Virtual reality concerts startup Wave raises $30m funding

It’s been a difficult couple of years for many virtual reality startups, with VR headset sales slower than expected, and in some cases funding drying up as investors lost their appetite for immersive content. There have been success stories though: musical VR game Beat Saber has sold more than 2m copies, with Facebook acquiring its developer last […]

Tomorrowland goes virtual with Around The World festival

Yesterday, we covered the news that the team behind Shangri-La at Glastonbury are running Lost Horizon, a ticketed VR event, next month. We can add Belgian dance festival Tomorrowland’s Around The World event to this growing list of virtual replacements for the hole blown in this year’s summer festival season. It takes place on 25-26 July, although […]

Team behind Glastonbury’s Shangri-La launches virtual festival

If you’ve ever lost yourself in the Glastonbury Festival’s Shangri-La zone, you’ll understand why for many people this year, the festival’s cancellation is carrying an extra tinge of sadness. However, the team behind Shangri-La is hoping to plug the gap with a virtual-reality event called Lost Horizon on 3-4 July. They’re working with VR startups Sansar and […]

Prospa held a livestreamed rave in a 3D virtual warehouse

Last week, we wrote about a livestreamed set by Dutch DJs W&W, for which they had a virtual stadium full of dancing fans created. Now British duo Prospa have put a different kind of virtual environment through its paces: a warehouse for an old-school rave. It was the result of a partnership between Polydor, Prospa’s label […]

Facebook’s Oculus Quest VR headset has sold $100m of content

Virtual reality has yet to become a wildfire success, but within the sector, Facebook’s Oculus Quest headset has been a bright spot. Now the company has offered some stats to celebrate the one-year anniversary of its launch. Owners of the $399/$499 (depending on storage) headset have spent more than $100m on games and applications in the […]

Music-VR startup ViRvii signs content deal with Oculus

We have not covered ViRvii before but it describes itself as “a technology firm that develops proprietary user experiences merging music, art and virtual reality” and was founded last year. Why we are writing about it now is that it has just signed a deal with Facebook-owned Oculus to develop VR content for the platform starting next […]

Finnish artist JVG’s virtual gig drew 700k viewers

Last year in Sandbox, we covered the campaign for Finnish hip-hop duo JVG’s RATA/ RAITTI album where they used their links to the world of ice hockey (absolutely massive in Finland) and also Warner Music Live to get to arena level. Now they’ve done something else inventive. On Vappu Eve (the night before May Day […]

Report suggests Apple might buy live-VR startup NextVR

Music Ally has been writing about virtual-reality startup NextVR since 2015, when it raised a $30.5m funding round from investors including the Madison Square Garden Company for technology that would enable music concerts and sports events to be broadcast live to VR headsets. T he company had already streamed a concert by Coldplay. It then signed a deal with […]

MelodyVR is raising $12m by selling more shares

We reported last week on virtual-reality music startup MelodyVR’s postponement of its planned expansion to Latin America and Asia Pacific, due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the company’s growth hopes continue: this morning the company – which is public – announced plans to raise $12m of new funding by selling shares to existing and new investors. After expenses, it’ll mean […]

Startup Landmrk launches ‘Virtual Tours’ feature for artists

We’ve written about British startup Landmrk regularly over the past couple of years: its platform enables artists (and other kinds of brands too) to create virtual ‘treasure hunts’ that encourage fans to explore the real world to find digital content. Obviously, there are some issues with the ‘explore the real world’ aspect right now, what […]

MelodyVR postpones expansion to Latin America and Asia Pacific

Virtual-reality music startup MelodyVR is seeing a silver lining in the coronavirus outbreak – its content sales are up – but it’s also forcing a pause in the company’s global expansion plans. On the first of those: “We have not sought to actively capitalise on the events of the last few weeks, yet having experienced […]

Sandbox Issue 245: Catalogue Marketing Rejuvenated

Lead: With pretty much everything available at all times, the fundamentals of catalogue marketing have had to bend to the needs of the streaming market and the social media landscape. There is still a role for the deluxe anniversary boxset, but finding new ways to shake up the old and shine new light on both […]

