The Endless Riff app recreates the social experience of attending concerts with friends and strangers. Users first design avatars before meeting up with friends in their virtual RV home base, where they may converse and consume content on a TV inside before heading out to an event. Once they're at the concert, they may walk around the space and communicate with others while ambient 2D video is streaming of the live show. There is also a 360 video stream that users may jump in and out of. Once a room is filled to capacity, it will spawn another version of the room to accommodate more attendees. Down the line, gestures and emotes will be added, allowing fans to dance along stop a show from the comfort of their own home.
Currently Rockwood is the only venue available with Endless Riff CEO Mark Iannarelli calling it Endless Riff's "lab venue" where they can test production workflow and equipment, but the larger the implications are that in time other venues -- real or fabricated -- will enter the platform, with the possibility of artists or brands customizing their own performance space and even creating virtual music festivals. As well, fans will soon be able to play games, buy merchandise and even donate money towards charitable causes in the app.
While Samsung Gear VR is expected to have more than 10 million units sold by the end of 2018, Iannarelli says with Oculus Rift bundles currently selling for $399, one of the biggest impediments to Endless Riff catching on right now is the cost. But once the hardware is more affordable, the expectation is to shepherd fans watching live streams on Facebook and YouTube currently into these more immersive virtual experiences with an enhanced social aspect.
"We're really now in a nascent stage of just live video in general ramping up on socials," says Iannarelli. "So now all of a sudden we're sort of presenting an even more compelling embodiment of that and with a social experience that has more real estate to monetize."