Universal Music Group (UMG) and iHeart Media, the nation’s largest radio station owner, are partnering on a series of virtual reality (VR) concert experiences.
The announcement was made today at CES 2016 by Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of UMG, and Bob Pittman, chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia.
Full shows by four artists will be shot as part of the iHeartRadio VR Concert Series held at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles.
The debut of the VR series will coincide with iHeartRadio Music Awards, which will broadcast live on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide and on TBS, TNT and truTV on April 3.
As part of the initiative, one VR experience by a UMG artist will be added from each major HeartMedia event in 2016, including the iHeartRadio Music Awards, the iHeartRadio Country Festival, the iHeartRadio Summer Pool Party, the iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina, the iHeartRadio Music Festival and the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour.
UMG and iHeartMedia will invite brands to partner with them to develop, produce and distribute the VR concert experiences.
The platforms that will be carrying the VR series have yet to be named, but the massive reach of IHeart Media and UMG should guarantee that the content won’t be wanting for promotion.
IHeartMedia boasts 245 million monthly broadcast listeners, nearly 90 million digital uniques and 80 million social followers. Universal Music Group has wholly owned operations in 60 territories, and its portfolio also includes Universal Music Publishing Group and multitude of labels, including A&M, Angel, Astralwerks, Blue Note, Capitol, Def Jam, Deutsche Grammophon, Fonovisa, Geffen, Interscope, Islan, MCA Nashville, Mercury, Motown, Polydor and Virgin.
“By combining iHeartMedia’s music events and hundreds of millions of listeners with the ability of our artists to forge powerfully emotional connections with their fans, we are ideally positioned to use VR technology to create authentic experiences that benefit our artists, consumers and marketing partners,” said Grainge in a statement.