Top VR headset sales have dropped sharply year-on-year

Nielsen’s SuperData subsidiary has published some new figures for the ‘XR’ (‘cross reality’) market – essentially AR, VR and hybrids of the two – including the latest estimated sales figures for the top virtual-reality headsets. The company claims that Sony’s PlayStation VR and Facebook’s Oculus Quest were the top sellers in the final quarter of 2019, with 338k and […]

Music Ally Report 426: Trends of 2019

This year we’ve picked 42 (also the answer to life, the universe and everything as fans of Douglas Adams will know) of the trends and moments we found most significant in 2019. What are they? *takes deep breath* industry growth; the European Copyright Directive and Music Modernization Act; Spotify’s two-sided marketplace; Apple Music’s bundled future; […]

MelodyVR doubles down on Good Morning America partnership

British virtual reality startup MelodyVR latest move is using music to push itself deeper into the world of mainstream TV. It has extended its deal with the ABC network in the US and its ‘Good Morning America’ show to offer TV performances from a number of country acts – including Trisha Yearwood, Trace Adkins, Luke Combs and […]

SuperData predicts $1.1bn of VR software revenues in 2019

Whether you’re still excited about virtual reality’s potential for music, or think it’s a busted flush as a mainstream consumer technology, the latest predictions from research firm SuperData are worth a read. It reckons that globally, people will spend $3.2bn on VR hardware in 2019 – plus another $1bn on mixed-reality headsets which combine virtual and augmented […]

MelodyVR strikes exclusive 5G deal with UK telco O2

Virtual-reality music startup MelodyVR has announced its latest partnership: telco Telefonica UK, and its O2 operator. It’s all relating to the launch of its faster 5G network. MelodyVR has been signed on as “the exclusive music partner of O2’s 5G UK launch”, with customers getting a 12-month subscription to MelodyVR bundled into their contracts. Note: […]

VR/AR startup Jaunt sells its software and tech to Verizon

Jaunt was one of the first virtual-reality content startups to make waves in the modern VR-headset era, including with music. We first wrote about the company in November 2014, for example, when Jaunt worked with Sir Paul McCartney on a VR video of a live performance of ‘Live and Let Die’, released through its own […]

Facebook reveals new plans for social VR (oh, and AR too)

With Amazon’s blizzard of new-product announcements, not to mention the political ructions going on in the US, Facebook’s Oculus division’s OC6 developer conference might have struggled for attention. It’s well worth reading up on the announcements made at the show though: it’s an excellent snapshot of Facebook’s continued ambitions for virtual AND augmented reality technology. […]

Sandbox Issue 236: Power Plays. THE NEXT STEP FOR PLAYLISTS

Lead: Playlists are still enormously important for breaking acts and for building careers – but they are increasingly a moving target that gets harder and harder to hit. As they change what they are, how they work and what they do, those marketing through playlists could find themselves shunted back to square one. This is […]

MelodyVR to launch a music-VR subscription later this year

How is that brave new world of musical virtual-reality doing? The latest financial results from startup MelodyVR offer some clues, as well as news of the company’s plans to shift from a a-la-carte pricing to a subscription model later this year. Financials first: MelodyVR generated £128.4k of revenues ($160.1k) in the first six months of 2019, but […]

Billie Eilish to play a virtual-reality gig in Oculus Venues

Billie Eilish is the latest artist playing a concert that will be streamed in virtual reality. The gig will take place on 3 September in Madrid, and then later that evening will be broadcast in Facebook’s ‘Oculus Venues’ app for its Oculus Go and Oculus Quest headsets. The concert is the result of a partnership with startup […]

VRJam launches crowdfunding campaign for its AR/VR music tech

Music Ally wrote about startup VRJam in April, when it was trying to raise $500k of seed funding for a technology offering live ‘XR’ streams of music performances in virtual AND augmented reality. Now the company has officially launched its equity-crowdfunding campaign. Now the target is £250k (around $304k) which the company plans to use “to […]

Sandbox issue 232: Music Marketing in Trigger Cities

Lead: This issue we have a special extended feature looking into the phenomenon of Trigger Cities. These are places outside of the obvious music markets that are now – due to streaming and how algorithms are fed – playing a key role in helping break artists and genres. This represents a whole new dynamic for […]

MelodyVR reveals content-licensing deal with Facebook

It’s a busy time for music-VR startup MelodyVR, with its smartphone app having just launched. Now it has announced an intriguing content-licensing deal… with Facebook. “The agreement will see MelodyVR’s content utilised by Facebook/Oculus for advertising purposes and licenses its exploitation across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and via the Oculus Website, for a period of 9 […]

