Nanalyze

NextVR – Virtual Reality Concerts and Sports

We’ve written before about how augmented reality (AR) may be the biggest opportunity for investors ever. All kinds of exciting startups are popping up in the virtual reality (VR) space leading us to believe that soon we will not be able to imagine a world without AR/VR. When you think about applications for VR, you probably first think of movies and games, but one huge market to claim will be streaming events live in virtual reality. We’re not just talking about smaller events like weddings or family get togethers, we’re talking about the world’s biggest sporting events and most popular music concerts. One company looking to offer virtual reality concerts and virtual reality sports is NextVR.

NextVR Logo

 

 

Founded in 2009, Laguna Beach California startup NextVR has taken in $115 million in funding so far from investors that include Time Warner, Comcast, and The Madison Square Garden Company. In addition to these strategic investors, FOX Sports, Live Nation, NBC Sports, HBO/Golden Boy, Turner Sports, and CNN have all partnered with NextVR to create a wide range of scheduled programs. The majority of NextVR’s latest Series B round of funding comes from high-profile investors throughout Asia in the entertainment, content and technology markets. That funding round was the biggest amount received by any VR company with the exception of the massive amounts of cash that have been poured into secretive VR startup Magic Leap.

Virtual reality sports took off late last year and since then NextVR has live streamed the Kentucky Derby in 360 HD virtual reality using 7 cameras, Fox Sports live streamed the U.S. Open at Oakmont in VR, and various other sporting events have been live streamed like basketball and NASCAR.

As for virtual reality concerts being streamed live, NextVR has partnered with a company called Live Nation which takes in over $4 billion a year in event revenues. Live Nation promotes or produces over 22,000 events, including music concerts, with total attendance exceeding 50 million—more than the NBA, NFL, and NHL combined. With Live Nation said to control 70-80% of all concert ticket sales, it’s only a matter of time before every event they sell tickets for is offered with a virtual reality option which brings us to questions about possible business models.

For virtual reality sports, do you just make the majority available for free aside from pay-per-view events like boxing which could command some premium dollars? Will this just become the new way for sports fans to watch their sports in the same way that high-definition TV has become the norm? A lot of the revenues that come from televised sports like the Superbowl are the commercial slots that are sold. Will all advertisers now need to have two versions of a commercial, a normal one and a virtual reality one?

Virtual reality concerts on the other hand have a potential business model that’s much easier to imagine. Since these are “virtual seats” they all have the same view (or do they?) and you charge a fee that won’t be so cheap as to cannibalize your real ticket sales but not so expensive that nobody wants to buy them. For virtual reality concert tickets, there is no limit on the number of tickets you can sell.

In the case of both virtual reality concerts and virtual reality sporting events, you can always charge people to watch events that happened in the past. From now going forward, we can assume that it will become standard practice to record all major events that take place using virtual reality cameras. The methods of recording and techniques in making it seem “real” will only improve such that this will soon become the preferred way of viewing any event aside from actually being there.

For now, the NextVR platform only supports the Samsung VR Gear device which has an affordable price point of around $100.00. Right now you can actually pick one up for around $69 by clicking the below picture:

It is anticipated that eventually all other VR hardware platforms will also be supported. If you’ve attended any NextVR events, drop a note in the comments below as we’d love to hear what people think of this relatively new but potentially very disruptive technology application for virtual reality.

Want to get started with Virtual Reality? The HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift are the two best headsets right now. Right now HTC is offering $200 off their headset which comes with two controllers, a whole bunch of accessories, $50 gift card for Steam (content and games), and some free content to blow your mind right out of the box like Everest VR and Star Trek. Maybe the best part is watching how your friends and family react when they try it for the first time! Click here to pick one up.

  • Dave

    I’ve seen some of their live VR and its simply astounding, definitely the future of entertainment. You actually feel like you’re there!!

    • Nanalyze

      Thanks for that feedback Dave! That’s awesome you had access to a sneak preview.

      When the robots take all our jobs we’ll have something to preoccupy ourselves with.

  • Anyone know of any VR IPO stocks?

    • Nanalyze

      Hi Lisette,

      Thank you for the comment. There are no VR stocks that have announced a target date to IPO nor are there any publicly traded VR pure plays that we know of. Stay tuned as we’ll be quick to talk about any pure-plays that crop up for VR/AR as they inevitably will!

  • Andrew

    Errr, check out http://evrholdings.com/investor/investor_about.shtml. They are bringing out an app called ‘Melody VR’ which had the largest VR library of anyone. They have just done a tie up with Telefonica to release it in some German O2 stores in September.

    • Nanalyze

      Thank you for that Andrew.

      This appears to be a “reverse merger” of sorts. Melody VR was private (in stealth mode for 18 months) and then came out of stealth and now will trade on AIM. We just browsed their admission document and this is well worth a closer look. Thank you for this tip!

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