iHeartMedia’s expansion into the metaverse continues with the launch of iHeartLand in the online video game Fortnite, which the audio giant says combines gameplay, events, programming, and one-of-a-kind fan experiences. The debut of iHeartLand comes on the heels of iHeartMedia’s metaverse naming rights partnership with State Farm, which was announced earlier this summer. iHeartLand and the new State Farm Park, which was built as a first-of-its-kind “outdoor” venue, are now available in Fortnite. More metaverse integrations are expected to be announced soon.
“Our goal is to meet audiences where they are – delivering innovative, incredible programming to constantly challenge ourselves to take entertainment to the next level. iHeartLand will feature a full calendar of music and podcast performances at State Farm Park that give fans a chance to play and interact with shows and artists in awesome new ways,” Conal Byrne, CEO of the iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group said in a release. “From interactive performances and intimate backstories to immersive gameplay, native to the platform – this new world allows us to extend the reach of today’s biggest creators, artists, and personalities in groundbreaking ways, and is a big next step for iHeartMedia in expanding our engagement with our users.”
The launch will kick off with a special two-part performance by singer-songwriter Charlie Puth. The superstar’s first concert in the metaverse will be held on Sept. 9 at 7pm (ET) inside Fortnite at iHeartLand’s State Farm Park. The concert will be followed by an album release party with new music performed for the first time to mark his upcoming album “Charlie,” which will be released on Oct. 7. Puth will also host an interactive game designed to test fan knowledge leading up to his shows inside iHeartLand.
“I’m so excited to enter the metaverse for the first time in partnership with iHeartRadio and check out all iHeartLand has to offer. It’s really important to me to connect with my fans in new ways and it’ll be a blast to all come together and have some fun,” Puth remarked. “I couldn’t be happier to share this with iHeart and the fans who have been part of some of the most memorable moments in my career.”
Over the next year, the broadcaster says State Farm Park in iHeartLand will host 20 major events across the music and podcasting space including unique artist-fan experiences that can be unlocked through gameplay.
In true Fortnite fashion, iHeartLand will be dynamic, the company says, developing a story of its own; undergoing periodic changes and refreshes; and periodically introducing new minigames.
The minigames that are available now include “Cranking 90s,” “Speed of Sound,” “Color Switch: Mic Drop,” and “Leap of Faith.”
iHeartLand also includes the iHeart Headquarters, where players can head inside the iHeart building to view a small-scale overhead map of the island to find their way throughout iHeartLand, a broadcast recording studio, and iHeart’s famed radio Tuning Tunnel which is located in the company’s New York City headquarters.
"What iHeartMedia and the team at Atlas Creative have created is a compelling look at a future of Fortnite where artists and brands can independently and authentically connect with fans in new and persistent ways at scale,” Matthew Henick, VP, Metaverse Development for Epic Games added. “We can’t wait for players to experience all of the incredibly ambitious content that iHeartLand has planned in the coming months.”