Monstercat to hold weekly virtual-reality music events

Independent dance label Monstercat has been one of the more forward-thinking when it comes to gaming: witness its partnership with Psyonix, the developer of popular cars-play-football game Rocket League. Now Monstercat is trying a new partnership involving virtual reality, working with Linden Lab – the company that Music Ally readers of a certain age may remember […]

MelodyVR reveals beta smartphone app and ‘Viewer’ hardware

One of the things holding back music virtual-reality startups so far as been the slower-than-expected growth of VR-headset ownership. Now startup MelodyVR is making moves to tackle that challenge. First: it’s launched a closed beta of its app for Android and iOS devices, with plans for a commercial launch this summer. It’ll offer the company’s […]

Redpill VR and Sensorium raise $70m for VR music concerts

Music and virtual reality? It’s a creatively-exciting crossover, but commercially it has yet to make a significant impact, with the clutch of music-VR startups’ prospects tied closely to the (slower than the hype predicted) growth of VR-headset ownership. Music game Beat Saber’s million-plus sales are a bright spot, but otherwise there’s a strong sense that […]

Imagine Dragons launch 10-track song-pack for Beat Saber game

Virtual-reality music game Beat Saber has been one of the success stories in VR so far. Released in May 2018, it sold its millionth copy in February this year. Now it’s going down the traditional Guitar Hero / Rock Band route of selling music in-game, in partnership with artists and labels. Yesterday, the band Imagine Dragons released […]

MelodyVR gets into Broadway theatre content with John Gore

Users of music virtual-reality app MelodyVR should be getting ready for more tappy feet and jazz-hands in their headsets over the coming months. The company has announced a deal with Broadway-musicals firm The John Gore Organisation (JGO). The pair will be creating a new joint venture to produce Broadway theatre content for VR, with JGO investing £5m […]

New Avicii album will be premiered in Oculus’ virtual reality

The late dance star Avicii (Tim Bergling) is getting his first posthumous album release this year: ‘TIM’. Facebook has announced that its Oculus virtual-reality division will be running a premiere of the new album on 6 June, through its Oculus Venues app. “We’re honoured to partner with Avicii Music and Geffen Records to bring the […]

Report claims VR-headset install base was 14m at end of 2018

Research firm SuperData Research has put out some new numbers around ‘XR’ technology – an umbrella term that includes virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR). It includes some new figures on the install base of VR headsets, which SuperData reckons reached 14m by the end of 2018, but will grow to 51m by […]

Sandbox Issue 226: What people just don’t “get” about digital marketing

Lead: what digital marketing trends are most underrated or simply misunderstood in 2019? That’s the question we put to the music marketing community and got them to hold forth on the subject. This resulted in a lot of ideas and a lot of new paths for marketing this year and beyond. Campaigns: TikTok goes all […]

Startup VRJam seeks $500k funding for VR/AR performance tech

British startup VRJam is seeking $500k of seed funding to continue developing its technology for live ‘XR’ streams of music and other entertainment performances in virtual and augmented reality. The company, which emerged from stealth mode at the London Music Conference last year, is offering 5% of equity in return for the desired seed funding, which it […]

MelodyVR signs four more music-publishing licensing deals

Music virtual-reality startup MelodyVR has announced four new licensing agreements, focusing on the publishing world. The deals include UMPI (part of Universal Music Publishing Group); Sacem; Ascap and BMI. “As MelodyVR continues to expand, these four music licensing deals enhance our opportunities for content creation and distribution on a global basis. Following a successful 2018 and with […]

Stage is the latest startup planning live concerts in VR

Things have gone a little quiet around music and virtual-reality technology in recent months, don’t you think? There are still startups developing the technology with apps and services up and running, but the hype around VR possibly being The Next Big Innovation for live music has certainly died down. Perhaps partly as the interest in […]

MelodyVR to launch new app for upcoming Oculus VR device

Virtual-reality music startup MelodyVR launched its app last year, timing it around the launch of Facebook’s Oculus Go VR headset. Now the companies are taking their partnership to a new level. MelodyVR “will release a new version of the MelodyVR music platform, featuring updated features and functionality, for use on a forthcoming Oculus device” according […]

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