Updated: Oct 20
Photo Credit to this link Article by Megan Vineberg and Sheila Lim
WHO IS AMANOTES AND WHAT SETS THEM APART?
Surpassing 1 billion downloads in the App Store and Google Play, Amanotes is soon to be the leading company in the combination of music and game play. We can see it already! Founded by Bill Vo Tuan Binh and Silver Nguyen in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in 2014, it has expanded into the Spotify of the gaming user experience. Their slogan is “Everyone can music,” and they mean it. Leading the demographic and market reach is the United States at 15%, followed by Brazil, United Kingdom, France, and Mexico.
When Sheila and I sat down with Amanotes rep Ha Michelle Nguyen for an interview, our interest was piqued. We were surprised to learn that Amanotes had attracted the attention of major U.S. record labels and publishing companies including Universal Music Publishing Group, and Sony and Warner Music Group back in 2017. No big deal, just the three majors! Things took off pretty steadily from there. Amanotes amassed a team of 210 employees from the ground up. This is music to our ears! Here at Borderless Melodies, we run a tight ship, employing a diverse team from all over the world. We aim to bridge the cultural gap, and bring as much support to our favorite artists as possible. Hey, maybe we even teach you a thing or two. That is exactly what Amanotes sets out to do.
Although listed as a gaming publisher, they are not married to the idea of one functionality at all. Amanotes would like their demographic to reach even those in their 50s, 60s, 70s, targeting those who are new to gaming. With the spotlight on them, Amanotes has been enjoying high retention rates. It’s all fun and games now but their hope in the future is to improve user experience even more, utilizing music education and music simulation to their advantage. They’re adding value through education in a way that is enjoyable, and does not feel overwhelming. This complements Monstercat, whose Uncaged Origins show provides a new kind of audiovisual experience, and it’s completely in line with Amanotes’ vision.
In the same vein as Borderless Melodies, Amanotes aims to bring artists out of the woodwork, and into the mainstream where they can touch the hearts of listeners everywhere, and listeners can be taken on a global journey they wouldn’t otherwise experience. Utada Hikaru’s “Simple and Clean” heard in the Kingdom Hearts franchise intro, is something I never would have heard before if it wasn’t for the gaming publisher. Fans of Kingdom Heart likely know who I’m referring to. On the off-chance you are not, Hikaru is a Japanese pop (J-pop) musician who happened to be born right where it all started for us. Of course, New York being our home base, we have a soft spot for it! A lot of the artists that we come across are not as fortunate to have the connections that Hikaru does, however, and it presents a unique challenge getting any art exposure from overseas.
AMANOTES AND MONSTERCAT PARTNERSHIP
Jumping forward to October 8th of this year, Monstercat, one of electronic music’s most influential independent record labels, will have their artists’ music playable within the mobile gaming landscape. Through their recent partnership with Amanotes, the powerhouse in mobile music games such as Magic Tiles 3, Tiles Hop and Dancing Road, Monstercat songs will be available in more than 30 Amanotes apps. This sensational music gaming experience seeks to introduce mass audiences to a diverse EDM collection through hyper casual mobile games.
This partnership is not the first for Amanotes as they offer users an extensive portfolio of music-centric games. Their previous partnerships with DJ TheFatRat, and YG Entertainment have proven that great music is key to creating memorable and long lasting mobile rhythm games, where music is not just playing in the background but instead functions as the main mechanism for their application.
MONSTERCAT AND THEIR VISION OF BUILDING AN INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY
Named one of the Top Electronic Labels of the Decade by Dancing Astronaut in 2019 and Best Independent Dance label by Billboard in 2018, Monstercat started as an independent electronic label based out of Vancouver, Canada. Founded in 2011 by Mike Darlington and Ari Paunonen, Monstercat prides themselves on bringing up underground artists into the speakers of music lovers everywhere. Releases were scheduled for once every three weeks, whereas now the amount has tripled to include as many as four releases per week.
In the name of drawing artists closer to fans and building a loving community, Monstercat has the support of dedicated fans globally. The Vancouver-based label has a solid roster of artists that continues to expand. They empower creativity in their artists from publishing to merchandising. Even live events are something that they allow their artists to have creative freedom with. This strategic partnership, not only exposes Monstercat fans to the world of hyper-casual mobile games but fans who are into mobile gaming would also be inclined to know more about the music that is used in the apps.
AMANOTES SYNC LICENSING
Many of the competitor apps similar to Amanotes make use of an artist’s music in their content without proper licensing. Amanotes makes it a point to obtain ethical standards. They update their servers with anywhere from 200-3000 new songs every week providing maximum exposure to lesser-known artists. Ultimately, the goal is to expand Amanotes into a simulation app that you can virtually play, be it launchpad, guitar, or piano--they have it all. With virtual festivals and drive-in concerts trending in the music industry, it’s no surprise that this development came about. Monstercat is changing the way the gaming industry finds their backing tracks. Avid gamers may recognize Rocket League, and Fortnite, who have partnered with the label.
MUSIC X TECHNOLOGY X GAMING - WHAT’S IN THE FUTURE?
The music and gaming ecosystem in the virtual space has been evidently growing. With all that’s gone on in the world wrecking havoc in the global live music industry and thousands of events being cancelled, labels and artists themselves are actively sourcing new platforms to connect with fans. More often than not, we are interacting online more frequently during this period. This makes the interaction between music and technology more centralised. Thus, we’re seeing more people consume music and in a different way. From witnessing American pop star Ava Max hold a virtual fan meet for her latest album launch in gaming platform Roblox to the Weeknd performing a Tik Tok exclusive show using CGI animation, to the magical “Around The World” digital stream for Tomorrowland 2020, these events push all boundaries of the traditional live concert and creating something never seen before. The confluence of music, technology and gaming holds so much potential for the global audience and music fans.
Furthermore, when it comes to using music in video games, the creativity lies in the player experience. The way selected segments of the music would play through the different levels of the game enhance the loops used and the feeling of triumph that locks in the player’s attention. Although subtle, music within these spaces allow players to immerse themselves in the experience of gaming as if escaping reality. It makes it interactive and involves more than just passive listening because of the fast pace and heightened emotion.
While there is a lot of emergence in the technology that goes behind these developments, the localisation of music used with each market is critical when it comes to reaching the right audiences. No two markets are similar when it comes to fan engagement and the tailoring of content (or music in this case) becomes key. For markets such as Thailand, Latin America and Vietnam, having localised music that caters to the native market in the original language is essential to boost user interactivity and personalised game experience.
All in all, this strategic partnership between Monstercat and Amanotes is a win-win for both the gaming and music world – it demystifies and opens up new audience demographics for all communities. As is in our name itself, Borderless Melodies shares the belief that music is not limited by borders. The way artists connect with fans and how music is made more accessible will only continue to innovate and we are stoked for more partnerships to emerge in time to come.