CEEK Founder Insight from Unicorn Summit + Community Q&A — Part 1
In this update, I share insights on CEEK from a Unicorn Summit I recently attended along with some of the most frequently asked questions from the community.
What is CEEK?
CEEK is a streaming platform that brings live events and experiences into the world of virtual reality. Think of CEEK as Ticketmaster for virtual events.
Ceekin’ is as easy as
1. Download the CEEK VR App
2. Insert the phone into your VR Headset
As in to CEEK knowledge, adventure, content etc. CEEK is officially in the urban dictionary as COOL +GEEK. No matter your definition it’s #Awesome
Why is VR important?
Virtual Reality is the future of computing, media and socializing. Virtual worlds that are being built today form the basis for the Metaverse, an interconnected network of virtual worlds also known as the 3D web.
My vision is that using virtual reality will soon be as easy as putting on a pair of 3D glasses. Over the last few years, we’ve seen the growth of cloud computing, powerful smartphones and advanced global connectivity such as 5G, which promises faster speeds, lower latency and more stable connectivity. These trends are set to accelerate VR adoption.
Imagine if you were able to train for spaceflight with just your phone and a piece of cardboard. We’ll actually be able to do that from anywhere in the world as mobile connectivity gets better.
Once this is possible, our addressable market suddenly opens up from music in well-connected regions to the entire globe. Eventually, we can put people from all corners of the planet in the best classrooms in VR; opening jobs and opportunities for people no matter where they are in the world. And that I believe is worth fighting for.
CEEK VR is building the meeting places of the future, unlike physical venues, CEEK venues have unlimited capacity.
How did CEEK come about?
A documentary I saw on space exploration as a child had me wondering what it would feel like to walk on the moon. This curiosity led me on a journey to become a Deep Space Scientist. Years later, I was at Facebook trying on the Oculus Rift and was actually walking on the moon. I knew instantly that I was experiencing something extraordinary, thus began my journey to create CEEK — a magical product that lets you use a simple card box and your phone to do anything the mind can imagine including walking on the moon, going to a live concert or being in a classroom.
Why is CEEK focusing on music first?
Music is a universal language. Megastars tend to have massive following, Rihanna for instance has over 200 Million fans on social media. Games like World of Warcraft only have less than 10 million combined in social following. Music is about scale and rapid mainstream adoption.
We know music well, I have been working with the music industry for over a decade, creating licensing and building content and technology for the likes of Coca Cola, XBOX, Clear Channel and more. CEEK’s leadership also brings tremendous connections and understanding in this space. Our retail advisor was EVP, Marketing for DISNEY. Kelly has worked on 27 GOLD MULTI PLATINUM albums. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to music. We have other team members working with CAA, Warner Music, SONY and most of the big festivals around the world
It is this understanding, experience, relationships and the strength of the product that has enabled us to create a solution for the industry resulting on CEEK becoming the dominant player in the Live Entertainment space with opportunities and agreements with Universal Music, NASCAR, Madison Square Garden, CAA, Independent Artists, 100+ Megastars including Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, U2, Elton John, Sting and 200+ emerging artists. Our experience and relationships are key to getting the big players to commit to Virtual Reality.
What is the initial market for CEEK?
There are 3.5 Billion Live Music fans globally, yet less than 10% attend live concerts and festivals. Take for example, 10 million Adele fans tried to buy her concert tickets, the problem is she only had 100,000 tickets available. Guns n Rosses sold 1 Million tickets in 24 hours; at some point it becomes humanly impossible to add more tour dates.
CEEK opens unlimited tickets for live events and experiences. Fans can virtually “be there” at live performances, while physically being at home or anywhere in the world. CEEK VR is a tool for the Music Industry to access a new revenue stream by extending the reach of oversold and undersold events globally.
Why did you switch from the Rift to mobile VR?
We started on the rift because that was all there was, but
I knew from the first day I tried on the Oculus Rift that mainstream adoption needed a mobile solution, so I went to work on it immediately. We initially developed CEEK with the Oculus DK1, once they updated their SDK with their commercial release of the rift we scrapped the initial version of CEEK and started development with Unity. We are still on the rift, so we didn’t switch we just expanded our distribution to mobile i.e. Gear VR, Android, iOS and now oculus Go.
It took the industry a few years to realize that rapid adoption would be on mobile, but they are here now. Everyone is moving from expensive, complicated desktop devices to simpler mobile VR headsets.
What factors do you believe are the most important for VR category leadership?
The battle for virtual reality category leadership, just as every medium before it; will be won on these three grounds:
1. Customers — For rapid adoption, the market leader must have the lowest possible customer acquisition cost or deep deep pockets.
2. Content — Access to premium exciting content that keeps customer eyeballs connected to the VR Headset. Loads of curated content in one place on an easy to use interface that leads to improved discovery and usage. Users do not have to download thousands of Apps each time they want to see content.
3. Channels — Users should have frictionless access to content. Buy in one place access it across multiple playback devices. Likewise, content creators should be able to create for a single platform that delivers content to multiple devices.
These 3 factors above are how Netflix won the movie streaming category. Whenever a new disruptive medium emerges, it is important to build a bridge between the current way people are used to doing things.
Winning the Streaming Customer
The builder of the bridge gets to collect the toll when the market transitions, and in the case of movie streaming it was Netflix. The bridge was sending DVDs in the mail to would be streamers, so when the market transitioned, they already had a large database of them at a cost no one, not even the movie studios could compete with.
Driving Rapid Adoption with Premium Content
Netflix also curated content and opened new found money for independent and big studios. For any new medium, getting large players is key to rapid adoption. Companies like since like Disney already had massive following for their content, which helped Netflix grow fast.
BUILDING THE BRIDGE TO VIRTUAL REALITY
Getting people to try VR is difficult. Samsung has been giving away as much as $300 coupons and extensively marketed to get people to buy the Samsung Gear VR. Having a customer acquisition cost that’s over $300 is not practical, sustainable or effective in moving billions of people to VR. Monetary incentive is a temporary bridge.
How do you get people who do not own headsets or care about Virtual Reality to try VR?
Offer them an easy to use VR headset that leverages behavior that music fans already know — Merch Bundles. Offering a celebrity branded music experience bundled with a VR headset that meets customers where they already are, is the most effective long term profitable, scalable and repeatable mechanism to train and transition people to the amazing world of Virtual Reality. The average consumer believes that VR is for gamers by creating relevant content we are giving everyday users a reason to try VR.
Currently most new album releases are accompanied by T-Shirts, concert tickets or in the case of DJ Khalid an energy drink. The issue is, that doesn’t count towards their album numbers. DJ Khalid was #2 on the music charts because 100,000 of his sales via Shop.com didn’t count towards his album sales.
CEEK’s PATENT AWARDED VR Bundles count toward record sales, in fact our contributions helped land Megadeth at #1 on the rock charts. On the first day of the Megadeth VR Bundle release, we sold out of 25,000 units and continued to sell with an acquisition cost that is fraction of what competitors are spending.
You can say CEEK is the new T-Shirt for the music industry. It’s a win-win that offers Ceekers a collectible from their favorite artists and provides the CEEK platform content with a built-in audience.