Fresh from launching a compilation album with gaming star Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins, Capitol Music Group is now building a studio in its Los Angeles HQ to help musicians follow in his game-streaming footsteps.

“Because we know our artists have an affinity to game, we’re going to build out a streaming studio at Capitol Records in Hollywood. It’s going to be designed by the same people who designed Ninja’s home studio: so a state-of-the-art facility for our artists to come in and game,” said Josh Remsberg, Capitol’s VP of business development, speaking at the Midem conference this month in a panel moderated by Music Ally.

“We want to create a space that will allow our artists to express themselves, and be in Capitol even longer… If we present them a studio facility, they’ll come and stay in the building longer, which means we have access longer: we can get more interviews, and on the heels of that also create content that while it’s tied to music, doesn’t directly have music in it, because a lot of the live-streaming partners – Twitch, Caffeine and others – they don’t have the licensing deals in place for us yet.”

Remsberg continued: “The fact that we have executive buy-in to create a gaming studio at a traditional record label that last year celebrated 75 years, is quite impressive and exciting I think: not just for us internally, but also for our talent that we represent.” He also talked about how the ‘Ninjawerks’ compilation performed for Capitol after its release in mid-December 2018. The album featured tracks by dance artists including Tiesto, Alesso, Tycho and Kaskade, and was released by Capitol sub-label Astralwerks.

“It’s a complicated answer. As far as traditional record label KPIs are concerned – album sales or consumption – I would say that the ‘Ninjawerks’ consumption has been modest. That said, this was an experiment,” he said. “We saw an opportunity to engage a highly-engaged demo. If you ever look at Twitch and look at the chat on any of the top streamers, it goes absolutely crazy with emotes and everything else going on in the chat. You can’t keep up! So we saw an opportunity to engage with a highly-engaged demographic that I think, notoriously, the music business hasn’t done the best job of probably targeting,” he added.

“The conversations that have resulted because of ‘Ninjawerks’ have absolutely been a success, and I think are really exciting on where we’re taking this further. We’re now talking with developers and [esports] teams and conferences, and trying to find ways to insert our artists – the right artists – to be involved… That was the whole point of getting our foot in the door with ‘Ninjawerks’, and we’re still constantly talking with Ninja and seeing what’s next.

You can watch the full panel featuring Remsberg, as well as Napster’s Venesa Hoffman and FUGA’s Pieter Van Rijn, on Midem’s YouTube channel: it takes a deeper look at how the music and esports/gaming worlds can work together.

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