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Russia’s MTS rolls out VR concert broadcasts

The telecoms company, which owns market-leading ticket agencies Ponominalu and Ticketland, is looking to grow its music presence by inking deals for virtual-reality video

By Jon Chapple on 29 Aug 2019

United in Crisis: The view from Russia

MTS’s Park Live coverage was seen by 25,000 people


image © Park Live

Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), the largest mobile network operator in Russia, has begun rolling out a slate of virtual-reality (VR) video from concerts and other live events, as it seeks to gain a greater foothold in the country’s €400m+ live entertainment market.

MTS, which turned over ₽480bn (US$7.2bn) in 2018, is also active in Armenia, Belarus and the Ukraine, and the largest mobile telco in the CIS region (most of the former Soviet Union). It acquired majority stakes in Ticketland and Ponominalu, two of Russia’s biggest primary ticket sellers, in early 2018.

According to an MTS spokesperson, entering the VR market will enable the company to expand its presence in the sphere of entertainment and events, following the acquisition Ticketland and Ponominalu, reports the PRIME news agency.

The new VR service, located at vr.mts.ru, launched with a 360°, 4K-quality VR broadcast from the Park Live festival in Moscow on 12–14 July, and has since added content from the Rhymes Festival in Luzhniki and concerts by local stars Misha Marvin, the Slot and Klava Koka.

Content is free initially, and will later be provided as part of a subscription, or for a single payment of up to ₽250

Video from Park Live, for which Ponominalu was the ticket agency, was viewed by more than 25,000 people during the festival.

PRIME’s Yekaterina Yezhova reports that while the VR service is free initially, content will later be provided as part of a subscription, or for a single payment of up to ₽250 ($3.75).

According to Kommersant, while demand for VR devices is growing in Russia, boosted by high-profile trials such as MegaFon’s broadcast of a Russia-Turkey football friendly in 2018, the technology is not expected to take off in a big way until the widespread availability of 5G mobile internet.

 


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