About six months after completing a $15 million raise, VR concert platform AmazeVR has inked a far-reaching partnership agreement with 27-year-old K-pop mainstay SM Entertainment.
AmazeVR and SM Entertainment, which one month ago finalized a licensing deal with Chinese streaming service NetEase Cloud Music, unveiled their pact today. The involved companies are now set to launch and jointly operate Studio A, which, like SM Entertainment, will be based in Seoul.
Predictably, Studio A is poised to draw from the technology of AmazeVR (which has created a Megan Thee Stallion VR show) and the K-pop roster of SM, including the likes of Aespa (a Warner Music act as of June; the group’s new single has racked up 66 million YouTube plays in just five days), Super Junior, Girls’ Generation, Shinee, Exo, and Red Velvet, to name some.
Moreover, Studio A is likewise preparing to work with “other K-pop and Asian artists,” besides those who are affiliated with SM, as part of a larger goal of furthering “AmazeVR’s impact as the industry-leading VR concert creation and distribution platform service,” per the virtual-reality concert company.
The resulting VR programs “will be distributed exclusively through AmazeVR’s VR music metaverse service and SM’s VR metaverse service,” the parties made clear, and Studio A is specifically expected to utilize “AmazeVR’s custom 3D VR camera and stage setup, Unreal Engine-based VR VFX Tools, and AI modules to automate manual tasks.”
Addressing the tie-up in a statement, SM Entertainment CEO Sung-su Lee indicated that his company can “see the opportunity for our artists in the metaverse.”
“SM is excited to expand our market to include metaverse content for artists using AmazeVR’s industry-leading VR technologies and proprietary concert creation tools. We’ve had a great interest in this market and see the opportunity for our artists in the metaverse,” the SM Entertainment head said in part.
Expanding upon this perceived opportunity, the Studio A collaboration could potentially deliver significant commercial results given the ultra-dedicated nature of the K-pop community.
To be sure, more than a few BTS diehards have made their way to the movie theater for releases involving the seven-piece group, which is now heading to Disney+. (Megan Thee Stallion’s aforementioned AmazeVR concert was offered in select theaters. “The AmazeVR team traveled from city to city with VR headsets, wowing fans with the highest quality VR performances available,” today’s release reiterated.)
Additionally, K-pop boasts a decidedly global fanbase, and high-profile events like European festival KPOP.FLEX are already turning to livestreaming technology to reach international viewers. Plus, Army fanatics from some 100 nations tuned in for BTS’ pay-per-view “Bang Bang Con: The Live” in 2020, and the act’s Hybe agency has since backed livestream platform VenewLive.