iHeartMedia launches the first virtual world of fortnite, called iHeartLand, as the company expands its marketing investments in the metaverse and younger audiences.
iHeart, which generated $954 million in revenue in the second quarter, first announced plans in January to launch its own branded virtual world on platforms such as Roblox as part of the radio giant’s wider Web3 strategy. Wednesday launch of iHeartLand on Fortnite marks the first opening of iHeartMedia’s virtual world and will serve as a testing ground for future iterations of iHeartLand in other world games, executives said. The Hollywood Reporter.
iHeartLand was developed by game developer Atlas Creative from Fortnite creative mode and includes the main stage, several mini-games, and iHeart “headquarters”, which includes a recording studio and a replica of the tunnel entrance to iHeart’s New York headquarters.
Players will be able to explore the virtual island, play games, take selfies on the red carpet and watch performances on the main stage, called State Farm Park, which is scheduled to host 20 next year’s events featuring popular iHeart musicians and podcasters. At launch, the mini-games will include a car racing game on an iHeart-shaped race track, a cloud obstacle course, a construction game, and a musical chairs game that requires players to jump from different colored tiles and avoid landing on. some colors. Playing these games will give users the opportunity to earn “gold”, which is a currency specific to iHeartLand in Fortnite and can be spent on things like fireworks and Boogie Bombs, a grenade-like item that causes player avatars to dance.
But the main draw at iHeartLand will likely be the main stage, which kicks off the series of events with a show on September 9 with Charlie Puth. The gig follows similar in-game performances from artists such as Ariana Grande and Travis Scott at Fortnite, although Puth does not appear as an avatar on iHeartLand as Grande and Scott do in their respective shows. Instead, Puth’s concert – which was pre-taped at the iHeartRadio Theater in Burbank – was a 2D projection shown on the main screen at State Farm Park.
Along with the show, which will feature new music from Puth’s upcoming album, fans will be able to participate in an interactive trivia game, where Puth asks a series of questions and the fans can earn XP coins for answering correctly. A separate album release party for Puth’s next album, Charlie, will take place on iHeartLand on October 7.
“When these artists come, they are also excited to reach these new audiences because, remember, this is also a discovery platform for them to discover new music with the public here on Fortnitesaid Jessica Jerrick, vice president of business development and partnerships at iHeartMedia. THR.
iHeartLand will remain free for players, according to Conal Byrne, president of iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group, who stated in Fortnite the island’s ability to bring concerts and events to larger crowds. “This is a way for us to take events like Charlie’s and democratize access to them better using technology,” Byrne said. “There is no intention to block its access to the road or anything like that. I actually think it’s the opposite.
Instead, the company is able to monetize the virtual world through sponsorship deals and other advertising placements. At launch, State Farm will have exclusive naming rights to the iHeartLand arena in all its iterations on various global gaming platforms, which will include Roblox in the future. In March, iHeart also partnered with Super League Gaming to sell ads in iHeartLand and other virtual worlds, allowing iHeart to receive a share of the revenue from all transactions facilitated by the partnership. others.
Alyson Griffin, State Farm’s vice president of marketing, declined to share specific terms of the deal with the insurance company with iHeart, but the executive pointed to past State Farm in-game entries — “Jake from State Farm” appears in this year’s issue. NBA 2K game, for example – and the company’s long-standing relationship with iHeart. “We want to learn. We want to try new things, we want to see how it evolves, and we’re committed to it,” Griffin said. “Obviously you don’t make an entry like this to do it for a few months.”
And based on user feedback and post-launch engagement, “iHeartLand and State Farm Park can be differentiated and dramatically scaled” based on what “players like and don’t like,” said Gayle Troberman, Chief Marketing Officer of iHeartMedia.
“Will the children come to the table and tell their parents about… [seeing] the Charlie Puth show at State Farm Park and then they play this game and they go down this tunnel? said Troberman. “It’s going to be a hit for us.”