LOS ANGELES – Verizon, Capitol Music Group (CMG) and Motown Records will explore how 5G and multi-access edge computing (MEC) can help artists reach fans in new and engaging ways, both digitally and in-person, as people return to venues. The companies are launching a new Emerging Tech and Emerging Artist program that will pair three rapidly rising CMG and Motown recording artists with advanced content production technologies to bring the artists' creative visions to life in unique and enhanced ways. Verizon's 5G Lab in Los Angeles will serve as the production facility for the series, giving artists access to a 5G-powered virtual production stage, a volumetric capture studio, game engine technology, and a suite of Extended Reality (XR) production tools.
The first event in the series launches May 14 and features an immersive VR concert experience with Motown recording artist TheHxliday, who will perform his new EP "The Most Beautiful Disaster". The immersive performance will be available in 180-degree live streams on TheHxliday's YouTube and Facebook pages, as well as on Oculus Venues and Verizon's 5G Labs site. The performance was recorded in 4K video on a camera connected to Verizon's 5G Ultra Wideband network in Verizon's 5G Lab in Los Angeles. With 5G, Verizon was able to record and stream TheHxliday's performance in a visually lossless way, nearly eliminating the side-effects of image compression that's visible to the naked eye.
Verizon also worked with production partner Supersphere to make the experience even more immersive by leveraging their ArcRunner platform to incorporate creative graphics and lighting into the performance in real-time, eliminating the need for post production. With Verizon 5G Lab's multi-view player, built by YBVR, viewers of TheHxliday's performance will be able to seamlessly switch between various camera views with ultra-low lag.
With 5G Ultra Wideband's massive bandwidth and low latency, data intensive 4K video can be recorded and streamed in exceptional quality. 5G enhances applications like motion capture, volumetric video capture and AR/VR, providing the foundation to usher in a new generation of entertainment. Artists will be able to reach fans in new and evolving ways, such as providing song lyrics in Augmented Reality (AR) in concert venues for fans with 5G phones. With 5G and MEC, eventually fans will be able to enjoy 8K live streams on mobile and XR devices essentially in real-time and have their own, personalized viewing experience. Considering the sheer quantity of information that can be shared in near real time, the enhanced quality of the imagery, as well as the ability to stream content and interact with fans instantaneously, 5G promises to provide a more immersive, high-fidelity entertainment experience.
"By giving artists access to next generation Verizon tools to bring to life their creativity and vision, we can push the envelope at the intersection of culture and technology," said Christian Guirnalda, Director of Verizon's 5G Labs. "Together, we can help usher artists into the post-COVID performance era, using 5G technology to reach fans in new and evolving ways. Whether engaging fans with virtual content, or using 5G to view a live show from multiple camera angles, we want to make sure artists have access to immersive, game-changing content that just wasn't possible before 5G."
"Technology has rapidly evolved the way we produce and consume content and has drastically changed the way artists connect with fans. 5G has the potential to drive us towards a new paradigm of immersive experiences, and Verizon's 5G Lab in Playa Vista is the perfect creator's playground for unlocking and discovering a new age of emotional connectivity," said Ching Ching Chen, VP of Business Development, CMG. "While there's no replacing the live experience, the co-existence of virtual performances can be enormously powerful in broadening access and reaching fans who may otherwise not have the ability or means to attend live events."
Tramiel "Twin" Clark, SVP at Motown added, "We're excited our partners at Verizon 5G Labs have chosen TheHxliday to kick-off this innovative and immersive new series. At Motown, we embrace and lean into cutting-edge technology to develop new creative and commercial opportunities for our artists. With the tools available from Verizon's 5G Labs, we're looking forward to taking our artist's live and virtual performances to new exciting levels and reaching fans and new audiences around the world."
Since inception in 2018, Verizon's 5G Labs have been working with startups, academia and enterprise teams to move the 5G ecosystem forward and explore how 5G can transform nearly every industry. The 5G Lab in the Playa Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles provides a working playground for gamers, athletes, musicians, creators and technologists to innovate and explore with Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband. Verizon now operates five 5G Labs in the U.S. and one in London that specialize in developing use cases in industries ranging from healthcare to public safety to entertainment.