The nominees include South Korean bands BTS for their December 2021 concert in Minecraft and Blackpink for their July 2022 appearance in PubG mobile. There are also American artists Ariana Grande (for her 2021 Fortnite event), Justin Bieber (for his November 2021 live performance with WaveXR), and band Twenty One Pilots’ October 2021 Roblox appearance. Rounding out the nominations is British musician Charli XCX’s month-long interactive event and live performance on Roblox in partnership with Samsung.
While virtual shows won’t replace real-life performances, they extend reach for global fandoms – as BTS demonstrated when over one million paying livestreaming attendees tuned in for their March 2022 Permission to Dance on Stage concert series in Seoul.
Further, as mass interactivity tools become more sophisticated, they unlock unique benefits and privileges for virtual fans. At Charli XCX’s live Roblox concert, for instance, fans could earn points playing mini-games in the event’s digital venue during the month running up to the big performance. Winners got the chance to have their avatars appear alongside Charli XCX on the virtual stage.
The VMAs’ nod to metaverse performances is the latest development in virtual live events becoming a mainstay of the music industry’s engagement toolkit.
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