×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

One Direction’s Liam Payne Plays Free Concert in VR This Wednesday (EXCLUSIVE)

Liam Payne of One Direction fame will play a secret gig to a select audience of fans in London this Wednesday — and fans from around the world will be able to virtually join the gig’s audience: The concert is being broadcast live in virtual reality (VR) by MeldoryVR, free to watch for anyone who owns an Oculus Go or Samsung Gear VR headset via the MelodyVR app on the Oculus store.

“I can’t wait for this show,” said Payne. “For those who are going to be there on the night, it’s going to be amazing… but the fact there will be people from right across the globe watching the live stream via MelodyVR makes it extra special.”

London-based MelodyVR has been streaming concerts and other music programming on demand in VR for a few months now. Payne’s gig will be the first to be shown live by the company, and MelodyVR founder Anthony Matchett told Variety this week that the pop star was the perfect candidate for this inaugural VR live stream. “Liam has always been a great tech enthusiast,” Matchett said. “He has an amazing understanding of VR.”

Like MelodyVR’s previous on-demand shows, Payne’s live gig will give viewers the ability to choose their own vantage points, and either enjoy the show from the front row, the middle of the crowd or even join Payne on stage. Matchett said that Payne planned his entire gig to incorporate VR viewers. “He wants to make sure the fans have an amazing experience.”

MelodyVR has been streaming archived content from artists including Post Malone, The Chainsmokers, Niall Horan and Bebe Rexha. The company also found unexpected success outside of the realm of pop music, with concerts from the London Symphony Orchestra regularly ranking among the top teon of most popular events. “The experience appeals to a lot of people,” said Matchett. He declined to provide details on the company’s total audience size, instead saying: “We’ve seen decent numbers.”

Some of these gigs have been made available for free, while the company has charged for others with a pay-per-view model. Matchett said that the company was ultimately looking to establish a new way to participate in live events. This could not only benefit fans from around the world who can’t participate in live shows, but also an industry that is struggling with ticket scalpers and other downsides of the live events business.

“Secondary ticketing is bad for pretty much everyone involved,” Matchett said .“We hope that VR can be an alternative.”

More Digital

  • Simran Sethi Quits Netflix India Role

    Simran Sethi Quits Netflix India Role

    Simran Sethi, the Los Angeles-based director of Netflix international originals, responsible for India content, has resigned and will quit after a transition period. Netflix did not comment. Sources familiar with the matter told Variety that Netflix prefers an executive based in India to oversee local original content that has now grown to 11 series and [...]

  • The Secret Life of Pets 2

    ‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Universal Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “The Secret Life of Pets 2.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $11.52 million through Sunday for 869 national ad airings [...]

  • Cory-Haik-Vice

    Vice Media Hires Cory Haik, Former Mic Publisher, as Chief Digital Officer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Vice Media has recruited Cory Haik, former publisher of digital news start-up Mic, as chief digital officer to lead the youth-culture company’s global internet businesses. Haik will be based at Vice’s Brooklyn headquarters and report to CEO Nancy Dubuc. She most recently worked at Mic, which last fall laid off virtually its entire staff before [...]

  • Snapchat logos

    Porn Studio Starts Building X-Rated Snapchat Lenses, Encourages Users to Do the Same

    Adult entertainment company Naughty America wants to use augmented reality to get the word out about its paid services. The company has begun to make Snapchat lenses featuring some of its models, and is teaching its audience to do the same. Naughty America shared three such lenses on its website (link not safe for work) [...]

  • New, Likely Cheaper Galaxy Home Speaker

    Samsung Is Getting Ready to Introduce Second Smart Speaker

    Samsung still isn’t selling its Galaxy Home smart speaker, but the company may be getting ready to introduce a second model soon: An FCC filing for an “AI speaker” suggests that the new model, like the original Galaxy Home, will be dual-branded, featuring both Samsung’s own brand name as well as that of its audio [...]

  • Streaming Placeholder

    TikTok Owner Preparing Streaming Service to Rival Spotify (Report)

    ByteDance, the Beijing-based owner of the TikTok video app, is developing a paid streaming music service aimed at the same emerging markets that Spotify and Apple are seeking to explore, according to a report in Bloomberg. The app could be introduced as early as autumn, according to the report, which adds that the company has [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content