The Future Of Virtual Reality In The Music Business

This month, leading virtual reality technology company Oculus VR will begin shipping orders of Rift, the first headset aimed at consumer markets. Its release has critical implications for the entertainment and music industries, but it follows over half a decade of failed attempts and heated debate over virtual reality. The technology was first used in the 1960s for purposes of military training, and it wasn’t until the late 2000s that individual VR headsets began to take off. Today, the gaming industry is set up to be the primary benefactor of VR technology, as Goldman Sachs analysts predict $11.6 billion in annual revenues by 2025.

But the music industry offers VR an exciting home as well. Pop stars like Taylor Swift and Björk have released 360-degree music videos, holographic versions of Tupac and fictional Japanese idol and CTM 2016 star Hatsune Miku have appeared in concert, and that’s only the beginning. Universal Music Group is heavily integrating VR into concerts, and the app GrooVR creates immersive personal environments that respond to whatever you’re listening to. With all this in mind, we asked representatives from some of the leading companies applying virtual reality to the music business—including VRSE.Works and Specular Theory—to tell us what’s in store for the future.

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