Virtual band Gorillaz launches virtual music video to promote Humanz album

Cartoon band Gorillaz has promoted its upcoming album, Humanz, with the launch of a 360° music video on YouTube.

Its not the first music video of its type to launch on the platform, but it is one of the more impressive. The band being composed of four cartoon characters, visuals have always been particularly important for Gorillaz – and VR is a natural home.

The “Saturnz Barz (Spirit House)” video doesnt feature just one song but a medley of four different tracks, released today ahead of the full album. Directed by artist Jamie Hewlett, one of two founding members of the Gorillaz project, the video features the combination of 2D and CG animation that has become the bands trademark style.

The video can be watched using YouTube VR through one of Googles Cardboard or Daydream headsets, or on the mobile app, controlled by tilting the device or dragging on the screen.

Its worth noting that “Saturnz Barz” isnt only available in this format. A more conventional video is also available on YouTube, featuring most of the same content. This flat version is actually outperforming its 360° equivalent, with 2.2m views to 1.5m – perhaps reflective of a lower demand for this kind of content than its traditional equivalent.

Its part of a wider push into this space by YouTube, however. This weekend, the video platform is livestreaming sets from Miamis Ultra Music Festival in 360°, building its growing library of VR-ready music video content.

“Any music fan will tell you, there’s nothing better than seeing your favorite band live. But if you’re one of the millions of people who can’t make it to a show, YouTube is giving you the next best thing,” said Vivien Lewit, global head of artist relations at YouTube. “With these new immersive experiences, you can transport yourself to top music festivals and killer concerts, without having to deal with the crowds.”