hile many adults may still be trying to grasp the concept of a “virtual music star” or “virtual concert”, kids who frequent major game platforms like Roblox are actively, fully immersing themselves in the world of digital stardom.
Thanks to in-game worlds like those developed by Splash, many kids are already equipped with the tools they need to succeed in the modern, ever-developing virtual world. They can create an avatar, produce music, and even put on live shows—all without exiting Roblox.
World developer Splash has raised a $20.8M USD Series A, thanks in part to the spunky virtual influencer and popstar, Kai. Before we dive into what Splash's future may hold, let’s review the details...
What is Splash?
Splash is a world within the Roblox platform that allows players to create and perform their own live music using in-world AI-powered tools. With Splash, fans can create high-quality music easily, then perform that music in live virtual venues for other players online. Any player with access to Roblox can become a virtual star in this up-and-coming music scene by earning fame points from their online performances.
Here’s a blurb from Splash’s site:
“The world of Splash is a stage and YOU are the star. Perform for your friends and other players from around the world, and have your music skills rated. The higher you’re rated, the more Fame Points you earn! Move up the ranks until you get to Legend!
Splash Legends are regularly featured on our socials and have their music played in the game.
Splash is a community of creative young people, connected by their love of gaming, music and music creation.”
Out of all musicians on Splash, one virtual pop star reigns supreme: Kai.
Who is Kai from Splash?
Kai is a 16-year-old game developer for Splash by day; by night, she’s a hit music producer who performs for virtual crowds of more than 100,000 players in her Roblox world. She is an inspiration to the young fans of Splash, who look to Kai as an example of digital stardom—of who they could become. In September, we interviewed Kai to learn more about her journey from game developer to virtual teen star.
“I never dreamed that in just over a year we’d have over 100 MILLION visits to Splash and half a million young people just like me performing live to their friends… Those numbers just blow my mind. I always had a hunch that creative young people needed a place to connect and create and share their work, I just never dreamed that this place would be my game.” — Kai.
Now her in-game stardom has helped Splash's parent company, PopGun, secure $20.8 million in additional funding from Amazon’s Alexa Fund, BITKRAFT Ventures, and more. Talk about virtual influence reaping real-life success...
What's Splash's next step?
Splash is expanding their in-game roster of virtual talent by bringing on two new band members: River and Milo. They recently made their debut alongside Kai in the music video for her new song, “Summer.”
While many virtual influencers are solo productions, adding others alongside them is the key to success. With River and Milo in the mix, Kai’s virtual band has opened a world of opportunity for crafting relationship narratives among each other and telling a rich story online.
“Kai’s popularity in the Splash game has been driven by the community and player preferences for wanting to engage with her. She has been so popular that she has become a key feature of the game. Introducing her band is the natural progression for her fans and enhances her profile in the metaverse.” — Stephen Phillips, founder and CEO of Splash.
Virtual influencers like Kai from Splash command a larger following of younger people than human influencers. Our collaboration with HypeAuditor last year revealed that 14.7% of virtual influencer followers fall between the ages of 13 and 17 years old, more than double that of humans.
What does that mean? Well, if your brand or company is looking to reach the new generation of digital natives, virtual influencers are an answer.
We’re looking forward to tracking what Kai, River, and Milo do next! To stay up to date with all the latest investments, trends, and new players in the virtual influencer industry, subscribe to the Virtual Humans newsletter, The Splice.