Why a top esports organization is launching its own record label

On November 9, esports organization Fnatic announced the creation of its own label, the aptly named Fnatic Music. The move reflects a increasing convergence between the music and gaming industries – and shows why esports companies are increasingly looking for meager and relatively low revenue streams.

The label’s first release is “Fnatic Island Vol. 1,” a 31-track album of lo-fi instrumental hip-hop music that was released last week on platforms including YouTube and Spotify. Fnatic has recruited 31 lo-fi artists online to contribute songs to the album; many of the featured musicians were already esports fans (Fnatic’s artists’ preferred 60-40 revenue share didn’t hurt either. )

“Almost all of my friends in this community, I would classify them as gamers,” said Brandon “Enluv” Hartt, one of the musicians who contributed to the album, who declined to say how much revenue he made from the album. partnership so far. . “A lot of labels in the lo-fi sphere have a Discord community around them, and people often go to chat rooms to play a game.”

Fnatic hopes its label will act both as a funnel to attract new Fnatic fans and as a source of revenue with relatively low overhead. The total budget needed for Fnatic to put together its debut album was less than $2,000, according to Joshua Brill, Fnatic’s head of marketing, who orchestrated the music release. Most of that money was spent on audio mastering and production costs for a animated music video for the album.

According to Brill, the potential streaming revenue for this lo-fi music, which is often played on repeat in stores and public spaces, is in the tens of thousands of dollars. In an esports landscape in which most organizations still rely heavily on brand partnerships to sustain revenue, a lo-fi music label represents an exciting high-margin opportunity.

“There are so many cafe playlists on Spotify, cafe playlists,” he said. “The genre itself has 17-year-old producers earning $50,000 a month from a track.”

The introduction of a music wing into Fnatic’s business also provides the company with valuable potential new inventory for brand partnerships, although Brill said Fnatic intentionally avoided using its debut album for this purpose. “We could have launched this as a BMW Fnatic album if we wanted to,” he said.

Fnatic isn’t the first esports organization to enter the music industry this year; G2 Esports, for example, released a metal song under his own label in January. But Fnatic’s label is a more fully realized wing of the business than G2’s music game, which was essentially a brand activation designed to promote the team’s new jersey design. The effort is led by Brill, a former music industry executive, and Fnatic has partnered with the music platform DashGo serve as a distribution arm.

As companies in the esports industry tighten their belts to prepare for the coming recession, low-cost revenue opportunities like Fnatic Music could be an attractive alternative method for esports organizations to grow their business. audience without having to go too far in the red. For this endeavor to succeed, it is essential that the actual product – the music itself – remain genuinely compelling to current and future Fnatic fans.

“You have so many brands diving into it, and a lot of them feel like a cash grab,” said Marvin Resende, gaming and music partnerships expert and head of cultural brand partnerships at The Defiant. Collective. “In my opinion, when it’s a cash grab, it doesn’t work – and there’s not really a way to make music that connects with people.”

Why a prominent esports organization is starting its own record label

Comments are closed.