Multiple virtual reality initiatives have hit the market in the past decade, with some explicitly targeting VR music and the music industry.
As many of these technologies are still in their beta form, it is hard to imagine the extent of change that they may encourage in the music industry. From VR music to the Metaverse and AI in music, there are lots of impacts happening in everything from how music is created to how it is performed and released.
As the barrier to entry becomes less expensive, we are expecting major changes in the industry. Brands are already experimenting with new ways to present their product, using virtual reality as an important communication tool.
Here are 6 ways VR music and virtual reality is pushing music forward in a big way and delivering experiences unlike any other.
VR Is Changing The Way That Live Music is Presented
Some brands such as Coachella are already experimenting with VR technologies meant to enhance the live concert experience.
For a premium, imagine being able to enjoy concerts from your favourite artists but while remaining in the comfort of your own home. For a festival like Coachella, this can mean additional ticket sales from those who may not be able to make the long-distance trip to the festival grounds.
VR live music shows are typically shot through multiple 360-degree cameras placed at specific vantage points. These images are then blended and a user can jump through the different lenses without any discernible visual effect. It is just like actually being at the front of the stage watching your favorite artist deliver their tracks.
For artists, virtual reality could be a way to bring a user on stage with them or to collaborate with them in a highly realistic setting.
There are multiple ways users can be actively engaged in live shows via VR tech and as live music tickets continue to increase in price, in addition to the lack of affordability of live touring, this could potentially provide a new method to generate more income.
VR Music May Be Capable Of Altering The Album Format
There are artists, such as Beyonce, who continue to praise and use the album format to deliver supremely high-quality material. For many others though, the ‘album’ may feel a bit dated as the go-to listening experience. Imagine how virtual reality and AI may be able to alter how one consumes an artist’s album recordings.
With VR tech, you can provide an entire world to walk around in. A top-to-bottom interactive world when listening to the album.
Big-budget artists could use VR music technology to re-interpret and re-invent the format.
Why such an approach might still be decades away is that the price point for VR tech has not lowered anywhere near where it needs to be to make this an accessible and popular way to distribute content. When or if VR music does catch on in the marketplace, however, this could mean very positive changes ahead for major-label musicians.
VR In Recorded Music Videos, i.e. The Weeknd “The Hills” Remix feat. Eminem
A few years ago, the concept of a VR 360 music video was very popular.
Artists like Marshmello and The Weeknd produced layered 360-degree VR music videos, such as “The Hills”, that allow a user to move around, explore the details, and essentially edit together their own angles and perspectives.
Add to that CGI effects which are becoming more affordable and, pre-pandemic, it felt like there was a lot of momentum behind virtual reality music videos.
While that momentum has not completely gone away, unfortunately, VR music hasn’t quite progressed and become as common as some may have hoped. Even so, immersion is a key tenant of music both in consumption and with the experience of listening to it. Virtual reality may not be a dead idea on this point just yet.
More Interactive Music-Making With Remote VR Music Learning
VR tech could change the way that music lessons are given and how novice music producers learn their craft. For example, PianoVision is an augmented reality music app that uses advanced hand-tracking technology to mimic piano learning in a virtual reality setting.
There are so many opportunities to create more interactive, fun spaces in which to share music, i.e. VRTIFY. Here we have today’s major VR music platform where users can enhance their favorite music simultaneously while browsing VR worlds, exploring 360 music videos, accessing Spotify playlists while going through VR experiences, and more.
Though traditionalists may continue to hold onto the idea that music is purely auditory, and though there may be truth to that in some genres, mainstream audiences want more, and platforms like VRTIFY are delivering it.
Years ago, ‘more’ was video.
Today it is video-on-demand, Spotify playlists, and access to the influencer culture of music, among so much more.
Years from now, it very well might be a more interactive, immersive experience that is only possible through virtual reality.
Are You Ready For VR Music, VR Concerts, & Virtual Reality Meet-And-Greets?
Today’s version of VR music and VR tech in music may seem basic and uninteresting to some, however, the future of the music business is continuing to evolve with technology in new, exciting ways.
VR tech in music can serve multiple purposes, helping to sustain the existing popularity of artists and bring in new audiences to developing brands as well. It’s also a lot cheaper to use to connect with fans. There’s no manpower, equipment, or time spent setting up a stage and prepping a live show. VR live concerts, virtual reality music, and augmented reality environments also allow an artist to reach more people. No limits!
Even older rock bands unsure about where they fit in the analog v. digital conversation can use VR as a tool to deliver concerts without having to tour or arrange meet-and-greets in interactive, realistic virtual settings.
There is a lot of tech sort of up in the air right now in the music industry. VR. AR. AI. The Metaverse. No one knows where music is ultimately going to fall but the progression through these different tech developments is absolutely fostering a change and producing new exciting ways to consume music in a modern way.