Will Virtual Reality Affect the Music Industry?

Will Virtual Reality Affect the Music Industry?

Technology seems to be advancing at the speed of light, whether that is a new type of phone, vacuum, speaker, or even something small like a new toothbrush. There will always be tech-forward people who want the latest and greatest thing simply because it is cool and different, but in general, new technology is in high demand. New technology has given us the opportunity to create new inventions to benefit our lives and do a lot of work for us. Although when do new inventions get taken too far?

The Rise of Virtual Reality

Over the past four years, virtual reality, (commonly abbreviated as VR) has been a huge trend in the marketplace. It has consistently been a topic of conversation throughout all entertainment industries and communities. It took off in 2017 in the video game industry, although interest began to decline in 2018. One VR company, Oculus, began looking for other ways to capitalize on this technology. They developed Oculus Venues, an online platform where owners of a VR headset can view live events such as sports games, fashion, comedy shows, and even concerts. This allows consumers to skip out on buying tickets to a live event and instead watch events at home with their own VR headset, at their convenience.

Virtual reality concerts and music videos could change the music industry entirely. If there was an opportunity to watch a live show for a cheaper price where you can stay updated on the event without leaving the house, wouldn’t you take it? Many people would. You would be able to see your favorite musicians close up. You’d be able to notice details that you wouldn’t be able to if you were far away in a crowd. You could feel as if you are there performing alongside them.

In addition, you wouldn’t have to deal with a crowded audience, bad seats, or the guy next to you who keeps spilling his beer. To some, this sounds perfect. Although on the flip side, if artists allow their concerts to be recorded live, some believe fans would stop showing up at live concerts, and just stay at home to watch the performance on their headset.

How Are Artists Making Money Within The Music Industry?

In today’s environment, musicians have a difficult time making money because music sales have decreased compared to decades ago when music was released in tangible formats. Now musicians must rely on touring and revenue from ticket sales, making it critical that they sell out shows. Merchandise is also a large source of income. Fans love the idea of going to a concert and buying something afterwards that they can remember the experience. It’s a major technique that is used to make more money for the artist, label, and everyone else involved. If concert attendance declines however, bands and musicians will need to quickly think of other ways to survive.

Another reason why virtual reality could affect the music industry is that concert tours are much more exclusive than an opportunity to watch a VR performance. Fans realize that it’s a rare occasion to view the artist’s work performed by the talent. There are a limited number of tickets sold to the public throughout a tour. Yet with VR, anybody can see a performance. VR could make it more special to go to the event, which in turn, would encourage fans to pay more for tickets and meet and greets.

But if fans opt out and don’t fill seats, prices for the actual event could drop. That means that everyone putting the event together loses money. Plus there’s nothing like going to a live show. The feeling of being surrounded by like-minded people, being starstruck, and feeling the bass in your chest is irreplaceable. When you purchase a concert ticket, you’re really paying for the experience of being present and watching your idol perform their craft right in front of your eyes.

Can VR affect the Music Industry In A Positive Way?

VR concerts and events can make a positive change in the music industry if done the right way. If each person on the other side of a headset was charged to see an event, then imagine how many virtual tickets an artist could sell. This would also mean that when organizing an actual tour, you could increase the prices of a real, live seat.

Live performances won’t disappear completely because of virtual reality, but it is just the beginning. So many more technological advances will be made. It’s difficult to tell how the music industry will be affected. Let’s hope it figures out a way to swim with the current instead of drown in it.

Written by Mackenzie Rea