Esports x Music Industry – Analyzing the current trend in the global music ecosystem Part 2

Gaming Leagues x Music Performances x Official Anthems

Universal Music Group and Esports firm ESL (Electronic Sports League) launched  a joint-venture label, which will sign artists and promote their music across ESL’s Esports tournaments and channels. This venture will also include live performances during ESL’s broadcasts. 2017 league attracted more than 300 million online viewers.

Besides investing in ReKT Global, Imagine Dragon are all for Epsorts and also performed live in a stadium in Seoul, in front of 40 000 Korean fans with more 36M online viewers. Zedd also performed live at the closing ceremony of the 2016 League of Legends Worlds Championship for which he composed the original soundtrack. Back in 2014 Metallica performed live at at Blizzard’s 2014 Blizzcon and produced the soundtrack for Counter-Strike Eleague Majors tournament.

League of Legends World Championship which is one of the biggest Esport event in the world has its own anthem for every year. “Legends Never Die,” the 2017 World Championship anthem, has over 38.1 million streams on Spotify, RISE (ft. The Glitch Mob, Mako, and The Word Alive) the official anthem for 2018 has already crossed 74M views on Youtube.

 Esport Music Fests

With the integration of Music and Esports reaching a new level, special festivals are being curated dedicated specifically to the combination of Esports and Music. League of Legend makers – Riot Games and MTV came up with the first-ever ASEAN Esports & music festival at Singapore this year with performances by sout asian Pop Stars The Sam Willows, Afgan, CL, Alessia Cara and Headliner Nick Jonas.

The ICBC e-Sports & Music Festival by the Hong Kong Tourism Board is also dedicated to the integration of Esports x Music. For this years edition, in addition to the exciting e-sports competitions, attendees got to enjoy live music performances by DJ Soda and Gin Lee.

Insomniac (the company behind EDC Las Vegas) announced a new festival called the – Play Festival which will make its debut in 2019. Given the phenomenon of dance music and hip-hop as the soundtrack for modern-day gamers, live performances from the biggest names in those genres will also serve as the backdrop for fans—also known as Players—as they travel between different realms of the gaming and music festival atmosphere. In addition, Players will witness the most elite gaming competitions ever curated as top eSport gamers and teams, celebrities, musicians and athletes from around the world compete against each other from inside the virtual universe of PLAY Festival.

“There are so many similarities between the gaming and dance music communities, from their inclusive nature to their passion for total creative immersion,” says Pasquale Rotella, Founder and CEO of Insomniac. “PLAY Festival is an opportunity to connect these two colorful worlds and build an event that’s exciting, authentic, and inspires a new generation of fans.”

Harrisburg University of Science and Technology (HU),  in partnership with iHeartMedia and Alt 99.3, announced the Harrisburg University Esports Festival (HUE Festival) this year with headlining performances from national recording artists Lit, Alien Ant Farm, Atlas Genius, and DJ Whipped Cream.

Twitch Live Streaming

Twitch (the biggest livestreaming service for gaming and esports) is increasingly investing in its in-house music strategy. The Amazon-owned company has ambitions to become what Billboard recently described as “the music industry’s next new partnered revenue stream, promotional tool and talent scout”. Since most of the gamers play music while streaming, it makes perfect sense that Twitch has started working with labels like Monstercat, Spinnin’ Records, Dim Mak and Fool’s Gold on building a legal, royalty-free music catalog for live-streamers. The site boasts 15 million daily active users, each of whom spends an average of 95 minutes on the platform every single day.  81.5% of its users are male, while 55% of its users are aged 18 to 34.

Musicians also use Twitch for streaming, one of the most popular music accounts is run by husband-and-wife singer-songwriter duo Aeseaes. Brands like Redbull also have a Twitch channel wherein rapper T-Pain invites producers to remix popular songs in real time, incorporating live feedback and ideas from their chat room. EDM artist Deadmau5 regularly uses Twitch to stream his production techniques. Artists like Drake, Post Malone, Danny Brown and T-Pain have also made Twitch a crucial pillar in their fan-engagement strategy, for both music lovers and gamers.

Twitch launched the Twitch Music Library in 2015, assembling a catalog of royalty-free music that streamers can play in the background without any risks of takedowns. Several prominent labels across multiple genres, including but not limited to Spinnin’ Records, Rhymesayers, OWSLA, Dim Mak, Ninja Tune and Fool’s Gold, are featured in the library. Twitch also maintains a Spotify profile with playlists of pre-cleared tracks for background use.

Gamers x Musicians

Universal Music Group and Enter Records are hoping to source talent directly from esports players themselves by embracing an open submission process for music, following in the footsteps of YouTube-borne labels like Trap Nation. Superstar Drake is a huge fan of Fortnite and recently did live streaming with top gamer Tyler Ninja.

The “Musician – Gamer” tag will be quite helpful for a lot of Musicians and Gamers alike in the coming future.


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