The Sound of Gaming Marketing

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“People play games for so many hours and it becomes a big part of their life so they get attached to the characters and storylines. I think the music becomes nostalgic almost, and helps you remember what a cool time it was when you were playing,”  

Cris Velasco, award-winning video game music composer, in a Chartmetrics article 

There is a long-standing connection between gaming and music. Especially since rhythmic melodies and enthralling soundscapes can be just as important to a video game as its graphics. 

Still, audiences also experience video games beyond gameplay. 

That means music does not have to be part of a video game environment to connect with gaming audiences. 

Likewise, gaming marketing is a vehicle to promote music consumption as part of gameplay and/or any other game experience. 

To demonstrate, let’s look at three gaming activations by Spotify, the global music service. Each of which employs different channels to reach gaming audiences. 

Branded game experiences

Spotify unveiled a Roblox experience in 2022. The press release described it as the “ultimate way to create and share music on Roblox.” 

Spotify Island brings behaviors like creating, listening and sharing music into a virtual world. The result is a branded playable experience, including: 

  • Spotify Soundsphere: Players can make their own sounds. They use interactive beatmakers, instruments, and gear. 
  • Players can grab a board and ride the waves of their favorite songs, tracks, and artist releases. The waves change in size, color, and intensity depending on the music. 
  • In-game integration of Soundtrap, a music-creation tool for beatmakers and songwriters. 

Branded game experiences like Spotify Island are becoming a go-to channel for reaching younger demographics.  

Especially since a 2022 survey by Deloitte revealed that 90% of Gen Z in the US, UK, Germany, Brazil, and Japan play video games for an average of 11.5 hours per week. 

Esports media

Video game soundtracks can be as powerful and sometimes more memorable than the gameplay experience itself.  

So, Spotify maintains its own Video Game Soundtrack – a 126-song list that has accumulated over 690,000 likes. 

Gaming audiences aren’t just listening to music through games and soundtracks from games. In fact, music and other audio products are also relevant to esports-related gaming behaviors. 

Along those lines, Spotify partnered with esports company ESL/FACEIT group in 2022.  

The collaboration focused on German listening audiences, within the Counterstrike Global Offensive (CS:GO) game community.  

The partnership’s first value add was an official Spotify playlist. Then, it expanded to include the Talking Counter podcast (only available on Spotify). 

Gaming events

Gaming events are gatherings or occasions involving certain gaming behaviors. They can range from small local gatherings to massive international conventions.  

These away from game experiences are key opportunities to inspire music consumption among gaming audiences. 

So, Spotify partnered with Gamers8, a global gaming and esports festival that kicked off July 14, 2022. The eight-week event took place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It featured a series of tournaments and attractions – plus a $15 million prize pool. 

As part of the partnership, multiplatinum DJ and producer R3HAB released a Gamers8 anthem. The Arabic EDM song debuted at the tournament’s opening ceremony.  

Spotify and Gamers8, working with Rising Giants Network, also launched a dedicated podcast called Outplay. The eight-episode series was the go-to source for news on the festival’s top teams and players. 

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