The 2015 MTV EMA was the year's biggest international music event, broadcast live from Milan's Mediolanum Forum on 60+ international MTV channels. Our target audience of millennial music lovers around the globe is constantly seeking new and innovative ways to be entertained, and we wanted to deliver on this, providing passionate fans with an immersive virtual reality experience that enabled them to watch the show as though they were right there at the venue. Along with delighting fans, we wanted to showcase innovation and highlight the fact that we were bringing our users an entirely new way to enjoy the show.
In 2015 for the first time, the MTV EMA app for iOS and Android, which is localized in 11 languages, available around the world, and has been downloaded almost 1 million times, offered users a unique perspective on the event with a virtual reality feature—the first time a global music awards show has ever been streamed in VR. We wanted to make fans feel like they were at the center of all the EMA action, with an immersive, interactive VR experience that allowed fans at home to feel they were actually at the venue in Milan, watching the production from the audience.
To increase awareness of the VR experience prior to the show, we produced a limited number of branded 2015 MTV EMA cardboards which were distributed to press outlets. (Fans without cardboards could still pan around the venue on their mobile devices.) The EMA VR experience was also promoted via an exclusive article in the Hollywood Reporter.
Before the show, fans could experience a VR view into host Ed Sheeran's dressing room to whet their appetites for the big event. During the red carpet, a camera positioned on the carpet gave viewers a close-up view of Fifth Harmony's performance and the parade of stars like Justin Bieber arriving at the event. In the main show, two cameras on the stage were positioned to give fans an all-access pass inside the venue, to catch performances by Bieber and other artists ranging from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis to Ellie Goulding to Tori Kelly and Andrea Bocelli. Fans at home were able to watch the event from a different perspective than TV viewers saw, and truly feel like they were experiencing the show firsthand.
The 2015 MTV EMA virtual reality experience delivered on our goals of providing users around the world with a unique, immersive experience that put them in the audience no matter where they were physically located. It reinforced our connection with the fans and commitment to bringing them close to the artists they adore. And the groundbreaking play garnered positive press coverage as the first global music awards show to be fully live-streamed in VR, bolstering VIMN's standing as a driver of innovation.