MTN To Host First Metaverse Music Concert In Africa
The possibilities afforded by the metaverse have reached the music industry in Africa following the revelation that South African mobile telecommunications company MTN will host Africa’s first ever metaverse music concert.
The virtual concert will take place in collaboration with The Mic: Africa, a talent programme which promotes talented musical performers from all over Africa, and will feature African bands and artists, with fans able to attend from the comfort of their own home.
A metaverse first for Africa
The event will take place in Ubuntuland, Africa’s metaverse which is owned by Mann Made, a tech company which specialises in the provision of metaverse services. MTN became the first company in Africa to buy virtual land in Ubuntuland by acquiring 114 plots with the aim of capitalising on the opportunity to offer immersive experiences to its subscribers, which number 34.5 million. The stakes for companies are high, with predictions that the metaverse could add a total of over £35 billion to the GDP of Sub-Saharan Africa by 2031.
Africans will be able to access altMTN, the official designation of MTN Group’s metaverse location, via mobile phones, tablets, personal computers or VR headsets, with the opportunity to take part in a wide range of future live events, along with gaming and learning experiences.
The growing popularity of African culture
The move reflects the impact of African culture in the entertainment industry with Netflix challenging Showmax in the African subscription video-on-demand market. In order to appeal to potential subscribers, Netflix has developed a wide range of African content from the reality TV show Young, Famous & African, to the wildlife documentary Surviving Paradise A Family Tale, which examines the fight for survival of wild animals in the Kalahari Desert. The range of content also includes films inspired by a true story, such as Trees of Peace, which examines life in Rwanda. The popularity of African themes is also reflected in the iGaming industry, especially looking at the various online casino games at www.bodog.eu/casino, which include Africa Goes Wild and Legends of Africa. These slot titles capitalise on the fascination with African wildlife and culture, while reflecting the increased popularity of the continent in the entertainment industry.
Now Africans are taking advantage of the metaverse with Nigerian Afro-fusion singer Bnxn recognising the global possibilities of the virtual world when he used it as the location for a listening party of his songs. The upcoming live metaverse concert will be hoping to emulate the success of similar concerts in the United States with Charlie Puth and rapper Travis Scott recently holding immersive virtual live shows in the metaverse for fans. The wide appeal of the metaverse is demonstrated by dedicated news sections on the topic such as CNET’s metaverse section at https://www.cnet.com/making-the-metaverse.
Affordability hampering access to the metaverse
However, one stumbling block to wider access to the metaverse is the cost factor associated with VR headsets, smartphones and the price of data access showing no signs of becoming more affordable. This lack of access is further exacerbated by the low levels of internet penetration in Africa and poor internet speeds. It will be essential that improvements are made in order to increase access to the metaverse for Africans.
In order to promote inclusion in the metaverse, Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, has launched a two-year fund worth over £43 million to increase the talent pool in 16 African nations in the fields of virtual, augmented and mixed reality. Meta has also launched Creators of Tomorrow, a campaign which promotes emerging talent from Sub-Saharan Africa, including the South African multimedia entrepreneur Pamela Mtanga for her work creating content in the fields of fashion and beauty. The promotion of the metaverse is certainly being aided by the wide range of news stories on the topic, such as the articles under WIRED’s metaverse tag at https://www.wired.com/tag/metaverse.
The virtual concert represents the arrival of Africa in the metaverse and sets the standard for future immersive events as companies compete with MTN for a slice of the huge potential profits offered by the immersive world.