A February 2, 2019 in-game event, in which DJ Marshmello played two virtual sets in Fortnite, has set a concurrent-player record for the all-conquering battle royale game.
Epic Games has confirmed that 10.7 million Fortnite players participated in the event, comfortably surpassing the game’s previous record of 8.3 million concurrent players. The move seems to have paid off for Marshmello: Rolling Stone reports that: “Between February 1st and 7th, Marshmello’s weekly YouTube views grew by more than 100 million; his Instagram follower count grew by a million within four days. On Twitter during the day of the concert, he was mentioned over 50,000 times.”
Marshmello’s manager Moe Shalizi told Rolling Stone that gigs like the ones Marshmello played in Fortnite could prove significant for the entire music industry: “I think what Epic are doing is going to be revolutionary for music. People have done [similar events] before, but no one’s ever done it on that kind of a scale, on that level, with the interaction that we saw from the fans.”
With Marshmello skins and Fortnite x Marshmello physical merchandise on sale (and heavily promoted before, during and after the event), it’s fair to say that the DJ enjoyed a pretty substantial pay-day. Sammy Andrew, founder of music marketing agency Deviate Digital, told Rolling Stone: “This idea has had its tyres kicked plenty over the last 20 years, but what’s new here is the sheer level of integration, and the scale of exposure and engagement to a far larger and more receptive audience.”