IHeartMedia Enters the Metaverse With IHeartLand
Long gone are the days of only being able to listen to your favorite artists on iHeartRadio. The radio, broadcast and streaming platform’s parent company, iHeartMedia, announced on Wednesday it’s entering the metaverse with the creation of iHeartLand.
IHeartLand will operate as an interactive gaming, concert and entertainment space. Users can explore the land from the central iHeart building and interact with iHeart’s radio tuning tunnel, a digital replica of the company’s actual tunnel found in its New York City headquarters.
The metaverse land also has a State Farm Park that users can interact with to view music and podcasting events. Charlie Puth, a Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter, will be performing at iHeartLand’s State Farm Park this September.
“Our goal is to meet audiences where they are — delivering innovative, incredible programming to constantly challenge ourselves to take entertainment to the next level,” Conal Byrne, iHeartMedia’s CEO, said in a statement. “From interactive performances and intimate backstories to immersive gameplay, native to the platform, this new world allows us to extend the reach of today’s biggest creators, artists and personalities in groundbreaking ways, and is a big next step for iHeartMedia in expanding our engagement with our users.”
Atlas Creative used a toolset from Fortnite Creative to create iHeartLand, according to a company statement.
“What iHeartMedia and the team at Atlas Creative have created is a compelling look at a future of Fortnite where artists and brands can independently and authentically connect with fans in new and persistent ways at scale,” Matthew Henick, vice president of metaverse development for Epic Games — the parent company of Fortnite — said in a statement. “We can’t wait for players to experience all of the incredibly ambitious content that iHeartLand has planned in the coming months.”
The news comes just three years after EDM producer Marshmello made history with the first-ever virtual reality concert on Fortnite. Since then, big-time artists like rapper Travis Scott and singer Justin Bieber have also graced metaverse stages.
Virtual reality isn’t solely centered on gaming and entertainment either. Augmented reality technology has been used to develop virtual therapy rooms and build digital nations with their own laws and currency.