UMG Mounts VR Play with ‘Kids’

“Whether that’s walking around a stage during a concert by their favorite artist or becoming part of the story in a music video,” VR is pushing the limits of music, according to Ty Roberts, Chief Technology Officer of Universal Music Group, which is teaming with OneRepublic for a new and immersive virtual reality experience for the group’s new single, “Kids.”

The project is set to debut Sept. 27 at a lunch and panel during Advertising Week in New York. The song is from their fourth studio album, “Oh My My,” which drops Oct. 7 on Mosley/Interscope Records. Nokia Technologies also took part in creating the VR clip, which was shot on the Nokia Ozo, the first commercially available professional VR camera (retailing for around $50,000).


UMG recording artists OneRepublic

The “Kids” piece was directed by Hal Kirkland and produced by Chris Milk’s VR production studio, Here Be Dragons. Milk, who is also founder and CEO of Within, a VR content start-up, will take part in the panel discussion accompanying the “VR is ‘Kids’ Play” session presented by UMG and the Tribeca New Music Festival at the NASDAQ building.

The “VR is ‘Kids’ Play'” panel will be moderated by Jane Rosenthal, executive chair of Tribeca Enterprises, and will feature Kirkland, OneRepublic singer-songwriter Ryan Tedder, Within founder and CEO Milk, Nokia’s Head of Presence Capture Guido Voltolina and UMG & Brands new business chief Bart Saunt.

The VR experience will initially be made available exclusively on the Within app for fans to download or stream on their smartphone or VR headset at home.

“Virtual reality is something that’s incredibly interesting to us because it gives us the opportunity to engage fans in a new way,” Tedder commented. “We’re excited to be able to give our fans a way to step inside our music and live in our latest single.”

“This cutting edge technology is opening up thrilling new opportunities for artistic expression that we have only begun to realize,” Roberts added. The “Kids” VR experience will be made available exclusively on the Within app for fans to download or stream on their smartphone or VR headset at home.

The video will also be made available at beginning at 12:01a (ET), Sept. 27, before becoming widely available through other distributors including Oculus, Samsung VR and Littlstar, as well as Facebook 360 and YouTube 360.

UMG is a music industry leader in VR with a library of more than 60 titles, including concerts featuring Shawn Mendes, DNCE and U2.

Nokia's 360-degree Ozo virtual reality camera

Nokia’s Ozo VR camera films in 360 degrees.

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