Reality singing competition and TV show ‘The Voice’ is throwing open the virtual door and inviting fans to enter.
From May 12, fans of the show will be able to enter the competition through VR. The latest event follows a successful trial of the concept last year.
Audition in VR
ITV Studios and metaverse developer Virtual Brand Group are teaming up to launch “The Voice Studios” (TVS), hosted in ‘Vegas City’ within Decentraland, a 3D browser-based virtual world. Last year The Voice ran a successful test of its concept in Decentraland with a virtual pop-up event. Now, TVS will become a permanent fixture.
TVS will launch with five experiences, comprising a trivia game, a treasure hunt, a dance-off, a rhythm challenge, and ‘music maker,’ a competition in which users can publish one of their own tracks and compete to win prizes. The best entries will also have the chance to compete in future seasons of the hit TV show.
The interactive environment will invite fellow TVS members to decide on winners in each category, encouraging interaction, and fostering community. The greater the level of interaction, the more features and prizes users can unlock.
Lucie Stoffers, ITV Studios’ head of brand licensing and global partnerships, revealed how TVS encourages fans to participate in the experience.
“While very few people get to be in a studio where ‘The Voice’ is being recorded, let alone receive a tailored gift from their favorite coach, it will now be possible for all fans to get access and have fun in this new immersive experience,” said Stoffers.
A massive competition
The Voice currently runs in 148 versions right around the world. TVS is being launched to coincide with the final weeks of Season 23 of the US competition, which airs on NBC.
The singing competition features unknown artist contestants who are coached by established stars. In the blind audition phase, the contestants each sing a song while coaches facE away from them. If one of the coaches likes what they hear, they press a button to face the contestant and add them to their roster.
This season the show’s coaches have been Kelly Clarkson, Chance the Rapper, Niall Horan, Blake Shelton, and Carson Daly. Past contestants on the show include Koryn Hawthorne, Nicolle Galyon, Cassadee Pope, and Sawyer Fredericks.
Following last year’s trial of virtual auditions, The Voice and Virtual Brand Group (VBG) found that engagement with the show was much higher than through other social media.
Data showed that fans spent an average of 49 minutes per session engaging with the show and its content in the metaverse. That figure amounts to 13x more engagement than on traditional social media platforms.
VBG CEO Justin Hochberg said that TVS represents “the future of entertainment, fashion and youth-culture marketing,” and that ultimately, “Building the next generation with Vegas City [in Decentraland] that is bigger and better for the show, advertisers and fans was the obvious logical step.”