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New partnership will bring hundreds of live concerts to virtual reality headsets

Audi Virtual Reality Experience
Fans of live music soon won’t have to leave their homes to get access to a massive number of live experiences, thanks to a new partnership between production companies Live Nation and NextVR.

The companies will work together to shoot and stream hundreds of live concerts starting this summer, making their available to owners of Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR headsets. The company plans to expand to other VR app stores, such as that of the HTC Vive, soon after its initial launch.

Here’s the kicker: At first, all programming will be free.

“NextVR is planning to bring quite a few acts to the platform at no cost and initially — all programming will be free. Pay-for-view programs will likely follow — at a time determined by NextVR and Live Nation,” said a NextVR spokesperson in an interview with Variety.

This is a multiyear deal that NextVR executives likely hope will cement the company as the frontrunner in the world of live virtual reality production, not that they already didn’t have an upper hand in the industry. The tech startup recently raised $30.5 million in Series A funding from cable conglomerates including Time Warner and Comcast.

It makes sense that cable and event companies would want to partner with a virtual reality producers to cover live events. As the VR market grows, immersive home viewing experiences will need to grow with it. Plus, pay-per-view dollars could prove extremely lucrative for big-name artists and large events for which fans have a hard time getting tickets.

The companies have yet to put forth a full concert schedule, but have announced that the first event will take place this summer. Live Nation produces 25,000 live events each year, so the companies should have plenty of shows to choose from.

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