You can’t step foot in the new iHeart facility show above. But you can still enter it.
The company hopes this initiative will engage younger consumers through music and “experiences,” part of its effort to establish a significant presence in what increasingly is being called the metaverse. A few weeks earlier the company announced a similar launch for Fortnite.
Here’s a video clip that gives a sense of what it’s all about:
The media company introduced iHeartLand as “a one-of-a-kind location for gaming, live events, music and interactive experiences with popular artists” that is “built to feel like the ultimate block party.”
The company had signaled last winter that it intended to go after the metaverse and tokenized communities.
iHeartLand is an initiative of the iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group under CEO Conal Byrne. The site was created for iHeart by The Gang, a developer specializing in Roblox. Two major early partners are State Farm and Intel.
Each user gets a music studio to personalize and can “build their way towards a music empire” by searching the site for “sound energy” that lets them customize the studio and unlock upgrades and rewards toward becoming music tycoons. Users can also interact with others’ avatars and visit their studios.
The site includes a State Farm Neighborhood where users can complete daily “quests” with State Farm spokesman Jake. They can also play mini games to win “iHeartBucks” that can be used to purchase virtual merchandise and gear for their avatar. (If you don’t think certain consumers might get into an ecosystem like that, you haven’t got a niece who plays Star Stable.)
There’s also an Intel House of Wonder that “will bring a fantastical element to iHeartLand.” Users can exchange their iHeartBucks for in-game Intel Core processors that allow them to “level up” more quickly. “The installation will also be the go-to destination for players to collect Wonderful emotes that enhance their concert experience,” the company promises.
As an example of what iHeart hopes to do with this platform, its virtual State Farm Park will host a video show from singer/musician Lauv this Friday for his new album. “Fans can walk the red carpet and take selfies with his NPC (non-player character),” iHeartMedia explains. Here’s a look at that venue:
The company promises 20 events in the coming year including an album release party with Charlie Puth on Oct. 7 and a podcast with “The Trap Nerds.”
Below are more sample images from the announcement.