The Voice to get VR experience

 

MIPFORMATS: The Voice will become the first major TV format to make the leap to virtual reality after Talpa struck a deal with retail marketing giant TCC Global and Dutch VR start-up DFFRNT Media, C21 can reveal.

From this summer Voice-branded headsets will be distributed via major supermarket chains and other outlets TCC works with, allowing consumers to experience what it’s like to perform on stage in front of the panel of judges.
TCC, which operates customer rewards schemes throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific for the likes of Tesco, Carrefour and more, has acquired loyalty rights to the talent format, including VR experiences.

Working together with DFFRNT – the company established earlier this year by former Talpa chief commercial officer Winston Gerschtanowitz, ex-2waytraffic, BlazHoffski and Sat.1 exec Taco Ketelaar and entrepreneur Bas Verhart – TCC will distribute The Voice VR headsets via its clients’ outlets.

DFFRNT, whose VR division is one part of broader IP creation and direct-to-consumer digital business, has been shooting 360º footage around the Dutch version of The Voice to form that basis of the experience.

Ketelaar told C21 it would feature a number of different levels, unlocked via shopping loyalty points, allowing the user to see what it’s like being back stage, then to be a contestant themselves and step out in front of the audience and perform.
Local versions, featuring the different judges in each territory are planned as the roll-out begins, with deals already agreed in a number of major European markets. Ketelaar said The Voice VR would allow people to “experience what it’s like being Christina Aguilera.”

Ketelaar told C21 it would feature a number of different levels, unlocked via shopping loyalty points, allowing the user to see what it’s like being back stage, then to be a contestant themselves and step out in front of the audience and perform.
Local versions, featuring the different judges in each territory are planned as the roll-out begins, with deals already agreed in a number of major European markets. Ketelaar said The Voice VR would allow people to “experience what it’s like being Christina Aguilera.”

“This is the first ever TV format to go to VR in this way, especially in combination with a loyalty scheme,” said the exec, who will present the project during a VR-focused session at Mipformats here in Cannes tomorrow. “Content-wise this has never been done before. This is next level entertainment.”

After the surge of interest in VR last year as high-end headsets from the likes of Oculus, HTC and Sony were released and billions of dollars were invested in the sector, the creative scope of the technology is once again a major theme at MipTV 2017, with a handful of VR formats on offer to buyers at the market. But significant questions still remain about uptake.

Ketelaar said that bringing a brand as big as The Voice into the space together with Talpa and TCC would inevitably drive awareness and perhaps go some way towards demonstrating a clear bridge between television and VR. The hit format was this week licensed to broadcasters in Singapore and Malaysia for the first time.

 
Jannes Glas