Jay-Z’s TIDAL makes VR concerts bet, buying $7m in tokens from $100m-backed Sensorium Corporation

The modern music industry’s fraternization with virtual worlds is gathering pace.

For starters, there’s been a successful run of in-game Fortnite events in the past couple of years, from artists such as Travis Scott, Marshmello and Steve Aoki.

MBW has also recently been keeping tabs on a secret project being built at Sony Music, by a US-based team “dedicated to reimagining music through immersive media”.

In June, one of the music industry’s most successful figures, Scooter Braun, joined a $30m funding round in Los Angeles-based virtual concerts startup Wave.

And yesterday (August 25), music streaming platform Napster was acquired in a $70m deal by UK-based virtual reality music company MelodyVR, which has staged VR concerts for the likes of Post Malone, John Legend and Khalid.

Today, another intriguing addition to this trend: Jay-Z’s music streaming service, TIDAL, has spent $7 million on tokens (‘SENSO Tokens’) issued by Sensorium Corporation.

SENSO Tokens are the in-world currency of Sensorium Galaxy, a much-buzzed-about new VR “social metaspace” in which users can attend alternate-world concerts, nightclubs and festivals.

Sensorium Corp was founded in 2018 by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, and says it has attracted over $100m in investment to date with which to build Sensorium Galaxy.

Sensorium Galaxy is scheduled to launch publicly in early 2021 via the opening of its Motion and Prism ‘planets’.

Through a VR headset, users will be able to explore these worlds, socializing and interacting with other users as well as attending dance and music events.



This is where TIDAL comes in. With TIDAL’s $7m spend, the platform’s artist co-owners – including Jay-Z plus Lil Wayne, Rihanna, Calvin Harris, Daft Punk and Coldplay’s Chris Martin – have acquired access to broadcast their content within the Sensorium Galaxy.

Lior Tibon, Chief Operating Officer at TIDAL, explained: “Our relationship with Sensorium provides TIDAL with the opportunity to gain exclusive rights for its stellar artist roster to have their shows and music broadcast exclusively within Sensorium’s themed virtual entertainment worlds.

“The Sensorium Galaxy is a next-generation platform for entertainment consumption which will elevate the connection fans have with their favorite artists, and bring artist’s vision to life in a new and exciting way.”

“The Sensorium Galaxy is a next-generation platform for entertainment consumption which will elevate the connection fans have with their favorite artists, and bring artist’s vision to life in a new and exciting way.”

Lior Tibon, TIDAL

Sensorium says that its “Social VR technology” is poised to “provide unprecedented ways for artists, performance venues, game publishers, and virtual influencers to entertain and engage fans globally across interactive environments”.

Another bold claim from Los Angeles-based Sensorium is that Sensorium Galaxy will create “a new stage of evolution of social networks, when users are no longer limited to one-dimensional platforms”.

Built using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4, Sensorium Galaxy, says its makers, will “provide users with access to virtual music and entertainment concerts they would otherwise be unable to attend”.

Brian Kean, Chief Communications Officer at Sensorium Corporation, said of the TIDAL deal: “This is a very important transaction that will not only propel Sensorium Galaxy forward but could also see world-famous artists creating their own virtual music projects in Sensorium worlds.”

In addition to VR headsets, users will be able to access the Sensorium Galaxy via PC, iOS, and Android applications.

Sensorium recently announced a partnership with electronic music promoter and entrepreneur Yann Pissenem, the creator of Ushuaïa Ibiza and Hï Ibiza nightlife hubs.Music Business Worldwide

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