AmazeVR talks about the future of VR concerts

The virtual reality world is expanding and giving musicians more room to reach a larger audience with less travel and cost.

Way Janelle Borg of AmplifyYou

Virtual reality concerts are becoming a hot commodity for the world’s top superstars. Hosting a virtual reality concert has proven profitable, with Travis Scott’s virtual concert grossing over $20 million, reaching millions of fans. To learn more about this expanding space in the music industry, we caught up with Joe Choi from AmazeVR – the company responsible for Megan Thee Stallion’s “Enter Thee Hottieverse.”

Can you tell us a little about your role at AmazeVR?

My name is Joe Choi, Senior Strategy and Operations Manager at AmazeVR. Previously, my role was primarily focused on leading the personal execution of the first virtual reality concert tour featuring three-time Grammy Award-winning artist Megan Thee Stallion. Since the completion of the tour, my role has primarily focused on helping strategize and direct our next lineup of artists for our upcoming VR concerts.

How did the company come about 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 (#1 instant messaging app for smartphones in Korea, now a multi-billion dollar company). Kakao had their IPO, and although it was a huge success, the (AmazeVR) founding members still had a thirst to create innovation that could impact the global market.

Coincidentally, after experiencing a virtual reality (VR) headset called GearVR (an early version of a VR headset made by Samsung), the founding members saw the technology’s potential to become a personal display that could replace TVs and monitors — just as smartphones replaced all cell phones. With this belief that VR could be used to “deliver offline experiences” beyond just watching standard 2D content, a dream was born and the team was officially established in Silicon Valley.

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What attracted you to the music industry?

Music is one of the most promising areas for future development in the VR entertainment industry. Along with games, the music industry is undergoing a paradigm shift, and many companies are trying to innovate as the next “big thing.” The pandemic has accelerated this shift, as we’ve seen a range of efforts spanning from live streams to virtual concerts to Fortnite shows. However, all of these other solutions only provide incremental value from the existing one, and no other solution captures the core value for fans – a human connection.

Before the pandemic, the global live music market size was $28.56B. We believe that the VR concert business has more potential than the live concert business because there are no physical constraints. Compared to live concert audience numbers, artists have many fans willing to pay for high-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 The Hottieverse.” In what ways has The Hottieverse helped shed light on VR and its use in the music industry?

Working with Megan Thee Stallion and the entire Roc Nation team was an extremely rewarding experience as we were challenged both internally and by some great external feedback to bring our VR concert to the standards expected of a superstar like Megan. We knew we wanted to wow people with our first effort, and Megan’s professionalism and feedback pushed us into areas that allowed us to collaborate and create an amazing experience for her fans.

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As a result, we’ve been able to learn and improve our proprietary camera technology, Unreal Engine-based VR VFX tools, and AI modules to automate manual tasks and produce better visual fidelity. Visual fidelity is perhaps the biggest contributor to the sense of presence and the belief that the experience is real—in our case, to convince fans that they’ve actually met their favorite artists.

SM Entertainment is best known for its interest in Metaverse – their Metaverse-inspired girl group Espa.

SM Entertainment is known for pushing the envelope and being one of the first entertainment companies to integrate the Metaverse. How will your partnership with SM expand K-pop’s influence not only IRL, but also in the metaverse?

We have always had a close relationship with K-pop giant SM Entertainment, and the joint venture is the result of these relationships, the future they see what VR (Metaverse) can bring to the music industry.

With the VR market topping nearly 15 million active users in the MetaQuest ecosystem alone, we see this as a great opportunity for artists to reach more diverse opportunities for their fans in VR and Metaverse. Additionally, we are preparing to launch our Music Metaverse service on all major VR app stores in 1H 2023, a great opportunity to reach this fast-growing community with a lineup of established and emerging artists from SM Entertainment and the US. .

How does AmazeVR contribute to creating a new music economy?

AmazeVR is taking music to the next level. Through our proprietary camera technology and software, we produce virtual reality (VR) concerts that create entirely new musical experiences that bring fans closer to the artists. Most music fans don’t have the luxury of seeing their favorite artists in concert – for a number 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 home. Our goal is to allow fans to experience their favorite artists anytime, anywhere.

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AmazeVR promotes a business that produces and distributes immersive concerts of musical artists online and offline based on our proprietary VR technology. We want to position ourselves as a company similar to Spotify and LiveNation – but in VR.

In 2022, we took fans (many of whom were first-time VR users) on her “Enter the Hotiverse” tour with the first ever VR concert tour featuring three-time Grammy Award-winning artist Megan Thee Stallion. In the US, it draws more than 15,000 concertgoers. Going forward, our VR concerts will be accessible primarily online, and we envision them becoming a key component of all artists’ release strategies and album rollouts, setting a new paradigm for artists and fans alike beyond existing live in-person concerts.

Janelle Borg Knows a thing or two about the music industry. Having been in the industry since the age of 13, she is currently involved in various music-related projects and is always keen to share industry tips ‘n’ tricks with fellow musicians.


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