Last month, I found myself at the Made in NY Media Center in Brooklyn, testing a prototype of content management platform AudioSalad’s VR player for music streaming. The product intrigued me because it seemed to challenge how the real estate for music consumption has shrunken dramatically over the past few decades, from a 12-inch vinyl record to a 375×559-pixel phone screen (or, to be more extreme, an iPod shuffle, with its meager volume of 0.48 cubic inches). Indeed, in contrast to one-off purchases of CDs with limited content, I now use nothing but my iPhone and my thumbs to navigate a practically bottomless collection of digital music on a daily basis. It’s admittedly a bit difficult for me to remember what picking up a CD feels like.

Hence, trying out AudioSalad’s VR player—which involved strapping a device to my eyes, turning around up to 270 degrees, and examining my virtual surroundings in order to choose a single song—completely threw me off-balance. This physical disorientation soon turned into fascination, however, and I became excited at the prospect of restoring physicality to what we currently take for granted as digital experiences.

Unfortunately, the conversation that the music industry tends to hold around VR only leaves me more disappointed than excited. Yes, I am beaming at the optimistic financial numbers around the technology, as is everyone else. Strategy Analytics projects revenues from global VR headset purchases to reach $895 million this year, while Digi-Capital forecasts that overall augmented/virtual reality revenue will hit $120 billion by the end of the decade.

Visitors trying the Oculus Rift in the H&M tent at the Coachella festival. (Photo courtesy of VRScout)

In response to these projections, there has been an unending rush to create immersive VR experiences for music, an industry desperately in need of a revenue boost. Both Coachella and Lollapalooza have launched their own VR content that allows users to live-stream behind-the-scenes footage or even watch sets from onstage, and Universal Music Group and iHeartMedia are launching joint VR showcases around select festivals this year. The New York Times Magazine recently filmed a VR video that follows musician Syd da Kid and her band The Internet through the process of learning a new song. Other artists such as Björk and Run the Jewels have also created VR content for their music, and the medium is becoming an exciting new frontier for music composition.

Most of these examples point to building delightful experiences for the consumer or experimental artist. Let’s experience a live show while standing next to the headliner; let’s immerse ourselves in the experience of being an independent musician at work.