Blue Note Entertainment Group – the organization that owns, operates, and licenses 13 music venues worldwide, including the iconic Blue Note Jazz Club brand – today announced a joint venture with Rivet Media to launch Rivet Music, a virtual reality content initiative dedicated to revolutionizing the way music events are consumed by fans.
Based out of New York’s legendary Blue Note Jazz Club, Rivet Music’s focus is virtual reality and 360-degree video, and 3D audio content capture, production and distribution, providing new immersive music and entertainment experiences for fans through various platforms. For its first wave of content capturing, Blue Note Entertainment Group and Rivet have outfitted Blue Note Jazz Club with multiple 360-degree camera rigs, immersive 3D and binaural audio capturing equipment, and a state of the art production suite specifically designed to accommodate live and post-production for both video and audio technologies. Blue Note is the first venue in the world to be outfitted for this purpose.
In March 2015, YouTube began supporting 360-degree video uploads. Today, Rivet launches its overall content initiative by publishing 13 unique YouTube 360-degree concert videos, adding a substantial volume of content to the limited number of existing 360-degree music-centric videos currently available on the platform.
For its YouTube 360 launch, Rivet documented a special late night performance at Blue Note Jazz Club on Friday, June 26 featuring The Soul Rebels (the celebrated eight piece brass ensemble from New Orleans that blend elements of funk, soul, rock, pop, jazz and hip hop music all within a brass framework). Uploaded videos include The Soul Rebels in unique collaborations with hip-hop legends Rakim and Slick Rick, guitarist Eric Krasno, pianist Robert Glasper, and rappers Sadat X (from Brand Nubian) and NIKO IS, respectively.
“As a nationally and internationally touring band, our mission has alway been to push the boundaries creatively and artistically with respect to how our music is experienced,” says Lumar LeBlanc, co-founder of The Soul Rebels. “Working with the Rivet team on creating cutting edge 360-degree virtual content reaffirms our commitment to presenting innovative and exciting ways for current and new fans to enjoy our music around the world.”
These videos are available for free via YouTube.com as well as through YouTube’s iOS and Android mobile apps, under the Rivet YouTube channel. Rivet will publish a variety of pre-recorded 360-degree concert videos over the coming weeks.
In addition to YouTube 360, Rivet will release its first iOS mobile application in Q4 2015 (with an Android version set for 2016 release). While the app will give users the ability to watch recorded and live concerts in 360 degrees on a mobile device, it will also afford users the ability to simultaneously experience this content in virtual reality with a Blue Note-branded Google Cardboard headset (a low-cost virtual reality platform developed by Google for use with a fold-out cardboard mount for a mobile phone). Initial content will feature Blue Note Jazz Club shows only, with an expansion of recurring well-curated content offerings in 2016. The app will be made available as a free download. Content pricing details will be announced in the coming months.
Rivet will also launch a desktop version of its app in 2016, built for use with the Oculus Rift headset (set for Q1 2016 release) and other VR headsets. App content will be promoted via YouTube and Facebook, where short show previews will be viewable in 360 for users.
“Digital content and streaming services – for both audio and video, recorded and live music – have transformed the music industry over the last decade,” says Cory Haber, CEO of Rivet Media. “The next frontier is immersion: 360 degree and virtual reality video, along with 3D audio.”
“These technologies will fundamentally alter the music consuming experience,” says Tsion Bensusan, COO and co-owner of Blue Note Entertainment Group. “We see tremendous opportunity in immersive video and audio to connect the audience and artist in an entirely new and powerful way.”
While Blue Note Jazz Club is the first venue to expand into this area, Blue Note Entertainment Group venues such as BB King Blues Club and Highline Ballroom will follow in the coming months. Additionally, the company plans to offer this expertise as a service to broader, third-party industry colleagues, such as live music festivals, as it looks for new ways to create premium content for its users.