ITV has launched its flagship reality show The Voice in the metaverse. Here’s what it looks like.
Broadcast television and gaming have crossed over before, from the gaming-based programs like the recently-revived GamesMaster to the licensed mobile games based around successful IPs. A number of console games have also been launched off the back of broadcast IPs.
Each of those endeavors have something in common, however. They all have a proven and demonstrable path to revenue.
Now, however, as brands increasingly take the metaverse seriously as a channel for the expansion of their IP, there are still questions around what success looks like in that space. Typical monetization across the metaverse has been limited to purchasing virtual branded products, or tying it to real-world products.
ITV is trying something different with its extension of flagship reality show The Voice into the metaverse. The partnership with Avakin Live and TikTok will allow users of the platform to perform as an act, a coach or the audience in a replica of The Voice’s format.
Neil Bowler, head of games at ITV, said: “The Voice is one of the best-known TV shows around the world and ITV Studios is thrilled to bring it to a new audience and enter the metaverse with Avakin Life. We see this as a big opportunity to make our brands ‘More Than TV’ and it’s exciting to work with the Lockwood team on this innovative event.”
It builds upon ITV’s previous work in the metaverse, having already recreated the set of The Void in Fortnite Creative earlier this year. At the time, Dan Colton, ITV’s group strategy and transformation director, said that the broadcaster recognized the need to speak to those audiences on new platforms, rather than relying on those tentpole programs to draw them back to the linear channel: “What all businesses have learned – and what we certainly have – is that you can’t move the audience.
“They’re spending more time on their phone, they’re spending more time gaming, they’re spending more time just doing other things. And we need to make sure our IP and our presence is in those places.”
Bowler elaborates: "We are only at the beginning of exploring the potential of the metaverse for TV studios, but what's clear is that entertainment will be an important part of these worlds. So TV companies are in a really interesting place, not only in terms of using our existing IPs but also the opportunity to create new formats for a new audience.
"The Lockwood team have had amazing results with music events in Avakin Life and so as we were talking about which IP to work with the idea of letting people become part of a music event emerged. The Voice is of course ideal for this and is known around the world which is so important for Avakin. We have more plans in the pipeline with Lockwood and the main thing we're looking for from the project is a positive reaction from the Avakin community."
Marja Konttinen, marketing director at Lockwood Publishing, added: “We couldn’t be more excited to offer players of Avakin Life the chance to become part of The Voice. We know how much our audience loves live music – so what’s better than an opportunity to have a go at becoming a star themselves?”
The metaverse execution will be promoted across a number of ITV owned and operated channels to attract a new audience to the medium. A TV ad is going live on ITV in November, in addition to creator partnerships and a showcase of the best user-generated content (UGC) on TikTok.
So while The Voice on Avakin doesn’t necessarily have that direct path to revenue, it is a vital step along the way to ITV growing and monetizing audiences across the metaverse.