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Roblox signs licensing deal with Sony Music

By | Published on Wednesday 7 July 2021


Video game platform Roblox and good old Sony Music have signed “a strategic partnership that will bring more Sony Music recording artists into the Roblox metaverse”. Which is presumably similar to the recent “strategic agreement to bring the vision of BMG to the Roblox metaverse”. Look, it’s a licensing deal. I don’t know why they can’t just say that.

Anyway, this latest deal will see the gaming platform and the major “work together to develop innovative music experiences for the Roblox community that offer a range of new commercial opportunities for Sony Music artists to reach new audiences and generate new revenue streams around virtual entertainment”.

Opportunities like those already enjoyed by some Sony artists. Artists like Lil Nas X, who last year performed the first ever live virtual concert on Roblox. And artists like Zara Larsson who in May hosted a virtual launch party for her ‘Poster Girl’ album on the platform.

“Sony Music has been a fantastic partner and I am pleased to deepen and lengthen our relationship”, says Jon Vlassopulos, Global Head Of Music at Roblox. “They truly understand the massive opportunity that the metaverse presents for their artists and we are committed to helping them unlock new creative and commercial opportunities on Roblox. We are just scratching the surface of what Roblox can deliver to the music industry and to music fans around the world”.

Sony Music’s President of Global Digital Business, Dennis Kooker, adds: “Sony Music artists have been at the forefront of engaging the millions of music fans in Roblox’s massive user community with forward-looking initiatives like Lil Nas X’s industry-first virtual performance on the platform, and Zara Larsson’s recent listening party event”.

“With this new agreement”, he goes on, “we look forward to expanding our successful partnership with the Roblox team to further unlock commercial opportunities at the intersection of music and gaming. Immersive online environments represent a meaningful opportunity for reaching a growing number of fans who want to use virtual communities to enjoy shared music experiences”.

So, hooray, everyone in the music industry loves Roblox. Except all of those music publishers who don’t, of course. Back in June, the US National Music Publishers Association sued the platform for $200 million on behalf of various publishers, including Universal Music Publishing.

Roblox responded by saying that the litigation “represents a fundamental misunderstanding of how the Roblox platform operates”. NMPA boss David Israelite hit back that “having some deals with some labels and publishers to host music events is in no way legally adequate when you operate a massive platform to which music in integral”.

That litigation is ongoing.