After a lengthy beta-test period and a succession of licensing deals with music companies, VR music startup MelodyVR is preparing for its commercial launch.
In an announcement this morning, the publicly-listed company revealed that it “intends to launch its flagship music product (The MelodyVR app) in the coming weeks”, including a version for Facebook’s upcoming Oculus Go headset.
There are no further details on dates, pricing or content for now: this was a bare-bones announcement for investors rather than a detailed press release. In his accompanying statement, executive chairman Anthony Matchett focused on the Oculus Go aspect. “We’re thrilled to be working with Facebook/Oculus in advance of the launch of this exciting product and I look forward to sharing further information with shareholders as our marketing activity increases across both our own, and our partners channels in the run-up to the public launch of MelodyVR,” he said.
Music Ally first wrote about MelodyVR in July 2016, when the company was planning to launch its app later that year. The emphasis was on live performances filmed for viewing in virtual reality, although the company was also planning to stream concerts live and develop interactive VR music experiences.
Since then, the company has raised more money through selling shares – £3.4m in 2016 and a further £15m in 2017 – and signed licensing deals with Warner Music, Universal Music, Sony Music and various collecting societies, among other partnerships.
In July 2017, Matchett told Music Ally how MelodyVR would gauge that the time was right for the commercial launch of its application. “There are a number of variables. One is the amount of headsets out there in the market. In our eyes we want it to be somewhere between 20m and 30m, and we’re at 11m today,” he said then.
“We think that might happen towards Christmas, with a lot of potential new devices coming this year. If it does, that would be an amazing time to launch, but if the market is a little bit slower, maybe we’ll go early next year. But we’re not going to wait forever. There is an opportune moment when the market is the right size.”
That opportune moment appears to be the second quarter of 2018, according to this morning’s announcement.