The world of virtual reality is growing and leaving more room for musicians to reach a wider audience with less travel and expense.
Virtual reality concerts are becoming a hot commodity for the world’s biggest superstars. With Travis Scott’s Virtual Concert Raises Over $20, hosting a VR concert proved to be lucrative, reaching millions of fans. To learn more about this expanding niche within the music industry, we caught up with Joe Choi of AmazeVR – the company behind Megan Thee Stallion’s “Enter Thee Hottieverse.”
Can you tell us a bit more about your role in AmazeVR?
My name is Joe Choi, Senior Director of Strategy and Operations at AmazeVR. My role previously consisted primarily of directing the in-person performance of the first-ever virtual reality concert tour featuring three-time Grammy-winning artist Megan Thee Stallion in her “Enter Thee Hottieverse”. Since the end of the tour, my role has mainly focused on helping to strategize and direct our next line-up of artists for our upcoming VR gigs.
How was the company born and what was the gap in the market that led to the creation of AmazeVR?
AmazeVR was founded in 2015 by the co-founder and early executives of Kakao (Korea’s #1 instant messaging app for smartphones and now a multi-billion dollar company). Kakao had its IPO, and although it had major success, the founding members (AmazeVR) were always hungry to create innovations that could impact the global market.
Coincidentally, after experimenting with a virtual reality (VR) headset called GearVR (an early version of the VR headset made by Samsung), the founding members saw the technology’s potential to become a personalized display that could replace televisions and laptops. monitors – just as smartphones had replaced all cell phones. Driven by this belief that VR could be used to “distribute offline experiences” beyond just viewing typical 2D content, a dream was born and the team was officially established in Silicon Valley.
What attracted you to the music industry?
Music is one of the most promising sectors for the future development of the VR entertainment industry. Along with games, the music industry is due for a paradigm shift, and many companies have been trying to innovate the next “big thing”. The pandemic has only accelerated this change, as we have seen many attempts ranging from live streams to virtual concerts to Fortnite broadcasts. All of these other solutions, however, only provide additional value over what already exists, and no other solution really captures the core value for fans – a human connection.
Before the pandemic, the size of the global live music market was $28.56 billion. We believe that the VR concert activity has more potential than the live concert activity because there are no physical constraints. Compared to the number of live concert audiences, artists have many more fans willing to pay for touch experiences, and VR concerts will be one of the most premium experiences for all fans.
You recently worked with Megan Thee Stallion on “Enter Thee Hottieverse”. In what ways has Thee Hottieverse helped shed light on virtual reality and its use in the music industry?
Working with Megan Thee Stallion and the entire Roc Nation team has been an extremely rewarding experience, as we have been challenged, both internally and through great external feedback, to bring our VR gig to the next level. quality expected from a superstar like Megan. We knew for our first effort we wanted to blow people away, and Megan’s professionalism and feedback pushed us into areas that allowed us to collaborate and create an amazing experience for her fans.
As a result, we were able to learn and improve our proprietary camera technology, Unreal Engine-based VR VFX tools, and AI modules to automate manual tasks and produce top-notch visual fidelity. Visual fidelity is perhaps the biggest contributor to a sense of presence and belief that the experience is real – in our case, convincing fans that they really just met their favorite artists.
SM Entertainment is known for pushing boundaries and being one of the first entertainment companies to enter the metaverse. How will your partnership with SM continue to expand the influence of K-Pop not only in IRL, but also in the metaverse?
We have always had a close relationship with K-pop giant, sm entertainmentand the joint venture is the result of those relationships and the future they see with what virtual reality (and the metaverse) can bring to the music industry.
With the VR market surpassing nearly 15 million active users in the Meta Quest ecosystem alone, we see this as a great opportunity for artists to expect even more diverse opportunities to reach their fans in VR and in the metaverse. Additionally, we are preparing to launch our music metaverse service in all major VR app stores at 1H 2023 with a roster of established and emerging artists, both from SM Entertainment and in the US – a great opportunity to reach this growing community.
How is AmazeVR helping to create a new music economy?
AmazeVR ushers in the next stage of music. Using our camera technology and proprietary software, we produce virtual reality (VR) concerts, creating entirely new musical experiences that bring fans closer to artists than ever before. Most music fans don’t have the luxury of seeing their favorite artists in concert for a myriad of reasons – scheduling conflicts, geographic location, or financial burden, to name a few. However, our VR concerts offer the immersive experience of seeing your favorite artist up close and personal, even from your home. Our goal is to allow fans to experience their favorite artists anytime, anywhere.
AmazeVR promotes a company that produces and distributes immersive concerts by musical artists online and offline based on our proprietary VR technology. We want to position ourselves as a company similar to both Spotify and Live Nation, but for virtual reality.
We captivated fans (many of whom were first-time VR users) in 2022 with the first-ever VR concert tour featuring three-time Grammy-winning artist Megan Thee Stallion on her tour.” Enter Thee Hottieverse” in 15 major cities in the United States, bringing together more than 15,000 spectators. Going forward, our VR concerts will be accessible primarily online, and we envision them becoming a key part of all artists’ release strategies and album rollouts, establishing a new paradigm for artists and fans alike. beyond existing in-person concerts.
Janelle Borg knows a thing or two about the music industry. Involved in the industry since the age of 13, she is now involved in a variety of music-related projects and is always eager to share industry tips and tricks with other musicians.