The Second Life efforts in music promotion continue: Hear the Music, Avoid the Mosh Pit - pdf
Musician Suzanne Vega got her start in the New York folk scene, but now the 1980s star has found a following in cyberspace.
With the help of some programmers, Vega created a 3D animated image of herself, called an avatar, and she recently performed inside a world accessible only through a Web site, where other people represented by avatars attended the concert, streamed live to computers all over the globe.
[...] Marketing and record label executives say Web sites that put users into video-game-like virtual worlds are a unique way to reach out to audiences, who are increasingly spending their time and money on the computer instead of at concerts and music stores. Although still experimental, such sites offer fans more ways to interact with one another and band members directly.
[...] Other, lesser-known bands and musicians who typically have used social networking site MySpace.com to build a following are also turning up on Second Life and other virtual worlds, such as There.com, to showcase their music.
“A virtual world brings something to the table that a Web site doesn’t — it’s building a more immersive experience. . . . You kind of lose yourself in it,” said Ethan Kaplan, director of technology for Warner Bros. Records, who said he has played around with Second Life for years. “It’s really cool and a lot more fun and creative than just putting a MySpace page up.”
[...] The concept is attractive to a music industry looking to woo a new generation of fans who are used to interacting online. “There are no more music videos — MTV doesn’t show them, so we decided wouldn’t it be cool if you could create an experience in a virtual world where you allow the user to be part of the music video with their friends?” said Reuben Steiger, president of marketing and consulting firm Millions of Us, which works with music labels to develop a virtual-world presence for artists.
His team built the Manhattan lofts for singer Regina Spektor and was surprised by the response. “There were parties around the clock in these lofts. It began to attract people who had never heard of Regina, and it wasn’t overt marketing,” Steiger said. “The more important thing was these were cool environments where people were meeting people they wouldn’t have met before.”