How AR/VR can reshape the music industry

While new technologies have become an essential part of our everyday life, media industries are still undergoing major changes. In 2016, streaming was positioned as music’s savior, but if we the industry is to be truly transformed, listeners must be offered engaging, emotional experiences through digital technology. That’s where augmented and virtual reality comes in. Harris study says that millennials prefer to spend on experiences: 78% percent of them would rather put money into experiences and events over a desirable object. It’s more than just creating memories and selfies, though. Experiences need to have real value.

AR can empower musicians to bring the video to their audience and even make the listener part of the video. Imagine a world where it appears as though the artist is performing the song directly in front of you, as viewed through your smartphone or special spectacles. Imagine if the entire audience could connect to AR technology for an entirely new concert experience: lyrics flying through the air or the feeling of being inside of your favorite music video while the artist is singing live.

As for VR, music is almost certainly the most popular content type in VR right now, which makes sense both technically — right now, VR’s best for quick viewing periods, about the length of an average song — and creatively. Pop stars like Taylor Swift and Björk have released 36-degree music videos, holographic versions of Tupac and fictional Japanese idol Hatsune Miku have appeared in concert, and that’s only the beginning.

Google company, famous for pioneering groundbreaking initiatives, is no exception to AR/VR introduction into the music industry. Together with Queen, the company developed Bohemian Rhapsody Experience VR app for Google Cardboard, which is a vivid example of how music video will be made in future. Bohemian Rhapsody Experience invites users into Freddy Mercury’s mind, filled with various effects, bright images and different music styles (from opera to rock). Bohemian Rhapsody Experience is not a simple 360-degree video, but visualized 3D real-time experience with 3D Audio system, which has interactive elements.

Within company, which creates VR movies and videos, joins Universal Music Group to integrate AR/VR into the initial stage of music videos production. This will enable artists to make outstanding and striking videos. Within have already partnered with The Chemical Brothers on designing VR video for Under Neon Lights, and with OneRepublic for Kids. Notably, the partnership aims to integrate the technology “across the creation, production, marketing and promotion of new musical tracks, from the recording studio to the release parties, concert stages and beyond.”

The future of music and AR/VR is all about entering the world of the musician rather than listening to one individual song with only your ears.