Let´s Dance - VR, MR & 360°

The Future of the Music Industry?


22 Sept. 2016 @ Schmidt Theater

Speakers: Nicolas Chibac (CEO & Co-Founder, SpiceVR, DE), Daniel Federauer (Director of Innovation & Digital Technologies, Sony Music Entertainment DE), Logan Olson (Experience Designer, SoundStage, US), Benji Rogers (Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, PledgeMusic, US), Smudo (Musician, Die Fantastischen Vier, DE), Sara Lisa Vogl (Creative Squirrel, Lucid Trips, DE)
Moderator: Dr. Ralf Schulze (CEO & Founder, Amboss factory Film + Musik, DE)

Go to programme here.

The music industry has been experimenting with 360° technology in videos, live streaming and albums, and Björk used virtual reality to take listeners to Iceland with her latest release. So what does VR mean for the future of music? During a panel on the first day of Reeperbahn Festival titled Let’s Dance - VR, MR and 360°, Sara Lisa Vogl, Creative Squirrel at Lucid Trips, talked about how it can be used as a tool for DJs who can compose using their bodies while in a virtual reality world, doing away with the need for hardware. Musician Smudo agreed that VR will be used as an interface for music makers, but won’t change the way music is performed live. 

“There will still be a show but the way you bring music to the audience will change, as it always has with each evolution of technology,” he explained. “Perhaps the show will be on a VR presentation, which will enhance the value of the live performance without affecting the show itself.” Logan Olson, Experience Designer at SoundStage, seconded the notion that VR isn’t going to disrupt live entertainment, but exist as an add-on. “People could be standing on stage next to the artist at festivals,” he suggested. 

The technology brings an opportunity for extra revenue, said PledgeMusic Founder Benji Rogers. “VR allows you to invite people into the studio and up-sell experiences. The ability for artists to control that level of participation and experiences outside of a large platform is just immense,” he said. 

Rogers ended on a word of warning for the potential barrier that exists between the music industry earning money from music being used in virtual reality productions. “The biggest challenge most VR companies have going forward is if they want to use existing works they have to hit up major labels, independents and publishers for licenses, but these are use cases that have not yet been defined,” he said.

“VR requires content and has a really hard time licensing it. I hope the music industry embraces the technology, if they build walls they are going to slow down the largest format shift we’ve seen in our lives. VR is going to be a $200 billion industry in four years, we have to be ready to make our goods available so that they can be used at scale, or they’ll be using crap music made with computers instead.”

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