Now that Facebook has confirmed it will be launching the first set of virtual reality goggles Oculus Rift early next year, the #Music industry is interested in what it can do for them. Especially for huge bands like Linkin Park, which have been touring non-stop around the world and found in technology a way to further engage the fans and explore new revenue models. How? Video customisation, live streaming and soon enough, virtual reality.
"Our fanbase is two thirds outside of the US, and ages are pretty wide. We can't play all of the places we'd like to play," LP's Mike Shinoda told the audience at tech conference Collision, in Las Vegas. "In fact, one of our biggest fanbases is in India and we never played there. Other is in China and it's been years." Live streaming concerts gives them "a chance to give some really great experiences to the fans we can't go out and see," and virtual reality is the next frontier. The idea is to use a VR set like Oculus and have an immersive experience at the show.
The band's turntablist Joe Hahn was also there and stressed that the ability to not only watch the concert from where the camera is stationed, but choosing which angle one wants to see is the exciting thing about multiple-camera VR.
"I'm excited about the potential of the creative expression that can go on in the medium," Shinoda continued. "We've had the opportunity to experiment a lot and are willing to try and fail." One example happened in 2014, when the band released the video for Guilty All the Same using Microsoft's Spark technology. It allowed users to remix and customise it from scratch, but it didn't have the results they expected, contrary to what happened in 2012 with Lost in the Echo. It was integrated with Facebook and allowed users' own pictures to be featured on the video, spelling a viral success.
"We continue to go down those paths," Shinoda stated, revealing another project from last summer. This time, they partnered with payments company Square and gave their fans the ability to go out, sell the band's mercy and get a cut from it. It was called the Square LP black market and it had mixed results, but it is to be continued. "We hope to have a record out next year, so we hope to follow up," Shinoda delivered.
He also said the band runs their own social media and recalled how different things were over 15 years ago, when they formed. "It all started changing all at once and we had to ride that wave," referring to social media, smartphones and all that came with it. "There are bands offering super premium packages, for this much money you can actually have dinner with the singer, and this leads into that: you can create a piece of content that is personalised." #Smartphone