The pandemic has sped up how digital look-alikes are reshaping stardom.

The pandemic has upended how musicians interact with their fans in unprecedented fashion. There is no more gathering — in person, at least. So in coordination with technology companies, artists have been trying new things: a Travis Scott concert in Fortnite, a 100 gecs show in Minecraft, a virtual gig by the Weeknd on TikTok.

Emerging companies are also developing ways to connect artists and their fans, including compressing avatars of stars into tiny packages that devotees can include in their own social media posts. In other words, avatars are working harder than ever, and perhaps setting a blueprint for how the pop stars of the future will handle the work of fame, outsourcing some of the labor to digital look-alikes.

On this week’s Popcast, a conversation about how the future of the music industry will and won’t rely on actual musicians.


Alyssa Bereznak, staff writer at The Ringer

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