Universal Music Group and iHeartMedia announced a new partnership that will focus on developing immersive music entertainment experiences in virtual reality at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Wednesday.
The goal of the partnership is to use VR technology to create a fun and immersive way to to connect artists, fans and brands together. To do this, Universal Music Group (UMG) will use its music expertise, whereas iHeartMedia (which owns iHeartRadio) will bring its huge listener base and event expertise.
"At UMG, we are focused on harnessing cutting-edge technology to pioneer new creative and commercial opportunities for artists, labels and fans," Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, said in a press release. "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."
As a global music leader, UMG has labels that include A&M Records, Def Jam Recordings, Capital Records, Interscope Records, MCA Nashville and Virgin Records, just to name a few, which means popular artists could be featured in VR performances. UGM's businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, which allow for bringing its expansive music library to these immersive music experiences.
iHeartMedia will hold its end of the partnership by tapping into its 250 monthly broadcast listeners, almost 90 million digital uniques and 80 million social followers, as well as invite brands to partner with them to further develop, create and distribute unique entertainment experiences.
"Our greatest strength at iHeartMedia is that we curate for our listeners — in this case, working with UMG to create a completely new entertainment experience using state-of-the-art VR technology," Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, Inc., said in a press release. "And now, as advertisers seek to tie their brands and products to music and artists in innovative ways, we can use our industry-leading reach and best-of-breed music events to unlock the combined power of music and VR as a revolutionary marketing tool. We're excited to work with UMG in a partnership unlike any in the music and entertainment industry."
UMG and and iHeartMedia plan to make these experiences accessible in the U.S. on a large scale.
Source: Universal Music Group