Video game accessories, peripherals, and hardware company Razer has sold over 17 million connected devices, including Razer Blade gaming laptops and Razer Nabu smartbands. The gaming company, which is valued by many analysts as being worth $1 billion, has entered the music business with Razer Music.
Every new 2015 Blade laptop will come with a free key to download a copy of Image-Line’s FL Studio Producer Edition software, which is used by professional music producers and artists across multiple genres. In addition, Razer Music has created a free online site featuring weekly tutorials and insights on the future of music production from established artists in the EDM genre such as deadmau5, Dyro, Project 46, Zircon, as well as in the hip-hop space, like Drake’s producer Metro Boomin.
“I’ve had a lot of people reaching out to me directly online from both the music and the gaming worlds saying they’ve watched my tutorials on the new Razer Music platform and found them helpful, so it’s cool to see great responses from both sides,” Dutch House producer Dyro says. “It’s united both industries and technologies together–and what’s better than music and gaming?”
Those two industries have been intertwined for decades. And Razer sees this new venture as a natural extension of its business model. Min-Liang Tan, co-founder and CEO of Razer, says the lines dividing music and gaming from a commercial point of view were altogether obliterated with the advent of online content distribution in both industries.
“We all love music, and we get it in the same way that we enjoy our games and connect with friends—online,” Tan says. “We are also obsessed with technology. EDM intersects where our gaming, social, music, and technology interests meet. CNN reported in 2014 that EDM was a $6.2 billion industry. Gaming is a $20 billion business just in the United States. That suggests a lot of interest in what we care about, so the proposition to connect gamers and music lovers through the prism of Razer Music—with access to educational and technical resources—is a fun and healthy extension of what we’re about.”
According to Kevin Sather, global director of systems marketing at Razer, half of music producers use Microsoft (MSFT) Windows. Because Razer laptops were designed for high-end PC gaming experiences, they can easily handle all of the tasks of music production. The company began reaching out to artists and producers across all genres about nine months ago and that led to this new initiative.
Tan sees an opportunity for more crossover within Razer, which has been spearheading Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) as a platform for developers to create VR content.
“While the major focus for VR development right now is concentrated on gaming, the applications for music are enormous, and include experiences like enjoying live concerts from the comfort of home,” Tan says. “VR content is one of the most tangible ways gaming can affect music.”
Tan says Razer’s OSVR team is excited about Razer Music from a content development perspective because it provides an incredible opportunity for VR to connect people in highly immersive and entertaining experiences.
“Being able to virtually enjoy a concert as if you were there with friends, interacting with them real-time, is a dream-come-true possibility,” Tan says. “We also see our audio products increasingly integrated into the crossover worlds of VR, gaming, and music, as the production, hardware, and software technologies, and distribution of content become ever more entangled with social applications.”
Razer has an active community of over 3.7 million gamers to tap into when it comes to its music initiative, which opens up a new platform for EDM and other artists to interact directly with an avid fan base.
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