VR storytelling company Within has been going places ever since its inception as Vrse. Started by Chris Milk, the filmmaker whose previous projects included the famous ‘Wilderness Downtown’ interactive video for Arcade Fire, Within has been lately experimenting with different musical collaborators. They have already worked with The Chemical Brothers to create an immersive, web VR-based visual interpretation of the duo’s tune, “Under Neon Lights.” While they also put together a music video for OneRepublic in VR for their single, “Kids.” Now, the LA-based start-up is going big with a new partnership with the Universal Music Group to develop augmented and virtual reality experiences with the music label’s large roster of artists.
According to the press release, the companies will work together to create multiple immersive experiences that will be distributed on Within’s app which is available on iOS, Android, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Sony PSVR and Google Daydream. The deal also aims to expand and integrate augmented and virtual reality across the creation, production, marketing and promotion of new musical tracks, from the recording studio to the release parties, concert stages and beyond, rather than just as an add-on after the fact. Adding to this new partnership, Within’s CEO Chris Milk said, “Music is one of the most uniquely transformative mediums of human expression; combining it with immersive AR and VR experiences creates a new art form exponentially more powerful than the sum of its parts. This partnership allows us the incredible opportunity to work with top artists at UMG to create ever more meaningful and expressive immersive music experiences.”
One noteworthy thing is that this deals sits separately from Universal Music’s existing partnership in the VR space, with startup VRLive for the UMG-branded VRTGO app that launched in October 2016. Universal Music’s Michele Anthony added, “We are huge admirers of Chris’s innovative and creative work in music and VR, as well as the premium experiences Within offers to music fans. Working with our labels and artists, Universal Music has produced numerous VR experiences and this agreement will help evolve our strategy. Together, Universal Music and Within will push the boundaries of how audiences experience music and create new ways for artists to forge deeper connections with their fans.”
Well, this is certainly a moment of rejoicing for the music industry and the fans as now we will possibly be meaningfully transformed and deeply connected to our music. But a bigger thing to watch out will be if this new expansion into AR will help blur the tag of “VR start-up” for Within. So let’s wait for the music to roll, till then you let us know your views about this partnership and stay in touch because we are, where VR is!