Vroom! Rick Ross gets his own racing game on Facebook

Is Facebook gaming still a thing? After a decade of ignoring Music Ally’s FarmVille farm, we don’t dare log back in to find out what became of our crops and animals. But yes, Facebook gaming IS still a thing: the social network’s catalogue of ‘instant games’ now sits within a dedicated gaming tab on the […]

Major Lazer remix Fortnite music and launch in-game pack

After Marshmello and Weezer, the latest artist to launch a high-profile collaboration with video-game Fortnite is Major Lazer. The Diplo-led group have remixed two of the tracks that players hear in Fortnite’s ‘lobby’ – ‘Default Vibe’ and ‘Default Fire’. Meanwhile, the game’s publisher Epic Games has created a ‘Lazerism’ set of virtual items, including a […]

Korn will play a virtual concert in AdventureQuest games

When Marshmello played a concert in the game Fortnite earlier this year, he pulled a virtual crowd of 10.7 million people. Korn won’t have expected that scale of audience for their own virtual in-game shows yesterday, but the move shows that in the wake of the Marshmello success, other games and other artists are exploring the […]

Migos star Offset buys a stake in esports crew FaZe Clan

The list of musicians who’ve invested in esports teams is growing longer by the month. Drake, The Weeknd, Will Smith, Drake (again), Steve Aoki and Imagine Dragons are among those who’ve acquired stakes in the esports business so far. Now you can add Offset, of hip-hop trio Migos. He’s investing in one of the most famous esports franchises, FaZe Clan, taking an undisclosed stake […]

Sandbox issue 232: Music Marketing in Trigger Cities

Lead: This issue we have a special extended feature looking into the phenomenon of Trigger Cities. These are places outside of the obvious music markets that are now – due to streaming and how algorithms are fed – playing a key role in helping break artists and genres. This represents a whole new dynamic for […]

Marshmello launches his own mobile game to debut new album

EDM star Marshmello’s association with gaming is already well known: he’s teamed up with online star ‘Ninja’ to win pro-am Fortnite tournaments, and attracted more than 10 million people to his virtual concert within that game earlier this year. Now he’s testing the waters in mobile gaming too, with his own game. It’s called Marshmello […]

More than 9m people play Candy Crush Saga for 3+ hours a day

British politicians are currently interviewing a range of people from the games industry, as part of a select committee investigation into “immersive and addictive technologies”. Yesterday, an exec from mobile games publisher King gave evidence, with some interesting (or perhaps: quite scary) stats about how people play the game Candy Crush Saga. Alex Dale revealed […]

Trisha Yearwood helps celebrate Farmville’s 10th birthday

Here’s an anniversary we didn’t remember was coming: 10 years since the release of FarmVille, the Facebook farming game that established US firm Zynga as an early giant of the social gaming world. Music is part of the birthday celebrations, thanks to a partnership between Zynga and country star Trisha Yearwood. She’ll be appearing in […]

BTS World mobile game launches today with another new track

Today’s the day that BTS fans get to play the band’s new, official mobile game, BTS World. It’s being released by publisher Netmarble as a free download for Android and iOS from this evening (26 June). As we reported previously, the game puts players in the role of BTS’ manager at the start of their career, […]

Capitol Music Group is building its own game-streaming studio

Fresh from launching a compilation album with gaming star Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins, Capitol Music Group is now building a studio in its Los Angeles HQ to help musicians follow in his game-streaming footsteps. “Because we know our artists have an affinity to game, we’re going to build out a streaming studio at Capitol Records in […]

Fortnite publisher Epic Games buys social-video app Houseparty

Having raised a $1.25bn funding round, and with its Fortnite game continuing to be a licence to print money, publisher Epic Games is on the acquisition trail. It recently bought Psyonix, the developer of popular game Rocket League. Now it has diversified into social media. Epic has bought startup Houseparty, whose “face-to-face social network” is […]

Mobile games are 10% of app time but 74% of app spending

More games stats? We got ‘em! Well, analytics firm App Annie has got ‘em, at least. It’s published some new data on the mobile games market, as a sub-sector of mobile apps. “33% of all mobile downloads and 10% of time spent on mobile are now games,” explained the company in its latest blog post. […]

Global spend on gaming reached $132bn in 2018 says Futuresource

Amid the hubbub of the E3 games conference in Los Angeles this week, research firm Futuresource Consulting has put out some new numbers on the global games market. They are, unsurprisingly, huge. The company claims that in 2018, global consumer spend on games software reached $132bn, including $63bn on mobile games and $28bn on console games. Other […]

Imagine Dragons launch 10-track song-pack for Beat Saber game

Virtual-reality music game Beat Saber has been one of the success stories in VR so far. Released in May 2018, it sold its millionth copy in February this year. Now it’s going down the traditional Guitar Hero / Rock Band route of selling music in-game, in partnership with artists and labels. Yesterday, the band Imagine Dragons released […]

