What is the Metaverse?
Near the end of October, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg rebranded the platform, naming it Meta and promising a digital world he calls the “metaverse.” They’ve pivoted their focus from a social media platform onto a larger virtual universe where users can roam as avatars, attend business meetings, shop in virtual stores, and socialize at virtual events. This major shift has real implications for the future of computing, including what’s to come for the entertainment industry, remote workplaces and social interactions. If this whole “metaverse” thing is freaking you out a little bit, don’t worry! Digital marketing analyst Audrey Schomer assures readers that “while the name change indicates a larger vision, that transformation is not yet a reality and will be a years-long investment.” You might be wondering, What does this rebrand mean for the future of the internet? Read on to find out.
What Are Its Implications in the Music Field?
You’ve no doubt kept tabs on how technology is impacting live music over the last few years. What you might not have considered is the potential for expansive technology, allowing creators to move past virtual interactive displays and projections into fully virtual shows, virtual music festivals and other interactive augmented reality (AR) events.
Let’s take one example. I’m assuming you’ve heard of Burning Man, that wild and expensive gathering in the desert. Well, Burning Man has gone virtual due to COVID-19 restrictions. It worked on donation basis, making it accessible to almost everyone. That said, the high quality VR experience is still limited to those who are actually equipped with virtual reality technology (so not really accessible to anyone). The point is that in the future, it may become more widely used as extended reality (XR) expands its reach (note: XR is the combination of VR and AR, creating a “reality-plus” tech display).
Developers have also gone as far as creating “the world’s first fully interactive VR clubbing experience.” You can dance to your favorite DJs, mingle among other users and float between multiple virtual reality rooms of this digital club! It seems the rest of the world is catching onto the potential for VR technology: Roblox unveiled a virtual music festival on its platform, Travis Scott hosted an interactive Astronomical Fortnite show at the beginning of the pandemic, HTC Vive is working on a holographic concert, and Sony Music and Warner Music have expressed interest in investing in the metaverse.
In addition to virtual innovation in musictech like interactive artistic performances, the metaverse gives the music industry an opportunity to tap new audiences, monetize in new ways, and create new avenues for engagement. Virtual music festivals and shows are just the start of VR tech in the music industry – the metaverse will open up countless doors for collaboration, heightened experiences, remote live music, and multimedia creations.
How did we go from livestreaming on Instagram to the metaverse?
As mentioned above, the metaverse is nowhere near where Zuckerberg wants it to be in terms of functionality and user database. However, when the platform does expand into its full capacities, metaverse music will likely be the most popular feature for users. Our current, mainstream reality involves platforms like Instagram or specific platforms (for paid or free representations) that allow users to consume or create video content in real time with livestreaming features. Some of the wealthier, more technologically-inclined folks are beginning to use a combination of current technology and advanced VR tech.
As VR technology grows and becomes more mainstream, its best features will very likely be integrated into social media platforms like Instagram, Meta (previously known as Facebook), Snapchat, and Discord. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve already seen the capacity of livestreaming technology to temporarily replace cancelled gigs, so what’s to say we can’t develop VR to make virtual concerts added value?
Managing Projects for the Metaverse
The projects involved with the Metaverse platform are highly complex with regards to the technology involved. Regardless, there’s high demand for large-scale VR projects, and if you’re qualified or willing to learn, you may be lucky enough to be involved in some funded opportunities. Stay on your toes: use tools like our Music Sharing solution to manage sendings, and Catalog Management solution to keep a clean catalog and stay productive. With the gradual integration of tools and technologies like VR, AR, and XR, the music industry is about to shift completely.