Electronic music artist Marshmello, earlier this month created history – he performed to a crowd of 10 million people, virtually.
Marshmello did a concert in the hugely popular online game, Fortnite: Battle Royale to a crowd of 10 million, who were enjoying a concert from within the comfort of their homes.
As per reports, the concert was a success and people loved the no-weapons experience. Success how? The Verge reported concert discovery service Songkick saying that the event drove a 3,000 percent page view increase on Marshmello’s page and made him the most visited artist on the platform.
According to a social media analytics company, Marshmello saw a 62,000 follower increase on Twitter, 2,60,000 new followers on Instagram and a 5,200 follower growth on Twitch, the day after the concert.
The change was noticed by Marshmello himself and knew exactly what led to it.:
“Holy!!! We just made history today. We can all tell our kids one day that we attended the first ever virtual concert @FortniteGame,” he tweeted that afternoon.
We made history today! The first ever live virtual concert inside of @fortnite with millions of people in attendance. So insane, thank you epic games and everyone who made this possible! pic.twitter.com/xdaNGnyMr9— marshmello (@marshmellomusic) February 2, 2019
Only, it was not the first-ever virtual concert.
However, Marshmello corrected himself later, saying that it was probably the largest virtual concert in history.
The Verge report says that there’s a history of concerts happening in virtual spaces, going all the way back to the early 2000s.
Second Life, was an online platform that sought to be a virtual analog to real life. It was a free 3D virtual world where users can create, connect, and chat with others from around the world using voice and chat.
In 2007, a chamber group in Leeds, England and a chamber group in Cleveland used Second Life to put on a concert for the public, The Verge reports. It also says that in the same year, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the oldest professional orchestra in England also performed a live concert in Second Life.
Now, how would this be different from a radio broadcast is in its form: The main distinction is presence. The performances are live, not recorded. One has to travel to attend a concert. In digital space, the vehicle you drive is called an avatar — a virtual representation of your body. Second Life would allow your avatar to travel to a certain location, where the concert happened, within the digital free-world.
A 2009 report about 'Second Life' says that presence is made of two things – telepresence (the sense of being there) and social presence (sense of being together with others). In Second Life, researchers found that people felt like they were there, and that they actually were their avatar.
The first ever virtual press conference was held by Bite Communications, for a Fortune 500 company. A band from the UK called RedZone became the first group to do a virtual tour.
Marshmello's Fortnite concert is being debated as being the future. What is for sure is that Fortnite has become a quasi-physical space, accessible to everyone and reaching new thresholds towards communication and engagement.
(With inputs from The Verge)
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