VR in the Music industry? Looks like we can’t avoid it.

VR in the Music industry? Looks like we can’t avoid it.

VR in the Music industry? Looks like we can’t avoid it.

It is truly unavoidable to notice how VR is being implemented everywhere. Yes, everywhere. And it looks like the music industry will have its take on it as well. But what would it look like?

 

The concept of Virtual Reality is becoming more common on the discussion tables and is definitely something researchers are willing to invest in, both time and money. The use of technology to create an imagined sphere, or ‘reality’, has sparked an immersive attention. Whether it is running away from dinosaurs, or fighting aliens – we have experienced it all. But would virtual reality in music look like?

 

Technology affects every industry, whether we want it or not (this is a different issue!) – and particularly creative industries. Traditionally, music as a form of art had its reformation both from business and creative viewpoints. Most would agree that Spotify has reshaped our daily routines with ‘Discover Weekly’ being our preference rather than turning on the radio. This, in some respect, creates a different reality – a digital bubble.

 

Same will follow for VR. It would become common to experience a live event through VR headsets. Well, this is something we can do already with preprogramed concert footage. However, imagine being unable to see your favourite band live due to sold out event? Right now, Youtube is your best shot, where you see videos uploaded by fans the next morning. However, imagine, paying a bit less than a concert ticket, but ‘virtually’ attending a gig by just simply putting a headset on? This idea has been advocated by Universal Music for the past few years, where they attempted to implement Virtual Reality experience during Avenged Sevenfold’s live set. The fans were able to freely download VRTGO, VR platform developed by VRLIVE. This is definitely, a new step in music experience, whether we approve of this or not. The biggest concerns do align with ethics and societal transformation, as well as the music industry’s business model.

 

It is great to experience in practice something extraordinary like VR; however, the music industry professionals need to acknowledge the shift it would bring and potential challenges that might be faced from a social standpoint. The reorganisation of the live event industry would follow with the shift in sales, streaming, merchandise, etc. But most importantly, it is compelling to analyse whether the new reality is actually something people would want to replace with ‘true reality’. You would rather queue outside the venue and take part in the mosh pitting, right? These are definitely some of the considerations that need a thorough examination; although, looking at how music has followed the trend of implementing innovative technologies, VR is definitely something to look out for in the near future!

 

Kseniya Zinchenko