Virtual Music Festivals & 3 Other Ways Young Gamers Are Changing Music’s Future

Gaming is invading every aspect of Gen Z's & Millennials’ lives—and the music they listen to (and how they listen to it) is no exception…

Gaming takes up nearly as much of young consumers' time as watching TV. (Let that sink in.) So, the impact of this shift in their entertainment consumption on other industries can’t be overestimated. They’re buying fashion based on their favorite titles (ahem, Moschino’s The Sims-inspired line), and they’ve been watching movies that star their digital idols for ages (lest we forget that Tomb Raider was a game before Angelina Jolie became Lara Croft).

But the music industry is where gaming’s impact is starting to level up beyond gamers’ wildest, most pixelated dreams. Video game soundtracks have millions of views on YouTube (like this one), the nostalgic favorite Twisted Metal has inspired album covers, Nicki Minaj has an entire song celebrating Street Fighter character Chun-Li, The Weeknd just became a major investor in the esports organization OverActive Media, and the list goes on...

This new cultural conversation goes both ways: artists are drawing inspiration from the digital world, but they’re also stepping into that world to meet young listeners where they’re spending so much time. Video games have become a digital stage for stars, a place where artists debut new tracks and play virtual gigs that draw much bigger audiences than any IRL experience could. In our State of Gaming report, we found that 28% of 13-36-year-old gamers say that the titles they play have influenced the music they listen to, 35% have learned about music from games, and 29% have listened to a new artist they discovered in the digital world. Below, we break down four times young gamers gave us a glimpse at what the video game-influenced future of music might look like:…


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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day:  Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors—or any location outside of the traditional table—is more acceptable than generations past.”—Kate McManus, VP of Marketing, Delicato Family Wines (Wine Spectator)

Young consumers are “killing the shopping spree.” Whether they’re signing up for the growing number of clothing subscription services (Rent the Runway, Le Tote, Urban Outfitters, etc.), shopping second-hand, or just culling their closets—young shoppers are quitting fast fashion in droves. Some are inspired by Marie Kondo’s joy-sparking brand of minimalism, while others want to help the environment—and still others are just seeking a wide range of things to wear at a lower price. (Vice)

Airbnb is launching “adventures” for experience-seeking young travelers. The site that started with accommodations and moved into one-off “experiences” (like dinner parties) now offers multi-day excursions, complete with guides, gear, meals, and accommodations. The platform already features over 200 trips in 40 countries, including a tiger-tracking expedition in Kenya and a trek through the canyons of Oman. (Fast Company)

Tyson Foods is taking on the fake meat market with plant-based nuggets. The pea protein nuggets are the first in a line of “Raised & Rooted” products from Tyson Foods. The brand's CEO explains they’re catering to the “growing number of people open to flexible diets that include both meat and plant-based protein”—aka young flexitarians, not full-time vegans. But can a company known for its meat sell the idea that “this [trend] is about ‘and’—not ‘or’”? (The Verge)

Snapchatters can shop Levi’s new Pride Month jacket via selfie filter. The Shoppable feature is first enabled by scanning a QR code found at select stores or by getting a special Snapcode from a friend. Then, users can try on the special-edition trucker jacket via augmented reality, customizing it with one of two washes and a selection of six pins and patches. Once they complete the look, users can purchase the Pride Month Jacket—without ever leaving the app. (SJ)

Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition revamps the original. The new smart speakertakes many cues from the adult version’s second generation (it’s louder and rounder) but adds special features just for kids that go beyond a rainbow-striped color scheme. The device will come with a year of FreeTime Unlimited, a subscription service that includes popular Alexa skills like Pinkfong’s Baby Shark Adventures, as well as an enhanced parental control suite to address growing privacy concerns. (VarietyCNET)

Quote of the Day: “Young people still have an incredible interest in the Olympic Games…But the way they are consuming the Olympic Games—the type of content they are watching and the ways and the platforms on which they are watching—are fundamentally changing.”—Kit McConnell, Sports Director, International Olympic Committee (Bloomberg)

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