As I have mentioned time and time again, content is the key which will drive virtual reality adoption into homes around the globe. While hardware is important, it’s the software, games and experiences which seem to be lacking from the space in the early going. This, however, won’t be the case for much longed, especially after today’s news of two major partnerships within the VR content space.
We’ve all known it was coming sooner or later; live concerts and performances filmed in a 360-degree, VR-compatible format, allowing viewers to step into the action and immerse themselves in the actual events. Live Nation, a company focussing on concert promotion and a subsidiary of Live Nation Entertainment, has today announced two important partnerships which will allow for the streaming of live concerts as well as special musical performances and behind the scenes exclusives in virtual reality.
The first, and likely larger of the two partnerships, involves Hulu, who launched their VR application back in March. Working with Live Nation, Hulu will make new VR content available to their users, providing them with virtual back stage passes to hang out with their favorite artists, while also presenting a special curated virtual reality concert series.
“Live Nation is dedicated to bringing the live entertainment experience to fans in new and innovative ways,” Jordan Zachary, Live Nation’s Chief Strategy Officer, said in a statement. “No medium has the potential to bring the magic of a live concert to life more than virtual reality. We are excited to work with Hulu to bring fans closer than ever to the biggest artists and tours in the world.”
The second partnership involves both Live Nation and the live-streaming VR content creation startup NextVR. NextVr, who had previously live-streamed events in virtual reality, including the Daytona 500, a Democratic Debate, and numerous sporting events, will turn their attention next to the concert space. Via this partnership, Live Nation and NextVR intend to “broadcast hundreds of live, cutting-edge performances in virtual reality to music fans worldwide.”
The very first live event will take place sometime this Summer, and the companies intend to soon release an entire schedule of forthcoming live VR events around the country. In order to keep up with a robust VR filming schedule, NextVR has also unveiled a special mobile event truck, which will be packed full of all the equipment necessary for live-streaming dozens of concerts in virtual reality.
“Live stereoscopic VR requires a lot of compute horsepower,” explained Ryan Sheridan, NextVR’s senior vice president for Imaging and Production Technologies. “With the truck, we will not be encumbered by the venue or audio limitations in the venue from which we are broadcasting. We simply roll up, deploy our equipment, plug into the infrastructure and produce the content.”
We are certainly living in interesting times, and if you are at all a music fan and don’t currently own a VR headset of any sort, now may be just the time to consider picking one up. Let’s hear your thoughts on both of these partnerships in the Live Nation / Hulu / NextVR Music forum on VRTalk.com.