Jean-Michel Jarre and a French startup want to set up “YouTube of the metaverse”

The company VRrOOm on Tuesday announced its ambitions for the coming months: after doing virtual reality shows with several companies and artists, including Jean-Michel Jarre, it wants to open this platform to all artists at the end of the year.

On the VRrOOm platform, Jean-Michel Jarre has already done several concerts, such as this one for the 2020 music festival © Maxppp / LP / Olivier Arandel

The presentation takes place in the over 100 -year -old Palais des Mirages of the Grévin Museum, a sound and light show that reminds us that “all technology today, we owe to the fairy of electricity“, said Louis Cacciuttolo, founder of the company VRrOOm, which specializes in creating cultural events and virtual reality. Beside him, Jean-Michel Jarre, whose last major concerts have certainly taken place in the midst of virtual universe: a Notre- The Dame de Paris cathedral was re-created (and renovated) for the transition to New Year 2021, and an imaginary city named Oxyville to accompany the Oxymore project- announced at the beginning of the year in Maison de la Radio, and will air the final version in the fall.

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Every day there are tens of millions of people without access to shows-therefore tens of millions of euros are lost for the cultural industry”, explains Louis Cacciuttolo, that the VRoOOm platform is intended to be a platform for production, distribution and monetization. Company goal: to lay the foundation of the “YouTube metaverse” by the end of the year. “For this, we must provide tools to the creators“, explains Jean-Michel Jarre:”Thanks to technology, we were able to make music from our bedroom. Soon we will be able to do the same thing to create concerts, or exhibitions“.

“The virtual universe I’ve always dreamed of”

Honestly, what do these concerts look like in VR? These are virtual spaces where each participant is represented by an avatar, who can move freely in space, in front of a stage (or around), in a setting dressed by the artist for the occasion ”and without any space or time constraints“Jean-Michel Jarre, known for his giant concerts, said that virtual reality to him.”made it possible to create the virtual universe I’ve always dreamed of“, where, he says, the public can fly into the middle of the room, where one can go beyond two (sometimes three) dimensions of a standard performance stage.

Jean-Michel Jarre and Louis Cacciuttolo at the Palais des Mirages in the Grévin Museum
Jean-Michel Jarre and Louis Cacciuttolo at the Palais des Mirages at the Grévin Museum © Radio France / JB

Just like on YouTube you have artists creating content, we include VRrOOmer, with no limits to creating the worlds they dream of“, according to Louis Cacciuttolo. Honestly, we do not yet know what these tools will look like, which should allow everyone to create their own space in the metaverse, but the company promised that it would not require more than one PC (and possibly a VR headset) and will work with a subscription model “such as Adobe suite [qui contient notamment Photoshop, ndlr]”or in a semi-free version, the platform in this case takes a portion of the revenue from the content created.

“Let’s not let VR get lost” in the hands of the United States

Another issue, at the other end of the chain, is distribution: “When we did a concert at Notre-Dame, we had to pay for us to go to an American platform, VRChat”, said France Inter Jean-Michel Jarre, emphasizing the problems it could cause in terms of freedom. Let’s lose everything in the United States for video distribution, let’s not let it do the same for virtual realityhe said, calling for political will, because “to build the Franco-European metaverse, you need the Franco-European cloud-and for that, you need political decisions“.

The interest was clearly financial, Louis Cacciuttolo recalled: in a ten -minute concert at Fortnite, American rapper Travis Scott raised 20 million dollarswhile on his tour he earned $ 54 million on 56 dates“, he added. But for Jean-Michel Jarre the challenge of building such a platform in France is more:”It’s not a gadget, it’s not just a world of geeks, it’s something that will change our lives like electricity“, certainty of the musician. And assuring him that it wouldn’t be to the detriment of “real” concertsas at the beginning of the 20th century, cinema was not formed at the expense of live presentation.

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“In a year, it’s all too late”

But more than the divine desire to create a “YouTube metaverse”, how to stand up to the American giants, and in particular Facebook, who have staked everything on these developments? Time is the number one enemy, according to Jean-Michel Jarre: “In a year, it’s all too late, a few weeks, months.But the other factor, and clearly the roots of the war, is money. “We need money, investorssaid founder Louis Cacciuttolo, who announced on Monday a fundraiser of one and a half million euros, and a total budget of 50 million euros to launch the platform by the end of the year.

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Today, the metaverse is still a universe very much linked to virtual reality headsets-which, although increasingly accessible, remains an undeveloped market. So the first version of the VRrOOm platform is reserved for VR headsets. Will have to wait next year for the device for desktop computers in the form of video games to also exist, and then as a smartphone app. “And from next yearLouis Cacciuttolo concluded, “we will no longer wear helmets but mixed or augmented reality glasses that are even lighter“, and which will open them up, hope all the players in this market, to a wider audience.

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