The Weeknd and FOALS are doing it, Facebook is creating a team dedicated to it, and Universal Music Group and iHeartMedia are making groundbreaking partnerships around it. So what’s all this fuss about? Two words: virtual reality.
Virtual reality (VR) is here to stay and we are excited to get onboard!
“One of the greatest things about technology is that it allows us to change the conversation around music. We can transform the listening experience to something more immersive,” said Mike Doernberg, CEO and co-founder of ReverbNation. “We think that over time VR will be one of the main ways people consume media and we want our ReverbNation artists to have early access to it.”
So what exactly is VR?
To break it down, VR technology allows us to transform traditional viewing into immersive, interactive experiences by using a combination of different cameras and rigs paired with special software (more on how to make a VR video soon!). Whether you’re on your computer, smartphone, or using VR goggles like Samsung Gear VR or Oculus Rift, you can explore a complete 360° view of what’s happening in a video.
For us, this means that we can film a live concert and allow fans to be on stage with the artist and see everything that is going on at the show – from rocking out on stage with the lead singer, to being in the front row with fellow fans. It gives us an opportunity to leverage the latest technology to bring music to more people – plus you’ll never have to worry about concert FOMO again because if you miss a show, you’ll be able to experience it in 360° later.
“These kinds of videos give the viewer a completely different experience than a typical edited video would,” said Mike Stipe, Creative Video Manager at ReverbNation. “For fans who haven’t been on stage and played music before, this is a way they can experience that feeling – even at bigger venues.”
We have been hard at work creating 360° videos for a variety of our artists as a way to introduce the technology to our artists and their fans alike. The first video we created was of Raleigh-based Americana/Country band American Aquarium. In the video below, you’ll be able to experience what it’s like to be a part of the band as they perform live at Lincoln Theatre all from the comfort of your computer screen, smartphone, or VR goggles.
Tip: On your phone? Move the screen to get the full 360º effect (or move with your finger). On desktop? Drag the screen and explore the stage.
Visit our YouTube channel to see more videos.
Have you tried VR yet? Share your experience in a comment below!
Stay tuned for more in our VR series: next up we’ll get a band’s perspective on VR, we’ll chat with Mike Stipe to learn how a VR video is made, and more!