Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Mixed-reality music startup Volta Secures £400k Grant From Government-backed Innovate UK

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Volta XR:
Innovate UK:

The Grant will develop the next generation of audience interaction and co-creation

Free, self-service XR creation platform Volta has received a £400k grant from Innovate UK, the government-backed agency which drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas.

It is the latest huge development in a standout year for Volta which has begun to make its mark on the global entertainment industry. Its innovative technology – which was highlighted as one of TIME Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2021 – enables artists to turn their physical concerts or live streams into mixed-reality shows. It was recently seen in action at Glastonbury Festival during sets by Bonobo, Jamie Jones, TSHA, Grove and Fumez the Engineer which were all heightened by automated visual effects in real-time sync with their music.

“This money not only gives us Government funding but the opportunity to methodically learn how to translate the best parts of live events into hybridised ones,” says Volta CEO Alex Kane.

The grant will go towards researching and building audience interaction features that can bring global and local audiences together during live events. The aim is to enable both online and physical audiences to have an impact on the actual experience of a live event in real time, as well as creating a new revenue stream for artists that can deliver a meaningful income and helping artists engage with their fans far beyond emoji overlays and donations. Audience interaction not only brings fans together, but engagement drives brand awareness and with audience participation being a key feature, Volta gives fans a reason to watch and interact with the stream, rather than just listen to it.

The grant will also help Volta create the ability for audiences to interact in a way that benefits artists of all levels, incorporating gaming mechanics with in-app purchases and remote user interaction into live events with the aim of creating extra value in the music industry for the long tail of artists who historically haven’t been able to make a meaningful income from their art.

There will also be an element of research undertaken: Volta plans on hiring behavioural scientists to discover the motivation of concert goers live and live streamed and the psychological implications of making experiences interactive.

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