You’d better stand up and pay attention, because a new player is entering the virtual YouTuber game in a big way: Sony Music Entertainment.
Auditions were launched on 20 July for the company’s new virtual YouTuber project, titled ‘VEE.’ Describing itself as a ‘new virtual talent development and management project that generously offers all our production and management knowledge, assets, and environment,’ the aim is to find and debut over fifty talents who can not only conduct live streams and create videos, but also create music and do voice acting.
Beyond VTubers, Sony Music Entertainment has a history of dominating the spaces in which it operates. Aniplex, for example, is owned by the company and is now responsible for several incredibly popular anime series, including the adaptation of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. What’s more, it has even come to dominate the anime streaming world, thanks to Crunchyroll being recently acquired by Funimation (another one of its subsidiaries).
— VEE【公式】 (@_vee_official_) July 20, 2021
Consequently, Sony Music Entertainment’s push into the virtual YouTuber world with VEE should not be taken lightly. The sheer number of talents it plans to debut just goes to show much potential it sees in the space, which isn’t exactly a bad assessment: the growth of agencies such as NIJISANJI and hololive over the past two years is testament to that fact. Even Netflix recently got in on the hype recently with The N-Ko Show.
What is unknown at this stage is whether VEE will have an international component. According to the official website, people of any nationality over the age of 16 can apply, but they must be living in Japan. Considering the extraordinary success of hololive EN and NIJISANJI EN, it certainly would be a shame to arbitrarily limit the project to one country. VTubers are no longer a uniquely Japanese phenomenon.
Just what will come of Sony Music Entertainment’s push into the VTuber space remains to be seen, but applications for VEE are open now until September 30. Still unsure what a virtual YouTuber actually is? Check out our handy guide!