TheFatRat on music and esports: ‘The potential is growing every year’

TheFatRat is a German dance artist and producer (real name Christian Büttner) who’s also one of the early musicians to get involved in the world of esports – professional gaming. In November 2018, he was announced as the first artist to be signed to Enter Records, the label joint-venture founded by Universal Music and esports organisation ESL. Büttner […]

Twitch gamers can earn up to $50k an hour from games publishers

If you were a a popular gamer on video service Twitch, how much do you think game-publishers would pay you to promote their new titles? According to the Wall Street Journal it’s between $25k and $50k an hour, for those broadcasters capable of drawing audiences of more than 15,000 simultaneous viewers. The report suggests that big publishers […]

Record label 777 Music launches its own esports offshoot

The latest label exploring the crossover between music and esports is 777 Music, which has launched its own esports division. The company says it’s keen to explore the potential for genres beyond electronic-music to reap the rewards of pro-gaming partnerships. It has launched an online community for music and gaming fans, and is setting up […]

Games consolidation as Fortnite publisher buys Rocket League developer

For once, here’s a story in the Music Ally bulletin that you can tell a passing 10 year-old, and watch their jaw drop. The publisher of craze-popular game Fortnite is buying the developer of also-hot game Rocket League. That means Epic Games is acquiring Psyonix, for an undisclosed amount, with the deal expected to close in […]

PRS for Music boss Robert Ashcroft talks growth, YouTube and Fortnite

“Maybe what I’ll say is this: I’ve done 10 years of this. I’m going to let someone else take on the internecine warfare that seems to be endemic to the music industry!” Even when he’s playing a straight bat to a sensitive question – in this case, one about whether songwriters deserve a bigger slice of […]

Sandbox Issue 226: What people just don’t “get” about digital marketing

Lead: what digital marketing trends are most underrated or simply misunderstood in 2019? That’s the question we put to the music marketing community and got them to hold forth on the subject. This resulted in a lot of ideas and a lot of new paths for marketing this year and beyond. Campaigns: TikTok goes all […]

Apple Arcade games service tipped to have $500m+ budget

Apple recently announced plans for a subscription-based games service, Apple Arcade, which will offer games across iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple TVs for a single monthly fee – with no advertising or in-app purchases. Due to launch later in the year, the service appears to be getting a significant investment. “Several people involved in the […]

The Weeknd invests in esports company OverActive Media/Splyce

If an esports company exists and a US pop star or major label doesn’t buy a stake in it, does it even exist? That existential conundrum is not one that OverActive Media, the company that owns esports brand Splyce, will have to worry about now as The Weeknd has just invested in it. The Canadian company […]

Beat The Intro mobile game will push new releases and deep catalogue

A new music-based game has launched that claims it will create “new revenue and promotional opportunities for the music industry”. Beat The Intro says it has licensed “millions of tracks” already and, as its name suggests, tests how well users know music and how quickly they can identify a track. A short song intro is played […]

Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo under investigation over online gaming subscriptions

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK is investigating how three major companies – Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo – are handling renewals for their online gaming services. The CMA will look at the T&Cs they offer users alongside how they process subscription cancellations and refunds. At the heart of this is the issue […]

Snapchat gets the Bitmoji Party party started

Talking of Snapchat… the social app has created its first multi-player game, Bitmoji Party. It is part of its Snap Games arm and will be one of six planned games – the other five being created by third-party developers and exclusive to the app. Players compete against friends across a series of mini games and […]

Apple announcements: TV, news, games… and a credit card

Apple held its services-focused press launch last night, and as predicted there were announcements of new subscription-based video, news and games products. Apple TV+ will launch later in the year with original shows from the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and JJ Abrams, as well as the ability to subscribe to other providers (through […]

Nav promoted his new album in Fortnite stream with Ninja

Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins has become one of the go-to influencers in the gaming world in recent times: Electronic Arts reportedly paid him $1m to promote its new game Apex Legends earlier this year for example. Meanwhile, he’s also firmly on the music industry’s radar thanks to his compilation partnership with Universal Music, as well as his live-streamed Fortnite […]

Google takes the wrappers off game-streaming service Stadia

Google was rumoured to be launching its own games console at the GDC event this week. Actually, the big reveal was something slightly different: but still a big move in the games world. Google’s new thing is called Stadia: a new cloud-gaming service that will let people play games by streaming them on TVs, laptops, […]

Snapchat tipped to launch its own gaming platform in April

Google might be launching a games console this month, but it’s not the only tech company ramping up its gaming activities. Snapchat may be on the verge of launching its own games platform, albeit one within its app rather than on a physical piece of hardware. “The mobile game platform, internally codenamed ‘Project Cognac,’ will […]

