it the latest corporate foray into the immersive experiences that some are calling the future of the internet.
“We are deeply focused on Web 3 right now and the impact it will have on music. It’s incredibly difficult to put value against fandom right now,” Oana Ruxandra, chief digital officer and executive vice president of business development at WMG, told CoinDesk in an interview. “The music industry had big decades in the ’80s and ’90s, and then Napster came around and there was a pullback. Then the same thing happened when Spotify came in. We want to be driving opportunity, not behind the eight ball.”
WMG isn’t the first major music player looking to expand its audience into virtual worlds. The metaverse game Decentraland hosted a three-day virtual music festival in October, with artists like Snoop Dog having toyed with virtual gatherings in The Sandbox dating back to September.
This is the #metaverse... A live rave happening right now in @decentraland for the upcoming @LightbulbmanNFT release by #BjarneMelgaard. Music from @feedelity @prins_thomas @mightbetwins #NFTdrop #rave #virtualevent #NFTCommunity pic.twitter.com/aC4WYRbgH9
— Alex Moss (@alexmoss) January 20, 2022
While no one knows for certain what companies getting into “the metaverse” will entail, it’s clear that partnerships with virtual reality platforms like The Sandbox and Decentraland are a safe starting point.
The Sandbox’s SAND token was up nearly 7% over the past 24 hours, to $3.49 as of press time, with an upward climb starting at about 4:00 UTC.
Earlier Thursday, the project announced a $50 million incubator program for metaverse startups.
UPDATE (Jan. 27, 14:37 UTC): Adds SAND price action.