Virtual-reality music startup MelodyVR launched its app commercially in the US and UK on 1 May, then in eight more European countries on 26 June.
So its just-published figures for the first half of 2018 – revenues of just £6.8k included – aren’t a reflection of where the company hopes to be as its app rolls out globally and on to more VR headsets. Its debut focused on Facebook’s Oculus Go headset, which itself was launching at the time too.
In its half-year financial report, MelodyVR said that “our early metrics regarding user engagement and conversion rates are extremely encouraging and remain on track with management expectations; with over 72% of MelodyVR’s install base now having utilised the platform to consume our content”.
(Although that does make us wonder why the other 28% of people who’d installed the app hadn’t gone on to use it.)
MelodyVR recorded a net loss of just under £4.4m for the first half of 2018, reflecting the costs of launching its service and creating content. Thanks to its most recent funding round, MelodyVR ended June with cash reserves of £26m, which it says gives it more than two years of runway to build its business.
The financials also revealed some news: MelodyVR has signed a deal with Ansco Arena Limited, which runs The O2 venue in London, to “share revenue from live-streamed and recorded VR content” on MelodyVR.
The company is also planning to launch its livestreaming offering “with a showcase offering, featuring a live performance of a globally recognised artist in partnership with an equally prominent global media channel”.
“Users will be able to experience live VR content via the MelodyVR platform, by purchasing a virtual ticket. Given the partnerships already in place with the key stakeholders in the music industry, fans will subsequently be able to re-live these experiences at a later date, as part of our ever-broadening library of original content,” explained CEO Anthony Matchett in the financials.
And MelodyVR is also laying plans to make its content available as Android and iOS apps, to widen its reach beyond the still-growing VR-headset market, as well as expanding its business model beyond a-la-carte sales to “platform advertising and sponsorship”.
“The consumer reaction to the launch of the Oculus Go headset has been very positive, yet we are keen to accelerate the growth of MelodyVR’s user base beyond the reach of the 324 million VR devices the market forecasts by the end of 2021,” wrote Matchett, on the former point.
“In order for the rate of MelodyVR user acquisition to surpass the expectation of VR hardware sales and adoption, we intend to extend the accessibility of our services to Android and iOS device users worldwide, which are currently in excess of 3 billion. With this in mind, we are currently evaluating a number of initiatives which will enable users to access content with their smartphone devices. I look forward to providing further updates on this, as well as our other initiatives, in due course.”