Enhancing the music experience through Virtual Reality
Updated: Jan 29
For many, the idea of virtual reality is still a wild fantasy. But it’s not just a future sci-fi dream. VR is already here and we’re seeing more and more people adopt it as the next logical step in how we digest information - also because consumers keep looking for more immersive and interactive experiences.
The music industry has been one of the early adopters of VR with incredible results, so let's take a look at some ways that VR can impact musicians' life, streaming services and more!
The Future of Streaming with VR
There’s a lot of hype around VR in the music industry, and it’s not hard to see why. At the moment, the easiest way to experience VR is through your phone. Streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music have already started experimenting with VR headsets.
By using a VR headset, you can easily stream countless hours of music without stopping. For example, if you were listening on Spotify and wanted to take a break from a specific artist or style, you would have to stop streaming and start browsing around again on Spotify. On a VR headset, you could seamlessly switch between artists or genres without exiting the app.
The future of streaming is one of endless possibilities in both audio and visual content as well as immersive experiences that will take us beyond what we consider 'normal life'.
VR and the Music Industry
One of VR’s most promising use cases is in live concert streaming. It’s a great way to give fans access to concerts that they may not be able to attend otherwise.
VR can also help bands with crowdfunding, which VR companies like Indiegogo have already made a focus for their campaigns.
A great example of VR experience was back in 2015, when U2 and Apple Music launched the first VR Music Video through the “Experience Bus”. Through an Oculus Rift and headphones, participants could watch the VR music video, a visual interpretation of U2’s “Song for Someone, directly on stage with U2 and then move to other locations around the world.
How VR Helps Musicians and Bands
VR has the potential to be a game changer for musicians and bands. Whether it’s using VR to create immersive music videos or playing gigs in virtual reality, there are plenty of ways that musicians can use VR to their advantage.
For example, while on tour, musicians could film a VR concert video as they play a show, which fans could then watch at home. Or, if you’re working on your newest album, you could use VR to demo different arrangements and mixers before finalizing anything.
But the possibilities don’t stop there! Musicians may also be able to take advantage of crowdfunding platforms like Patreon by creating private “shows” for subscribers. This way, artists would make more money from their work and fans would feel like they have a more personal connection with the artist as well.
And this is just the start. There are plenty of other ways that musicians can take advantage of VR technology in order to build stronger connections with fans.
How VR Can Impact the Music Industry
The music industry has been one of the early adopters of VR with incredible results. The ability to experience new music in virtual reality adds an exciting dimension to the listening experience. It's much more than simply hearing songs. It becomes a visual and emotional experience that can't be replicated in any other way.
Also on YouTube some popular artists, like The Weeknd feat. Eminem, Gorillaz or Travis Scott started to share 360° videos to create immersive experiences with their fans.
The Weeknd - The Hills remix feat. Eminem ( A Virtual Reality Experience)
Gorillaz - Saturnz Barz (Spirit House) 360°
360° Travis Scott Astronomical Fortnite Concert in VR | Live Music Event 2020
Think about the impact also in terms of money: a live-stream concert with a VR headset could be sold to thousands or even millions of people. For example, instead of selling a small quantity of front row tickets, extra front row VR tickets could be provided at a cheaper price, resulting in additional revenues.
Something that is also in line with the current social distancing orders.
Also music production could be impacted with VR technology and change completely the way music is made. Instead of buying expensive music gear, a VR program could recreate the experience with a virtual recording studio. An example of this is the Korg GADGET-VR, a music production software which will allow you to create music using virtual reality.
Korg Gadget VR - First look
Virtual reality and immersive tech are becoming more and more popular and as they evolve they will disrupt the way musicians and bands make a living. Streaming music has already changed the landscape, and VR is a logical next step.
Clearly, VR technology provides artists with a unique and interactive way to share their content with fans who can live a fully immersive music experience from their bedrooms. Virtual reality is likely to impact the way new music is created and represents a great opportunity for musicians to gain extra money.
Question time: how can musicians and bands adapt to this new environment?
Let me know in the comments!