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November 19, 2021

Justin Bieber is the latest pop star to announce a concert in the metaverse, partnering with virtual entertainment company Wave, amid a boom in interactive virtual concert popularity that began with Epic Games’ “Fortnite.”

“Fortnite” broke ground with the idea of a virtual concert in 2019 with its first collaboration with EDM artist Marshmello, which was reportedly viewed by 10.7 million people. Travis Scott grossed from his “Fortnite” collaboration with the company in 2020, including merchandise sales, a source told Forbes. Ariana Grande had a spike in streams of her songs “R.E.M.” and “Be Alright” following her concert in August.

Travis Scott broke Marshmello’s record with 12.3 million views on the first night of his virtual concert in “Fortnite.” Due to its popularity, “Fortnite” launched a “Soundwave Series” in September, allowing artists from around the world, like Egyptian singer Mohamed Hamaki, to create their own virtual experiences. Following “Fortnite’s” success, other companies like Pokémon have followed suit, creating a virtual concert for its anniversary event with rapper Post Malone in February, allowing viewers to see an avatar of the star interacting with Pokémon.

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