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.

Virtual concerts startup Stage11 attracts superstars

Immersive music experience startup Stage11 has announced partnerships with world-famous artists Martin Garrix, David Guetta, Snoop Dogg, Ne-Yo and Akon.

The news follows a €5 million seed round led by Otium Capital, a European venture capital fund backed by Stage11 founder and CEO, Jonathan Belolo.

Belolo is the co-owner of French record label Scorpio Music, which has a 45-year history in the music industry.

Belolo is joined by co-founders Jean-Philippe Braud and Gregory Dhonner, the co-founder and director of business development for Profirst, a luxury event agency for brands in fashion, beauty, and art (Armani, Chanel, Kering, L’Oréal, LVMH).

Also joining as co-founder is Mani Nordine, the president of American Artists Company, specialising in managing A-list artists and celebrities bookings (Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Nas & Lady Gaga).

Stage11 is using the funds to onboard strategic hires, sign key artist and brand partnerships and build its technology platform

Stage11 says it will use the funds to onboard strategic hires, sign key artist and brand partnerships and build its technology platform.

Amongst those new hires are executives who have previously worked for the likes of Assassin’s Creed, Facebook Oculus, Ferrari, Happy Feet, LVMH, Marvel Avengers, Microsoft Kinect, Nike, and Virgin.

Founded in 2020, with offices in both Paris and LA, Stage11 aims to tap into several of today’s fastest-growing markets including gaming, AR/VR, virtual events, and digital goods.

The company claims that it’s “setting out to redefine the interactive music experience” by combining gaming, mixed reality, and digital collectables.

It will achieve this by “building a new creative canvas for artists, allowing them to invite fans to live, play, and create inside their performances and musical worlds”.

We are combining genres, realities and cultures to build something bold, thrilling and timeless

“These worlds combine immersive gameplay sequences, life-like performances, cinematic narratives and exclusive digital collectables,” according to Stage11.

“Fans can not only discover and collect but actually use these interactive NFTs to create and share unique personalised content and even perform with their favourite artists.”

Stage11 can be accessed on desktop and mobile and the company’s first music experience is set to debut in 2022.

“As a gamer and sci-fi nerd, It feels like I’ve been dreaming about the metaverse my entire life,” says Belolo.

“Now that as a society we’re on the cusp of making it real, I find myself blessed to be part of an incredible team setting out to explore the new frontier. Building immersive music events and experiences is just the first step.

“We are on a journey together to reimagine the way artists and brands connect, even co-create, with their fans and audiences. We are combining genres, realities and cultures to build something bold, thrilling and timeless — yet accessible and fun.”

 


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.