Does Esports have a Role in the Future of the Music Industry?

28 Feb. 2019

One of the surest signs of esports’ growing reputation is the significant interest it is now receiving from other, more well-established fields and industries.

We’ve spoken before about the backing it is receiving from public officials in Japan, but now esports has caught the attention of one of the biggest industries of them all – the music industry.

On the first Saturday of February 2019, players of the game Fortnite were offered a new, one-off playing mode option. Players were able to attend two virtual, in-game concerts by EDM artist DJ Marshmello, both streamed live 12 hours apart.

Whether intentionally or coincidentally, almost every element of the performance seemed to have been designed to make a statement. The date of the concert coincided with the Super Bowl, one of the biggest dates in the both the traditional sports and live music calendars.

Even the choice of artist was designed to highlight the virtual nature of the show, and maximise its mystique – DJ Marshmello, who appeared in-game as a digital avatar, is a fictional character, the nom de plume of an anonymous producer.

The total number of ‘attendees’ has not been confirmed, but Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite, announced that the peak concurrent user count stood at 10.7 million. Industry figures have also hinted that the total number of people who streamed the concert could be much higher even than this.

This is an impressive enough figure even before you place it in comparison to some of the world’s most attended, real life events. The highest in-person attendance for any concert in history was for Jean-Michel Jarre’s 1997 show at Moscow State University, but even this attracted just 3.5 million people. That’s still only one-third of the audience for DJ Marshmello’s virtual show. By way of comparison, concerts held in London’s Hyde Park have a maximum capacity of 65,000, while the annual Glastonury festival is attended by around 175,000 people.

In the wake of the concert, DJ Marshmello’s YouTube views went up by over 100 million. With such a vast potential audience for performances that are significantly easier to organise than live concerts, it is little wonder that the music industry have been observing the long-term impact of the Fortnite with keen interest.

Interraction between the music and esports industries could prove extremely beneficial to both parties. As we’ve stated before, professionalisation is at the core of the further growth of esports. The more the industry looks like an established, highly professional field, the more it will be treated as such, and the more it will continue to grow and develop. Interacting and merging with other industries, without losing its core identity and unique characteristics, will play a major role in this ongoing process.

Rewired GG is committed to fostering the further development of esports, through the expertise of our advisory board, and the support of our lead backer Tej Kohli. Investments in esports are a means to support the future of both sports and entertainment.

Find out more about Rewired GG and the rise of esports here.