The past year has seen many industries pivot into the digital realm and seek new ways to connect. That includes the music industry with artists reaching fans across multiple platforms. Yet, one of the early pioneers of virtual performances Wave – formerly TheWaveVR – has announced that its virtual reality (VR) app is to shutter.
Wave launched its music platform in 2016, providing users with both live and recorded immersive performances. Like many it expected to see a surge in VR adoption which never quite happened back then, so a couple of years later started to change its strategy and cater to the standard streaming market. In a recent tweet, Wave CEO and co-founder Adam Arrigo has now confirmed those VR aspirations are ending.
Noting that: “the VR industry didn’t develop as quickly as we’d hoped,” and because of this he says: “The hardest part of running a startup is choosing what to focus on, which has led us to the difficult decision to sunset TheWaveVR app on Steam and Oculus.”
Although he does also cite Google Poly as another factor: “Unfortunately we built the user tools on top of Google Poly, which is shutting down. As much as we’d love to, we aren’t able to spend the resources to build a new backend pipeline, since we are already spread so thin trying to accomplish our current set of non VR objectives.”
So, for now, that means the definitive end of Wave’s VR plans. The company may return to VR in the future, most likely when adoption has reached more mainstream appeal. “We promise to do everything we can to one day bring back this experience in an even more evolved form,” Arrigo said.
Wave secured $30 million USD in Series B funding during last summer as it pivoted towards a broader user base. Past artists who’ve performed on the platform include John Legend, The Weeknd, Imogen Heap, and Jean-Michel Jarre. For further updates, keep reading VRFocus.