Sunnier Side Of The Home Office – April 29, 2020

"I think he has to work a little bit on the Brooklyn accent." 

- Dr. Fauci on Brad Pitt's impression of him on Saturday Night Live 

Astronomical Numbers
By: Joe Cole

The Travis Scott Astronomical concert tour on Fortnite pulled in 27.7M participants over 5 events. For comparison, Lady Gaga's Together At Home concert that aired across multiple channels and featured many guest acts garnered only 20.7M US viewers

Travis Scott is one of the biggest musical artists in a genre that has surpassed rock as the most popular genre in the US. In 2019, the young rapper wove a global tour through headlining appearances at festivals all over the world, culminating in his own 50,000-person event Astroworld in Houston. This year promised the few heights he had yet to achieve — he was slated as one of the headlining acts on the original 2020 Coachella lineup. 

While Fortnite is no longer the juggernaut it was in 2018, the game still pulled in $1.8B in revenue last year and is still one of the top overall games even as newer battle royale games steal overall players and audience share on Twitch. Besides the actual feat of pulling in millions of people and generating billions of impressions, the real story is that parent company Epic Games has managed to deliver a fully immersive experience to a global populace mostly stuck at home. Consumers' entertainment wants and desires evolve in near real-time; Disney+ seeing record subscribers and Animal Crossing being sold out everywhere is a testament to that. 

From small venues to big festivals to the hundreds of thousands of people who worked within the music scene as bartenders, crew, small business owners, and as artists themselves, the music industry has been hit perhaps harder than any other. Astronomical Tour stands as a proof of concept in the center of the venn diagram between video games and modern music culture. We are liable to see more iterations of this on a smaller scale as other artists explore new ways to reach fans and generate revenue streams. Stay tuned.

Read Kelsey's review of the concert below. 

Dabbing in Astroworld: One Adult’s Unforgettable Fortnite Concert Foray
By: Kelsey Wilkins

It’s been a few months since I dusted off the ol’ PS4 controller, but after hearing all the kids say the Fortnite x Travis Scott in-game concert was “hella lit” I decided to see what all the fuss was about. 

I logged on with my fellow coworker, Greggy (aka “Lil_Sharty”), who was decked out in a special edition Astroworld avatar skin he purchased in-game. Suddenly, our weapons were disbanded, and a massive rainbow astroid took over the sky. The 10 minutes of pure psychedelia that followed forever changed me. 

From headbanging with a gargantuan Travis Scott to teleporting underwater, and catapulting into space, each song was a stunning visual sequence only imaginable on a virtual platform, which is exactly what made the experience so euphorically eye-popping. I was legitimately sad when I returned to the real world with only memories and a flaming microphone emote.

There were 5 global shows spanning several time zones. After each concert, limited-edition merchandise like tour t-shirts and Fortnite Nerf Guns was released online and sold out in minutes. Travis Scott even debuted a new single, first heard in the game. On the first night alone, Epic Games said 12.3 million concurrent players participated – a new record for the game. 

As we're all home during this pandemic, more platforms deviate from traditional formats to bolster live experiences. Fortnite will be the new one to beat. Until then, I’ll be a full-grown adult chillin’ in my fictional concert t-shirt, absolutely obliterating tweens half my age with cartoon bazookas.

Leaning into Nostalgia For New Content
By: Sergio Saucedo

Nostalgia can be a powerful strategy when it comes to content, especially for a society obsessed with the past. This is especially true for sports. With sports on hold for the foreseeable future across the globe, fans are anxiously leaning on sports networks to help fill the void.

With the lack of sporting events to air, networks like ESPN have had to get crafty with the type of content they are showing, with most of them relying on the past. Some are finding success with new content focused on notable players, airing reruns of pivotal games throughout history, and offering never before seen behind-the-scenes content. 

One of the most notable examples is “The Last Dance” the 10-part Michael Jordan documentary series. The nostalgic series has already driven the largest viewership for any ESPN original program. ESPN is looking to expand this success into other sports as well, prompting them to announce a telecast focused on Derek Jeter set to air in mid-May.

By telling an old story, but by adding new interviews, commentary, or further reflection ESPN is showing how any story can become new again. Offering a fresh perspective even if it’s a topic that has been debated for 20+ years, can go a long way for your fans and your results.

On this day in 1967, Aretha Franklin released her single "Respect". If you need to smile, watch this video