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Virtual reality early adopters over-index on concert spending


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A lot of the experimentation going on around virtual reality and music focuses on live performances: reimagining concert footage as a wraparound, 360-degree experience. But will there be a big demand for this?

New research from Nielsen in the US will please the optimists, as it suggests a strong crossover between VR early adopters and live music fans.

The company surveyed 8,000 Americans on their knowledge of and interest in using VR in the next year, concluding that around 24% of American 18-54 year-olds are “PaVRs” (pavers, geddit?) who are more likely to purchase VR tech in the next year.

And these PaVRs apparently out-spend the average US consumer on tickets to concerts and live events by 195%. That’s good news for the flurry of VR/concert initiatives, from startups like MelodyVR to partnerships like Universal Music / iHeartMedia and Live Nation / NextVR.

That said, by definition these PaVRs will have more disposable income, so labelling them as keen music fans by default may be an oversimplification.

Still, the wider excitement around VR continues to mount: yesterday another research firm, Juniper Research, claimed that spending on VR hardware – headsets, accessories and 360-degree cameras – will climb from $5bn this year to more than $50bn by 2021.

Stuart Dredge

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