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Universal Music Pacts With MelodyVR in Virtual Reality Deal

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Universal Music Group has entered a multi-year, non-exclusive licensing deal with virtual reality startup MelodyVR. Under the terms of the agreement, announced Monday, MelodyVR will create and distribute content featuring UMG artists on its upcoming VR app.

MelodyVR will have rights to the content for an unspecified period of time before it is then opened up to both parties to distribute and monetize. The companies will share the revenue generated using UMG artists on the MelodyVR app, a free, cross-device app set to debut this year.

As previously reported, MelodyVR has recorded 1,000-plus shows with more than 500 acts worldwide to create a virtual concert library. The startup has captured performances by The Chainsmokers, Tegan & Sara and others, and in December it inked a similar content and licensing deal with Warner Music Group.

"Our agreement with Universal Music Group is a significant milestone and achievement for our company," remarked Anthony Matchett, CEO of MelodyVR parent EVR Holdings. "UMG represents a significant number of the world's most popular chart-topping artists and we look forward to working closely with UMG to create and distribute ground-breaking virtual reality content as well as to hosting UMG artists on the MelodyVR platform."

Universal has the option to acquire 43 million shares in EVR as part the deal. Warner Music struck a same-sized deal when they signed a deal with the same company.

Michael Nash, UMG's executive vp of digital strategy, said the company feels VR is a way or its artists to "create deeper connections with their fans" and that "given the depth of engagement possible with VR, many of our artists are interested in producing more of this content and we have a robust pipeline of projects coming soon."