MTV Introduces VMAs Metaverse Performance Category

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is dot.LA's 2022/23 Editorial Fellow. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

Virtual Justin Bieber under a galaxy-colored sky.
Courtesy of Wave

If video killed the radio star, maybe the metaverse can create a new kind of star.

MTV’s Video Music Awards, airing in August, will introduce the new Best Metaverse Performance category. Nominees include Ariana Grande, Blackpink, BTS, Charli XCX, Justin Bieber and Twenty One Pilots. The new category, which defines a metaverse performance as digital artists performing for a digital crowd within a digital space, shows that the virtual stage has become integral to the music industry.


The Los Angeles-based entertainment technology company Waveproduced Bieber’s “interactive virtual experience,” which featured his digital avatar performing for fans who could chat with one another and send emoji reactions. Bieber had previously invested in the company. The other Metaverse Performance nominees performed in video games, with Roblox, Fortnite, Minecraft/YouTube and PUBG Mobile providing space for digital concerts.

The metaverse has quickly crept into awards shows. Earlier in 2022, Lizzo performed at the first metaverse awards show, Song Breaker Awards hosted on Roblox. Additionally, the Recording Academy planned a whole week’s worth of virtual events in the lead-up to the 64th Grammy Awards, including a virtual performance by Camilo. Other industries are also integrating digital elements, with The Game Awards letting fans attend a virtual red carpet and The Fashion Awards introducing an award for metaverse design.

As COVID-19 remains a concern and traditional concert ticket prices skyrocket, a number of Los Angeles startups are betting that virtual concerts are here to stay. Megan Thee Stallion produced her virtual concert tour “Enter Thee Hottieverse” with virtual reality startup AmazeVR, a West Hollywood-based company that recently took its efforts global through a partnership with South Korean entertainment company SM Entertainment. Rapper Kid Cudi co-founded Encore, an app meant to bring live performances to fans’ phones.

Virtual concerts took off during the pandemic, and the music industry seems to have committed to the idea. Warner Music Group partnered with Wave in 2021 to develop avatars and NFTs for its artists, and earlier this year, Snapchat teamed with Universal Pictures to bring Jennifer Lopez’s Bitmoji to the virtual stage.

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Cadence

The Streamys Reveals The Disconnect Between Online Creators and Traditional Media

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is dot.LA's 2022/23 Editorial Fellow. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

tiktok influencers around a trophy ​
Andria Moore /Charli D'Amelio/Addison Rae/JiDion

Every year, the Streamy Awards, which is considered the top award show within the creator economy, reveals which creators are capturing the largest audiences. This past Sunday, the event, held at The Beverly Hilton, highlighted some of the biggest names in the influencer game, chief among them Mr. Beast and Charli D’Amelio. It had all the trappings of a traditional award show—extravagant gowns, quippy acceptance speeches and musical interludes. But, as TikTok creator Adam Rose told The Washington Post, the Streamys still lacks the legitimacy of traditional award shows.

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Slingshot Aerospace Is Expanding Its Network of Telescopes To Make Tracking Data Even More Accurate

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Slingshot Aerospace Is Expanding Its Network of Telescopes To Make Tracking Data Even More Accurate
Photo: Slingshot Aerospace

Slingshot Aerospace, the El Segundo-based startup developing software for managing objects in space’s orbit, raised $40.9 million to build out its global network of sensors and recruit new customers both private and public.

The round was a follow-on to Slingshot’s $25 million Series A-1 raise in March.

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Can EV Charging Companies Survive Without Multiple Revenue Streams?

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

charging station
Blink Charging

It ain’t easy being a charging company…or at least a lot of them aren’t making it look easy. Between reports of abysmal charger uptime, declining stock values, lack of standards and meaningless jargon (is “hyper” really faster than “ultra?”), the race to electrify America’s roads has been a bumpy one. For Miami-based Blink Charging, however, the solution to smoothing the transition may be about becoming more than just a charger company.

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