For the past couple of years, MelodyVR has been providing immersive access to live concerts featuring artists such as Imagine Dragons and Wiz Khalifa. In an unexpected move, today, the company has announced the acquisition of streaming service Napster.
MelodyVR is actually buying Rhapsody International which operates under the Napster brand for $70 million USD, with the aim of creating “a unique music platform that will offer both immersive live performances and music streaming.”
Napster is well known for its chequered history, with the brand purchased by Rhapsody International’s parent company RealNetworks, Inc. in 2012. Napster currently has more than 3 million users, achieving revenues of $113 million in 2019. In the short term, both MelodyVR and Napster will continue separately as plans are put in place to combine both platforms.
“MelodyVR’s acquisition of Napster will result in the development of the first-ever music entertainment platform which combines immersive visual content and music streaming,” said MelodyVR CEO Anthony Matchett in a statement. “For music fans today, live and recorded music are intrinsically linked. We are as keen to see our favourite artists perform live as we are to listen to their albums. Our purchase of Napster, one of the music industry’s original disruptors, is born out of our wish to deliver the world’s foremost music experience, available seamlessly across audio and visual media and in turn presenting a truly next-generation music service.”
“This is a tremendous outcome for two organizations with complementary platforms and loyal audiences, and we could not be more excited to be moving forward as one company. The product, technology and cultural synergies of Napster and MelodyVR will bring tremendous innovation for music lovers, artists and the entire music industry. Good things come from being together, and we look forward to creating a powerful platform that combines our strengths and offers an even wider range of content to consumers, creators and advertisers,” adds Napster CEO Bill Patrizio.
During the COVID-19 pandemic MelodyVR setup safe studios in London and Los Angeles so artists could perform. MelodyVR is currently available for Oculus Quest, Oculus Go, Gear VR and smartphones as a free app. For further updates on MelodyVR’s plans, keep reading VRFocus.