Epic games say their registered player count has ticked over 350 million, with over ~12million tuning into their recent live concerts and players spending 3.2 billion hours in gameplay.

With that many eyeballs, how is Fortnite gearing up to become the greatest weapon in music social strategy?

What is Fortnite Party Royal?

Party Royale is Epic games’ recent line of live events, creating a virtual meet-up where artists perform live to players across the globe. Rise at Seven recently analysed Travis Scott’s virtual performance, where he gained over 1 million Instagram followers, earned over £200,000 in Spotify plays, and drove a 419% increase to his concert ticket page.

Following Travis Scott’s incredibly successful event, Epic launched a digital festival, enlisting Dillion Francis, Steve Aoki and Deadmau5. The event was streamed live Friday 8th May 9PM EDT (2AM Saturday GMT), with no ticket needed and party favours to rival weddings.

Who was the most popular artist on the night?

Let’s get to the good stuff!We took a look at worldwide Google Trends, breaking down searches in the hours around the event. Deadmau5 was by far the most popular artist, showing a 567% increase in the early hours, as well as keeping the crowd going as the night went on.

The interesting thing about this is that Deadmau5 came into the event second place in fanbase size, with 17.2million fans across platforms. With Dillion having 14.8million and Steve’s whopping 27.8million, Deadmau5 still held a solid search ground.

Deadmau5 didn’t run away with it though - it’s one thing peeking interest and it’s another retaining fans after the event. Comparing pre- (7th May) to Post-event (9th May), Steve Aoki gained 56,024 fans, Deadmau5 32,185 and Dillion Francis 24,926. These are numbers most social campaigns could only dream of!

Which platform gave the most return?

The graph below shows where each artist’s fanbase growth occurred. Showing where they should focus their efforts when releasing new music and building a larger, more diverse fanbase. Notice how each artist resonates with fans and performs better on certain platforms, we’ll talk about that later.

With the artists seeing a total fanbase growth of 113,135, we took a look at which platform each artist gained the most from. Instagram was a clear winner for everyone contributing 48,363 fans, followed by Youtube contributing ~30,000. Interestingly, Steve Aoki killed it on TikTok gaining 28,620 fans on that platform alone.

With Coronavirus restrictions not set to go anywhere anytime soon, friends are unable to meet physically and are turning to digital platforms to socialise and hangout. What Epic has done is simply provide their audience with a means of escapism, a place to carry out the ordinary in extraordinary times, and their fans love it.

This type of online consumer now provides an opportunity for marketers, with ad spend tumbling globally it falls to us to create new experiences and opportunities for growth. With platforms like TikTok reaching 2 billion downloads (Tech Crunch) and artists like Drake releasing music specifically targeted at this audience, the music-social-synergy has already begun.

How can music marketers use more creative strategies to drive wider engagement?

I know we hear it all the time but we need to understand where our audience is, this is something that can save us thousands by focusing our efforts. Take Steve Aoki, ~30% of his fanbase prior to the event were on Instagram and Facebook. So naturally, we would specifically target these platforms for his upcoming events. Take a closer look, of his fanbase growth across the event 51% of them came from TikTok alone, with a further 28% on Instagram. Not only does this immediately tell me how his fans interact with his music, dance challenges and live stories, but it also presents an opportunity for audience retention by keeping them in the space they naturally exist - allowing authentic interactions.

Now more than ever there’s no space for “this is how we’ve always done it’, it’s a time for creativity and thinking out of the box you were already thinking outside of. Follow your fans and be creative, because they’ll love you for it and support you when you need it most.

Epic has positioned Fortnite as more than just a game with this event - it’s a digital playground, a creative haven and a “second life” in a time where outdoors is inaccessible.

If want to explore more of this data please grab me on twitter

Special thanks to the team at Soundcharts