Melody VR co-founder Steven Hancock has discussed the "mind-blowing" opportunites of virtual reality for the music business.
Hancock, who is also COO of the King's Cross-based company, the only licensed VR music platform in the world, will deliver a case study at today’s (September 26) inaugural Music Week Tech Summit Together With O2, examining if VR is about to transform the way people experience music.
Melody VR unveiled its concerts app in May, which allows fans to watch immersive performances of sold-out shows. Concerts by The Who, Rag’N’Bone Man, Niall Horan and Post Malone are among those currently available, with fresh performances rolled out weekly.
“It allows the fan and artist to get a level of engagement that’s just never been available before,” said Hancock, speaking in the latest issue of Music Week. “Putting you on stage, in the dressing room, in a recording studio or on a jet plane with your favourite artist in full VR is absolutely mind-blowing and fans go crazy for it.
“In terms of what it means for the industry, it’s accessibility, growth, new audiences and the ability to monetise content in a new format, which is certainly exciting to all of the rights holders within the space.”
We’re fortunate enough to be privy to what’s coming maybe 18 months down the line and it’s pretty mind-blowing
Steven Hancock, Melody VR
Melody VR exists on the principle that four main factors are most likely to prevent a fan from attending a show: geographical restrictions, being underage, ticket availability and affordability. The VR price point has lowered in recent times – an Oculus Go headset currently retails at around £199 – and analyst firm IDC has tipped the market to swell from its current 8.1m units to 39,2m by 2022.
Hancock, who founded Melody VR with Anthony Matchett in 2015, added: “We’ve seen the curve starting to kick in – the decrease in prices and more headsets for the market – and for us it’s now just about growth.
“We’re fortunate enough to be privy to what’s coming maybe 18 months down the line and it’s pretty mind-blowing. Without going into too much detail, it’s lighter, more accessible, cheaper and better quality, and as the industry progresses it’s only a matter of time before it’s down to a pair of glasses.”
The Music Week Tech Summit takes place today at The O2 in London. Head to musicweektechsummit.com for last-minute tickets.
Subscribers can click here to read our full VR feature, including interviews with Hancock, Melody VR CMO Nikki Lambert and Warner Music VP, global digital business development Alex Kammins.