On Jan. 16, China’s leading video streaming platform Bilibili partnered with Shanghai Media Tech to present China’s first virtual idol musical film Vox Ultima (创世之音), meaning the voice from the new world.
Disrupting the traditional “performance-on-stage” concert mode, the two-hour musical film aims to expand Bilibili’s virtual entertainment segment. The lineup consists of 12 popular virtual idols from both China and Japan. They include hanser and Aria, who come from VirtuaReal, a virtual talent incubation project jointly operated by Bilibili and the Japanese Vtuber group NIJISANJI. Huo Zun, a well-known Chinese musician, features as a special guest in the musical where his virtual avatar “Nine-Tailed Neko” will be officially revealed for the first time.
Exclusively run on Bilibili, the musical featured trendy stage design elements, such as cyberpunk and Peking Opera.Virtual idols will perform with real celebrities in settings that integrate real scenes with AR-powered virtual scenes.
China has seen growing popularity with virtual idols, usually projected by real people livestreaming behind an animated face. In October 2020, Bilibili staged a concert for virtual idol Hiseki Erio, and she performed for nine hours straight with90,000 online viewers, in which more than 3,000 are premium subscribers to her channel. After the performance, the number of paid followers increased to 8,000.
On Dec. 19 last year, Bilibili hosted the eleventh edition of the widely popular Bilibili Macro Link (BML), an anime, comics, and game-oriented concert, in Shanghai. This event was China’s first concert consisting solely of Virtual YouTubers (VTuber) and Virtual Uploaders (VUp).