fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Facebook surges ahead in race to create metaverse

Facebook plans to hire 10,000 people to accelerate its development of a so-called metaverse  – a virtual world in which people can work, game, play and even watch concerts.

The word ‘metaverse’ – made up of the prefix ‘meta’ (meaning beyond) and the stem ‘verse’ (a back-formation from “universe”) – is typically used to describe the future iteration of the internet, made up of permanent, shared, 3D virtual spaces linked into a perceived virtual universe.

Using technologies like virtual and augmented reality, Facebook says it hopes to create a greater sense of “virtual presence” in the metaverse that will “mimic the experience of interacting in person”.

Facebook has made building the metaverse one of its priorities, investing in virtual reality through its Oculus headsets and building VR apps for social hangouts and for the workplace.

In 2018, the tech giant expanded into VR live events, including concerts, with the launch of its social events app Oculus Venues.

Facebook invested $50 million in funding non-profit groups to help “build the metaverse responsibly”

The app enabled users of its Oculus Go and Gear VR headsets to watch live music and sports alongside other virtual-reality avatars.

In 2020, Occulus partnered with artist-owned streaming platform Tidal to bring a series of exclusive and intimate live performances that can be streamed in virtual reality to fans’ homes.

More recently it invested $50 million in funding non-profit groups to help “build the metaverse responsibly”.

However, Facebook claims the metaverse “won’t be built overnight by a single company” and has promised to collaborate.

A number of massive tech-centric companies that have vested interests in music, such as Tencent and Alibaba, are also investigating how to build a metaverse.

Roblox’s global head of music told IQ in January that he thinks the metaverse will be bigger than the internet and mobile

Over the course of several years, Epic Games has been expanding its hugely popular online multiplayer game Fortnite to host virtual concerts and brand events within its own virtual world.

Ariana Grande, MarshmelloTravis Scott, Steve Aoki, Deadmau5, Easy Life and J. Balvin are among the artists that have delivered virtual concerts within the game.

Other games are getting closer to a metaverse idea, too. Roblox, for example, is an online community where people come together to play, create and explore millions of 3D virtual worlds together with their friends.

The online gaming platform has also incorporated virtual concerts into its offering with performances from the likes of  Royal Blood and Lil Nas X and Twenty One Pilots.

Roblox’s global head of music, Jon Vlassopulos, told IQ in January that he thinks the metaverse will be bigger than the internet and mobile.

Startup companies including Stage11, AmazeVR, Stageverse and Sensorium have also announced ambitions to develop a metaverse.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Tidal-backed VR platform enlists renowned DJs

Carl Cox and David Guetta are the first artists announced to perform in the Sensorium Galaxy, a new VR “social metaspace” in which users can attend alternative-world concerts, nightclubs and festivals through a VR headset or streaming.

Sensorium Galaxy, which is due to launch publicly in early 2021, has already been backed by Jay-Z’s streaming service Tidal, which spent US$7 million on tokens issued by the platform’s company, acquiring access to broadcast its content within the platform.

Grammy award-winning DJ and producer David Guetta was the first artist announced to “join” the platform – which is also backed by Forbes-listed billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov – followed shortly by Carl Cox.

Each DJ will appear as virtual representations for their exclusive performances in Prism, a content hub in the Galaxy dedicated to music concerts and festivals, which is being developed in partnership with Yann Pissenem, CEO and founder of The Night League and creator of nightclubs Hï Ibiza and Ushuaïa Ibiza.

“Having David come on board as the first DJ to join Prism World is sending a clear message: VR is the future of social networking and content distribution,” says Pissenem.

“David and I have been working together for more than two decades now. He is a genius that has always been ahead of the curve with music and understands the vision of what we will deliver with Sensorium Galaxy.

“VR tech allows us to transcend the physical world and create unprecedented shows that will revolutionise the industry”

“Working with VR technology allows us to transcend the limits of the physical world and create unprecedented shows that will revolutionise the industry. It is going to be like nothing that has ever come before.”

Since its foundation, Sensorium Corporation has raised over $100 million in private investments, making it one of the world’s best-funded startups in the VR space.

Artist-backed Tidal has been making plays elsewhere in the VR market too, recently partnering with Facebook’s platform Occulus.

The partnership will spawn a series of intimate live performances from ‘the biggest names in music’ that can be streamed in virtual reality on the Venues app (available on the Oculus Quest) and in 2D video and high-quality audio on Tidal, later this year.

Facebook launched the Venues app, described as “the companion app to live events,” in June this year.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Tidal partners with Facebook’s VR platform Oculus

Artist-owned streaming platform Tidal has joined forces with Facebook’s virtual reality platform Oculus to bring a series of exclusive and intimate live performances that can be streamed in virtual reality to fans’ homes.

The series will be available later this year to stream in virtual reality on the Venues app (available on the Oculus Quest) and in 2D video and high-quality audio on Tidal.

“At a time when livestreamed performances are seen as the new norm, Tidal’s partnership with Oculus provides music lovers an elevated concert experience with more interaction and dimension than past livestreams,” says Tidal COO, Lior Tibon.

“Oculus is revolutionizing the live music experience and matched with Tidal’s HiFi audio quality, members will be able to remember what it feels like to stand in a large crowd at a concert venue.”

“Members will be able to remember what it feels like to stand in a large crowd at a concert venue”

Tidal, whose artist co-owners include Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Rihanna, Calvin Harris, Daft Punk and Coldplay’s Chris Martin, promises the series will feature “some of the biggest names in music”.

Facebook launched the Venues app, described as “the companion app to live events,” in June this year.

Elsewhere in the VR world, Tidal recently spent US$7 million on tokens issued by the company behind Sensorium Galaxy, a new VR “social metaspace” in which users can attend alternative-world concerts, nightclubs and festivals through a VR headset.

Through the purchase, Tidal has acquired access to broadcast their content within Sensorium Galaxy, which is due to launch publicly in early 2021.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.