VR music startup MelodyVR has agreed its second licensing deal with a major label: Universal Music Group. The agreement follows its deal with Warner Music Group late in 2016.

“The worldwide, multi-year agreement, licenses the creation and distribution of Virtual Reality content featuring UMG’s artists,” announced MelodyVR this morning.

“Under the agreement, MelodyVR will receive the right to produce and distribute VR content created with Universal artists. Content created under the agreement will be available initially on MelodyVR, followed by a period of joint-exploitation by both parties. The companies will share the revenue generated from the commercialisation of virtual reality content featuring Universal artists on the MelodyVR app.”

Universal Music has also received an entitlement to subscribe for just over 43.2m ordinary £0.01 shares in MelodyVR’s parent company, EVR Holdings, which is listed on the UK’s AIM exchange.

“Our agreement with Universal Music Group is a significant milestone and achievement for our company,” said CEO Anthony Matchett.

MelodyVR is preparing for the commercial launch of its app, which will focus initially on live music performances shot for VR, after making it available as a closed beta just before Christmas.

MelodyVR’s COO Steven Hancock recently told Music Ally about the company’s plans, during a panel session at the FastForward conference.

Hancock explained that MelodyVR’s launch model is very similar to Apple’s iTunes Store: fans will be able to pay as little as 99p to watch a single song performance, up to £10 for a whole concert.

“We’ve been fortunate enough to work very closely with Facebook, Oculus, HTC, Google and Sony PlayStation, and today there’s a phenomenal appetite for people to pay for things in VR. If you take the [iPhone] App Store, there’s three million apps on the App Store, but there’s sub-350 for VR currently, so the appetite for content is great,” he said.

“We haven’t touched branding or sponsorship to date,” he continued, suggesting that despite interest from brands, MelodyVR is wary of muddying the waters too early. “There will come a time when people will stop paying for it. I think we’re a long way off that… 24 to 36 months.”

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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