Report claims 2.4bn people will play mobile games in 2019

The phrase ‘attention economy’ has been on the lips of plenty of music-industry people for years now, as we recognise that music is competing for attention with games, video-streaming and other forms of digital entertainment. That’s one of the reasons Music Ally writes regularly about the mobile games market – another being that there are […]

Weezer get a Fortnite island where their new album is streaming

If you’d asked us who the next music artist would be to work with Fortnite after Marshmello’s recent in-game concert, it’s fair to say Weezer wouldn’t have been our obvious choice. Yet Weezer it is: the band have their very own island in the latest season of the popular game, called Weezer World. Mashable reports that it’s […]

Fortnite is holding its first World Cup – with $30m of prizes

Epic Games, the publisher of Fortnite, has announced plans of its first ‘World Cup’ esports event for the popular game. It’s due to take place in New York this July, with the top 100 solo players as well as 50 ‘duo’ teams competing for a prize pool of $30m over the three-day tournament. “Each one […]

10.7m people showed up for Marshmello Fortnite concert

We knew that more than 10 million people watched Marshmello’s recent concert within video-game Fortnite. Now we’ve got a specific figure from the game’s publisher Epic Games. “On February 2nd, Fortnite had its best event day ever with 10.7 million players showing up for the Marshmello concert,” it told The Verge. It’s interesting to note how […]

Sandbox Issue 222: SYNC IN. Music Synchronisation Gets Smarter

Lead: as synchronisation grows in importance, a new wave of tools is emerging to make that whole process work seamlessly and smarter, covering both micro-licensing and pitch management. We look at the key players here, what they do and where they are taking synch – plus consider how AI is set to shake things up […]

Supercell’s two ‘Clash’ mobile games have grossed $10bn so far

Supercell is the Finnish mobile-games publisher behind monster hits like Clash of Clans and Clash Royale – so popular that Tencent acquired an 84.3% stake in the company in 2016 for $8.6bn. The company’s CEO Ilkka Paananen has just published some figures for Supercell’s 2018, as well as milestones for its biggest games. The bad news: […]

Steve Aoki joins Star Trek Fleet Command mobile game

Dance artist and DJ Steve Aoki was early in to esports, and now he’s become the first artist to nab a starring role in the latest mobile game based on Star Trek. Aoki is appearing in Star Trek Fleet Command as a character called Officer D’Jaoki, joining the game yesterday. This isn’t a brand new relationship with […]

Marshmello Fortnite gig sent his YouTube views soaring

More than 10 million people watched Marshmello’s first concert in video-game Fortnite last weekend. Now Nielsen has put out some figures showing how the event caused a big spike in his on-demand video (i.e. YouTube) streams. Billboard reports that his track ‘Check This Out’ saw a nearly 24,000% increase in views on the day of the concert, […]

Sandbox Issue 221: Fake Views. Lies, damned lies and music statistics

Lead: Smoke and mirrors have always been part of music, but when it comes to data, truth is starting to play second fiddle to hype. The nefarious and ruthless are finding ways to “massage” social media and streaming numbers while offering the desperate and gullible a quick fix. But the platforms are getting wise to […]

Marshmello Fortnite concert thought to have attracted 10m fans

Those rumours that dance artist Marshmello was going to play a concert within video-game Fortnite were right: it happened on Saturday. In fact, he played two concerts, 12 hours apart, to ensure people could attend at a suitable moment for their timezone. What’s startling is how many people the first of those concerts attracted. Pollstar […]

Marshmello may be playing a gig within Fortnite this weekend

The popularity of video-game Fortnite has recently sparked a series of lawsuits from rappers and dancers, angry at the game including some of their signature moves without asking for permission or paying any kind of licensing fee. Some musicians have a more positive relationship with Fortnite though: EDM star Marshmello, for example, who’s broken online-viewing […]

TV, games, esports… lessons from outside the music-industry bubble

Panels where people from the music industry talk about the music industry in front of people from the music industry are obviously useful in terms of exchanging ideas and taking the temperature of the business. But equally it is important – especially in an age of discovery algorithms, big data, targeted marketing, in-app revenue opportunities […]

Research firms publish apps and games market data for 2018

If you’re following the mobile apps and gaming markets, a couple of reports published yesterday will make interesting reading. App Annie has put out its annual ‘The State of Mobile’ report, which claims that across Apple’s App Store, Android’s Google Play and third-party Android app stores in China, there were 194bn worldwide downloads in 2018. […]

Sandbox Issue 219: The Tools and Trends That Will Shape 2019

Lead: A new year and a new slate. To kick off the year, we speak to marketers around the business and around the world about what tools they think will be indispensable and what trends they believe will shape 2019. From AR filters and scarcity to algorithmic personalisation of playlists, the continued rise of Latin […]

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