If a major label-signed artist creates a fan experience using virtual reality, chances are London-based startup MelodyVR is behind it.

That statement is set to ring even more true with news the company has inked a host of licensing deals with various European collecting societies.

According to an announcement on the London Stock Exchange, MelodyVR has entered into five music licensing, collection and distribution agreements with European rights holders.

Covering rights in Germany, the UK, Ireland, Sweden, Greece, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland, the agreements mark the rights holders’ first ever deals to license a virtual reality music service.

The news follows reports of Adele’s rumoured investment in MelodyVR’s parent company EVR Holdings.

The agreements are with:

1. International Copyright Enterprise Services Limited (“ICE”), covering:

·     Society for musical performing and mechanical reproduction rights (“GEMA”)

·     Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society Limited (“MCPS”)

·     Performing Right Society Limited (“PRS”)

·     Swedish Songwriters International Music bureau (“STIM”)

2. Hellenic Society for the Protection of Intellectual Property (“AEPI”)

3. The Buma Association and The Stemra Foundation (“BUMA/STEMRA”)

4. The Belgian Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers (“SABAM”)

5. Cooperative Society of Music Authors and Publishers (“SUISA”)

MelodyVR’s parent company EVR Holdings has said the multi-year agreements licensed the exploitation of its “extensive library of content” across “strategically important” European territories.

The deals follow MelodyVR’s agreements with all three major record labels, all signed within the last eight months, to represent their artists’ music directly. But now, through its deals with publishers and collection societies, the company can exploit the underlying music works in its library, e.g. songwriter copyrights.

EVR CEO Anthony Matchett said in a statement:

“Although the music licensing landscape is a particularly complex environment, maintaining all of the necessary rights required for content distribution and monetisation ensures that our company is uniquely positioned to benefit from the increasing consumer demand for VR entertainment content.

“[It’s] a position that we consider to be highly enviable considering the projected adoption rate of VR devices and our market leading position as the only licensed VR music platform.”

MelodyVR headset from EVR

Right at the centre of the virtual reality space in music, MelodyVR’s experiences include concerts, festivals and studio sessions from acts as diverse as Bloc Party, Zara Larsson and The Who.

With more than 4,500 hours of recordings created in the past three years, it harbours the world’s largest library of virtual reality music.

“It is our goal to demonstrate that virtual reality content can provide a new and sizeable revenue stream for the music industry, generating billions of dollars in revenue for labels, artists, songwriters, event promoters and hardware manufacturers alike,” said Matchett.

For an example of the sort of content that EVR and their MelodyVR app are providing, check out this live performance of ‘Bamboo’, by Elder Island, which is suitable for VR headsets.