I'll admit it. I'm a David Guetta fan. "Titanium" featuring Sia is a classic, and his latest hit "I'm Good (Blue)" is an energizing, enjoyable 90s throwback.
But beyond liking his music, I don't know much about the world-famous French producer. So I thought it was super interesting when he recently made headlines for creating a collaboration with Eminem using AI tools, including ChatGPT. This experimental and controversial move (and the excitement in his face in his video) showed me how passionate and tech-savvy Guetta is.
And then I remembered that David Guetta launched a live performance and experience on Roblox a whole year ago in February of 2022. Made by Warner Music Group x Wonder Works Studio, Guetta's DJ Party offered an intergalactic themed music set.
Clearly, Guetta embraces being an early-adopter when it comes to incorporating new tech tools and platforms into making and sharing his music with fans around the world.
Translating a Brand into Roblox UGC Virtual Merchandise
Creating physical merchandise for a world-famous music artist is super straightforward. You slap their photo, name or album artwork on a t-shirt or sweatshirt and call it a day.
But how do you translate an artist (or a brand or IP) into UGC virtual merchandise in a 3D gaming environment like Roblox? Making virtual versions of existing t-shirts just won't cut it.
So you have to get creative by asking yourself questions like "what themes do we want to explore?" and "how can we let fans embody what they love?" It's not at all obvious or intuitive how to do this, especially if you haven't spent hours playing Roblox, buying UGC items or designing them yourself.
In order to share how I appraoch creating and selling branded UGC virtual fashion and merchandise, let's look at how David Guetta did it.
How Can You Tell What Works?
But first, let me quickly let you know how I can tell if an item is successful or not on Roblox. UGC sales figures are available for limited items on Roblox, but the vast majority of items for sale are not limited. Regular items don't show sales figures, but they do have a key indicator of success: favorites.
The way to determine how well an item has performed is by looking at the bottom left-hand corner, where you can find how many favorites it has. The more favorites, the more the item has resonated with Roblox users and sold.
Based on my analysis of UGC items, here's a rough way to gauge success:
Under 500 favorites - bombed
Over 1K favorites - ok
Over 10K - really great
Over 50K - amazing
It's difficult to know precisely how many favorites translate into actual UGC sales, but data I've seen working with my UGC clients points to the correlation being relatively high.
What Does David Guetta Sell on Roblox?
By reviewing the various items that David Guetta sells on Roblox, it's clear that there are several thematic categories of items being offered. Some of the categories are obvious such as music. But there's also the less obvious space category, which was the theme of original Roblox experience.
Be David Guetta
If you're a big David Guetta fan, what better way to show your fandom than to become the man himself? On Roblox, you can do this easily.
A bundle is a collection of several items (body parts) that together form a complete avatar or skin. This offering is a no brainer for both brands and fans. As we've seen with the poopularity of Fortnite skins, fans want to dress up as their favorites heroes, real and imaginary. And they're willing to pay for the ability to do this.
This bundle carries the biggest price tag at 450 Robux (R$), which equates to $1.58. With over 10K favorites, this is also the most popular UGC item Guetta has for sale.
If 50% of the 10,000 people who favorited the item actually bought it, it would generate $7,900 in sales revenue. And if all of those sales came from the Roblox Avatar Shop, 70% would go to Roblox (30% for platforms fees + 40% for seller fees), leaving Guetta with 30% or $2,370. That's not a lot of money, but it is an excellent starting point if Guetta were looking to release more virtual merchandise and find ways to optimize future drops.
Look Like David Guetta
Not ready to go full David Guetta, but still want to channel his look? Well, you can simply buy his hairstyle for your Roblox avatar.
This item only has 1K favorites, which is just ok. I believe this item didn't perform well because it's too generic. Even though it may be David Guetta's hairstyle, there's no indication of that visually. There's no way someone would see your avatar in a random game and say, "Wow, that looks like David Guetta's hair. I should go get that!"
Wear David Guetta's Music Equipment
The next set of items are all built around the theme of music, which makes total sense.
Wear His Turntable
Putting a turntable on your head IRL would definitely lead to headaches and broken equipment. But since the laws of physics don't have to apply in Roblox, wearing a turntable is easy and makes a big statement.
I appreciate the whimsical nature of this concept. But one problem with the item itself is that it's hard to see from straight ahead. It's really only visible from above, which is rarely the vantage point players see each other within games. So basically if you wear this on your avatar's head, it will look like they just have a random dark block on.
Carry His Speakers
Wow, these speakers look massive and powerful. If you were to see Guetta in concert, you'd surely see lots of giant speakers like this blasting his music. Again, I really appreciate the creativity on display here. What's missing for me is some connection with the artist himself. How can I show others I'm a Guetta fan when I wear these?
Embody His Music
So we just reviewed a couple of ways you can carry music equipment. Next are a couple of ways you can WEAR the music. Wait, you can wear music? Well, sort of. You can wear items that show what sounds look like when represented visually.
In the context of David Guetta, these green, yellow and red patterns are recognizable as music sounds. However, I'm guessing that connection might not be clear out in the Roblox ecosystem. They could easily be confused as stoplight-related or just random.
Blast Off Into Outer Space
The theme for the Guetta DJ Party was space, so there are a bunch of random space related items.
Ok, this is where things get weird(er). The music-themed items were already kind of weird already. That's not to say that weird is a bad thing. Weird can also be wonderful and super popular.
I'm not sure if David Guetta is super well known for being all about space or if his fans love space more than others. And clearly these items don't reference the artist at all. But a couple of items have over 5,000 favorites. Why is that? It's likely because they stand out in a very compelling way on their own. So people probably bought them because they thought they were cool and would make their avatar look cool, not because it showed off their Guetta fandom.
While these items probably generated only a few thousand dollars in revenue, I think they show that there's an appetite for this artist and these themes on Roblox. If I were advising Warner Bros Music / David Guetta, I'd recommend that they release several more drops, leaning into the things that worked best: being David Guetta and big and bold space-themed accessories.
I'd also like to see them try out creating more music equipment that carried the David Guetta logo on them.
By iterating along the way, Guetta would be able to collect valuable feedback that can be used to improve subsequent releases. And with smart experimentation (including driving sales through his own experience), he could potentially unlock more meaningful revenue.
If you're interested launching branded UGC virtual fashion and merchandise in Roblox but need help figuring out what to do, please drop me an email at email@example.com.
Stephen Dypiangco is the CEO of Metaverse Marcom, a strategy and consulting firm helping entertainment and sports brands enter the metaverse.